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Brian Cashman: I’m not comfortable talking to Alex Rodriguez anymore

Alex Rodriguez YankeesThe relationship between Alex Rodriguez and New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman is about nothing but business these days. A-Rod is a player on a team that Cashman is in charge of, and there is not much to it other than that. How do we know this? Cashman said it himself over the weekend when he told reporters he doesn’t say more than “hello” to A-Rod these days.

“That’s about it,” Cashman said, via the Boston Globe. “I’m not comfortable talking to him anymore. I don’t want to be distorted. I’m not comfortable talking to Alex because I feel we are in a litigious environment.”

On Saturday, a report was published saying Rodriguez’s lawyer Joe Tacopina is accusing the Yankees of trying to sabotage his client in an attempt to force the third baseman to retire from baseball. Team president Randy Levine has denied the accusations and challenged Tacopina and A-Rod’s camp to “put up or shut up.” Cashman echoed some of Levine’s comments.

“Is it an unusual circumstance?” he asked. “Absolutely. Are any of these people happy with these allegations that continue to get thrown? It’s odd. It’s odd and it’s false, but we still have to go through the motions.”

Cashman was asked about Rodriguez “declaring war” against the Yankees organization, to which he noted that A-Rod’s finger-pointing extends far beyond the team’s front office.

“It’s not just Yankees management,” Cashman said. “He’s putting it at the level of our trainers, at the level of our medical staff … the whole organization.”

While many will argue that Rodriguez has every right to appeal his 211-game suspension (and he does), this has become much more than a performance-enhancing drug case. A-Rod is attacking the credibility of the Yankees.

“He’s fighting an appeal and he has rights to have his say, but clearly, it’s a lot of extra stuff and frustrations and distractions that we didn’t bring upon ourselves, I know that,” Cashman said. “I can’t speak for others, but I know it’s definitely a distraction for me. I’ve got a lot of extra work from this stuff. It’s very frustrating.”

Actually, I’m sure Cashman can speak for others — he just doesn’t want to. The A-Rod drama is obviously a distraction for the Yankees. They were able to overcome the drama that played out on Sunday night to defeat the Boston Red Sox, but stuff like that wouldn’t be happening without Rodriguez around. It doesn’t matter how many home runs he hits, the Yankees would love to wash their hands of A-Rod and move on.

Ryan Dempster throws at Alex Rodriguez, hits him

Alex Rodriguez Ryan DempsterRyan Dempster attacked Alex Rodriguez with a purpose on Sunday night.

The Boston Red Sox starter threw at A-Rod three times before hitting him on the elbow and torso with the fourth pitch. He missed behind Rodriguez on the first pitch and inside on the next two before plunking him on the 3-0 pitch. Dempster was clearly throwing at Rodriguez intentionally.

Home plate umpire Brian O’Nora came out and immediately warned both teams, but there was a scrum on the field. New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi flipped out and argued that Dempster should have been ejected for intentionally throwing at Rodriguez. Girardi ended up tossed.

In another GIF, Girardi can be seen yelling at Dempster, “that’s bulls—. F—ing p—y!”

[Read more...]

Yankees president Randy Levine to Alex Rodriguez: ‘Put up or shut up’

Alex RodriguezNew York Yankees president Randy Levine has fired back at Alex Rodriguez in response to strong accusations from A-Rod’s lawyer that claimed the team tried to sabotage the slugger by keeping medical records away from him. Levine’s message was short and simple.

“Alex should put up or shut up,” he told ESPNNewYork.com on Saturday afternoon.

By that, Levine is challenging A-Rod’s lawyer Joe Tacopina to release medical records that support the claim that the Yankees lied to Rodriguez. Tacopina even alleged that Levine told the doctor who was about to perform hip surgery on A-Rod that he never wants to see the 38-year-old on the field again.

