New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez took to the media Monday evening to discuss his expected return to the lineup and pending appeal against suspension. Sticking to some obvious talking points -- his excitement to play baseball again, the desire to follow due process -- there was little earth-shattering about the event.
While the 38-year-old continued to fight off questions concerning whether he actually used performance-enhancing drugs, Rodriguez said he simply wants to see the process work, saying "I'm gonna respect the process I feel good that we have an opportunity to do that in the right platform. We're going to follow the [basic agreement] and state our case."
Most of the questions directed towards A-Rod focused on his pending suspension. He refused to give real answers, saying "We'll have a forum to discuss all of that, and we'll talk about it then." He added that he's been given no indication of how the timing of his appeals process will play out in the coming weeks.
With MLB angling to suspend Rodriguez through the end of the 2014 season for violations of the drug policy, he seems to simply cherish the chance to play while his appeal takes place. Multiple times, he discussed how excited he is to put back on a Yankees uniform. He said, "I am thrilled, and humbled, to have the opportunity to put on this uniform again. And to play Major League Baseball again. I feel like I was 18 years old, back in Fenway Park back in 1994, when I went in to face the Red Sox for the very first time."
Some wonder whether the Yankees even want Rodriguez back amidst all the turmoil, but thinks performance on the field will dictate his place with the team. "If I'm productive, I think they want me back. I feel tremendous support from our clubhouse, I feel great support from our manager."
The Yankees are currently 57-53, 4.5 games behind Cleveland in the wild card standings.