Spare the Rod: Yankees refuse to activate Alex Rodriguez, instead order more rehab

  • Article by: RONALD BLUM , AP Sports Writer
  • Updated: July 26, 2013 - 9:25 AM

NEW YORK — Major League Baseball is investigating him, the Yankees are angry with him and Alex Rodriguez is miffed.

A-Rod's strained relationship with his team hit another low on Thursday when he kept pushing to be activated from the disabled list and New York kept pushing back. He wound up having a lawyer join in when the sides discussed how to rehabilitate his slightly injured leg.

Already a target of Major League Baseball's drug investigation, the third baseman angered the Yankees when he obtained a second medical opinion on his strained left quadriceps this week without informing the team in writing, a step required by the sport's collective bargaining agreement. The Yankees intend to discipline him, most likely with a fine.

"Do you trust the Yankees?" Rodriguez was asked Thursday during an interview on WFAN radio.

A-Rod's answer was telling.

"Um. You know, I'd rather not get into that," he responded. "I'm just frustrated that I'm not on the field tomorrow."

Sidelined since hip surgery in January, Rodriguez issued a statement saying he wanted to be activated for Friday's homestand opener against Tampa Bay. But that wasn't in the Yankees plans.

"We agreed that a protocol would be followed that is necessary when you return somebody from a quad injury," general manager Brian Cashman said during a conference call with the team's beat writers. "That protocol will include further treatment, which he'll continue tomorrow with some light conditioning, and then expand to more functional work from the 27th through the 31st. Our hope, as well as Alex's hope, without any setbacks or new complaints, that would put him in a situation to have either a simulated game or a rehab game on Aug. 1."

A-Rod went public with his disenchantment.

"Obviously I'm very, very disappointed," he said. "I know I can help my team. Obviously, I'm frustrated but I agreed to this five-day plan, and on we go."

He repeatedly said he told the Yankees he was ready to return.

"Tomorrow night would be the perfect night to come back and get in the lineup," he said.

Whether he gets back on a big league field any time soon or ever plays for the Yankees again remains to be seen.

MLB has been investigating Rodriguez as part of its probe of the closed Biogenesis clinic in Florida accused in media reports of distributing banned performance-enhancing drugs. A suspension appears likely, but Rodriguez could ask the players' association to contest a drug penalty — making it possible he might not have to serve any time until next year.

He is among the dozen or so players under investigation by MLB; he has said in the past that he used PEDs from 2001-03 while with Texas but maintained he has not used them since.

The Yankees intend to discipline A-Rod for seeking a second medical opinion without their permission, a person familiar with the team's deliberations said.

The exact penalty had not been determined, the person said, speaking on condition of anonymity to The Associated Press because no statements were authorized. A fine appeared to be the most likely option.

Meantime, Rodriguez's return from hip surgery has created more drama than most players experience in their entire careers.

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