NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Alex Rodriguez says he feels bad that he acted like an “ass” when he was fighting accusations of using performance-enhancing drugs in 2013.
In an interview Wednesday with WFAN’s Suzyn Waldman, the retiring Yankees superstar didn’t mention PEDs specifically, but he took ownership for his mistakes and for following bad advice.
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“They gave me advice, but I took it, and I quarterbacked the whole thing,” A-Rod said. “So that is on me, and I have to shoulder all the responsibility. And then I just basically try to learn from my mistakes, and here I am today.”
A-Rod had forcefully pushed back against PED accusations in 2013 — the second time in his career he was linked to juicing — even suing Major League Baseball and the Yankees’ team doctor. Rodriguez was eventually suspended for the entire 2014 season. He dropped the lawsuits.
“I’m upset about the mistakes and disappointed, but I’m even more disappointed that I acted like an ass,” he said. “I doubled down, and that whole process was painful. In the back nine of my career, I hope to be able to pay it forward and let youngsters know about my mistakes, and hopefully they can avoid some of those.”
Rodriguez announced Sunday he will play his final game Friday against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium. He will then assume a role as an instructor and special adviser for the Yankees.
Despite manager Joe Girardi initially suggesting that A-Rod would see plenty of playing time this week, the three-time MVP was not in the Yankees’ starting lineup Tuesday or Wednesday at Boston. He, however, is expected to start Thursday against the Red Sox and again Friday for his farewell.
“I think Friday’s going to be a very emotional day to have one last dance with the greatest fans in the world,” Rodriguez said. “They’ve been so good to me, gave me an opportunity. I’ll never forget I was so nervous when I got reintroduced after my suspension (in 2015). And when I was sitting seventh and they announced me, I said, ‘Boy, this can go any way.’ And they were great, and they gave me a lot of strength, a lot of positive energy, and I went on to have a very good year.”
After crying during Sunday’s news conference, A-Rod said he will try his best to keep his composure Friday.
“That was embarrassing,” he said. “And my daughters keep making fun of me. So no more crying.”