'He Has To Perform, And He Has To Act Professionally'

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Hal Steinbrenner is adamant that the Bronx Bombers need Alex Rodriguez.

Though many believe that New York wants nothing more than to rid themselves of A-Rod’s massive contract, the Yankees’ principal owner, managing general partner and co-chairman maintained that the 14-time All-Star is essential to the club’s success on Tuesday,

He did throw in, however, that Rodriguez has a responsibility to represent the Yankees in a positive manner.

“Look, as I told him when I talked to him in Tampa, we need him,” Steinbrenner told the New York Daily News. “We do. That’s just obvious. We’ve still got our injuries, and my hope is that he comes back and continues to improve and stay healthy. He has to perform, and he has to act professionally.”

The three-time American League Most Valuable Player was suspended for 211 games by Major League Baseball last Monday for his ties to the now-defunct Biogenesis of America clinic.

The Major League Baseball Players Association formally appealed the 38-year-old’s suspension last Wednesday.

“Like I said, I don’t have any comment on it,” Steinbrenner told the newspaper when asked if he’s disappointed in A-Rod.

Rodriguez is eligible to play throughout the appeal process, which is expected to go into November or December. He made his season debut the day he was suspended, and will likely play out the remainder of the season for New York.

“I’m not going to get into that, at all,” Steinbrenner said regarding the MLBPA’s appeal on Rodriguez’s behalf. “We’re just waiting to hear the way everybody else is.”

In seven games this season, the 20-year veteran is batting .259 (7-for-27) with one homer and four RBIs. He’s hit one double and drawn two walks, posting a .333 on-base percentage.

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