A-Rod speaks for first time since suspension, says it “could be a big favor” from MLB

Hal discusses A-Rod for first time since suspension
Yanks keeping expectations low, but they absolutely need Tanaka

For the first time since his record 162-game suspension was handed down, Alex Rodriguez spoke publicly on Wednesday. He spoke with the media in Spanish at the opening of his Alex Rodriguez Energy Fitness Center in Mexico City and sounded like someone who is starting to accept the reality of his situation. Here’s are the quotes, courtesy of Josh Egerman:

“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,” he 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.”

“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

“[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.

A-Rod did not mention performance-enhancing drugs at all, but he did say he has 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.”

Does this mean A-Rod and his legal team will drop their various lawsuits? I don’t know. I can’t imagine it helps his case that he came out and said he’s looking forward to taking a year off. I also wonder if he simply got some bad advice from his lawyers. Maybe he wasn’t fully behind pushing the case to federal court but took the word of the people he hired. Either way, it sounds like Alex is starting to understand how unlikely getting the suspension overturned is.

Update: Through his spokesman, A-Rod said he will continue to fight the suspension in federal court. “This process has been taxing both mentally and physically throughout the past eight months,” said Ron Berkowitz said in a statement. “Alex will abide by the rulings of the federal judge — whatever he decides — and get ready for 2015 should the judge rule against him. He will continue to move forward with his complaint which will help all players against this unfair system.”

Hal discusses A-Rod for first time since suspension
Yanks keeping expectations low, but they absolutely need Tanaka
  • Captain 2.

    I don’t know why but I find this funny.

    “Alex Rodriguez Energy Fitness Center”

  • The Donald

    See you on Celebrity Apprentice…

  • Jorge Steinbrenner

    Those are some puffy little cheeks on that face, son. Looks like someone may have been hittin’ that gym a bit less this offseason knowing he wouldn’t need to a whole lot.

    On entertainment and “Alex can be such an awesome, enjoyable dickhead,” this absolutely shines.

    • pat

      That’s an old picture and not from the event.

  • AndrewYF

    Even if he did get bad advice from his lawyers, it doesn’t matter. He has always had full control over his public image. No one forced him to do anything. A-Rod has never really seemed like he makes the decisions, but that doesn’t excuse him from the bad decisions that were made for him. Buck stops with him, always.

    • kenthadley

      He’s been accused of a lot of things, but rarely of being smart. Tacopina strategized this for him, and he paid him a lot to do so. And what has it gotten him? Arod’s ego pretty much fills his brain, leaving little room for IQ.

  • nsalem

    Hopefully he is getting smart and realizes if he ever wants to play an MLB game he better shut up and take it. That may be his only chance. If he creates no more problems I don’t think the Yankees would just take the 60 million dollar loss and cut him. Several people compare him to Bonds and I don’t think thats a good comparision. If I remember correctly Bonds wanted big bucks to go elsewhere so there were two issues. If Alex is released outright he mhas his money already and maybe had really cheap. I think he would find a taker.

    • I’m One

      Yup. With $61M coming from the Yankees, I’m sure someone would pony up league minimum and take the chance on him as a part-time infielder/DH. Heck, he could get that one misisng HR as a shortstop.

      • Steve (different one)

        I would put $20 on the Marlins.

        Alex still has support in that area.

        Plus Loria would do anything to sell some more tickets.

        Perfect fit.

        • Jorge Steinbrenner

          Why do we keep on saying that Alex has some secret fanbase in South Florida? They could give a rat’s ass about Alex.

  • Tyrone Sharpton

    The more I think about it, the more I find this steroid witch-hunting in MLB comical, especially compared to sports like football and boxing

    • Holy Ghost

      I find it comical due to the lack of enhancement in Alex’s performance while working with Bosch.

      Where was the MLB when Luis Gonzalez hit 50 homers in a season?

  • Batsman

    Is Alex admitting guilt? I think he is without verbally admitting it.

    For his sake, I hope he drops all his crazy lawsuits.

    • mitch

      I agree. I think we’ve probably seen the last of Arod in the MLB, but if he wants to have any chance of returning, his best bet is to just disappear for a year and stay out of the public eye.

