Not too long ago it seemed like the tumultuous unpredictability that was the New York Yankees was settling down. Mark Teixeira was finally back and hitting periodically, and Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter were making strides back to full health. But comfort is just not so comfortable for this franchise.
If you had told me in the offseason that Lyle Overbay (242 at-bats), Jayson Nix and Travis Hafner were each going to accumulate more at-bats for the Yankees than Teixeira, Jeter and A-Rod combined (226, 213 and 193 at-bats, respectively, compared to 53 total for the latter three players) at this point in the 2013 season, I would have laughed in your face.
The kicker is that this is just the tip of the iceberg.
On Tuesday night, A-Rod could not contain his excitement after an appointment with Dr. Bryan Kelly and tweeted that he got the okay to play in games again:
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
If it were anybody else on any other team, an injury update probably wouldn't have caused a fuss:
Brian Cashman didn't tell Teixeira or Granderson to STFU when they tweeted about rehab. Why A-Rod? It's personal: http://t.co/goRbnPISDH— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) June 26, 2013
But for whatever reason (the current state of the Yankees and A-Rod being who he is are two viable theories), Brian Cashman told ESPN New York that "Alex should just shut the f--- up. That's it. I'm going to call Alex now." Cashman has since tried to clean up his mess to some extent, but we cannot un-hear what we've heard.
On Wednesday, which also happened to be Jeter's birthday, Buster Olney tweeted this gem:
Classic Jeter and A-Rod: On the day everyone is talking about whether Alex should shut the [bleep] up, Derek gets cake and presents.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) June 26, 2013
Some fans are using the feud as ammunition against A-Rod (as if people really needed more):
A Rod thinks that because he can't make errors in the field this year, he can make errors on twitter... Smh— Clay Woodward (@Clay_Woodward) June 26, 2013
Cashman was correct on checking A- Rod. I mean Alex, you've caused enough trouble. #Espn— godfrey (@GodfreyComedian) June 26, 2013
While others realize that the recent dialogue is a reflection of the tension within the organization:
The tiff between A-Rod and Brian Cashman simply illustrates how stuffy the Yankees organization is. Talk about a stifling place to work.— Ben Treasure (@BenTreasure) June 26, 2013
The rest are just enjoying an opportunity to poke fun:
Truly shocking that A-Rod would do something to call attention to himself and incur the wrath of the Yankees. That almost never happens— Pete Abraham (@PeteAbe) June 26, 2013
Of course, now the antagonistic A-Rod has decided to retaliate, although through an anonymous source. According to Wallace Matthews of ESPN New York, A-Rod thinks the Yankees want to have nothing to do with him. If fans were starting to develop even an iota of sympathy for A-Rod, that has surely been erased:
Joba you need to leave New York, and take A-Rod with you— jeremy cohen (@jerco21) June 27, 2013
O'Connor: Alex Rodriguez won't ever grow up http://t.co/QtvH6UqikK— Andrew Marchand (@AndrewMarchand) June 27, 2013
Teixeira might not have the Hollywood baggage that A-Rod does, but recent news of his impending season-ending wrist surgery fuels this chaos just the same. Teixeira originally hurt his right wrist while hitting off a tee in early March during the World Baseball Classic.
While he returned to the major league club on May 31, Teixeira landed back on the disabled list 15 games later due to nagging pain. Prior to his latest stint, he was batting .151/.270./340 with a .609 OPS, three homers and 12 RBI. Now an MRI has shown that Tex has a torn tendon sheath, which will require invasive procedures.
In other words, things have gone from bad to worse.
Using a variety of different spellings for the first baseman's name, Twitter is buzzing with hints of sarcasm and humor, seeing as circumstances in New York are verging on comical:
I'm convinced all players that the Yankees sign are made of glass. #texiera— Matt Fergo (@Matt_Fergo) June 26, 2013
During Hernandez hearing, Yankees announce Texeira's wrist did not heed Cashman's demand to heal the f--- up.— Rich Eisen (@richeisen) June 26, 2013
Then there are exasperated and/or desperate Yankees fans:
Overbay HR .... As 20 Million dollar cheerleader Texiera claps— ThisThingWeDo (@Thisthingwedo) June 26, 2013
We would lose Texiera to surgery for the season..— Anthony Casaus (@casausyy_boy) June 26, 2013
The Yankees have been able to tread water—even excelling at points and defying expectations—this season. They are only three-and-a-half games out of first place as of Wednesday night, but seeing as the American League East is one of the toughest divisions in baseball (only six-and-a-half games separate first and last place), New York's position is fragile.
After all of this news, it's hard not to think that the key Jenga block has been pulled and the tower is tumbling down.