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Alex Rodriguez says he's confident and working hard

Alex Rodriguez warms up during batting practice before

Alex Rodriguez warms up during batting practice before Game 4 of the ALCS against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park on Oct. 18, 2012. Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams, Jr.

Alex Rodriguez is staying positive.

"Yes, I feel confident," he said of being able to play next season, according to "I'm preparing as always, working hard. I feel completely healthy. I have the entire offseason to prepare for it.''

A-Rod spoke Saturday, in Spanish, to a group of reporters in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, where he's attending the annual charity golf event hosted by Red Sox slugger David Ortiz, a friend of the embattled third baseman.

Rodriguez's fate for next season is in the hands of arbitrator Fredric Horowitz, who will decide how much, if any, of the 211-game suspension handed down by Major League Baseball will stand. A-Rod stormed out of the recently completed arbitration hearing when Horowitz declined to force commissioner Bud Selig to testify. Rodriguez's representatives already have announced their intent to continue fighting in federal court if need be.

On Saturday, A-Rod seemed weary of discussing his off-field issues.

"We have to get out of this and start talking baseball," he said. "About the good things with MLB and about my hard training work to get back in the middle of the Yankees' lineup."

New York Sports