Yankees Happy To Have A-Rod Back, But Upset Over PED Usage

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Despite being handed a 211-game suspension by Major League Baseball, Alex Rodriguez returned to the Yankees’ battered lineup in Chicago on Monday night.

A-Rod’s suspension is set to begin on Thursday — which he will be appealing — and he made his season debut against the White Sox, where he went 1-for-4.

His fellow Yankees welcomed him back into the locker room and dugout, but also gave their opinions on PED usage in MLB and the associated punishments.

“That’s what we’re trying to do, we’re trying to get it out of there,” first baseman Lyle Overbay told reporters in regard to PED usage. “It’s not foolproof. Obviously, there’s going to be some guys out there that are going to get away with it, but it’s something we can move forward with. It’s never going to be 100 percent, but at least we’re getting closer to the other side.”

Overbay also expressed his frustration with A-Rod based upon the recent accusations.

“He’s so good, he doesn’t need to do that kind of stuff,” Overbay said. “That’s what’s frustrating for me.”

Newly-acquired slugger Alfonso Soriano reiterated Overbay’s sentiment that natural talent is far more important than the use of banned substances.

“Compete clean and see what happens,” Soriano told reporters. “A lot of guys, they have too much talent. They don’t have to try to do (PEDs). God gave you the talent. Don’t try to be a superhero or something like that. Just play with the talent God gave to you and see what happens.

“If you try to do something wrong, sooner or later they’re going to get you.”

Vernon Wells is pleased to have the three-time MVP back in the Yankees’ lineup, which has deteriorated this season because of injuries.

“If Alex is healthy, which he seems to be, he’s going to help this team a lot,” Wells told reporters.

Wells also commented on the strangeness of bringing A-Rod back on the same day that he was given his punishment.

“There’s a lot of strange things going on in this game right now, and this just adds to it,” he said. “But he’s here in this uniform now and that’s all that matters  … He’s here, he’s going to help this team hopefully win some games and hopefully get back into the thick of this race.”

While Overbay believes that 50-game suspensions aren’t “stiff enough,” Wells countered that notion by saying the suspensions that were recently handed out are big blows to the players.

“When you talk about 50 games and some of the dollars associated, that’s pretty big,” said Wells. “If that doesn’t stop you, I don’t know what will. A lot of guys have tried to go about their business the right way, and unfortunately, we have to talk about a certain few that haven’t.”

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