“We will put up, mark my words, we will put up,” Tacopina said in response to Levine’s challenge. “[Levine] is always a very big talker, but he is going to be humbled eventually. He is acting in a way that if his bosses and superiors and the Steinbrenner family have any sense of decency, if they are true to what the Yankees’ heritage is, they would be appalled with how their president is acting. We will put up.”

With Rodriguez’s permission, Levine said he is prepared to release medical records dating back to A-Rod’s first hip surgery in 2009 to prove that Tacopina’s assertion is untrue.

“That’s nonsense,” Levine said. “You can’t even respond to a thing like that. “If he really believes that, he should file a grievance for the release of all his medical records. We’re willing to release all of them. All he has to do is say yes and we’ll release them all for everyone to see.”

Levine also said that A-Rod should release records from the treatment he received from his own doctor — which was not authorized by the team — so that everything is out in the open. After New York’s loss to the Boston Red Sox on Saturday, Rodriguez said he would release those records “when the time is right.” Levine also said he is willing to share all of the emails he exchanged with A-Rod to prove he has been one of his biggest supporters.

“It’s quite surprising that now Alex needs a new layer to put out reckless, specious and false allegations that only distract from the only relevant question here, the one he refuses to answer: Did he or did he not use performance-enhancing drugs?” Levine added.

Meanwhile, Rodriguez continues to be inserted into the Yankees’ lineup with a goal of helping the team win. While he does that, New York’s front office is at war with his lawyers. I can only imagine how the rest of the Yankees feel about the never-ending soap opera.

Lawyer Joe Tacopina accuses Yankees of sabotaging Alex Rodriguez

Alex Rodriguez YankeesAlex Rodriguez’s newest lawyer is coming out swinging, and he has thrown a few haymakers toward MLB and the New York Yankees.

We knew things were going to get interesting when Rodriguez hired Tacopina, who is considered the most-hated lawyer in New York. Tacopina has wasted little time defending his client and putting a new spin on the tense situation between the ballplayer, the club, and the league.

In an interview with The New York Times, Tacopina accused the Yankees of sabotaging Rodriguez by keeping medical records away from him, and he accused MLB of working with the Yankees in an attempt to void the third baseman’s contract.

Tacopina told The Times that the Yankees hid the results of an MRI from Rodriguez that showed the 3B/DH had a torn labrum in his hip last year. Tacopina says the team continued to play Rodriguez when he shouldn’t have been playing. Rodriguez had offseason surgery on his hip and missed most of the season while recovering.

And here’s the big bomb.

Tacopina says the doctor who performed the surgery, Dr. Bryan T. Kelly, told A-Rod the Yankees told Kelly they did not want Rodriguez to play for them again.

Yankees president Randy Levine allegedly told Kelly, “I don’t ever want to see him on the field again,” according to Tacopina.

The Times says Tacopina believes MLB is “working in conjunction” with the Yankees to void Rodriguez’s contract.

“You don’t need to look much further from the top to figure out where this all comes from,” Tacopina told The Times.

Oh, and if all that wasn’t enough, Tacopina is questioning the credibility of Biogenesis founder Tony Bosch as a witness.

While I have no doubt that the Yankees are trying to void A-Rod’s contract and that MLB wants to nail Rodriguez, we can’t allow Tacopina to convince us that Rodriguez is a sympathetic figure, which is what he’s trying to do. A-Rod is a slimeball who has been caught cheating multiple times. He was juicing while partnering with an anti-steroids organization. How much more disgusting does it get?

Alex Rodriguez as Vince McMahon may be greatest GIF ever

Is there a GIF that captures Alex Rodriguez more perfectly than this one? That’s A-Rod’s face superimposed onto the body of Vince McMahon, doing the WWE boss’ power walk into the ring.

Though he has always wanted to be liked and have that good guy persona, Rodriguez is disliked by most sports fans and makes a good comparison to the notorious WWE antagonist. From feuds with Jerry Lawler to Stone Cold Steve Austin and Bret Hart, few are more despised in the wrestling world than Mr. McMahon.

