Yankees’ Rodriguez Finishes Day 1 of Appeal for MLB Drug Ban

Alex Rodriguez began his appeal against a 211-game drug suspension from Major League Baseball, thanking a group of about a dozen supportive fans yesterday as he entered MLB’s New York headquarters with his legal team.

Rodriguez, 38, has said he plans to be present for each day of the appeal process, which might last all week.

Rodriguez didn’t speak to reporters prior to the closed session in which he’ll seek to have the suspension overturned by arbitrator Frederic Horowitz. Rodriguez was wearing a suit when he arrived yesterday morning as the small group of fans chanted “A-Rod” from behind police barricades. Rodriguez told them “Thank you,” before entering the building.

A three-time American League Most Valuable Player, Rodriguez is fifth on MLB’s career list with 654 home runs, six behind Hall of Fame outfielder Willie Mays.

Rodriguez filed an appeal with an independent arbitrator Aug. 6, one day after MLB suspended him without pay through the 2014 season. MLB Commissioner Bud Selig accused Rodriguez of using testosterone and human growth hormone over “multiple years” and of trying to “obstruct and frustrate” baseball’s investigation of performance-enhancing substances supplied to players from a now-closed clinic in Miami.

Rodriguez has said he won’t discuss specifics of the case or the appeals process.

Rodriguez was able to play for the Yankees after filing his appeal and appeared in 44 games this season while hitting .244 with seven home runs and 19 runs batted in. The Yankees missed the playoffs for the second time in 19 years after finishing in third place in the American League East Division with an 85-77 record.

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