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Alex Rodriguez: “I’m fighting for my life”

Aug 5, 2013, 7:02 PM EDT

New York Yankees Alex Rodriguez speaks during a news conference in Chicago Reuters

On the heels of MLB announcing a 211-game suspension earlier this afternoon, Alex Rodriguez held a press conference this evening at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago. If you were looking for any major revelations in regard to his alleged PED use and Biogenesis, you were probably disappointed. Not surprisingly, he declined to discuss any of the details. However, he did have some interesting things to say.

Rodriguez began the press conference with some brief opening remarks, during which he expressed his relief to be back in a Yankees uniform, not only after the Biogenesis investigation but also a tough rehab process following hip surgery in January.

“The last seven months have been a nightmare. Probably the worst time of my life, for sure. Obviously for the circumstances that are at hand and also dealing with a tough surgery and rehab program and being 38. I am thrilled and humbled to have the opportunity to put on this uniform again and play major league baseball again. I feel like I was 18 years old back in Fenway Park in 1994 when I went in to face the Red Sox for the very first time. It’s been 20 years. And I’m just very excited for the opportunity to go out there and play baseball and help my team win. And prove to myself, my teammates, the fans of New York, the fans of baseball, that I still have the shot to play the game at a high level and I’m going to give it my best.”

On why he has decided to appeal his suspension 211-game suspension from MLB:

“I’m fighting for my life, I have to defend myself. If I don’t defend myself, no one else will.”

When asked directly whether he used PEDs:

“We’ll have a forum to discuss all that and we’ll talk about that then.”

On whether he would drop his appeal after seeing what evidence MLB has against him:

“We’ve seen everything. There will be a time and place for everything. When the time is right we’ll all speak more freely.”

On what it feels like to get back on the field:

“For me, it’s going to be business as usual. I’ve got a job to do.”

When asked whether he thinks the Yankees want him back:

“If I’m productive, I think they want me back.”

Rodriguez got off to a good start, singling in his first at bat of 2013 as boos came from the stands.

Here’s video from the press conference:

The allegations against Rodriguez and others were first revealed in late January, when the Miami New Times published a report that connected them to Bosch and his clinic. Bosch reportedly provided a group of MLB players with human growth hormone and steroids as early as December 2011. The New Times story, along with reports by Yahoo! Sports and ESPN, reportedly spurred MLB’s investigation.

“Despite the challenges this situation has created during a great season on the field, we pursued this matter because it was not only the right thing to do, but the only thing to do,” Selig said.

Bosch faces a federal inquiry into whether Biogenesis illegally distributed steroids to high school students and major leaguers, according to reports by ESPN and the Miami Herald. Bosch’s lawyer, Susy Ribero-Ayala, has not responded to messages left by NBC Sports.

The matter reportedly is being handled by Jeff Novitzky, the federal agent who directed investigations of BALCO, a clinic in the Bay Area that was found to have distributed steroids to athletes.

Rodriguez, 38, is fifth on MLB’s career home run list, with 647 spread over two decades with three teams. Barry Bonds holds the record, with 762, but many fans believe that mark to be illegitimate because of Bonds’ tie to BALCO.

Rodriguez admitted in 2009 that he used steroids for three years, from 2001-03, while he was a member of the Texas Rangers. His name also appeared on a list of 104 players who tested positive for PEDs in a 2003 MLB survey, according to a report by Sports Illustrated.

The survey, which was confidential, reportedly was done to measure the extent of baseball’s problem with performance-enhancing drugs, not to determine who was actually using them. So Rodriguez’s alleged positive test could not have resulted in punishment.

Rodriguez has yet to play this year after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his left hip in January. His recovery efforts stalled in mid-July, when he strained his left quadriceps. Rodriguez claimed he was ready to return. The Yankees said he was not.

Rodriguez sought a second opinion from a New Jersey doctor, who examined an MRI of the slugger’s leg and proclaimed him fit both over the telephone and in a subsequent media blitz. The Yankees were displeased that Rodriguez sought a second opinion without informing them in writing first, according to ESPN.

