Alex Rodriguez won't take the bench without a fight. Before taking the field on Monday, Aug. 5, the 38-year-old New York Yankees third baseman spoke out on appealing his 211-game drug suspension.
"Obviously, I'm disappointed with the news today," Rodriguez said in a press conference Monday (via ESPN). "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."
"I am fighting for my life," he added. "If I don't defend myself, no one will."
Commissioner Bud Selig announced on Monday that A-Rod has been suspended for violations of the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program and the Basic Agreement, due to his alleged involvement with the South Florida anti-aging clinic Biogenesis. Rodriguez is allowed to play until his appeal is heard, but if he loses his appeal he will sit out without pay through the 2014 season. (A-Rod -- also famous for dating Madonna, Cameron Diaz and Kate Hudson -- is the only player to contest his suspension, 12 others were suspended for 50 games.)
"I am thrilled and humbled to have the opportunity to put on this uniform again and to play major league baseball again," Rodriguez continued. "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 . . . 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 and I'm going to give it my best."
Upon taking the field to play the Chicago White Sox, Rodriguez was booed loudly by fans.