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A-Rod homers with drug penalties likely Monday
Question of the Day
NEW YORK (AP) - Alex Rodriguez was back with the Trenton Thunder on Friday and hit what might be his last home run in a while.
With a lengthy suspension looming, the New York Yankees star hit a two-run homer to left in the third inning of a 6-2 win over the Reading Fightin Phils.
“I am mentally prepared to play for five more years,” he said, later adding, “It’s not time for me to hang it up. I have a lot more left in me. I will keep fighting.”
Coming back from hip surgery and a quadriceps injury, A-Rod hopes to rejoin the Yankees for Monday’s series opener at the Chicago White Sox, what would be his first time back in the major leagues since last October.
“I think it’s possible,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said in San Diego.
Rodriguez is counting on it.
“Unless I get hit by lightning, and these days you never know,” he said.
“A night like tonight illustrates to me that I can play now and I can play for a long time,” he said.
But he might not get back to the Yankees any time soon because of his alleged connection to the closed anti-aging clinic that’s been accused of distributing banned performance-enhancing drugs.
Most targeted players face 50-game bans, including All-Stars Nelson Cruz of Texas and Jhonny Peralta of Detroit.
Many are expected to follow the example set by Milwaukee’s Ryan Braun last month and accept penalties without a challenge before an arbitrator. First-time offenders who challenge suspensions can continue to play until their appeals are decided.
“Let’s just get it over with,” Los Angeles Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said.
The Yankees expect A-Rod to be accused of recruiting other athletes for the clinic, attempting to obstruct MLB’s investigation, and not being truthful with MLB in the past.
Baseball has been attempting to gain a suspension through at least 2014 and has threatened a possible lifetime ban. Negotiations over Rodriguez’s penalty are likely to go through the weekend, with the 38-year-old resisting such a lengthy stretch on the sidelines.
By Michael Widlanski
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