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    Alex Rodriguez carries on as MLB ban looms

    In Double A Trenton Thunder pinstripes, Alex Rodriguez watches what might be his last home run for a long time.
    Rich Schultz/Getty Images
    In Double A Trenton Thunder pinstripes, Alex Rodriguez watches what might be his last home run for a long time.

    TRENTON, N.J. — Alex Rodriguez was back with the Trenton Thunder on Friday and hit what might be his last home run in a while.

    With a lengthy suspension looming, the New York Yankees star hit a two-run homer in the third inning against the Reading Fightin Phils. He finished 1 for 2 with a walk before being removed in the fifth inning of a 6-2 win.

    Rodriguez later said the Yankees told him the tentative plan is for him to rejoin the big league team in Chicago for Monday’s game against the White Sox.


    ‘‘I think it’s possible,’’ Yankees manager Joe Girardi said in San Diego.

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    Rodriguez said he’s confident that will happen ‘‘unless I get hit by lightning, and these days you never know.’’

    ‘‘I am mentally prepared to play for five more years,’’ he said. ‘‘It’s not time for me to hang it up. I have a lot more left in me. I will keep fighting.’’

    Rodriguez is among 14 players facing discipline in Major League Baseball’s Biogenesis investigation, and suspensions are expected on Monday — with Rodriguez facing the longest penalty because of his alleged connection to the closed anti-aging clinic that’s been accused of distributing banned performance-enhancing drugs.

    The Yankees expect Rodriguez to be accused of recruiting other athletes for the clinic, attempting to obstruct MLB’s investigation, and not being truthful with MLB in the past.


    Rodriguez seems to think the Yankees are trying to keep him off the field. While he remains on the disabled list, New York is reimbursed for his salary by insurance.

    ‘‘There are a lot of layers. I will say this,’’ he explained. ‘‘There is more than one party that benefits from me not being on the field. It’s not my teammates and not the fans.’’

    Baseball has been attempting to gain a suspension through at least 2014 and has threatened a possible lifetime ban, and negotiations over Rodriguez’s penalty were likely to go through the weekend, with the 38-year-old resisting such a lengthy time on the sidelines.

    Rodriguez feels singled out.

    ‘‘I think it is pretty self-explanatory. I think that is the pink elephant in the room,’’ he said. ‘‘I think we all want to get rid of PEDs. That’s a must. All the players, we feel that way. But when all this stuff is going on in the background and people are finding creative ways to cancel your contract and stuff like that, I think that is concerning to me. It’s concerning to present players and I think it should be concerning to future players, as well.’’