A-Rod’s response: Tweet was “pure excitement”
Alex Rodriguez has responded to the newest installment of controversy in his ongoing saga with the Yankees, sending the following statement through a publicist on Wednesday morning:
“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.”
In case you missed it, here’s the story from last night, where A-Rod tweeted that Dr. Bryan Kelly had given him “the best news – the green light to play again!”
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman responded by telling ESPN New York, “You know what, when the Yankees want to announce something, [we will]. Alex should just shut … up. That’s it. I’m going to call Alex now.”
Now here’s my quick personal take on the situation —
It took A-Rod all of nine tweets to create a problem, which is amusing by itself, but looking back at the text of the tweet — I just don’t see all that much to be upset about. Several Yankees have been tweeting injury updates all season, including Curtis Granderson, Mark Teixeira and Francisco Cervelli. No one seems to mind those, and they’re actually quite helpful at times. I wish we could get Derek Jeter on Twitter for that reason.
So why did Cashman have a problem with this? For one thing, there is a chain of command. Dr. Kelly performed Rodriguez’s hip surgery, but he doesn’t have the final say in when Rodriguez gets back on the field. That belongs to the Yankees’ medical staff, and so while Kelly’s opinion certainly should be heard, that final call belongs to team physician Dr. Chris Ahmad. I have no doubt that A-Rod is close to getting into games, but as Cashman said on Monday, “the tail does not wag the dog.”
Cashman has not yet talked about this latest situation, but here’s a guess. Cashman was irked when a source close to A-Rod told the New York Daily News on Monday that Rodriguez would be playing in games by July 1. Cashman not only told MLB.com that was inaccurate, but a good chunk of his day was spent delivering the same denial to every other media outlet in the New York area.
Fast-forward one day and now the player himself (or someone using his account) is tweeting out information that clashes with the message that Cashman, Joe Girardi and the rest of the Yankees’ hierarchy are putting out. That’s surely part of this, and it was a bit of good timing by ESPN’s Andrew Marchand to catch Cashman’s reaction.
The other, and more obvious point, is this: with his massive salary, Major League Baseball’s investigation into the Biogenesis situation, past antics on and off the field (including, most recently, his dugout chats with female fans in the ALCS) — it all piles into what can only be described as a strained, anxious relationship between A-Rod and the Yankees. This isn’t new, but maybe it was easy to forget about while A-Rod was away all year. So we’d all better get ready: the circus is just about back in town.