Alex Rodriguez speaks out, vows to play in 2015
Speaking publicly for the first time since an arbitrator suspended him for the entire 2014 season, Alex Rodriguez on Wednesday met with the media in Mexico City and spoke about his battles with baseball and his plans for the future.
While opening a gym with which he is affiliated in the city, Rodriguez thanked his supporters — from Yankees teammates to "retired players and players that are in the Hall of Fame" — and expressed regret over the attention his recent suspension saga has brought on baseball, ESPN reported.
Rodriguez’s original 211-game suspension was actually reduced to 162 games by arbitrator Fredric Horowitz on Saturday; Horowitz ruling there was "clear and convincing evidence" Rodriguez used three banned substances and twice tried to obstruct the sport’s drug investigation into the now-closed Biogenesis of America anti-aging clinic in Florida.
Speaking in Spanish on Wednesday, Rodriguez said "It’s a very sad story. And we hope we can take it out of the newspapers and I hope we can start concentrating on all the good things the big league is doing with all the young players moving forward."
The 38-year-old three-time MVP did not specifically discuss the suspension or legal matters, but sounded like a man looking forward to being out the game for a full season.
"I think that in the year 2014, the league could have done me a favor because I’ve played 20 years without a timeout. I think 2014 will be a year to rest, mentally, physically prepare myself for the future and begin a new chapter of my life."
He added that he plans to resume playing in New York and finishing his career with the Yankees: "I have 3 years left on my contract starting in 2015 and I hope to play very well and finish my career in New York."
After the suspension was announced, a wild couple of days ensued, including Biogenesis founder Anthony Bosch telling ’60 Minutes" on Sunday night that he not only supplied Rodriguez with banned substances including testosterone and human growth hormone, but that Bosch himself even injected Rodriguez at times.
Rodriguez on Monday sued MLB and the players’ association on Monday, hoping to overturn the suspension.
Also on Wednesday, Yankees executives and those Yankees teammates he hopes to rejoin in a year also spoke.
"As a teammate, you’re saddened by the whole thing," Derek Jeter told reporters in Tampa, Fla., according to the New York Post. "The whole thing has been kind of messy."
Jeter was speaking from the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino at an event for his Turn 2 Foundation and said he has talked with A-Rod. The Yankees shortstop, who played in just 17 games in 2013 while still dealing with a broken ankle suffered in the 2012 ALCS, would not talk specifically about Rodriguez potentially showing up at Yankees spring training or his lawsuit against the league and the union, but according to the Post did say, "I mean, he’s human. I’m sure it’s a rough situation."
And ESPN reported that Yankees owner and managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner called Rodriguez "a great player" and "obviously an asset" while at an owners’ meeting, but added:
"I have not thought about 2015, nor am I going to right now. My focus has to be right now. But when he’s on and when he’s healthy, he’s obviously an asset. We’ll see what happens."