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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

An absolutely true news item: New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez was suspended for one season for routinely using banned substances, including injectable growth hormones, skin creams and testosterone lozenges that Rodriguez called “gummies.”

——

As I’ve said all along, I’m totally innocent. I don’t use performance-enhancing drugs, period.

And I would never, ever put a strange-looking lozenge under my tongue before a big game. Anybody who knows me will tell you that I’m terrified of lozenges.

Here’s what happened: One day I fly down to Coral Gables to buy some hummus from my favorite hummus shop, and I see this place called “Biogenesis of America.”

The sign outside says “anti-aging clinic,” so I decide to check it out.

Not because my batting average was slipping, my knees hurt and I was afraid of getting too old to play the game. No way!

The only reason I go into the place was for skincare products, OK? Because when a player is getting paid $25 million a year and he’s missing lots of games (not to mention curveballs), the least he can do for his fans is to show up with a flawless complexion.

So I find my special almond-milk hydrating cream on the shelf and I’m standing in line to pay when some dude walks up and introduces himself as Dr. Tony Bosch. Turns out he’s a huge Yankees fan, and we hit it off.

He takes me into his private office and offers to set me up with a comprehensive daily moisturizing program — shots, creams and pills.

“Your skin will be glowing twenty-four-seven!” Dr. Bosch promises, which sounds great to me because when my pores feel good, my whole body feels good.

And when my body feels good, I can hit a slider with my eyes closed.

But still I’m cautious because I’d been burned before.

Back when I played for the Rangers I took a ton of steroids and later I lied about it to everyone, including Katie Couric, who wouldn’t even have a drink with me later.

Her loss, by the way.

Still I got in big trouble with the league, and to play ball again I had to promise to stay clean.

That’s why I cross-examine Dr. Bosch before buying any of his skin products. “Hey, dude,” I say, “this stuff isn’t full of hormones or ‘roids, is it? Because I am never, ever taking performance-enhancing drugs again!”

“Chill out, A-Rod,” he says. “Do I seem like the sort of guy who would peddle banned substances to professional athletes? Does this look like the type of establishment involved in black-market activities?”

And I’m thinking, he’s absolutely right. What am I so worried about? After all, this is South Florida, the last place you’d ever expect to find a fake doctor running a fake anti-aging clinic.

Only, guess what? The joint shut down and it turned out Bosch was totally bogus, even his white lab coat.

And now he’s telling everyone that I paid him thousands in cash to get all juiced up on testosterone and HGH, which is ridiculous.

(OK, it might be true that in 2012 Bosch and I spoke 53 times on the phone and exchanged 556 text messages, but my skin was super dry that year so I kept running out of his special moisturizer.)

There’s way more that I’d love to tell, but for now my lawyers want me to be quiet while they sue people.

If the Yankees think they’re finally rid of me and my humongous salary, they’re wrong. I fully expect my suspension from baseball to be reversed, and I’m eagerly preparing for spring training and an All-Star, lozenge-free season.

I got a line on some powdered rhino horn, which I grind up and sprinkle in my hummus every day for breakfast.

Next I tape a Viagra pill in each of my armpits and go straight to the gym, where I work up an amazing sweat.

Lunch is a shark-fin smoothie followed by a complete transfusion (there’s a kid who hit .348 in Triple-A last year, a big fan. He swaps blood with me.)

And each night, before bed, I slather myself head-to-toe with a totally organic cream made from aloe leaves, fresh kale, mint shavings and bull testicles.

Anybody asks, you tell them to forget all the bad things they’ve heard about A-Rod. I’m an all-natural man who leads a clean, all-natural life.

Check out my pores if you don’t believe me.

(Carl Hiaasen is a columnist for The Miami Herald. Readers may write to him at: 1 Herald Plaza, Miami, Fla., 33132.)

AFP Photo/Jonathan Daniel

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