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Tuesday, July 30, 2013
Updated: July 31, 11:42 AM ET
A-Rod wants to be a 'role model'

By Ian Begley
Special to ESPNNewYork.com

Alex Rodriguez claims in an interview with Sports Illustrated that he still wants "to be a role model" despite the "noise" surrounding the embattled New York Yankees slugger from the Biogenesis scandal.

"Look, it's concerning," Rodriguez told the magazine. "I have two daughters at home, and I'm sensitive to that, and above all, I want to be a role model, continue to be a role model -- especially to my girls.

"So all the noise sometimes gets on my nerves, but that's it. I can't let it get any further than that. I have a job to do."

Rodriguez's comments may raise a few eyebrows due to his entanglement and purported role in the Biogenesis saga.

ESPN's "Outside the Lines" has reported that Rodriguez and as many as 20 other players are expected to be suspended for their relationship to Anthony Bosch, the founder of the now-closed Biogenesis anti-aging clinic that allegedly provided performance-enhancing drugs to the players.

Rodriguez has denied the allegations, but in the coming days, Major League Baseball is expected to hand down suspensions to Rodriguez and other players with ties to Biogenesis.

The length of Rodriguez's impending suspension is unknown. Various reports have stated that the three-time American League MVP could be suspended for 150 games, or he could be banned from baseball for life.

"I'm not giving up," Rodriguez told Sports Illustrated. "I have tremendous faith, and hopefully there's a couple more chapters to this book. And hopefully there's a happy ending somewhere. I have faith."

For every 50 games that Rodriguez would be suspended, the Yankees would save about $7.5 million. New York still owes Rodriguez about $100 million on a contract that runs through the 2017 season, when he will be 42.

Rodriguez plans to fight any suspension or banishment from baseball through the appeals process, according to his lawyer.

"We are focused on an appeal," Rodriguez's lawyer, David Cornwell, said in an interview Monday with Stephen A. Smith on "The Michael Kay Show" on ESPN New York 98.7.

However, MLB may try to suspend Rodriguez under its collective bargaining agreement instead of its drug rules, according to The Associated Press. If MLB goes ahead with the suspension under the labor deal, Rodriguez would lose virtually any chance of delaying the penalty while he appeals the case.

Ian Begley is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com.