The Cold War between Alex Rodriguez and the New York Yankees doesn’t look like it’s cooling down any time soon. Thursday ESPN New York ran a long report how Rodriguez doesn’t feel like the club wants him to return from the hip injury that’s sidelined him the entire season so far.
Gee … wonder what gave him that idea? Was it his GM, Brian Cashman, bluntly telling him to “shut the fuck up” the other day after he tweeted his personal doctor gave him the okay to start rehab games. Or the any number of times the Yankees have tried to leak information in an attempt to publicly shame Rodriguez. For his part, Rodriguez looks like he’s finally receiving the message from the Yankees as ESPN New York’s Wallace Matthews reports:
According to the source, Rodriguez thinks the Yankees are deliberately slowing 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.
The Yankees thought, this is the only theory that makes a modicum of sense, that when they signed Rodriguez to a 10-year, $275 million deal in 2008 that they’d get a player who’d be breaking all sorts of baseball records which they could promote and monetize. Instead the contract has become an albatross with Rodriguez linked to PED scandals, along with generating all sorts of bad headlines — headlines only A-Rod is capable of pulling off. The ESPN New York story Thursday also hints during Game 1 of the 2012 ALCS Rodriguez was flirting with a female fan seated in the front row during the game. (Fun.)
Naturally, the New York brass, including Cashman, denied they have a rift with Rodriguez and would welcome him back:
“False and false,” Cashman said to both theories. “He’s not being slowed down or anything. Make no mistake; if Alex Rodriguez is healthy, we want him, and I want him, playing third base for us yesterday. We’re clearly a better team with him. We’re taking every step in the process, but we can’t have him unless he’s ready. Period.”
The plot thickens with a report coming out on Thursday morning from the New York Post that Rodriguez now doesn’t feel ready healthy enough to begin a rehab assignment, which would contradict the tweet he posted the other day that brought out Cashman’s ire.
Until Rodriguez actually steps foot on a major league diamond this year, expect this he-said, she-said stuff in the press to continue. Speculation will continue to fly how the Yankees are cooking up ways so they don’t have to pay the remaining $114 million owed to Rodriguez, who it needs to be said is a shell of the player he once was at his peak.
Is “Divorce Court” still a television show on the air? It might be time for Rodriguez and Cashman to go there to settle it, since that might be the only way.