  • mick taylor

    as boesch said, most baseball players like mvp david ortiz do peds. almost all football players take some drug, painkiller peds etc. but the holier than thou media is only interested in crucifying a rod. when the santified bradshaw pittsburgh steelers were using steroids in the 1970s most teams were not. this gave them an unfair advantage , helping them to win those super bowls and yet no one cared. the seattle seahawks are made up of key ped users and no one cares. but they crucified arod so hurray

  • mike

    I bet the Yanks are loving him parading around in his Yankee hat speaking about his suspension

    • Mr. Roth

      I don’t believe that’s a picture from the press conference in Mexico. Its from last season sometime.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      It wouldn’t matter either way. Everyone and their grandmother knows who’s paying him.

    • qwerty

      I bet they are. Have you not heard the term, any publicity is good publicity? The amount of publicity Arod generates for the yankees is amazing. He’s a one man show.

  • nope

    What Alex just did is destroy whatever already-slim chance he had at an injunction. To get an injunction, he has to show “irreparable harm” if the suspension is allowed to go forward while his lawsuit is pending. In other words, he has to prove that money would be inadequate to compensate him if the suspension is ultimately overturned. A-Rod just admitted that not only won’t he be irreparably harmed by the suspension, but that it will actually help his career and that he will be ready to resume his career in 2015. So, yeah, there won’t be an injunction.

  • TWTR

    I think the guy is merely trying to cope with having one of the things in life that he cares about most being taken away from him.

    He wasn’t getting an unjunction anyway.

    Whatever. It is far less offensive than a Selig farewell tour. *barf*

    • Betty Lizard

      He knows the chances of an injunction are infinitesimal.

      Does not matter. Of course he should appeal the suspension.

      He needs to “exhaust his remedies.”

      Even if some find it exhausting.

      He made the point in the NY Mag article that he’s been preparing financially for the end of his playing career for a long time. That does not make it emotionally any easier for him.

      • ropeadope

        He knows the chances of an injunction are infinitesimal.

        Don’t give up!

  • Jim Cavanaugh

    That picture is really funny when you look at it. You can see Zillo in the background almost racing towards A-Rod to stop him from talking (in Will Ferrell slow motion voice from “Old School” after getting shot w/ a tranq) trying to tell him “Noooooo …. Alex … Stopppp talkingggg”. Lol. This guy really can’t shut up.

    This whole story is really hilarious. Alex fights tooth & nail to play, trying every trick in the book. Now all the sudden he’s at ease with it & looks forward to enjoying a year off. LOL. Please. Wait til Opening Day. It’s gonna eat him alive.

  • Al

    More time to spend with muscular women !

  • Reggie C.

    Arod must’ve gotten the bill from his attorneys for the month of December. Either way, i’m glad he’s made a forward looking statement as it sounds like he won’t put himself nor the Yankees through judicial scrutiny that from all accounts won’t change a damn thing.

  • Cashman Brian

    I am still racking my brain trying to figure out why every time he’s been asked about taking PEDs he flat out says “NO” when you would think that if anyone knew there was any evidence to the contrary it would be him.

    Maybe stupid questions, but is he really that delusional? Is he really believing his own lies at this point?

    • Bob

      I don’t blame him for denying it. If you listen to some of the talking heads, they think that only players who admit to steroid us should be barred from the Hall of Fame.

      Isn’t that great? They want to reward the liars and punish the honest ones, when probably close to 75% have used.

    • OldYanksFan

      The quote is:
      “I have been clear that I did not use performance enhancing substances as alleged in the notice of discipline, or violate the Basic Agreement or the Joint Drug Agreement in any manner, and in order to prove it I will take this fight to federal court.”

      My guess is his lawyers parsed the ‘notice of discipline’ and found one statement or phase that was not exactly correct. Such as, some said “You’re fat, stupid, ugly, and 5 ft 7 inches tall.”
      Well, I guess is you’re fat, stupid, ugly, and 5 ft 7.5 inches tall, the above is not technically true.

      And this is how lawyers work. Regardless of how obvious it is that you broke the intent of the law, if they can find the tiniest inconsistency in the language in the complaint, they will say “I think I can get you off!!!!!!!”

