Brian Cashman: Alex Rodriguez violated CBA by seeking second opinion
As expected, the New York Yankees were not pleased with Alex Rodriguez on Wednesday after his doctor appeared on the radio to declare the slugger perfectly healthy. Last weekend, the Yankees announced that an MRI had revealed A-Rod is dealing with a Grade 1 quad strain, which will cause him to miss at least another week. One of Rodriguez’s personal doctors, Dr. Michael Gross, said he saw nothing in the MRI results.
It seems as though Rodriguez intentionally tried to make the team look bad. Yankees GM Brian Cashman said in a statement that he may have violated the collective bargaining agreement in doing so.
“Contrary to the Basic Agreement, Mr. Rodriguez did not notify us at any time that he was seeking a second opinion from any doctor with regard to his quad strain,” Cashman said.
As ESPNNewYork.com pointed out, Article XII, Paragraph D of the CBA states that “a player shall inform the club in writing” before seeking a second opinion on an injury. There were rumors about A-Rod planning to seek a second opinion after the Yankees revealed the MRI results, but a source said he did not inform the team. Still, the Yankees may have little recourse aside from forcing A-Rod to incur all of the costs associated with the second opinion.
Cashman went on to question whether or not Dr. Gross was qualified to give his evaluation of Rodriguez’s quad.
“In media reports, we have since learned that the doctor in question has acknowledged that he did not examine Mr. Rodriguez and that he was not retained to do a comprehensive medical examination of Mr. Rodriguez,” he said. “As early as Friday, July 12, when I suggested to Alex that we move his rehab from Tampa to Triple-A Scranton [at Buffalo], Alex complained for the first time of ‘tightness’ in his quad and therefore refused to consent to the transfer of his assignment. Again, last Sunday, Alex advised that he had stiffness in his quad and should not play on Sunday or Monday. We sent Alex to NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital for an MRI which evidenced a Grade 1 strain.”
It seems highly unlikely that Cashman would be blatantly lying about A-Rod reporting tightness in his quad. He had to have complained about it at some point, which is what makes Dr. Gross’s interview on WFAN Wednesday so bizarre. We’re well aware of the theory that the Yankees want A-Rod to retire due to injury, but we have to be realistic at some point.
“So he’s saying the New York Yankees, Major League Baseball and New York Presbyterian are all in cahoots to phony up an injury?” a highly placed baseball source reportedly told ESPNNewYork.com on Tuesday night. “It makes no sense.”
Again, the situation is just bizarre. And we’re just talking about the quad injury. There’s also the Biogenesis scandal and possible suspension looming, which clouds the picture even more. If the Yankees could make it go away, I’m sure they would.