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A-Rod thinks that his 162-game suspension could actually be a blessing in disguise

Jan 16, 2014, 8:03 AM EDT

Alex Rodriguez AP AP

Alex Rodriguez made his first public comments since his suspension yesterday. They came at a promotional appearance in Mexico. He didn’t talk about the specifics of his ban or his legal strategy, but he did say something interesting about its effect. He thinks it may actually be a blessing in disguise:

“I think that in the year 2014, the league could have done me a favor because I’ve played 20 years without a timeout,” Rodriguez said in his first public comments since his suspension appeal was rejected last week. “I think 2014 will be a year to rest mentally and physically prepare myself for the future and begin a new chapter of my life.”

One wonders where that little bit of realism and perspective was last spring when he could have taken a 50 game suspension while he was on the disabled list. One also wonders why, if he’s viewing this as a chance to reset, he’s appealing his ban to federal court. I mean, sure, he has the right to do that, but if that right doesn’t match up with a desire to actually have it all overturned and to get back on the field in 2014, what the heck is the friggin’ point?

  1. rdillon99 - Jan 16, 2014 at 8:07 AM

    Is his use of the phrase “…and begin a new chapter of my life” a hint that he doesn’t expect to be back with the NYY in 2015?

    • jarathen - Jan 16, 2014 at 8:31 AM

      Unless the Yankees play him I bet he gets the Bonds treatment and never plays again.

      • nyyankeefanforever - Jan 16, 2014 at 9:29 AM

        Insofar as nobody will pick up his remaining salary and the Yankees (rightly) won’t simply eat it all and release him, of course they’ll play him. When he returns in ’15, he will in fact be well-rested, his hip fully healed and rehabbed and, though older, should make a serviceable DH/utility IFer for the final two years of his deal — and, in a delicious twist of irony that will be sure to trigger even greater sturm and drang than his suspension, Uncle Bud will be out of baseball and sitting at home watching him on TV when he passes Willie Mays on the HR list, joins the 3K hit club, the 2K RBI club and 2K runs scored club.

      • stevequinn - Jan 16, 2014 at 10:56 AM

        The Yankees have deep pockets and I’m willing to bet they’re going to do everything in their power to void the remaining years on ARod’s contract. I just do NOT believe the Yankees will ever let him wear the pinstripes ever again.

        There has to be something in that contract along the lines of a moral clause or personal conduct requirements which will allow the Yankees to void the rest of the contract.

        The Independent League is the only one not covered by the union and MLB. If ARod plays any baseball ever again, it will be in the IL. Heck he could start his own team. Let’s see…….ARod at 3B, Bonds in Left. Palmeiro at 1B, McGwire could DH, Clemens Pitch, Pudge Rodriquez the Catcher. Heck, you get the idea.

      • asimonetti88 - Jan 16, 2014 at 11:07 AM

        Jose Canseco is available to play for A-Rod’s IL team. He’s also willing to manage. Or announce. Or clean up after the games. He just wants to be loved, really.

      • shadowshand - Jan 16, 2014 at 2:15 PM

        @fanforever

        And he still won’t EVER get into the HOF. Like Bonds, he would have been a lock without PEDs. Really, at the end of the day, pretty sad.

    • rje49 - Jan 16, 2014 at 10:26 AM

      The new chapter will be playing without PEDs for the first time in many years. What else would be different?

      • kevinbnyc - Jan 16, 2014 at 1:58 PM

        What makes you think he won’t be using PEDs?

      • spitfisher - Jan 16, 2014 at 2:04 PM

        Or maybe a new chapter in Design synthetic PEDs….

    • pjmarn6 - Jan 18, 2014 at 12:03 AM

      If the league did him a blessing by making him sit out 2014, couldn’t he do himself a further blessing by sitting out the rest of his contract?

  2. stex52 - Jan 16, 2014 at 8:15 AM

    I think he said it, Craig. It’s a “blessing in disguise.” The disguise is the loss of 27.5 MM$ in income. That’s a pretty darn good disguise.

    Your first instinct would always be to appeal a blessing like that.

    • sportsfan18 - Jan 16, 2014 at 2:19 PM

      Plus A LOT more in attorney’s fee’s that he’s already racked up plus the many millions more in attorney’s fee’s he’ll dole out for his stupid lawsuit he just filed.

      I’m thinking that with how many attorney’s he had working on his arbitration hearing plus this lawsuit, he’ll spend another $10 million easily between the two.

      No, it isn’t salary lost I know but it is money nonetheless so this whole fiasco is going to cost him around $37.5 million or so (give or take a few million, which seems to be nothing to him).

      If he took the 50 game suspension, that’s like $9 million he would have been out and with no attorney’s fees if he didn’t fight it, guess what he would have “saved”?

      Basically around $27 million or so or what the idiot will now lose in salary alone for his stupidity.

  3. jarathen - Jan 16, 2014 at 8:15 AM

    I like the idea that an aging ballplayer thinks he is well-served by time away. For a hitter especially, the reflexes that equal success do not improve with time.