  1. Caught Looking - Aug 5, 2013 at 7:06 PM

    Playing third, batting fourth and pleading the fifth

    • fanofevilempire - Aug 5, 2013 at 7:21 PM

      yeah, I heard Schilling with that, he got it from twitter

      • fanofevilempire - Aug 5, 2013 at 7:25 PM

        Alex, I got ya back, you only deserve a fifty spot not a 211 game suspension.
        I got ya back like a lot of NY’ers, we don’t run we stand up and fight.
        I need you to carry that lineup and make a run and you know those guys in the
        locker room got ya back too.

      • nbjays - Aug 5, 2013 at 7:38 PM

        Yep, and if it is only 50 games, the Yankees got ya back as well. They got that ridiculous contract to pay out, every single penny of it – and rightly so.

    • ilovegspot - Aug 5, 2013 at 8:14 PM

      Braun got more than 50 so Aroid will get more than fifty.

      • dinkydow - Aug 5, 2013 at 9:56 PM

        Braun tested positive before. Hard to believe but Arod never has.

      • michaelblinter - Aug 6, 2013 at 12:34 AM

        A-Roid. Love it.

  2. apkyletexas - Aug 5, 2013 at 7:09 PM

    See that face, Cashman and Steinbrenner? There’s your legacy. That’s what you paid for.

    • fanofevilempire - Aug 5, 2013 at 7:26 PM

      Alex signing autographs @ cellular field.

      • ilovegspot - Aug 5, 2013 at 8:16 PM

        The autograph of the biggest roider in history may have value in the future. Like Dillinger or the like.

  3. proudliberal85392 - Aug 5, 2013 at 7:09 PM

    More confirmation the All-Time Home Run champion is Henry Aaron.

    • motobus - Aug 5, 2013 at 8:09 PM

      You can’t refute the fact that Barry Bonds has hit more home runs than anyone in baseball ever has just because you don’t like him.

      Kind of like how Barrack Obama is still the president even though groups of people refuse to believe he was born in the US and decry that “he’s not my president.”

      • tubal22 - Aug 5, 2013 at 9:22 PM

        Home Run Champion != most home runs.

        To be a champion, you have to do it honorably.

      • michaelblinter - Aug 6, 2013 at 12:37 AM

        Bonds was a roid user, a cheater and a liar. FORK HIM!

    • cohnjusack - Aug 5, 2013 at 8:12 PM

      It’s actually Barry Bonds. He hit 762.

      You see, being the all-time home run leader isn’t an award. It’s just the guy who hit the most home runs in regular season MLB games throughout his career. Since those home runs all counted in games, and those games counted toward the overall season records and the like….

      • ilovegspot - Aug 5, 2013 at 8:19 PM

        Either way Bonds legacy is TAINTED and Obama is a lousy president. That’s how history will view these men.

      • cohnjusack - Aug 5, 2013 at 8:22 PM

        *Rolls eyes*

      • sailcat54 - Aug 5, 2013 at 8:28 PM

        There’s a Republican born every minute.

  4. captainwisdom8888 - Aug 5, 2013 at 7:12 PM

    If you can’t even bring yourself to say the words: “I never took a banned substance,” than that makes it crystal clear to me that you are as guilty as can be. Simple.

    • rbj1 - Aug 5, 2013 at 7:22 PM

      Um, he’s already admitted to using steroids in the past.

  5. banpeds - Aug 5, 2013 at 7:17 PM

    Banned player walking… he will wish he had Pete Roses life in 10 years.

    • nbjays - Aug 5, 2013 at 7:39 PM

      Or at least Pete Rose’s wife…

      • Old Gator - Aug 5, 2013 at 7:58 PM

        Oh, he’ll do just fine collecting hot young specimens off the curb on South Beach with his Ferrari. He’ll still be using testosterone, of course, but not for driving in runs.

      • albertmn - Aug 5, 2013 at 9:11 PM

        Really? You would take Pete Rose’s wife over Torrie Wilson?

  6. doubleogator - Aug 5, 2013 at 7:19 PM

    Cancer patients fight for their lives, soldiers fight for their lives and for others lives not 100 million dollar crybabies that are in denial…

    • proudlycanadian - Aug 5, 2013 at 8:03 PM

      I agree. The comment was a tad melodramatic and narcissistic.

      • ilovegspot - Aug 5, 2013 at 8:20 PM

        He is fighting for more money not his life. Legacy destroyed, no fight necessary there.

