As MLB decides on his future, A-Rod looks to make a return

(CBS News) Alex Rodriguez takes the field again Saturday night for the double-A minor league team Trenton Thunder. It could be his last game before Major League Baseball imposes what could be a career-ending suspension. But if baseball's highest-paid player is feeling the pressure, he is not showing it.

New York Yankees' Alex Rodriguez hits a solo home run in the third inning of a Class AA baseball game with the Trenton Thunder against the Reading Phillies, Friday, Aug. 2, 2013, in Trenton, N.J.
AP Photo/Tom Mihalek

In Trenton, New Jersey, the "thunder" is the Yankees' minor league team. It doesn't usually host crowds like this. But last night, A-Rod was here.

"It might be his last game," said one fan. "You know, I wanted to catch one last glimpse of him."

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With his home run on Friday night's game, he didn't disappoint -- at least not on the field.

"To be honest with you, it sours me on baseball," said another fan.

At a post-game press conference, Rodriguez announced he's completely recovered from the injuries that sidelined him all season. And to the surprise of everyone else in the room, he expects to rejoin the Yankees on Monday.

"Unless I get hit by lightning. And these days, you never know," he said.

Lightning could strike as early as Sunday. Major League Baseball wants an answer as to whether Rodriguez is going to accept his punishment, said to range from lengthy suspension stretching through next season -- to a lifetime ban.

One reporter asked Rodriguez: "Alex, do you think you're being singled out?"

"What do you think?" Rodriguez answered.

"My job is to do everything I can physically and mentally to get back on the field to help my team win," said Rodriguez. "As far as all the legal stuff, to me, it's been confusing. I mean the one thing that I have gotten from so many people, so many fans, some teammates, they're like, 'What is going on?'"

What's going on is Major League Baseball is accusing Rodriguez of more than just using performance enhancing drugs from a Florida clinic. Sources close to the investigation say there's evidence he recruited other players to use the drugs and tried to obstruct the investigation.

On Friday night, Rodriguez intimated the deck is stacked against him."I will say this: There's more than one party that benefits from me not ever stepping back on the field, and that's not my teammates and that's not the Yankees fans."

He likely was referring to the Yankees organization, which stands to recoup anywhere from $34 million to the full $100 million left on his contract, depending on the severity of the league's punishment. There are reports Saturday that Major League Baseball and the Yankees are so angry about his comments, they are no longer negotiating with him for a shorter penalty. An official announcement on all the player suspensions is expected on Monday.

  • Don Dahler

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