UPDATE: Thursday, June 27, at 2:20 p.m. ET by Tom Kinslow
Derek Jeter spoke to the media today about Alex Rodriguez and the controversy around him and the rehab on his injured hip (via Brian Hoch of MLB.com)
Derek Jeter on Alex Rodriguez: "There's no way he can be a distraction to us."— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) June 27, 2013
---End of update---
ESPN's Wallace Matthews, Rodriguez is wary of the Yankees' wishes for him this season:
According to a source, Rodriguez thinks the Yankees are deliberately slowing down his return to their active roster in the hope they can have him declared medically unfit to play this season, enabling them to recoup 80 percent of his $28 million salary through insurance.
"Alex thinks there's something really off about this situation," the source said. "Here we have a doctor declaring him fit to play. You think they would be happy about that."
---End of update---
UPDATE: Wednesday, June 26, at 4:26 p.m. ET by Eric Ball
Cashman: "I regret the choice of words I used yesterday."— Mark Feinsand (@FeinsandNYDN) June 26, 2013
Cashman: "I didn't handle this one well. I popped. Reality TV at its best."— Mark Feinsand (@FeinsandNYDN) June 26, 2013
Cashman: "From Alex's perspective, he's not trying to create a disturbance by tweeting that. ... It was an unnecessary extra distraction."— Mark Feinsand (@FeinsandNYDN) June 26, 2013
Andy McCullough of Sports Illustrated provides the final tidbit that matters the most regarding how Cashman feels about Rodriguez:
Cashman: "Make no mistake. If Alex Rodriguez is healthy, I want him playing third base -- yesterday."— Andy McCullough (@McCulloughSL) June 26, 2013
---End of Update---
In an interview with Andrew Marchand of ESPN New York, the 45-year-old had some choice words for the oft-scrutinized third baseman.
"You know what, when the Yankees want to announce something, [we will]. Alex should just shut the f--- up. That's it. I'm going to call Alex now," Cashman remarked.
On Monday, Cashman shot down a report that A-Rod, who is recovering from a torn labrum, was ready for a rehab assignment, telling ESPN.com that "he has not been cleared by our doctors to play in rehab games yet."
But on Tuesday afternoon, Rodriguez tweeted a direct contradiction to that statement:
Visit from Dr. Kelly over the weekend, who gave me the best news - the green light to play games again! http://t.co/RuzfXOJjHI— Alex Rodriguez (@AROD) June 25, 2013
It's easy to see why Cashman is upset.
Rodriguez responded to Cashman's comments on Wednesday, according to Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News:
A-Rod statement: “I will continue to work hard until my efforts get me back in pinstripes and help my team win...." (part 1 of 2)— Mark Feinsand (@FeinsandNYDN) June 26, 2013
More A-Rod statement: "... The tweet was pure excitement about Dr. Kelly’s prognosis.” (part 2 of 2)— Mark Feinsand (@FeinsandNYDN) June 26, 2013
No matter the reason, and no matter who's at fault, whenever players and teams are making statements that completely belie each other, it doesn't exactly make the team or the communication within the organization look very good.
People are already beginning to take sides.
Sports Illustrated's Joe Sheehan notes that Rodriguez shouldn't be the bad guy:
Injured player Tweets excitedly about getting closer to playing. GM profanely upbraids player to media. Injured player is the bad guy???— Joe Sheehan (@joe_sheehan) June 26, 2013
But The Boston Globe's Pete Abraham seemed to quite enjoy the straightforward nature of Cashman's statement:
That Cashman quote needs to get on a t-shirt.— Pete Abraham (@PeteAbe) June 26, 2013
Who's wrong here?
As Marchand states, this won't exactly help an already rocky relationship between the Yankees and A-Rod, who asked for a woman's phone number during Game 1 of last year's ALCS and is now a main target of an ongoing MLB investigation.
Rodriguez hit .272/.353/.430 last season with 18 homers and 57 RBI. In the postseason, he went 3-of-25 with just one run scored, zero home runs, zero RBI and 12 strikeouts.
He is expected to start a rehab assignment sometime soon, although now the exact details of that aren't exactly clear.