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Does A-Rod have anything left? Time will tell
MLB » After this season, will embattled Yankee slugger ever play again?

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During a news conference at U.S. Cellular Field, Rodriguez said general manager Brian Cashman had welcomed him back. Earlier this season, Cashman cursed while saying Rodriguez should "shut ... up."

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The awkward and ongoing saga has become a New York soap opera, daily fodder for the city tabloids.

"If I’m productive, I think they want me back," Rodriguez said Monday, drawing laughs.

He needs 13 home runs to tie Willie Mays (660) for fourth place on the career list, a milestone that would earn Rodriguez a $6 million bonus. He needs 98 hits to reach 3,000. Even so, election to the Hall of Fame might be a long shot.

Not so long ago, those achievements seemed such a certainty.

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Not anymore.

Now, he’s just determined to go down swinging. And the next two months could be his last hurrah.

"I thought he looked OK. I thought his swings looked pretty good," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said Monday night. "That’s about all I can say."

Before the game, Rodriguez said he’s fighting for his career.

After the punishment came down, he did not deny using performance-enhancing drugs. He said he will talk about whether he used PEDs at another time when he is more free to speak.

He did, however, dig in for a battle, saying no one else will defend him unless he stands up for himself. Then, he took to the field, batting fourth against the White Sox.

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