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Alex Rodriguez: “I refuse to quit”

Jul 4, 2013, 11:01 PM EDT

Alex Rodriguez AP AP

Bob Nightengale of USA Today conducted an interesting interview with Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, who is currently two games into a minor league rehab assignment as he attempts to make his way back from hip surgery. It’s well worth your time.

There’s a lot to chew on with this interview, but the main gist is that Rodriguez has every intention of coming back, even though he’s well aware that many Yankees fans would like to see him gone.

“I know people think I’m nuts,” he tells USA TODAY Sports, in his first extensive interview since last season. “I know most people wouldn’t want the confrontation. Most people would say, ‘Get me out of here. Trade me. Do anything.’

“But I’m the (expletive) crazy man who goes, ‘I want to compete. I want to stay in New York. I refuse to quit.’

“Maybe it’s stupidity, I don’t know, but I’m wired to compete and give my best. I have a responsibility to be ready to play as soon as I can.”

Rodriguez was asked about his connection to the Biogenesis clinic in South Florida, but said he has been instructed by his lawyers not to comment on the allegations until MLB finishes their investigation.

“Right now, we kind of got our hands tied,” he says. “It’s so hard and frustrating because we’re in a world that you’re guilty before being proven innocent.

“It’s not supposed to (expletive) be that way.”

Rodriguez, who turns 38 later this month, went 0-for-4 with one strikeout in two rehab games with Class A Charleston this week. He’s moving up to High-A Tampa on Friday and hopes to rejoin the Yankees on July 22 against the Rangers in Texas.

  1. jrod2go - Jul 4, 2013 at 11:07 PM

    You really shouldn’t refuse to quit. Just give in man. Go away.

    • thehypercritic - Jul 4, 2013 at 11:43 PM

      You’re asking one of the greatest players in the game’s storied history to walk away before he has to?

      Don’t you recall the maddening loss all fans felt when Bonds was blackballed out of the game a year after putting up insane OBP/OPS numbers?

      The truly greats should play as long as they can and we’re all lucky to watch them even if you don’t happen to like their personalities.

      • nbjays - Jul 5, 2013 at 7:03 AM

        Funny, THIS baseball fan felt no loss at all – maddening or otherwise – when no one signed Barry Bonds. The only loser in that scenario was Bonds. I think baseball actually gained from that.

      • tomtravis76 - Jul 5, 2013 at 10:08 AM

        Seattle mariner Alex Rodriguez had all of baseball thinking he would be one of the greatest to play the game, but with his repeated slaps of the baseball fans faces with his drug connections, he has become a guy that you teach young players not to be like.

        Alex will not be remembered in the history of the game as a great player but rather for his huge contracts, his off the field drug use and his post season antics/ failures. It will be good for the game moving forward when he is no longer a part of it.

    • bigharold - Jul 5, 2013 at 2:38 AM

      “.. give in man. Go away.:”

      Why? Because of this Biogenesis crap? So far I haven’t read or seen anything that would amount to evidence of ANYTHING!!!

      “… many Yankees fans would like to see him gone.”

      No! Yankee fans would like to see him return with some semblance of his previous ability. Like Cashman said last month to return , .. to be at least an above average offensive 3B.

    • southofheaven81 - Jul 5, 2013 at 8:07 AM

      Yeah, just give in, who gives a shit about that 114 million dollars? The opinion of internet critics matters far more.

    • fanofevilempire - Jul 5, 2013 at 11:12 AM

      Alex, we got your back, you ride with the Empire and your team will have your back too.
      That’s how we roll in NYC, we remember 2009 you delivered for us now we got you, just
      get back and help your team and see if we can make a run. Stay healthy and good luck
      health wise.

  2. andreweac - Jul 4, 2013 at 11:08 PM

    The Courage to Compete. The Will to Win.

  3. kangarooparm - Jul 4, 2013 at 11:27 PM

    Narcotic abuse always leads to abhorrent behavior.

    • Boom! Splat! - Jul 5, 2013 at 12:08 AM

      Now I’m just a simple, small-town blog commenter, but I’m pretty sure that PEDs aren’t narcotics.

      • bigharold - Jul 5, 2013 at 2:41 AM

        Please, whatever you do small town guys are used to, don’t for a minute think it’s anything to do with logic or reason in these parts.

