He made that abundantly clear in a postgame press conference on Friday night in Trenton, NJ. Following a 1-for-2 performance with a homer for the Double-A Thunder, A-Rod made some controversial remarks … and the New York Yankees likely won’t be pleased.
The embattled third baseman was with the Yankees farm team for the first of a two-game rehab assignment. After walking in the first inning, he hit a long two-run blast in the third against Reading left-hander Jesse Biddle, a No. 1 draft pick by the Phillies in 2010.
In his final at-bat, Rodriguez struck out looking on a looping curverball in the fifth.
But A-Rod, who gave his bat to a fan before exiting the field, wasn’t done taking swings.
During his postgame press conference, the 38-year-old was asked about the likely suspension that will be coming his way. Rodriguez, who ranks fifth with 647 career homers, did what he has done for years: played the victim.
"My job is to do everything I can physically and mentally to help my team win," Rodriguez said. "As far as all the legal stuff, to me it’s been confusing. The one thing I’ve gotten from so many people, so many fans, some teammates, they’re like, ‘What is going on?’
"I think there’s a lot of people that are confused, a lot of people that don’t understand the process.
"I will say this: there is more than one party that benefits from me not ever stepping back on the field. That’s not my teammates and that’s not the Yankee fans."
When a reporter asked who those parties were, Rodriguez replied, "I can’t tell you that right now and I hope I never have to."
Hmmm. If it’s not his teammates and not the New York fans, that only leaves a couple of options: the Yankees’ front-office executives, perhaps? Bud Selig?
On Saturday a major league source confirmed that Major League Baseball and the Yankees rejected meetings with A-Rod’s camp. The news was first reported by the New York Post’s Joel Sherman and the New York Daily News.
Sources also claimed barring any last-minute change, MLB planned to suspend Rodriguez, 38, for at least this season and next, based on findings in its investigation of the Biogenesis anti-aging clinic in Coral Gables, Fla.
There have been rumors that the Yankees hope Rodriguez is banned for life by Major League Baseball because the team will be off the hook for the remainder of his contract, which is approximately $100 million.
"I am mentally prepared to play five more years," Rodriguez said on Friday in Trenton. "It’s not time for me to hang it up. I have a lot more left in me. I will keep fighting."
A-Rod, who mentioned he planned to join the Yankees in Chicago for Monday’s game against the White Sox, seems to think it it 2002 and he’s still one of the most popular players in baseball. But, outside of Yankee Nation, it doesn’t seem like the majority of baseball fans care if A-Rod ever dons the pinstripes again.
Even his Yankees teammates, who need a capable right-handed batter in the lineup, have been decidedly "mum" on the issue, at least publicly. If his teammates want him back, why haven’t they said anything?
A-Rod, you got caught. You cheated … and you’re the highest-paid player in baseball history. When it comes to the ingredients that create an ideal story for public sympathy, you are severely lacking in just about every category.