Suspended New York Yankees’ third baseman Alex Rodriguez spoke with the media for the first time since his reduced suspension of 162-games was handed down from arbitrator Fredric Horowitz. Rodriguez was in Mexico City to help promote the opening of a new gym that he has ties to.
During his media session, A-Rod thanked many people, including several of his Yankees teammates, along with other players around baseball, retired players and members of the Hall of Fame for their support. He believes the break will allow him to rest both physically and mentally. Speaking Spanish, Rodriguez went on to say:
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.
A-Rod did not go into specifics regarding his recently handed down suspension, but did say that MLB was doing him a favor by giving him a chance to relax and take some time off after 20 straight seasons playing at the big league level. Rodriguez plans on returning to the Yankees in 2015 and said:
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.
While choosing not to address the suspension or specifics of the legal battle that he has ahead of him, one of his spokespeople, Ron Berkowitz did say this:
This process has been taxing both mentally and physically throughout the past eight months. Alex will abide by the rulings of the federal judge — whatever he decides — and get ready for 2015 should the judge rule against him. He will continue to move forward with his complaint which will help all players against this unfair system.
Rodriguez this past Monday, sued both Major League Baseball and the Player’s Association in an attempt to have his reduced suspension overturned in federal court. Teammate Derek Jeter had stated that he has spoken to Rodriguez, and told the N.Y. Post:
I mean, he’s human. I’m sure it’s a rough situation.
There are reports that Rodriguez plans on showing up for spring training in Tampa when the team reports in February, and the Yankees have yet to make an official comment on that report.