- Alex Rodriguez was banned for all 162 regular season games and the playoffs for the 2014 season
- The suspension is 49 games less than the original 211 game ban he was given last year
- Perez was arrested in 1994 for drug possession and in 1998 for grand larceny and possession of a firearm
- Club manager, with close ties to Beyonce and Jay Z, has a ‘lot of power’ inside rap mogul’s Roc Nation Sport
- A-Rod will be almost 40-years-old by the time he is allowed to play again
After being handed a historic suspension, 38-year-old Alex Rodriguez was ready to retire from baseball for good.
Years of steroids had worn him down – and if he returned to the game he knew would be tested even more frequently.
The Daily News reports Rodriguz privately told advisers last summer that he was ready to cut a deal with MLB officials and quit.
Yer outta there!: Alex Rodirguez will not be able to step foot on a baseball field again until he is almost 40-years-old
Connections: Desiree Perez has strong links to the showbiz and sporting world but she has a murky past where she associated with drug dealers and even served time in jail
Judge and jury: Arbitrator Fredric Horowitz, who handed down the 162-game suspension, pictured in 2009
But his sudden change of heart came from the most unlikeliest source – Desiree Perez, a Manhattan nightclub manager with a lengthy criminal record and close links to hip-hop mogul Jay Z.
Even more bizarrely, despite Perez not being employed by Jay Z’s Roc Nation Sports agency, she still commands influence behind the scenes.
There is an uncomfortable background to Perez’s involvement with the sport.
As a convicted felon, she has a long history as a Drug Enforcement Agency cooperating witness and then a fugitive.
Able to switch sides to suit her own needs, at one stage she even wore wires meet with cocaine traffickers.
Perez was part of a massive cocaine distribution case in 1994.
Shady past: Desiree Perez parties with Beyonce. Perez, who was caught with 35 kilos of cocaine and spent time in jail, now rubs shoulders with some of the biggest celebs in the world
An all-time great: Mr Rodriguez has 654 career home runs, good for fifth-most in baseball history
Unprecedented: A-Rod ban is the longest PED-related suspension in baseball history
Following her arrest, she became a key government cooperator, going undercover to help the DEA build successful cases against major traffickers in Puerto Rico and Colombia.
Cooperation with the feds won her supervised release, but then went rogue and ended up serving nine months in prison.
The Daily News has uncovered evidence that suggests Perez was behind much of A-Rod’s failed legal and PR strategy last year.
Rodriguez, who describes her as a ‘long-time friend’ says he made his own decisions with his own legal team.
After being handed a 162-game suspension earlier this year, Rodriqguez was going to sit back and accept the penalty he was given.
Yet something encouraged him to do otherwise and A-Rod announced shortly after he intended to fight the historic decision in federal court.
The newspaper says that it was Perez who urged Rodriguez to fight the MLB using some of his $275 million fortune and hiring the best legal team in the world.
When the Biogenesis scandal erupted, A-Rod was encouraged to fight for his reputation even accusing the seven-time All-Star of letting MLB and the Yankees drive him from the game.
Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig wanted him gone from the league for all of 2014.
Rodriguez was one of a dozen players suspended as part of the Biogenesis investigation. All but one of the other players suspended received 50-game bans.
They all accepted their bans, but he immediately appealed.
The next week saw a series of terse press conferences as the game’s highest paid player grinded through a rehab assignment at AA Trenton and followed each game with three-ring-circus press conferences accusing the Yankees of trying to keep him off the field.
The one-time World Series champion made it on to the field for the final month of the season and vowed to take his fight against the suspension as far as he had to get it overturned.
Close: Desiree Perez has close ties to superstar singer Beyonce and Jay Z, seen (left) with her rap mogul husband Juan (OG) Perez
Another long road back: The fading slugger spent almost the entire 2013 season rehabbing his injured hip, he will now not be allow back on a baseball field for one full year
Influence: Sources say Perez was instrumental in getting former Yank Robinson Cano to sign a mammoth $240 million contract with the Seattle Mariners
The number of games sadly comes as no surprise, as the deck has been stacked against me from day one,’ he said in a statement. ‘This is one man’s decision, that was not put before a fair and impartial jury, does not involve me having failed a single drug test.’
The 14-time all-star and his legal team said the suspension ‘is at odds with the facts and is inconsistent with the terms of the Joint Drug Agreement and the Basic Agreement.’
‘[It] relies on testimony and documents that would never have been allowed in any court in the United States because they are false and wholly unreliable,’ the statement continued.
‘I have been clear that I did not use performance enhancing substances as alleged in the notice of discipline, or violate the Basic Agreement or the Joint Drug Agreement in any manner, and in order to prove it I will take this fight to federal court.’
Just as Rodriguez was recovering from a second hip surgery in four years hoping to protect his precious contract, Perez confronted A-Rod with demands to return to the field.
