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updated: 8/6/2013 12:57 AM

Cellular reaction to MLB suspensions

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Matt Sasso
msasso@dailyherald.com

Here's a sampling of the reaction from some of the key figures at U.S. Cellular Field before Monday's game between the New York Yankees and the White Sox in the wake of suspensions handed down by Major League Baseball.

Alex Rodriguez

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Opening statement:

"First of all, I thank you for being here today. I wish it were under different circumstances. I want to express to you guys, and the fans of baseball, that the last seven months have been a nightmare. Probably the worst time of my life."

On the last seven months:

"It's been the toughest fight of my life. Not by any means am I out of the woods… I've had two hip surgeries, I've had two knee surgeries, I'm fighting for my life. I have to defend myself. If I don't defend myself, no one else will."

On his appeal of his PED allegations:

"I'm not going to get into any of that today, obviously it was disappointing, the news today, no question about it ... I think we will have a forum to discuss all of that, and we will talk about that."

On playing for the Yankees:

"I am thrilled, and humbled, to have the opportunity to put on this uniform again, and to play Major League Baseball again."

On redeeming his last performance:

"Last time I was on the field, it wasn't pretty. It was against Detroit in the playoffs and against Baltimore, and I was horrific."

Yankees manager Joe Girardi

On Alex Rodriguez's suspension:

"I didn't really have a reaction, people speculated for a while now that it was going to be the rest of this year, but I knew that there was a possibility that he would appeal, and that's why we kept him going."

On PED use in baseball:

"I don't think there's any room for PEDs in baseball. I think the records should be accomplished the right way, and I think it's through hard work. I don't believe in shortcuts because I think everyone get short-changed when there's shortcuts."

On if this is a good or bad day for baseball:

"People have asked me is this is a good day or a bad day in baseball, I think it's both. Because it's another black eye for us that we are trying to clean this game up, but I think it's really good, the combination of the union and major league baseball trying to clean this up."

On his opinion of A-Rod's appeal:

"Obviously, you want to hope the resolution is that he's clean … I'm not on this world to judge people, I don't believe in it, that's not my job. My job is to try to get the best out of people and to be there for people, and that's what I will do. I know there's a lot of speculation about what he did or what he didn't do, and until I know 100 percent, it's hard for me to really comment. But as I said, I'm not here to judge people, it's not my job."

Paul Konerko

On the MLB suspensions:

"I think most players don't know what the facts are. We just see what we see on TV and hear what we hear. We work for the White Sox, which in turn works for Major League Baseball. We essentially work for Major League Baseball and we just have to trust that whatever they're doing, they're doing it right and they have it all right, but I couldn't tell you one detail about the cases."

On if these suspensions will hurt baseball:

"The game is going to survive. It always will. I look at it big picture-wise. I try to look ahead to five, 10 years from now. You'll look back and these are all little pieces that, it will always get better. Talking about the drug testing stuff, it will always get better. This is the evolution of it. The progression of it. It doesn't happen overnight when you're dealing with a huge operation."

White Sox manager Robin Ventura

On the players' responsibilities:

"Major League Baseball is doing a better job of it. I don't think it's necessarily (players') job to have to do. It's catching a lot of guys and Major League Baseball's doing a good job."

On what MLB is doing to stop performance-enhancing drug use:

"For baseball, it's doing its job to help make it go away … that's the big picture of the whole thing. They're doing their job. It's good to see they're following through."

Gordon Beckham

Reacting to the news of the day:

"In some ways it's a bad day, but in some ways it's also a good day. I think this game is getting closer and closer to cleaning itself up and I think today is a good step in the right direction."

Adam Dunn

On if the topic is frustrating:

"Yeah, that we have to talk about it, I think it's stupid. Twenty minutes before stretch, I don't want to sit here and talk about things that don't affect anyone on this team."

On Rodriguez and Braun:

"Before all this, he was one of the greatest players of all-time. It's sad. It's sad that someone like him, or Ryan Braun, who probably were going to be really, really great players without it, that's the sad part for me. They didn't need all this."

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