TRENTON, N.J. — Alex Rodriguez took to the field a little later than most of his Trenton Thunder teammates to warm up for Saturday night's game against the Reading Fightin' Phils, but the fans didn't seem to mind.
Once Rodriguez appeared, the majority of the 8,113 fans on hand cheered him, although some boos were definitely audible. Many fans held up signs showing their support and love for the embattled Yankees star, while others pointed proudly to the Alex Rodriguez jerseys they were wearing to the game.
MORE: A-Rod hints at conspiracy against him
By no fault of Rodriguez's, his fans went away somewhat disappointed when Rodriguez walked four times, three times on 3-2 pitches. Rodriguez played seven innings before exiting the game, with the only potential miscue coming in the second inning when Rodriguez fielded a groundball down the line and threw high to second base. The throw pulled Jose Pirela off the bag for what appeared to many to be an error, but the play was ruled a hit by the official scorer.
"I feel great. It was great to see a lot of pitches and play back-to-back days. I also got some action at third base and I'm ready to go," Rodriguez told reporters in a short press conference after the game.
Various rumors and reports circulated around baseball throughout the day, ranging from reports that a suspension was imminent to reports that Rodriguez had further fanned the flames of Major League Baseball with his comments following Friday night's game when he suggested that there was a conspiracy against him.
By the time he talked Saturday night, Rodriguez wasn't interested in discussing any of those rumors or concerns over a potential suspension.
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"I've been on the field for the last five and a half hours, I haven't heard anything. My focus is to play baseball. I was excited to be playing tonight and even more excited about Monday" Rodriguez said about all of the rumors swirling around him and his plans to be activated from the disabled list that he has been on all season. "I can't wait to see my teammates. I feel like I can help us win and be a better team and I haven't seen a lot of my brothers in a long time."
For his part, Rodriguez is staying focused on his potential return to the Yankees and took a much different approach with his comments, choosing to distance himself from the rumors and concerns of a possible suspension. The three-time MVP insists that he'll be in the Yankees lineup Monday night and seems defiant in his approach.
"As far as any of that stuff, I'm going to let those guys take care of what they take care of and I won't address anything like that," Rodriguez said in response to whether he had contacted the Yankees about any potential buyout of his contract, another of the rampant rumors swirling throughout the day.
Rodriguez will work out Sunday, but he wouldn't discuss where that workout would take place. He plans on flying to Chicago, where the Yankees open a three-game series against the White Sox on Monday.
When pressed on whether he would possibly postpone rejoining the team if Major League Baseball were to announce a suspension against him before Monday, Rodriguez curtly insisted his plans won't change.
"I'm flying to Chicago," is all Rodriguez would announce as far as his plans for the near future.
While the controversy that is surrounding Rodriguez doesn't appear to be taking any toll on him personally, he does appear concerned about the effect it could have on his daughters. When asked how he would respond if one of his daughters asked him point blank about whether he cheated, Rodriguez was more open than at any other time during Saturday night's press conference.
"I plan to sit my girls down, with Cynthia (his ex-wife), and we're going to have a lengthy conversation," said Rodriguez about a family meeting that he plans to have in the near future. "I'll have an opportunity to tell it all at some point. When the time is right, I'll tell my full story."
Before Rodriguez could be pressed on whether his full story would be told only to his daughters or if it would also come in a public forum, the press conference ended and Rodriguez exited without answering any further questions.
It's believed that Rodriguez will be among the players suspended for their involvement in the Biogenesis case, with Rodriguez drawing the largest suspension and potentially a lifetime ban. Sources have told USA TODAY Sports that the only choices MLB has given Rodriguez are for him to accept a ban covering the remainder of this season and all of the 2014 season or potentially face a lifetime ban.