‘This is when Desiree Perez hijacked the process and forced him back on the team,’ a source told the Daily News.
Rodriguez even told the media that the Yankees and MLB were conspiring to push him out of baseball.
‘I think that’s the pink elephant in the room,’ said Rodriguez, claiming ‘people are finding creative ways to cancel (his) contract.’
Rodriguez’s accusations saw things go from bad to worse and he was hit by commissioner Bud Selig with a 211-game ban.
Mr Rodriguez arrives Oct 1 at the offices of Major League Baseball in New York for an arbitration hearing
The scheme: Anthony Bosch claims he supplied A-Rod with performance-enhancing drugs through his anti-aging clinic Biogenesis
Anthony Bosch claims he supplied A-Rod with performance-enhancing drugs through his anti-aging clinic Biogenesis.
Living on the periphery, he opened and closed several similarly themed businesses designed to keep people young through the power of drugs.
Occasionally he would be described as an ‘anti-aging doctor.’
Biogenesis began deal with with athletes and supplying them with performance enhancing drugs.
Bosch built up a healthy client list with Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Braun as his biggest stars.
Ultimately, Bosch had to turn on Rodriguez and had to explain the shady scheme to the authorities.
Bosch had something in common with Perez who also flipped against a friend in the mid-1990s.
At the time, she was 26 and arrested in New York for possession with intent to distribute 35 kilograms of cocaine.
Federal authorities charged she was part of a drug conspiracy stretching from New York to Florida to Puerto Rico.
She and co-defendant Amaury Lopez faced at least 10 years in prison but in the end, in return for ‘telling the DEA everything’, she ended up getting 30 months in a military-style boot camp program in 1995.
Perez worked closely with agents and wore a wire on at least five of her visits to see drug dealers in Puerto Rico.
Looking to the future: Rodriguez is now quietly trying to reinvent himself, showing up on college campuses, attending billionaire Warren Buffett’s Berkshire-Hathaway conference and declaring his intention to get an MBA even though he has no undergraduate degree
She also became involved with drug busts in Columbia too and busted cocaine shipments of 50 to 100 kilograms.
After being trusted and placed on supervised release, it was believed she had been rehabilitated.
A transcript describes how there was a mutual ‘regard and respect’ between Perez and the DEA special agents.
However, just nine months into her sentence, she skipped town and it wasn’t until for another nine months that the authorities caught up with her.
Perez was charged with grand larceny, criminal use of drug paraphernalia and criminal possession of a firearm.
Her probation was revoked and she was sentenced to nine months in prison and three years of supervised release.
Behind the mic: While injuries and age could end Rodriguez’s playing career, his attack-dog approach to the MLB probe has undermined his chances of returning to the game as a broadcaster or executive
She has a hold: Rodriguez listens to Desiree Perez and others in Jay Z’s circle because he hopes to become an agent himself
It wasn’t just the drugs scene that Perez was engaged with.
She appears to have been in business with Jay Z since at least 2002, helping the rapper run his 40/40 Club in Las Vegas. Her father is listed as a president, director and 50% stockholder in the club.
Perez quickly became one of the most trusted members of Jay Z’s Roc Nation entourage. She is a part of international pop star Rihanna’s management team and has been photographed partying with Beyoncé.
Last year Jay Z formed Roc Nation Sports and began representing professional athletes.
The Daily News says Perez was an important voice in the business from the beginning.
Former Florida Panthers executive Michael Yormark acknowledged the role Perez plays when he left the NHL team and joined Roc Nation Sports in March.
‘I am honored and humbled to be joining Jay Z’s Roc Nation Sports as President and Chief Strategy Officer,’ Yormark said. ‘I am thrilled to join an exciting, innovative organization led by Desiree and Juan Perez.’
But it has become all too apparent that Perez’s lack of experience in collective bargaining, arbitration and anti-doping policies can backfire drastically.
Rodriguez’s appeal and fiery words led to a harsher suspension, a arbitration fight and cost him $20 million in salary.
One person involved with the process explained to the News how it worked.
‘People would sign on with them, and then get passed on to Juan Perez and finally Desiree. She undermined everything A-Rod’s people were trying to do to help him. It was a travesty.’
Rodriguez is now quietly trying to reinvent himself.
He was seen attending billionaire Warren Buffett’s Berkshire-Hathaway conference earlier in the year.
The 38-year-old is signed through the end of the 2017 season, and the team still owes him at least $84million through those seasons.
Since he will be almost 40 by the time he is allowed back on the field, he may have already played his final games.
Others are suggesting his bad decisions could have undermined his chances of returning to the game as a broadcaster or executive.
Some have suggested he is looking to become an agent of the game himself, but first he will have to make amends for some of the bad choices and decisions of the past.