Via Newsday -
Alex Rodriguez said he was ready to board a plane for San Diego to join the Yankees after Friday night’s game for Double-A Trenton and vowed to “keep fighting” amid the latest reports that Major League Baseball is prepared to hand down its Biogenesis-related suspensions as soon as Monday.
But even after launching a towering two-run homer over the 32-foot-high leftfield wall at Arm & Hammer Park, A-Rod saved his biggest swings for the postgame news conference, when he took some hacks at those he believes are singling him out for persecution. He refused to mention anyone by name but dropped some hints along the way — and took a veiled shot at the Yankees and MLB.
“I think it’s pretty self-explanatory,” he said. “I think that’s the pink elephant in the room.
“I think we all agree that we want to get rid of PEDs — that’s a must. I think all the players, we feel that way.
“But when all this stuff is going on in the background, and people are finding creative ways to cancel your contract and stuff like that, I think that’s concerning for me, it’s concerning for the present and should be concerning for future players as well. There is a process . . . and I’m going to keep fighting.”
MLB reportedly has given a deadline of 6 p.m. EDT Sunday for the Biogenesis players to come to a plea agreement before suspensions are announced Monday. Rodriguez refused to address that question directly, but a source repeated Friday that he has no intention of making any deals. “This guy is fighting this,” the source said.
MLB could give him a lifetime ban if Rodriguez declines to accept a lesser suspension, one that possibly carries him through the 2014 season. But A-Rod did not sound as if he is prepared to do so.
Rodriguez, who is scheduled to play seven innings Saturday for Trenton and then have a short workout Sunday, said he expects to play for the Yankees on Monday in Chicago unless he is “hit by lightning.”
And if he’s not allowed to join his team then?
“There’s a lot of layers to this,” Rodriguez said. “As I go, my job is to do everything I can physically and mentally to get back on the field to help my team win. 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’s going on?
“There’s a lot of people that are confused. A lot of people that don’t understand the process. There is a lot of layers. I will say this: There’s more than one party that benefits from me not ever stepping back on the field, and that’s not my teammates and it’s not the Yankee fans.”
When asked who that is, he said, “I can’t tell you that right now. And I hope I never have to.”
I think we all agree that we want to get rid of PEDs — that’s a must. I think all the players, we feel that way?
Meanwhile, via Jon Heyman:
Word is, MLB has evidence to suggest Rodriguez bought or took steroids every year since 2009, the year he admitted to taking steroids in the “loosey goosey” days in Texas, from 2001-03, and challenged fans to “judge me from this day forward.”
There’s also a suspicion A-Rod may have directed some others to Biogenesis, whose former proprietor Tony Bosch is one of baseball’s star witnesses, and there’s some belief Rodriguez tried to impede MLB’s investigation by trying to buy Biogenesis documents — though if true, Rodriguez may try to suggest he was merely conducting his own investigation.
Bosch’s credibility would be an issue at any appeal hearing, but MLB is thought to have reams of paperwork, including text records, corroborating much of his testimony.
At this point, A-Rod needs to go away. And, he should hope that some idiot comes along to take him off the hot plate the way that he’s doing it now for Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds. But, I suspect, knowing A-Rod’s history, he’ll be more like Pete Rose – and, Alex will also be popping up somewhere to complain that he got the shaft and how he wants to be back in baseball.
How anyone can still support this guy is beyond me.