      Especially in arbitration, which is not as strict as our legal court system, his lawyers probably knew Alex was cooked. But hey, if they can make hundreds of thousands giving it the old college try… why not?

    • lightSABR

      Maybe, or it might be somebody else’s lies he’s believing. “You can win this, Alex. Just hold strong and don’t admit anything – and pay me lots of money – and you can still be liked and admired.”

  • lou

    I support you on and off the field A-Rod. Do what you need to do and see you in 2015 if you decide to come back. Good luck.

  • lightSABR

    You know what? He might be right. Time off around that age didn’t hurt Pettitte.

    He’s made a lot of terrible decisions, but he still doesn’t strike me as really a bad guy – just a spineless one, put in situations where it was in other people’s best interest to push him toward those terrible decisions. I wish him well, and if he gives us something of value for that last $61m we owe him, all the better.

    • Holy Ghost

      Let’s keep things in perspective. Aaron Hernandez made ‘terrible decisions’ that hurt other people.

      Alex appears to have gotten some bad advice and made dumb decisions but he hasn’t hurt anyone but himself.

      • http://twitter.com/Paddock9652 Stratman9652

        I think the word perspective means something different to you than it does the rest of the world.

        Aaron Hernandez is suspected of killing a man. A-Rod injected some chemicals that make his muscles grow. There isn’t really a comparison there.

  • entonces

    Continues to amaze me that with all the continuing focus on the despicable A- _Rod, the complicity of the Boston Red Sox ownership (despicable in its own many ways) with PED usage is ignored. Here is a column from a Boston sportswriter who summarizes some of the rather remarkable evidence. And yet no follow-up — from either Henry crony Selig or from journalists:

    • Kiko Jones

      …the complicity of the Boston Red Sox ownership…with PED usage is ignored.

      That would entail Selig and MLB questioning the report filed by Red Sox associate George Mitchell, which found NO Sux players involved in PED use, as well as looking into the 30 teams’ ownership and front office. (And let’s not leave out the media, please.) Not gonna happen. The players are and look to be the only ones to take the fall from The Steroid Era®, even though MLB, owners and the media also benefited greatly from the increased revenue from the big boppers’ HRs.

  • entonces

    See you later.

    Red Sox

    Where’s the team blame for Steroid Era?

    Link|Comments (12)
    Posted by Robert Burgess February 8, 2013 09:14 AM

    By Tony Massarotti, Boston.com Columnist

    For the players, always, there have been ramifications. Some, like Manny Ramirez, have been suspended. Others, like Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds, have been denied entrance into the Hall of Fame. And others, like Jeff Bagwell and Mike Piazza, have sacrificed the benefit of the doubt because we simply know too much.

    But what about the teams?

    What real penalties have befallen them?

    Curt Schilling is front page news this morning, not for something he did, but rather for something he said. According to Schilling and as noted by Peter Abraham in Friday’s edition of the Globe, a former member of the Red Sox “medical staff” approached Schilling in 2008 about the prospect of using human growth hormone to save a dying career. Schilling’s motives for disclosing the information certainly are worthy of discussion, but his admission sheds light anew on the conspiracy that was baseball’s Wild West – namely, the Steroids Era.

    The point: team and league officials and administrators were as much a part of this as Alex Rodriguez, Jason Giambi, Rafael Palmeiro or Mark McGwire. They just don’t pay nearly the same price. The legacies of many players now will be tarnished forever, their accomplishments effectively regarded as circus acts. Sammy Sosa was a caricature and a strongman, but he wasn’t much of a fundamental baseball player.

    Or maybe he was just a clown.

    But the teams? They skated. And this isn’t solely about the Red Sox, our obvious focus here given where we live and what we love. Prior to the Schilling disclosure, former Red Sox infielder Lou Merloni once noted how a doctor addressed the team during spring training on how to properly take performance enhancers. Then-Sox general manager Dan Duquette subsequently denied the claims, the last such instance of doctor-player discussion on the topic until this one.

    And then there was the matter of Eric Gagne, described by former Sox general manager Theo Epstein as a probable steroids user in an email cited in the Mitchell Report. So what did Epstein and the Red Sox do? They traded for Gagne anyway