For the first time since an arbitrator ruled to trim Alex Rodriguez’s 211-game suspension every-so-slightly to 162 games — a full season, including any postseason — the exiled New York Yankees third baseman spoke publicly and briefly addressed the whole sordid saga. And his comments, as has been the case with everything with this story, were strange, confusing, contrary to logic and somewhat ridiculous.
Of course, A-Rod did sue Major League Baseball and MLB Players Association in a Quixotic quest to vacate the 162-game suspension, Rodriguez nevertheless chose to view the season-long ban through rose-colored glasses, saying the MLB may have done him a “favor,” in his words.
A-Rod was making an public appearance at a gym in Mexico City when he made the bizarre comments. A-Rod spoke in Spanish but what he said has been translated by the New York Daily News:
“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 in his first public comments since his suspension appeal was rejected last week by arbitrator Fredric Horowitz. “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.”
Okay. Ron Berkowitz, Rodriguez’s spokesman, attempted to clarify the comments on Thursday, via a statement:
“This process has been taxing both mentally and physically throughout the past eight months,” Berkowitz said in a statement. “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.”
Essentially, if I’m understanding things correctly, is that even though he continues to fight the suspension, A-Rod is grateful for it, as it will give him time to rest and recover both physically and mentally.
So, in a way, A-Rod is viewing the season-long exile as a chance to reboot, refresh and recharge. A “Summer of A-Rod” of sorts. Kind of like George Costanza, only in his case, the Yankees were paying him for three months simply to get rid of him. A-Rod, on the other hand, will not be paid during the suspension, although the Yankees do have to pay him $3 million based on the terms of the contract A-Rod signed with the team in 2007.
Either way, the “Summer of George” comparison is apt. Maybe A-Rod will read a book. From beginning to end. In that order.
Or maybe, just maybe, A-Rod will take up Frisbee golf, or “Frolf,” as George put it. Goodness knows from the looks of him — kind of chubby — Rodriguez could use the exercise.
Note: If the “Seinfeld” references aren’t working for you, alternatively we could co-opt a storyline from “Friends” and anything A-Rod could do to piss off the Yankees this summer, he could simply explain it way by saying, “We were on a break!!!”