The Major League Baseball Players Association says it had Alex Rodriguez’s back in the bruising arbitration that led to the disgraced Yankee’s 162-game steroid suspension. The union has asked a judge to strike out Rodriguez’s claims that the Players Association did not provide adequate legal representation during the arbitration process for the embattled star when the parties convene at a Feb. 14 hearing in Manhattan federal court. In a four-page letter sent to U.S. District Court Judge Edgardo Ramos, union attorneys say that Rodriguez’s claims that the P.A. only provided “perfunctory” representation are belied by arbitrator Fredric Horowitz’s decision to slash the suspension from 211 games, as well as the hearing transcript and post-hearing briefs, “all of which demonstrate the union’s forceful advocacy throughout the arbitration.” Ramos ordered Rodriguez and his lawyers to respond to the union letter, as well as to a request by MLB for a pre-hearing conference on its motion to dismiss the lawsuit, by Friday. Rodriguez and his lawyers sued MLB and the union on Jan. 13, claiming that baseball officials engaged in unethical and illegal behavior during the investigation that led to his suspension. The suit also claims that the union did not provide an adequate defense and that Horowitz, the independent member of a three-person panel that also includes representatives from the union and baseball, had acted “with evident partiality.” A spokesman for Rodriguez did not return a call for comment.