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Union files appeal of Rodriguez’s suspension
“I don’t think any of us thought it was going to be any different,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “As far as having a reaction, it’s kind of what I expected. It’s part of the process that was negotiated between MLB and the players' association and you let it play out. I expect him to play a lot. We need him to help us.”
Major League Baseball declined comment.
Rodriguez was suspended through the 2014 season on Monday when the league penalized 13 players following an investigation into Biogenesis of America, a shuttled Florida anti-aging clinic accused of distributing banned performance-enhancing drugs.
Under the collective bargaining and joint drug agreements, discipline must meet a “just cause” standard.
Rodriguez’s punishment was scheduled to begin Thursday, but he is allowed to keep playing until the grievance is heard by arbitrator Fredric Horowitz. He isn’t expected to rule until November or December at the earliest.
Coming back from hip surgery in January, Rodriguez played his first game of the season Monday night in the series opener at Chicago. The three-time AL MVP singled in his first at-bat and was 2 for 6 with a walk in his first two games.
The Yankees are off Thursday and then open a three-game series against AL Central-leading Detroit on Friday night in New York. It will be the first home game for Rodriguez since the suspension was announced.
“I am curious what it’s going to be like Friday,” Girardi said. “I’m not sure. And I don’t really know what the appropriate response is. I don’t think it’s my right to tell people how to respond certain situations.”
Rodriguez, who agreed to a 10-year, $275 million contract with the Yankees in December 2007, is the majors’ active leader with 647 career homers. He helped New York win the 2009 World Series, batting .365 with six homers and 18 RBIs in the postseason that year.
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