Playing Hardball

The New York Times, Monday, November 4, 2013

Playing Hardball:

Cloak and Dagger Tactics on Both Sides of the Rodrquez Case

This article is by Steve Eder, Serge F Kovaleski and Michael S. Schmidt

“…In the nine months since Mr. Rodriquez and more than a dozen other (baseball) players were linked to a South Florida anti-aging clinic that is believed to have distributed banned substances to professional athletes, baseball officials and one of their star players (Mr. Rodriquez) have engaged in a cloak-and-dagger struggle surpassing anything the sport has seen.  The extraordinary tactics, playing out in multiple locations, reflect Major League Baseball’s resolve to prove one of its star players cheated, and that player’s determination to discredit baseball officials.

Witnesses for both sides in the pending arbitration proceedings claim to have been harassed and threatened.  Some were paid tens of thousands of dollars for their cooperation.  One said she became intimately involved with an investigator om the case.  And some witness accounts have shifted, leaving each side scrambling to defend the sometimes inconsistent stories provided by former employees and associates of the now-defunct clinic, Biogenesis of America.

This article began on the front page of the New York Times and continued on two subsequent pages in the Sports Section.  Hardball is usually used as a metaphor for tough tactics.  The term itself refers to a ball which is smaller and harder than the soft, larger ball used in softballCloak and dagger is an old term for secret techniques, even criminal ones, particularly in older crime stories as in the Sherlock Holmes series.

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