A-Rod said he hopes to end his career as a Yankee. (Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Speaking publicly on Wednesday for the first time since his season-long suspension was announced by Major League Baseball, New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez said the ban for all of 2014, which includes the postseason, "could be a big favor" for him.
Rodriguez has sued MLB and the MLB Players Association as he tries to overturn the suspension after an arbitrator ruled against him. The arbitrator's full ruling was released earlier this week and contains the details of Rodriguez's alleged doping regimen.
Rodriguez, who made the comments on Wednesday in Spanish during an appearance in Mexico, said he's looking at the punishment as a blessing in disguise because he hasn't had a "timeout" in his 20 years of playing professional baseball, so the suspension will give him an opportunity to "rest for the future.
“I think that the year 2014 could be a big favor that [Major League Baseball has] done for me because I've been playing for 20 years without a timeout. I think 2014 is a good year to rest mentally and physically and prepare for the future and begin a new chapter in my life.”
The 38-year-old three-time AL MVP, who is still owed more than $50 million on the three years remaining on his contract with New York, said he's received support not just from his own teammates and members of the Yankees organization, but also from "players from other teams, retired players, Hall of Fame players and lots of good people, owners of other teams," according to Josh Egerman of the New York Post.
He added during the media session on Wednesday that he hopes to end his career in New York with the Yankees.