Thursday, January 16, 2014

A-Rod calls MLB suspension 'a favor' and 2014 is 'a good year to rest'

Despite Alex Rodriguez's legal team fighting to get him back in pinstripes this season, the suspended New York Yankees third baseman sounds like a man ready to accept his fate and make the most of his banishment.

Rodriguez, speaking in Spanish at an appearance in Mexico, broke his silence when he spoke with the media Wednesday for the first time since Saturday when an independent arbitrator suspended him for the entire 2014 season, according to ESPN.

“I think that the year 2014 could be a big favor that [Major League Baseball has] done for me because I’ve been playing for 20 years without a timeout,” Rodriguez said. “I think 2014 is a good year to rest mentally and physically and prepare for the future and begin a new chapter in my life.”

Arbitrator Fredric Horowitz reduced Rodriguez’s 211-game ban, but still left him suspended for entire 2014 season — including the postseason — for using three banned performance-enhancing drugs and two incidents of obstructing the investigation. A-Rod's legal eagles responded by filing suits against MLB and the MLB Players’ Association to overturn his suspension.

ESPN aired a video of Rodriguez’s appearance early Thursday morning. In it, Rodriguez — in front of a backdrop promoting the recently opened Alex Rodriguez Energy Fitness Center in Mexico City — spoke in Spanish for about a minute and did not take questions.

Rodriguez said he’s received support, “not just from my Yankees teammates, but also players from other teams, retired players, Hall of Fame players and lots of good people, owners of other teams.”

The 38-year-old Rodriguez, whose representatives have said he intends to attend spring training, which he has the right to do, said he is already looking forward to the 2015 season.

“I have three years left on my contract starting in 2015 and I hope to play very well and finish my career in New York,” he said.

Rodriguez did not mention PEDs or his suspension directly, but did seem to address it.

“[To] tell the truth, it’s a very sad situation and we hope to get this out of every newspaper and start concentrating on all the good things that MLB is doing and the great things that young ballplayers are doing and move forward,” he said.

The key words there A-Rod — "young ballplayers."

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