Updated at 10:22 a.m. with Rodriguez statement
Alex Rodriguez issued a statement this morning, explaining what he meant by the tweet that provoked Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman to say he should “shut the [expletive] up.”
“I will continue to work hard until my efforts get me back in pinstripes and help my team win. The tweet was pure excitement about Dr. Kelly’s prognosis.”
New York Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman could not have been clearer about the team’s frustration and fracturing relationship with Alex Rodriguez, angrily reacting to a tweet in which the third baseman announced that he has “the green light to play games again.”
“You know what, when the Yankees want to announce something, [we will],” Cashman said Tuesday evening. “Alex should just shut the [expletive] up. That’s it. I’m going to call Alex now.”
Cashman on Monday had denied a report that Rodriguez had been given the go-ahead to play, telling ESPN New York: “He has not been cleared by our doctors to play in rehab games yet. He’s getting closer. There’s no doubt about it. But we don’t have a date for him to start playing games yet. It could be July 1. It could also be July 5 or maybe June 25.”
A-Rod, 37, is recovering from hip surgery in January and has been working out at the Yankees’ facility in Tampa. Rodriguez, in his tweet, mentioned that he had been cleared by “Dr. Kelly.” Bryan Kelly performed the surgery and supervised A-Rod’s recovery in New York. When he left for Tampa, Cashman said, he was under team supervision.
“There is always a chain of command with injuries,” Yankees Manager Joe Giardi said. “And there has to be. That is the process. It goes through our training staff, our doctors, our GM and then it probably gets to me.”
The A-Rod-Yankees relationship has grown increasingly ugly. He was benched and pinch-hit for during the 2012 playoffs and asked for a woman’s phone number during an American League Championship Series loss. And there’s Biogenesis. Rodriguez has been linked to the lab accused of providing performance-enhancing drugs to athletes. Major League Baseball is investigating and could seek to suspend A-Rod for 100 games, according to an ESPN report.
Still, the STFU from Cashman was an eye-opener, even when measured by A-Rod’s legendary ability to be distract and irritate. His decision to create a Twitter account seemed destined for disaster and tabloid headlines about “putting the twit in Twitter” from the start, but this was surprisingly quick — all of nine tweets in. He clearly underestimated how touchy the Yankees would be about wanting to be the ones to disseminate information about their third baseman — a guy they certainly need this season.
Here’s the tweet that rocked the Bronx:
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