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A-Rod to play Monday against White Sox, appealing suspension

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CHICAGO -- Alex Rodriguez will be suspended through at least the 2014 season in an announcement Monday by Major League Baseball, but the New York Yankees third baseman plans to file an appeal that will enable him to play that evening against the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field, two people with direct knowledge of the plan told USA TODAY Sports.

Rodriguez is one of about 10 major leaguers who will be suspended, but he is the only one who will be banned beyond this season.

A-ROD: ‘I’m flying to Chicago’

MLB officials have informed Rodriguez’s attorneys and the Major League Players Association of the decision to suspend the players, and told Rodriguez he no longer is able to discuss a settlement, according to the two people who were unauthorized to speak publicly before the scheduled announcement.

Rodriguez will be suspended for at least 215 games, but likely will dodge a lifetime ban by Commissioner Bud Selig for allegedly violating the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

The penalty would make Rodriguez ineligible to play until the 2015 regular season, the longest punishment against a player or manager since Pete Rose agreed to a lifetime ban in 1988 for gambling.

A-ROD: Hints at conspiracy against him

Rodriguez, 38, plans to immediately file an appeal, a person familiar with Rodriguez’s strategy told USA TODAY Sports, which would allow him to play for the Yankees Monday night in Chicago against the White Sox. The appeal would be heard by arbitrator Fredric Horowitz in the next three weeks.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi said Sunday he has tentatively put Rodriguez in the lineup to play third base Monday. Rodriguez was scheduled to take a flight Sunday night to Chicago to meet his teammates after playing in two rehab games over the weekend in Trenton, N.J.

“I think all of us are curious what’s going to happen, and is Alex going to be a player for us tomorrow, and what’s going to happen with the other guys that are involved in this. Because in my mind I have him penciled in here tomorrow,” Girardi said.

“I don’t suspect it’ll be awkward. Most of the guys know him as a teammate and have laughed a lot with Alex and been around Alex a lot. I think it’ll be business as usual. I’m sure there will be more media there obviously tomorrow but I think that’s more for Alex to deal with than the rest of the guys. I don’t think it’ll be a big deal.”

Rodriguez, who said Friday night that MLB and the Yankees conspired to prevent him from playing to help the Yankees recoup the remaining $96 million of his $275 million contract, reached out to MLB officials and the Yankees on Saturday to make a settlement, according to all three people. Rodriguez was informed that talks will be prohibited.

Michael Weiner, executive director of the Major League Players Association, told USA TODAY Sports Sunday he could not confirm or deny that settlement talks have been halted with Rodriguez.



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