    • aceshigh11 - Jul 5, 2013 at 12:25 AM

      NARCOTICS?

      Wow…I hate it when people misuse words.

  4. cackalackyank - Jul 4, 2013 at 11:36 PM

    Yes, yes, wouldn’t we all run away from @ $120 million with our tails between our legs to prove we are “principled”?

    • ctony1216 - Jul 5, 2013 at 9:36 AM

      Right, so, A-Rod will NOT walk away from a $120 million contract. And that’s news?

      I wonder if Albert Pujols is ready to give up, too, after a year and a half of embarrassingly underperforming on a ridiculous contract. And his deal has 8 and a half more years to go!

      It’s the owners and GMs who signed these deals who should wonder if they still belong in the game.

  5. onbucky96 - Jul 4, 2013 at 11:50 PM

    He won’t quit? Okay, then will he take an $80million pay cut?

    • southofheaven81 - Jul 5, 2013 at 8:08 AM

      No, no he will not.

    • florida727 - Jul 5, 2013 at 10:11 AM

      Would YOU?

  6. delusionalcardsfan - Jul 4, 2013 at 11:56 PM

    I refuse to quit…..taking steroids. – A Rod

  7. hittfamily - Jul 5, 2013 at 12:03 AM

    “I’m not as good as I used to be” is not a good enough reason to walk away from 100,000,000+ dollars. At least I don’t think I would.

    • bigharold - Jul 5, 2013 at 2:42 AM

      ” .. I don’t think I would.”

      Nor would anyone else with at least two brain cells on speaking terms.

  8. norvturnersneck - Jul 5, 2013 at 12:16 AM

    Enjoy that contract Yankees. He will rot on your roster for years to come. He treated his body like a playground and is now left with a Ferris wheel of a swing that goes empty even in single A minors. Welcome to years of boos ARod, but please refuse to give up.

    I wonder why you are with a former WWE wrestler? Maybe to inject your butt with HGH?

  9. vanindeed - Jul 5, 2013 at 12:17 AM

    But is he 2 legit……….2legit to quit? (hey hey)

  10. thejrod2006 - Jul 5, 2013 at 12:25 AM

    And why should he quit? The Yankees were dumb enough to give him a 10 year, 275 million dollar contract.

    I hate A-Rod as much as the next guy, but if I were him, I’d show up every day and collect every last penny that is owed to me. Pride and self-respect be damned.

    • nbjays - Jul 5, 2013 at 7:06 AM

      ^ THIS!

      If for no other reason than to show the Yankees organization how money can’t always buy you championships. Sometimes it just buys you embarrassment.

  11. flamethrower883 - Jul 5, 2013 at 12:26 AM

    I don’t get how people can rip on a guy that has admitted he’s made mistakes and wants to prove everyone wrong. But, I guess people just need to make themselves feel better by bringing down athletes.

    • badintent - Jul 5, 2013 at 2:00 AM

      No. Arodless did a better job of bringing himself down then all of us put together.
      As he himself said in the interview ,”Maybe I am too stupid.”
      Arod, you ARE too stupid. The only ones stupider is the Texas and Yankee owners who gave you $600 million dollars.
      Good thing Baseball owners can depreciate players like trucks or factory equipment for tax saving.

      • thehypercritic - Jul 5, 2013 at 2:18 AM

        Overpaying for middling talents is the mistake.

        Paying market price or above for one of the twenty greatest talents to ever play the game is what you want a front office to do.

        It’s as if many people here do appreciate who special a talent Rodriguez is… Either 14th or 17th in all-time WAR depending on the secret sauce you prefer.

        You may dislike him as a player, as a human being… but rooting for his retirement is like wishing Cobb had played fewer games. Or Mantle. Or any of the truly greats who may not have lived up to your individual moral code.

      • badintent - Jul 5, 2013 at 2:44 AM

        Not into Wars, sabremetrics or any geek math stuff. But am tired of Arodless countless press conferences to deny or confirm roid use, Russian mob card games, Hollywood hoe girlfriends, yelling at opposing fielders, dissing Jeter in Esquire, etc, etc, etc. He needs to go to DR or Mexico to base ball. Sooner than later. Oh , yeah. tired of his choke jobs in the fall.Really tired. No moral problem, just tired of his choking.