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jan 16, 2014 at 11:16 AM

      Time will pass regardless of what ARod does this year. Time is not really the issue here. It is practice. The question would be whether lack of practice in hitting MLB pitching will doom him to never be able to do so again.

      A total aside: ARod always seemed to have an awesome throwing arm. I wanted to see the team let him pitch an inning in a blowout sometime, but figured his massive contract would prevent that from ever happening. I wonder if he could come back as a middle reliever if the bat speed or lateral movement in the field are not there. Wouldn’t that be the ARodest thing ever?

  4. DelawarePhilliesFan - Jan 16, 2014 at 8:51 AM

    5 stages of Grief: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance

    Denial: http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/01/29/a-rod-releases-legal-statement-denying-the-miami-new-times-report/
    Anger: http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/08/05/alex-rodriguez-im-fighting-for-my-life/
    Bargaining: http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/07/31/report-alex-rodriguez-now-negotiating-settlement-with-mlb/
    Depression: Come on….he had to be down in the dumps at some point!
    Acceptance:???

    • paperlions - Jan 16, 2014 at 11:13 AM

      Well, done.

  5. chip56 - Jan 16, 2014 at 9:10 AM

    I wonder if much of the bluster we’ve heard lately is actually Alex or from the lawyers and others representing Alex who want to keep the fight going as long as possible to rack up billable hours.

    Do I think Alex wants to play this year? Of course I do.

    Do I think he wants to win? You don’t take PEDs when you’re already as naturally talented as Alex is unless you have an insane competitive streak so yes.

    Do I think he believes he can win? Probably not.

    At some point I think that Alex needs to get back with his actual baseball agent and look at that side of things. My guess is that Lozano would tell him to keep fighting, but that if he doesn’t want to be the pariah that the media is making him out to be, he needs to dump the scorched Earth approach to his remarks.

    • km9000 - Jan 16, 2014 at 11:11 AM

      Are you interviewing yourself?

      • chip56 - Jan 16, 2014 at 11:26 AM

        Yes.

  6. rdav29 - Jan 16, 2014 at 9:11 AM

    It’s his way of staying the course to prove he’s innocent for those who still actually believe in him and whatever chance he still thinks he has at the hall of fame. Money is no object.

    • Old Gator - Jan 16, 2014 at 11:11 AM

      It’s his way of affirming that a fifty game suspension wasn’t nearly a long enough vacation for a man of his gifts and achievements.

      By the way, what was he promoting in Mexico? Is he a partner in a retail weed shoppe in Manitou Springs now?

      • shadowshand - Jan 16, 2014 at 2:10 PM

        A Manitou Springs reference? Wow–that’s pretty cool!!

      • pjmarn6 - Jan 18, 2014 at 12:11 AM

        He was checking out some new PED clinic.

  7. deathmonkey41 - Jan 16, 2014 at 9:55 AM

    I kind of like crazy A-Rod.

  8. historiophiliac - Jan 16, 2014 at 9:57 AM

    I really think the only thing keeping A-Rod from a contemplative life was his crazy work schedule. Now, he’ll have time to take his search for enlightenment to a new level, write that great American novel that’s been buzzing around in his head forever, and serve as the King of The U Tailgaiters for 2014. I mean the game of baseball needs his talents, but don’t deny the man his humanity.

    • Old Gator - Jan 16, 2014 at 11:13 AM

      Not necessarily. I get the impression that, like Narcissus, he meditates intently on his own reflection quite a bit of the time. His spirit familiar is a Lake Tahoe goldfish who appears in the middle of his image on cue every few days to snap him out of it long enough to go take a leak.

    • pbastille - Jan 16, 2014 at 2:40 PM

      Sorry, Histrio, I meant to hit the Reply button and hit the report comment button again. No offense intended.

      • pbastille - Jan 16, 2014 at 2:41 PM

        *instead, not “again”. I will give up now…

      • historiophiliac - Jan 17, 2014 at 9:27 AM

        Sarcasm hater.

  9. andreweac - Jan 16, 2014 at 10:17 AM

    He now has more time to bang women, like Madonna, who are more than 50 years old. Cougars are on high alert!

    • Old Gator - Jan 16, 2014 at 11:13 AM

      If cougars weren’t an endangered species before, they sure are now.

  10. anxovies - Jan 16, 2014 at 10:17 AM

    After ARod announced that he was appealing the arbitration I agreed with Craig and almost everybody else that the federal court would uphold the decision. Now, after the smoke has cleared somewhat and we know a little about what went on, it is pretty clear that he was singled out by MLB as an example to give credibility to the league drug policy. The despicable way that the league obtained and leaked evidence and the clearly personal attacks on Rodriguez may carry some weight in the appeal. Of course, I also thought that the arbitration would impose no more than a 50 game suspension.

