A-Rod circus now playing at the Cell
As Alex Rodriguez was talking about how much he loves the game of baseball and all of his fans late Monday afternoon inside U.S. Cellular Field, the tarp was going down on the field outside.
In many respects, it's a miserable all-around day for baseball.
I have talked to Rodriguez various times over the years when he was with the Mariners, Rangers and Yankees, but I really don't know him that well.
The impression I took away from his 12-minute Q&A in the Cell's ground-floor conference center is this: A-Rod doesn't really think he deserves to be suspended through next season for is involvement with PEDs and Biogenesis, the Florida anti-aging clinic.
On the other hand, he is denying nothing.
Rodriguez was hit with the suspension earlier this afternoon, and it begins Thursday. However, the Yankees' 38-year-old third baseman is expected to appeal the decision, so it's anyone's guess how this plays out.
"Obviously I'm disappointed with the news today," Rodriguez said in front of a media turnout at the Cell not since the 2005 postseason. "What we've always fought for is the process and I think we have that, and I think at some point we'll sit in front of an arbiter and we'll give our case. That's as much as I feel comfortable saying right now."
Rodriguez is in New York's lineup tonight for the first time this season.
"I am thrilled and humbled to have the opportunity to put on this uniform again and to play major-league baseball again," Rodriguez said. "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 ... I'm very excited to get out there to play baseball and to help my team win and to prove to myself, my teammates, the fans of New York, the fans of baseball, that I still have a shot to play the game at a high level. I'm going to give it my best."
Across the field, the White Sox weren't offering Rodriguez much sympathy.
"Before all this, (Rodriguez) was one of the greatest players of all-time," Adam Dunn said. "It's sad. It's sad that someone like him, or Ryan Braun, who probably were going to be really, really great players without it, that's the sad part for me. They didn't need all this."
Said Paul Konerko: “I'm not going to judge anybody. I don't know anything more than what you see on the TV and I have to believe there is a lot more too it than that. It would be stupid of any player to judge it and say this is what actually happened. Seems like common sense. I don't know anything about it. I don't know the details about who did what or when.”