MEXICO CITY — Alex Rodriguez says his season-long suspension could be a benefit, allowing him to rest and return to the Yankees for the final three years of his contract.
Speaking late Wednesday in Mexico’s capital during a promotional appearance, Rodriguez declined to talk specifically about his suspension for violating baseball’s drug agreement and labor contract.
Rodriguez, in his first public comments since arbitrator Fredric Horowitz‘s decision Saturday, said he wanted to end his career with New York. Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner has declined to talk about his possible return but has called Rodriguez a “great player.”
“The 2014 season could be a big help for me,” Rodriguez said. “It might serve as a break and close the chapter, and begin in 2015 with my last three years under contract with the Yankees.”
Rodriguez, who will be 39 when the 2015 season opens, repeated several times that this part of his life had not been completed.
“I want to retire in New York, and I think the rest will do me good,” he said. “For me, the book isn’t finished. There are still chapters to finish. … Right now, I haven’t thought about retiring.”
Rodriguez, fifth on the career list with 654 homers, sued Major League Baseball and the players’ union Monday in an effort to overturn the decision by Horowitz, who reduced what originally was a 211-game suspension issued by Selig in August.
“This process has been taxing both mentally and physically throughout the past eight months,” Ron Berkowitz, a spokesman for Rodriguez, said in a statement Thursday. “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.”
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