NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — MLB Commissioner Bud Selig says Alex Rodriguez will be returning with a clean slate, just like the other players who served their suspensions in the Biogenesis scandal.
“Listen, we’re a social institution. A guy does something, he gets disciplined, he comes back,” Selig said Tuesday in the Bronx. “We shouldn’t keep penalizing him.”
Selig, who was at Yankee Stadium to give Derek Jeter the Commissioner’s Historic Achievement Award, said A-Rod’s future is now in his team’s hands. The third baseman’s 162-game ban will officially be lifted once the Yankees’ season ends.
“Whatever happens between Alex and the Yankees will happen,” Selig said. “It’s up to them now.”
Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner said last month that Rodriguez and the team were both planning for his return. A-Rod, who will turn 40 in July, is owed $61 million through 2017 plus milestone bonuses.
“He’s fit,” Steinbrenner said. “Alex is a hard worker. Alex will be ready. We’ll just have to go from there, see how he does, see how he responds to playing every day in spring training. Point is, he’s in good shape. And that’s not surprising.”
Rodriguez took a scorched-earth approach to his appeal, suing baseball, the players’ union and the Yankees before dropping all litigation and accepting his punishment in February. But it seems that hatchet has been buried, and the offensively challenged Bombers could use his bat in the lineup in 2015.
“The game transcends everything,” Selig said. “I learned that long ago.”
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