Source: A-Rod will fight to the end

Updated: August 2, 2013, 11:56 PM ET
By Andrew Marchand | ESPNNewYork.com

TRENTON, N.J. -- The mindset of embattled New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez is to fight any suspension and return to the majors as soon as possible.

"His attitude right now is all he wants to do is play and fight this to the end," said a person with direct knowledge of Rodriguez's thought process.

The commissioner's office is still deciding what punishment to mete out to Rodriguez for his role in the Biogenesis performance-enhancing drug scandal. While there was hope that a decision about any suspension or banishment would be made by Friday, the new goal is now Monday, a source told T.J. Quinn of "Outside The Lines."

In the meantime, Rodriguez, 38, continues to rehab from his offseason hip surgery and Grade 1 quad strain. Rodriguez was in the Double-A Trenton Thunder lineup on Friday, batting second and playing third base.

Rodriguez hit a long two-run home run in the third inning off Reading Fightin' Phils left-hander Jesse Biddle.

The Thunder expected about 150 media members, which is more than 10 times what the team usually has. The team said the game was a sellout. Rodriguez said he plans to play a second rehab game for the Thunder on Saturday night.

Assuming he is able to make it through both rehab games feeling well, Rodriguez said he and the Yankees have agreed on a "tentative" plan for him to return to the team on Monday, barring a suspension.

Major League Baseball and Rodriguez's representatives have talked about a possible settlement, but Rodriguez's side has not deemed anything palatable.

David Ortiz of the rival Boston Red Sox weighed in on the situation Friday, saying the ongoing PED problems continue to hurt the game of baseball.

Ortiz said he feels for his friend Rodriguez, but added that he does not condone any player cheating the game.

"This guy is dealing with getting healthy and these things that we're hearing, but we don't know for sure what's going to end up happening" Ortiz said. "I don't wish anybody to have to deal with any of this, but at some point we have to be reasonable with the things that we do and whatever we get involved with. Our [drug] policy is very strict. It's a risk that as a player you take dealing with that kind of stuff, so I hope everything goes well for all of them. Hopefully what is out there is more talking than anything else or the game is going to suffer."

Andrew Marchand is a senior writer for ESPNNewYork. He also regularly contributes to SportsCenter, Baseball Tonight, ESPNews, ESPN New York 98.7 FM and ESPN Radio. He joined ESPN in 2007 after nine years at the New York Post. Follow Andrew on Twitter »

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