First Pitch: A-Rod fighting for his lifestyle

CHICAGO -- Alex Rodriguez's words are parsed as if he were a president. It was very noticeable Monday that he never denied taking performance enhancing drugs, making it seem as if he will protest the severity of the punishment, not if he should be disciplined or not. But the one quote that received the most mocking from Monday's press conference was when he said he was "fighting for his life."

A-Rod has a gift of saying things just a little off so commentators can ridicule him.

To me, though, what he meant was that he was fighting for his lifestyle. Not only does he want to preserve as much of the around $34 million he is set to lose if the 211-game suspension is upheld, he wants to continue to play ball and -- perhaps most importantly -- remain the center of attention.

Because as his legacy has been smashed to smithereens and his word -- he committed to a new no-PEDs way in 2009 -- has been turned to dirt, it seems like A-Rod sort of likes all the notoriety, being on the front and back pages of the tabs, leading SportsCenter and being talked about on CNN.

This is a lot of what he is fighting for with his appeal. He wants this lifestyle to continue. He wants the money. He loves being on the field. And he is addicted to the attention.

UP NOW: A-Rod is officially appealing his suspension. Girardi is curious about how A-Rod will be received in the Bronx.

ON DECK: Wallace Matthews will guide you through the off day.

IN THE HOLE: On Friday, the Yankees begin a three-game set with the Tigers in the Bronx. The pitching matchups: Friday, Ivan Nova (5-4, 3.08) vs. Rick Porcello (8-6, 4.28); Saturday, Phil Hughes (4-10, 4.87) vs. Anibal Sanchez (9-7, 2.58); Sunday, Andy Pettitte (7-9, 4.71) vs. Justin Verlander (12-8, 3.74).

QUESTION OF THE DAY: Can the Yankees make a run fro the wild card?