  11. cohnjusack - Jan 16, 2014 at 10:46 AM

    • Old Gator - Jan 16, 2014 at 11:08 AM

      One of the ten greatest moments in cinema, right up there with the Latin grammar lesson and the glimpse of that pivotal moment in history when all of civilization diverged along the cultic lines of gourd and sandal. Thank you sir. When I first saw this film in Chicago, there were some fundamentalist constipates picketing it – none of whom, of course, had ever seen it. When we came out they were still there, but we were still laughing our asses off and singing this song together. It just killed them.

  12. beachnbaseball - Jan 16, 2014 at 10:55 AM

    Him saying that being suspended for a year is a blessing in disguise tells me that maybe it is finally sinking into his cranium that he is toast and has no chance of winning an injunction or having his suspension overturned. Say goodbye, Alex Rodriguez.

  13. elvin2014 - Jan 16, 2014 at 10:58 AM

    My IQ is 125….And I proudly stand with Alex Rodriguez….

    http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=espn:10302379

  14. elvin2014 - Jan 16, 2014 at 11:05 AM

    A-Rod is the SMARTEST person in the room….

  15. righthandofjustice - Jan 16, 2014 at 11:14 AM

    Too many people just got carried away by this A-Rod saga. Not every word everybody says has to mean something.

    Hal Steinbrenner said “A-Rod is an asset” but I doubt what he really meant was he wanted A-Rod back to the Yankees in 2015.

    I think both of them just said the same thing: no matter what is going to happen in the remaining of 2014, we don’t want to talk about it now. We will see in 2015 or the end of this suspension, whichever comes first.

    • ctony1216 - Jan 16, 2014 at 12:06 PM

      The Yankees have $61 million invested in A-Rod — and I’m sure they want to get some value out of him either as a member of the team or in a trade. So, A-Rod could be an asset if he stays off PEDs, gets in shape, and starts mending all those bridges he’s torched.

      Otherwise, the problem might resolve itself. A-Rod could test positive for PEDs in 2015 and get banned for life, saving the Yankees all that money. A-Rod obviously has a drug problem. And he needs to fix that before anything else.

  16. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jan 16, 2014 at 11:21 AM

    Regardless of all of the drama, this is a sad way to see one of the greatest baseball players ever end his career. (I don’t think a comeback in 2015-16 as a DH/Util will change that too much, but we’ll see)

  17. tfbuckfutter - Jan 16, 2014 at 11:39 AM

    It is a blessing.

    Gives him time to find a new dealer, new undetectable PEDs and maybe lose a little of the weight he’s gained since his house of cards crumbled.

  18. ctony1216 - Jan 16, 2014 at 11:59 AM

    It could be a blessing if A-Rod can stay off PEDs for a year and realize he’s better off without them. Otherwise, it’s just a year wasted.

  19. pisano - Jan 16, 2014 at 1:23 PM

    I’ll tell you who the blessing is for, and it’s the Yankees.They’re free of him for this coming year, and it gives them time to work on getting rid of him for good. Between now and 2015, I’m sure they’ll come up with something to be free of Arod, either by eating alot of his contract and trading him, or just paying him to not play anymore. I don’t see him in a Yankee uniform ever again.

  20. plmathfoto - Jan 16, 2014 at 2:51 PM

    Any thought to realistically, that the court case would take a while, and this baseball season allows time for it to play out? Not that I think he would win or anything, but one of the legal experts could chime in here. If he does win (god forbid) he could sue or win an award for everything he lost monetarily by sitting out and also legal fees? That was a question by the way again to the legal experts.

  21. semperfiguy1011 - Jan 16, 2014 at 2:59 PM

    A rod is done. This idiot could have gotten off with just a 50 game suspension, and because of his over inflated ego, has cost himself a year off and millions of dollars in legal fees. He has burned every bridge imaginable. He is absolutely toxic, and no team will touch him. I would not be surprised if the Yankees cut him and ate the rest of his contract to avoid the distraction he would bring. This is so damned sad, considering he was a first ballot Hall of famer, even before the peds. I am so tired of hearing him whine! You did the crime, now do the time and STFU!!

  22. disgracedfury - Jan 16, 2014 at 5:58 PM

    Was A-Rod given a 50 game deal before the case?Because it doesn’t seem he did.Also why 162 that isn’t in the JDA and also every other player took multiple drugs also if A-Rod was cheating.

    A-Rod is being treated like Manny who actually failed two test and that was a kangaroo court and I believe the MLBPA shouldn’t have let MLB set the terms to rig that case.

    I’m not a A-Rod supporter but he is being smeared by Selig who wants to secure his legacy as the PED hero even though he created that PED players.

  23. psychologyofsports - Jan 16, 2014 at 6:18 PM

    He is lost–http://psychologyofsports.com/2014/01/12/alex-rodriguez-psychologically-and-legally-checkmated/

  24. elvin2014 - Jan 16, 2014 at 6:19 PM

    A-Rod will not giving up the fight….

    A-Rod seems to realize he can win….

  25. mogogo1 - Jan 16, 2014 at 9:43 PM

    Too many bridges burned. I can’t see the Yankees ever playing him under his current deal. And he’s going to be too universally despised for anybody else to sign even if he could bring himself to play for what he’d be worth on the open market…which he won’t.

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