  7. mudhead123 - Aug 5, 2013 at 7:22 PM

    Henry Aaron the amphetamine user? Guess cheating didn’t matter then

  8. joey4id - Aug 5, 2013 at 7:27 PM

    “I’m fighting for my life”. Really A-Fraud. Your life? What are those diagnosed with cancer doing while you fight for life with all your millions? Loser!

    • jwbiii - Aug 5, 2013 at 7:31 PM

      Right. Darren Daulton is fighting for his life. You’re fighting for your career. Different things.

  9. Glenn - Aug 5, 2013 at 7:28 PM

    A-Rod had me rooting for him (for Bud’s arrogance and so that the Yankees had to pay him), but then I had to hear him speak. It’s like when Giuliani was running for the Republican presidential nomination. He would be leading the polls in a state until he campaigned there,then he plummeted.

    A-Rod should probably say as little as possible.

  10. dpapas1 - Aug 5, 2013 at 7:33 PM

    He should be banned from the sport for life! Armstrong was banned from cycling for life for drug use, he was stripped of all his metals and winnings and he is sued by many for millions of dollars. Why should A-Rod be treated any differently? He should be stripped from all of his winnings, and all his records should be wiped out. He should also pay restitution to the many fans who went to the games to watch him play. And that is just the beginning.

    • cohnjusack - Aug 5, 2013 at 8:13 PM

      Why should A-Rod be treated any differently?

      Because baseball has a much different set of rules agreed to by MLB and the MLBPA. That’s a pretty good reason, I feel.

      • michaelblinter - Aug 6, 2013 at 12:42 AM

        From where I sit, all I see in professional baseball rules is

        “Anything goes as long as you keep making us money…”

        And you dumb fans keep giving them money, no matter what.

    • jfk69 - Aug 5, 2013 at 8:25 PM

      Thank you god. I will you know when St Peters job becomes available. Thank g he didn’t kill anybody. Umm..Do you feel Bonds,McROID and Popeye Sosa should be stoned at future date in time. Better yet, Braun should be thanking Alex every day from here out, He only got the poor pee transporter fired.

  11. tbutler704 - Aug 5, 2013 at 7:34 PM

    This guy checks all the boxes for Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

    • cubb1 - Aug 5, 2013 at 7:45 PM

      He’s too narcissistic to admit it.

  12. losangelesfan - Aug 5, 2013 at 7:35 PM

    Fighting for his life!?! He’s got hundreds of millions in the bank. He should just go away.

    • rwvaughn - Aug 5, 2013 at 9:10 PM

      Actually truth be told he probably less than a paycheck away from bankruptcy and dependent upon everything he makes just to pay the bills on all the luxury items he’s bought. It take a lot of money to keep his legion of followers loyal.

      • albertmn - Aug 5, 2013 at 9:15 PM

        You really think he has managed to blow over $15 million (or however much after paying his agent and taxes) every year? I highly doubt it. He too narcissistic to have an entourage and blow the money on them.

  13. rob7bob71 - Aug 5, 2013 at 7:40 PM

    A-Rod is very fortunate to only get a mere 100 game suspension. He should be made to pay back all those millions of salary that he received for every minute he was a doper. Put all those millions in a fund for underpriveledge kids or some good cause. What a wimp…

    ps there isn’t a pro athlete in the world worth more than 100k a year. and we fans pay for it too and it isn’t worth it.

    • clemente2 - Aug 5, 2013 at 7:57 PM

      Hmm, I do not think you are worth $150 a year. Please pay back all your earnings in excess of that amount to the charity of your choice.

    • albertmn - Aug 5, 2013 at 9:20 PM

      Sports is entertainment. Why do I always see people yell about player salaries, yet I don’t hear people yelling because Charlie Sheen was making $1.25million per episode his last season on Two and a Half Men for even less work. They typically do 23 or so episodes, so that is more than but a handful of athletes. There are a bunch of actors/actresses that make multi-millions per movie, and many of them stink. Athletes will continue to make even more and more until and unless people quit attending or watching games.

  14. cubb1 - Aug 5, 2013 at 7:41 PM

    Scumbag, scoundrel, liar, cheater. Thank God this egotistical, narcissistic douchebag will always have to buy a ticket if he wants to enter the Hall of Fame.

