As you’ve probably read elsewhere, there’s an ongoing dispute over outstanding legal fees racked up by Alex Rodriguez, with the suspended Yankee 3B seeking a dramatically reduced bill for he considers a poor performance on the part of his solicitors. Trouble is, the New York Daily News’ Terri Thompson, Bill Madden and Michael O’Keefe claim Rodriguez’ aggressive (and ultimately disastrous) approach was foisted upon the legal team by confidant Desiree Perez, a partner in Jay-Z’s 40/40 chain and wife of Juan (O.G.) Perez, president of Roc Nation Sports. According to the Daily News’ unnamed sources, “it was Perez who convinced Rodriguez to abandon any settlement talks with MLB and the Players Association last summer as it became clear that MLB would hit one of the game’s biggest stars with a massive suspension.”

In a statement to The News, Rodriguez denied that Perez was the architect of his unsuccessful legal strategy.

“I am disappointed that I need to be making any statements about anything at this time, but given how much I value my personal relationships with long-time friends Desiree, Juan and Jay, I need to set the record straight,” Rodriguez said. “So we are all clear, I made my own decisions with my legal team over the past year, and I have accepted my penalties and am trying to serve my penalty without being a distraction to the game of baseball or my team.

“I don’t understand why certain parties seem intent on trying to damage my relationships with friends, but it is what it is,” he added. “I’m sorry they have been dragged into my issues, but the case is closed, I’ve turned the page, and maybe it’s time for others to as well. I wish my teammates well and am looking forward to getting back with them next season.

Another source, however, said Perez was the brains behind A-Rod’s failed tactics: “She’s the one who steered the ship into the rocks but now she’s blaming the captain (the lawyers).”