Nightly News | August 05, 2013
>>> it's the most sweeping punishment to hit major league baseball . the american pastime since the chago white sox shoeless joe ckson. new york yankees a-rod, fifth all time on aomrun list, highest-id star in the game. he's different in this case as well. his suspensions for 211 games, remainder of this season, all of the ne, all for the usend possession o performance-enhancing drugs and allegedly acting to cover it up and hamper the investigation. but he's playing tonight in chico beuse he's appealing the decision. he arrived there elier today, thocal point of this large sing punishment in the modern era of the sport. ju tonight before the ge he spoke not about the charges but about returning to e game.
>> i am thrilled and humbled to have the opportunityo put on this uniform again and to play major league baseball again.
>> it's where we begin tonight. nbc's n mot at the game in chicag ron, good evening.
>> repter: hey,brian, good evening to u. it is openg day forlex rodriguez, hisirst game the season after off-season hip surgery. no matter how well he pla here tonit, h biggest hits will not come on the field. today yanke third baseman alex rodriguez wa hit with a major league penalty. suspended without pay for the remainder of this seon and all of ne. tentially costing $35 million inost lary.
>> obviously disappointing wh e ne today. no question about it. but what we've always fought for is for the process, and i thi weav that. and at some point we'll sit in front of an arbit and give it -- giv our case. reporte he'sllowed to play startg with his season opener tonight until his planned appeal is complet. iould characterizets extremely harsh both by baseba's past experience wh eroid users but setng a ecedent and baball sendi a messagthey wt to clean up thgame.
>> rorter: accordi to a leakedstement, rodriguez used prohibited performance-enhancing substances, including testosterone a human growth hormone then tried to cov it up. th commissior said it will not be tolered in our game announced 50 other spensions agait otr players tied to a now closed south florida clinic. whileodriguez is the highest profile the loss of two others xpecteo hurtore tha st their bank accounts . johnhonny raltand nelson cr. both all stars were considere ke players in the dri f the playfs and world series ts fa. lastonth former national mvp ryan brawn was suspended a season-ending 65 games. th bwers are giving $10 vouchers to those who show up this month good for anything at the park. still, there's plenty of sappntme to go ound.
>> these players a cheating the ga. d they're cheating the oth players that are trying to do it nestly.
>> it's very fortate. d it's negative. and it's a wrong message we're sending to our kids.
>> reporter: even down to the litt leaers dreaming big.
>> even if like you train said or something jus here try it out. ju don't d it.
>> i'd rher be bad witho drugs than good with drugs.
>> reporter: now, a-rod says he knows his appeal will be a distraction, b h say for the sake of the game he hopes the focus for the fans are o what he calls these great bebal stories as the pennant rac begin to ht up.
>> ty'lle dealing with rain least initially if nothing else in chicago alongith a whole lot of atntio ron mott outsi the game for us.