      • thehypercritic - Jul 5, 2013 at 2:50 AM

        Jeter was the lesser talent who refused to move for the superior defensive player and he got a pass.

        ARod’s NOT the first ballplayer to like poker, why in the world do you care about his card games aside from the media singling him out and picking on him?

        ARod also did some great things in the fall. It evens out. MLBers don’t “choke” over a reasonable sample size.

        99% of what you object to seems to be the way the media bashes ARod while ignoring the similar behavior of most MLBers. So why is your anger directed towards ARod as opposed to the media outlets wasting their time with such nonsense?

      • badintent - Jul 5, 2013 at 10:55 PM

        Arod was lucky he didn’t get shot at that card game when someone pulled a game. If you had $300 million in the bank why the hell why you hang with such low lifes ?Just plain stupid Arod.LBJ hangs with Warren Buffet. Get my point ?
        You don’t join a new team and shot your mouth off about a HOF before you have even laced up . Stuid Arod.
        Choke Arod. His playoff stats are so south of his regular stats it’s not worth my time to go into to them in detail.
        Yes, I do bash Arod on many of the same points that the media does. Why ? Because they point out what a fraud he is.And bad character. And a phony good guy. And a poor team mate. and etc, etc, etc,but I do hope he slams over the Boston catcher in the seventh game of the playoffs to win the game and series.

    • seeinred87 - Jul 5, 2013 at 5:33 AM

      I love, love, love ARod. I’m a sucker for villains. I don’t get why there’s soooooo much hatred for him though. Nobody else takes the shit he takes really.

      One of the greatest ever and people want him to quit.

  12. pisano - Jul 5, 2013 at 12:40 AM

    If he had any pride in himself he’d have the Yankees buy that contract out at a reasonable cut, and leave on his own terms. His game is basically gone, his reflex’s are gone, hence all the called third strikes, by the time he wants to swing, the ball is past him, and when he does get the bat on the ball, it’s usually a infield DP. He could probably manage a .240 to .250 average, and 10 to 15 home runs, if he can still get around on a few fastballs, but he’ll be booed out of Yankee stadium. I think it boils down to how much pride he has left, or some would say how much greed he has.

  13. sisqsage - Jul 5, 2013 at 12:46 AM

    There was no maddening loss when Bonds left. Both he and A-Rod cheated, and both are phonies. They won’t be missed because their feats were done the wrong way. Good riddance.

    • thehypercritic - Jul 5, 2013 at 1:40 AM

      Excuse me, but isn’t baseball the sport that coined “if you ain’t cheating, you ain’t trying”?!

      Spitballs, scuffed balls, stolen signs, framing pitches, corked bats… The notion that “cheating” is bad was primarily created by Bud Selig in his continued attempts to hammer and break the players union.

      Bonds and ARod had inflated numbers in an era of high offense. Yes, both offensive and defensive players were using PEDs more often than at other points in the game, but it was also about smaller parks opening up, tighter baseballs, the acceptance of take & rake as an offensive approach and on and on.

      There’s not a single, sentient baseball fan who still swallows the “steroids are evil despite there never being an objective study proving their efficacy in enhancing statistical performance” nonsense. Not have I ever come across an adult who can articulate why some medical advancements are wonderful for the game (like placing a cadaver’s tendon into a frayed elbow) and others are immoral (consenting adults taking a substance available to the public that might enhance their job performance).

      The NFL drives me up a wall, but at least their fans don’t lose their minds over the league’s much more rampant steroid abuse.

      Can anyone articulate why you care what consenting adults willingly put into their bodes??

  14. njraidersfan - Jul 5, 2013 at 1:37 AM

    Your 100% right just like Aaron Hernandez is sitting in jail and could be there till his trial if your innocent until proven guilty you should be let got without bail never the less have some one else decide your fate by denying you bail over CIRCUMSTANTIAL evidence

  15. njraidersfan - Jul 5, 2013 at 1:41 AM

    So what happens if Aaron Hernandez or anyone are in jail wait for there trial either kill someone because the gangs that run it tell you too and if you don’t wanna die you have to do it or someone kills you while your in there and your found not guilty of the crime you originally got arrested for but are found guilty of the crime you commuted in jail or worse your not alive to see the judge say your innocent

    • thehypercritic - Jul 5, 2013 at 1:46 AM

      You can’t compare a man who may have severely injured or murdered a string of human beings over the past several years to a man who may have used a substance which was arbitrarily banned by a sporting association and only endangered himself.

