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Alex Rodriguez: MLB ‘could have done me a favor’ by forcing slugger to get some rest

01.16.14 at 8:56 am ET
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In his first public comments since the rejection of his appeal last week, Alex Rodriguez said his 162-game suspension from baseball will give him time to rest.

“I think that in the year 2014, the league could have done me a favor because I’ve played 20 years without a timeout,” Rodriguez said at a press conference for the opening of a gym he is affiliated with in Mexico City, according to ESPN. “I think 2014 will be a year to rest mentally and physically prepare myself for the future and begin a new chapter of my life.

“I have three years left on my contract starting in 2015, and I hope to play very well and finish my career in New York.”

Speaking in Spanish, Rodriguez initially informed the press that he would not discuss his suspension or any of his legal issues before he briefly spoke on the topic. The Yankees third basemen went on to say that he hopes better news about the league can start to make headlines instead of his story.

“It’s a very sad story,” Rodriguez said. “And we hope we can take it out of the newspapers and I hope we can start concentrating on all the good things the big league is doing with all the young players moving forward.”

Despite this desire, information surfaced Wednesday about the extreme measures Rodriguez utilized both on and off the field.

Major League Baseball Players Association lawyer Daniel Engelstein revealed the pressure Rodriguez put on the union to find a solution other than arbitration to stop attempted disciplinary actions. Engelstein made the comments about Rodriguez the same day he asked a Manhattan federal court to make Rodriguez’€™s two lawsuits into a single case, according to The Associated Press.

Engelstein said Rodriguez found fault with the MLBPA’€™s actions as they were “not complying with Mr. Rodriguez’€™s demands that the union pursue extraordinary remedies outside of the arbitration process to ‘€˜stand up’€™ to MLB and to stop it from acting in a manner Mr. Rodriguez characterized as improper.”

After suing the league and baseball commissioner Bud Selig in October for what Rodriguez referred to as a “witch hunt” against him, the slugger sued the league and the union on Monday as he attempts to overturn arbitrator Fredric Horowitz‘s decision that Rodriguez serve a suspension for the duration of the 2014 regular season and postseason.

According to Horowitz’s findings, Rodriguez attempted to obstruct MLB’€™s investigation of the Biogensis of America anti-aging clinic twice. The three-time American League MVP also was found to have taken three banned substances in each season from 2010-12.

CEO of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency Travis Tygart told the AP on Wednesday that the cocktail of substances Anthony Bosch gave Rodriguez was “probably the most potent and sophisticated drug program developed for an athlete that we’ve ever seen.”

“At the end of the day, this was a potent cocktail of sophisticated PEDs stacked together to deliver power, aid recovery, avoid detection and create a home run champion,” Tygart said.

Even as more information comes out about Rodriguez’€™s actions, Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner referred to Rodriguez as “a great player” and “obviously an asset” during  baseball owners’€™ meetings Wednesday. At the same time, Steinbrenner said he had not and would not think about 2015.

“My focus has to be right now,” Steinbrenner said. “But when he’€™s on and when he’€™s healthy, he’€™s obviously an asset. We’€™ll see what happens.”

For Yankees captain Derek Jeter, who hosted his Turn 2 Foundation golf classic in Tampa, Fla., Wednesday, Rodriguez’€™s “whole situation is bad.”

“The whole thing has been kind of messy,” said Jeter, who has had communication with Rodriguez.

At the same event, Hall of Famer Goose Gossage referred to Rodriguez’s situation as unfortunate for all parties involved, including the game of baseball.

“I wish A-Rod would just leave it alone and go on,” Gossage said. “Then see about coming back. Who knows what the future holds for A-Rod and the Yankees? I think A-Rod, probably, got what he deserved. I hate to see it happen to him, but I think the punishment fits the crime.”

Read More: alex rodriguez, Anthony Bosch, bud selig, Derek Jeter