Strike three. Alex Rodriguez will be sitting on the bench for the 2014 season, the New York Times reports. The New York Yankees third baseman has been suspended for 162 games due to his alleged use of performance-enhancing drugs.
In a statement on Jan. 10, the 38-year-old ball player said he planned to appeal the decision made by arbitrator Fredric Horowitz. "The number of games sadly comes as no surprise, as the deck has been stacked against me from day one," he said. "This is one man's decision, that was not put before a fair and impartial jury, does not involve me having failed a single drug test, is at odds with the facts and is inconsistent with the terms of the Joint Drug Agreement and the Basic Agreement, and relies on testimony and documents that would never have been allowed in any court in the United States because they are false and wholly unreliable."
He continued: "No player should have to go through what I have been dealing with, and I am exhausting all options to ensure not only that I get justice, but that players' contracts and rights are protected through the next round of bargaining, and that the MLB investigation and arbitration process cannot be used against others in the future the way it is currently being used to unjustly punish me."
"I will continue to work hard to get back on the field and help the Yankees achieve the ultimate goal of winning another championship. I want to sincerely thank my family, all of my friends, and of course the fans and many of my fellow MLB players for the incredible support I received throughout this entire ordeal."
In August 2013, Rodriguez, who's dated Kate Hudson, Cameron Diaz and Madonna, maintained his innocence when he was first hit with a 211-game suspension. Saturday's ruling will now cost the athlete his $25 million salary.