    • badintent - Jul 5, 2013 at 2:39 AM

      There is a government organization . Maybe you heard of it .Called the FBI. They arrest puck gang members and have them put in jail for life. Provide safe houses for witnesses, give new identities, stuff like that.Plus Arron has (or had ) $30+ million dollars. Buys a lot of street muscle so he doesn’t have to lift a finger to deal with problems. Or could have hired some rogue cops to deal with a problem( Yes , that stuff Does go on).He just thought he was a badass but all he was is a chumpass jackass. Now he gonna get a sore ass. Gangass.
      Class dismissed

  16. theskinsman - Jul 5, 2013 at 3:13 AM

    Thanks,A-fraud! Please, by all means, play out every day of your contract. Can’t wait for Jeter to refuse to move from the DH spot after the statue is finally moved from SS. Stay,fellas! Please!

  17. thehypercritic - Jul 5, 2013 at 3:33 AM

    INFORMAL POLL… Does anyone think Jeter is a better ballplayer than Rodriguez?

    If you believe ARod’s better over the span of his career give a thumbs up. If you think Jeter’s the superior player, offer a thumb’s down.

    WAR’s not perfect by any means, but a lifetime separation of 37-50 wins makes me suspect that — even weighting heavily for postseason performance — the only souls voting for Jeter will be related to the man.

    If anyone votes for Jeter for reasons beyond trolling, I’d love to hear the objective reasoning behind such a vote.

    • nbjays - Jul 5, 2013 at 7:14 AM

      Alex Rodriguez could have been one of the top three or four to ever play the game, could have earned the respect of his peers and fans. He chose not to do that.

      Jeter has never had the raw baseball skills of ARod but he always gave 100%, and more importantly, he respected the game, his opponents, and himself. That’s why he is more respected than ARod. You give respect, you get respect.

  18. Michael Volkmann - Jul 5, 2013 at 4:23 AM

    Reblogged this on Michael Volkmanns Blog.

  19. ChandlerMc - Jul 5, 2013 at 8:32 AM

    I heard a lawyer speak on the radio recently about ARod. It seems this is a race between him and MLB with millions of dollars at stake. According to the report if ARod makes it back to the majors BEFORE he is suspended, he can claim he cannot perform at a reasonable level due to injuries, then retire and collect the remaining millions on his contract. If MLB completes its investigation and suspends him before he makes it back to the Yankees, he cannot collect on his remaining years and his contract would be voided. This is what the Yankees desperately want, obviously… Again this is second hand info but it seems to make some sense.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jul 5, 2013 at 11:03 AM

      was the lawyer lionel hutz, because everything you wrote is wrong. he won’t be able to medically retire because both his and the teams doctor have cleared him to play. the Yankees cannot get back any of the money, regardless of whether he is suspended or not.

      remember the name of that lawyer, and do the exact opposite.

  20. rick1k6 - Jul 5, 2013 at 8:53 AM

    “….and as long as the checks keep clearing, I remain steadfast in my position.”

  21. joeflaccosunibrow - Jul 5, 2013 at 9:25 AM

    He’s got 100 million reasons to not quit…

  22. sportsfan69 - Jul 5, 2013 at 9:39 AM

    Yeah, I wouldn’t either for the ridiculous amount of money he’s receiving in guarantees. Dah!

  23. mfinneran - Jul 5, 2013 at 12:33 PM

    His legacy is gone.Could have been one of the all
    time great’s Now he’s just pond scum.

  24. braddavery - Jul 5, 2013 at 3:52 PM

    Call me crazy, but I don’t want any good to great player “out of the league” because they were caught cheating. They have every right to play in MLB until they get a lifetime ban. Manny should be able to play, Rodriguez should be able to play and Bonds should have been able to play. Hell, Canseco should have never been blackballed. I hate cheaters and I hate PEDs in baseball, but until they get that elusive lifetime ban, they have every right to play the game they/we love.

  25. hitdog042 - Jul 6, 2013 at 2:11 PM

    Hypercritic is a moron. Next.

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