You know what else they have in common? Both have admitted to steroids use and have been caught up in steroids controversies. I could watch this GIF all day.

H/T SI Hot Clicks

Report: Alex Rodriguez leaked info implicating Ryan Braun, Francisco Cervelli

Alex Rodriguez YankeesJust when we thought the Alex Rodriguez saga could not get any more interesting, a report from “60 Minutes” comes along that indicates A-Rod’s inner circle may be responsible for Ryan Braun and New York Yankees teammate Francisco Cervelli being outed for their involvement with Biogenesis.

Back in January, the Miami New Times published a report that included a spreadsheet which showed Rodriguez and other players’ alleged involvement with performance-enhancing drugs. The hand-written documents came straight from Biogenesis boss Anthony Bosch, but Braun and Cervelli’s names were redacted.

Just days later, Yahoo! Sports followed up with a report that included unredacted versions of the documents. Both Braun and Cervelli were mentioned in the second report. Two sources with “direct knowledge” of the matter reportedly told “60 Minutes” that Rodriguez’s camp leaked the unredacted documents to Yahoo! Sports. A-Rod’s lawyer David Cornwell denied the claim.

“The allegations are untrue and are another attempt to harm Alex — this time by driving a wedge between Alex and other players in the game,” Cornwell said in a statement. “While Alex focuses on baseball and repeatedly states that he is going to respect the appeal process, the drumbeat of false allegations continues.”

[Related: A-Rod says this is the calmest he has felt in his career since Seattle]

Why would A-Rod be so adamant about bringing others down with him? The logical explanation would be that it would take some of the attention off himself, with another superstar like Braun also being tied to Biogenesis. The confusing thing is Rodriguez’s name was listed alongside Braun and other players in the documents, yet he is reportedly fighting to have his entire suspension wiped clean while the other players have accepted their punishment.

The popular belief is that A-Rod was given a longer suspension for interfering with MLB’s investigation. If his camp is found to have leaked documents while the investigation was ongoing, that would not look good for Rodriguez.

H/T Sports Illustrated

John Lackey: Alex Rodriguez should not be playing

John-Lackey-beer-drinking-reports-retardedThe Boston Red Sox are beginning a three-game series against the New York Yankees on Friday night at Fenway Park. John Lackey is scheduled to pitch for Boston on Saturday, but he is not looking forward to facing Alex Rodriguez. It’s not that he fears the Yankees slugger — he just doesn’t think he deserves to be playing in the wake of a 211-game suspension.

“I’ve got a problem with it. You bet I do,” Lackey told the Boston Globe on Thursday, via ESPNBoston.com. “How is he still playing? He obviously did something and he’s playing. I’m not sure that’s right … It’s pretty evident he’s been doing stuff for a lot of years I’ve been facing him.”

Like any other player, A-Rod is entitled to an appeal. He chose not to accept his suspension like the other 12 players who were involved with Biogenesis, which was his right under the current Collective Bargaining Agreement. Players like this Tampa Bay Rays slugger feel that the appeal process should be quicker, which is a legitimate gripe.

Lackey also admitted Rodriguez has been a topic of conversation in the Red Sox clubhouse.

[Related: Former MLB reliever feels cheated by players implicated in Biogenesis]

“Sure, we talk about it,” he said. “But talking to the media about it is a little bit different. People have strong feelings. He took me deep the first time I faced him as a rookie, and he admitted to doing stuff back then. There are a lot of things I want back from him.”

I can see both sides of the argument. You like to stick with the “innocent until proven guilty” thing as much as possible, but Rodriguez is directly affecting the outcome of games as long as he plays. Should he be found guilty and once again outed as a performance-enhancing drug user, plenty of people will feel cheated. The quicker the matter is resolved, the better off everyone will be. Just don’t count on a resolution coming before the end of the season.