  15. bischsa - Aug 5, 2013 at 7:44 PM

    Fighting for what? Respect? He lost that when he used PEDs and lied. Many unemployed fighting for survival, many soldiers suffering PTSD fighting for his country, many cancer patients who cannot afford expensive treatments, etc. etc. could live on far less. In my mind, he deserves no further consideration. My message to A-Fraud, “Accept the suspension and go quietly!”

  16. Arods Other Doctor - Aug 5, 2013 at 7:47 PM

    What? He didn’t mention needing to feed his children? Are you sure?

  17. julesluvssports - Aug 5, 2013 at 8:00 PM

    This is about the integrity of Pro-sports, not A-Rod’s nacissism! You don’t reward people who cheat or commit fraud and then lie about it. He deserves the worst punishment MLB can hand down to him. If Pete Rose can be banned for gambling then A-Rod should be banned for life for fraud. He lied to everyone…fans, MLB officials, corporate endorsers and to the children who looked up to him as an example. He committed fraud by taking PED to make him out to be something he clearly is not. The teams thought they were getting a star player, only to learn he is not that good on his own…PED made him that good. A-Rod + PED = A-Fraud

    • cohnjusack - Aug 5, 2013 at 8:28 PM

  18. Old Gator - Aug 5, 2013 at 8:02 PM

    The guy really is a public relations genius, isn’t he? If I had shot myself in the foot as many times as he has, I’d be walking on my ball joints by now.

  19. 425tjr - Aug 5, 2013 at 8:04 PM

    We should allow Pete Rose into the Hall of Fame for god sake he bet on games. We have guys out there like Alex cry baby Rodriguez and others that even broke all time HR records doing that crap. I believe this is by far worse than anything that Pete Rose did. Pete Rose should be in the Hall of Fame!!
    Alex should never play ball again and have all the money returned to a special little league fund that would pay for all the uniforms and overhead cost to run the leagues.
    I heard they have proof he used since 2009 that would be 4 years at 100K+ per game while he played under the influence of steroid or whatever he was using.

    • dinkydow - Aug 5, 2013 at 10:00 PM

      Problem is, as a manager, did Rose ever bet against his team and play to lose?

  20. effjohntaylornorelation - Aug 5, 2013 at 8:11 PM

    [Oh look, you just yourself banned] — ed

    • cohnjusack - Aug 5, 2013 at 8:15 PM

      Can someone remove the comment by the douchebag racist please?

  21. dumbassgreg - Aug 5, 2013 at 8:12 PM

    wow really fighting for my life. he just seems more delusional every time he opens his mouth. you are fighting for only thing you have left $$$$$,sadly he growup in a culture where no every says it was not my fault. it always some big conspiracy. you see this everyday in spain,portugal and italy. lmao

  22. dumbassgreg - Aug 5, 2013 at 8:17 PM

    pete rose got it right people never seem to listen. when you caught admit it. the coverup is almost as costly as admitting. i think if pete rose admitted truth immediately he may have gotten in hall of fame one day. now his worse critics are the ones who defended him for years. just like the writers who most against steriods. are the mike lupica who waxed poetic about the mark mcgwire/ sammy sosa. season. they take it some personally.

  23. kev86 - Aug 5, 2013 at 8:18 PM

    A Yankee classic

  24. cohnjusack - Aug 5, 2013 at 8:19 PM

    Man…I have pretty deep wells of empathy, but I have a hard time feeling bad for the guy at all. David Ortiz did steroids in 2003, and has (presumably) not done it since. As a consequence, he seems to have largely been forgiven*. Why Alex would continue to do it knowing that getting caught would be devastating to career and image is.

    Man…what an idiot.

    *Why exactly has David Ortiz been forgiven to a degree that guys like Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa never were exactly?

    • ilovegspot - Aug 5, 2013 at 8:22 PM

      Ortiz is back on PEDS

      • cohnjusack - Aug 5, 2013 at 8:27 PM

        ilovegspot once got caught jerking off in a Arby’s bathroom to homemade nude drawings of John Bolton.

        This may sound like a completely baseless accusation, but I submit that I have just as much evidence as ilovegspot does that David Ortiz is back on PEDs.

  25. tfbuckfutter - Aug 5, 2013 at 8:27 PM

    Way to be melodramatic there, A-Rod.

    Hey, I think you dropped your cross.

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