Alex Rodriguez sat out the last two games due to fatigue related to his offseason hip surgery. The circumstances regarding the decision to place him on the bench are a bit muddied, as no one is clear on exactly what happened. From Jon Heyman:
Some controversy was sparked when the Miami Herald in a lengthy story about Rodriguez’s unexpected two-day rest included a “rumor” that A-Rod and manager Joe Girardi “spoke sharply to each other” in a meeting before Friday’s game here. However, people familiar with the Yankees’ decision to sit Rodriguez say the decision came from Cashman and higherups, not Girardi. The conference call did take place with Rodriguez when he was at the stadium, but Girardi wasn’t believed to be on the call.
Yankees bosses believe Rodriguez was trying to play through the fatigue and would have happily continued to do play had they not called a halt Friday. Rodriguez is hitting .145 for the month with two home runs. The Miami Herald story noted that tens of Rodriguez friends and family were looking forward to the upcoming games for the hometown star here in Miami.
Here we get a bit of irresponsible rumormongering about a possible rift between Alex and the manager, as well as the clear implication that Girardi was cut out of the decision making process, a strange move considering the lineup is his domain and responsibility. However, the following story from George King paints a different picture:
“That’s not true,” the GM said before tonight’s Yankees-Marlins game at Land Shark Stadium. “Dr. (Mark) Lindsay said he would benefit from more than a day (off). It was a medical decision. The doctor ordered two days and see you on Sunday. (Joe) Girardi and I am firmly on board.”
According to Cashman, he and Girardi talked after Thursday’s game about giving the slumping Rodriguez a day off. “The next day (Friday) we had a conference call and Alex fessed up and Mark Lindsay said he probably needs more than one day,” Cashman said of Rodriguez’s chiropractor. “I called Joe and it was two days. The club got into Miami at 4 a.m. (Friday) and it (two days off) was a no-brainer.”
Cashman talked to Girardi after Girardi had the ice-cold Rodriguez in the lineup for Friday night’s game.
A Miami Herald story today reported Girardi and Rodriguez “spoke sharply” to each other Friday. Rodriguez scoffed tonight at the suggestion of a riff between him and his manager. “Never been better,” Rodriguez told The Post.
As for the tenor of the conference call, which Cashman said the ownership wasn’t on, Rodriguez said: “It was all very positive.”
I am not sure who to believe here, although giving Alex consecutive days off immediately rather than waiting until Sunday and using the off day on Monday as one of his days-off certainly seems like a medical decision. Although I am inclined to go with the Post’s version of events, this entire situation points to the disconnect that the Yankees medical staff seems to have with management. The trainers and other medical personnel seem to have little dialogue with Joe Girardi and Brian Cashman, leading to situations where the manager is not aware of certain injuries and medical situations until the player has aggravated it. This is one area where the Yankees clearly have some work to do.
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