Alex Rodriguez is having a very interesting season. He has had a back and forth with the Yankees front office that had Yankees general manager Brian Cashman telling him to “shut the f— up” after A-Rod prematurely declared his clearance to return to play. This has led to the theories from A-Rod’s camp that the Yankees are slowing down his rehab to keep him from rejoining the Yankees.
Hanging over this whole situation is the Biogenesis controversy and the potential suspension from Major League Baseball. A-Rod was working with MLB to cut a deal for his suspension.
Dr. Michael Gross, an orthopedic surgeon at Hackensack University Medical Center, told media outlets and in a radio interview that his reading of the MRI showed no damage to Rodriguez’s quad, but there is one problem:
Gross did not examine Alex Rodriguez.
“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,” Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said in a statement released Wednesday.
That doctor has since tried to clarify his on-air radio comments to ESPN.
“I spoke with Alex on the phone, and I asked him if he has any pain and he said, ‘I don’t,’ ” Gross said Wednesday. “I said, ‘Do you have an injury?’ And he said, ‘I don’t.’ He said, ‘Would you be willing to say I’m ready to play?’ I said, ‘No, I’m not willing to say that. I’ve never examined you. I’ve looked at your MRI.’ But I asked him if you think you are ready to play and he said, ‘Yes.’ ”
The back and forth has led to Alex’s camp leaking information to the media to try and force the Yankees hand. Alex Rodriguez wants to play, and some have speculated it’s just to collect some more pay checks before a potential suspension or lifetime ban from baseball.
“He feels he has no choice,” the source told ESPNNewYork.com. “He wants to play, and they won’t let him play. Nobody knows Alex’s body better than he does.”
Now the Yankees are saying that Rodriguez might have violated baseball’s collective bargaining agreement.
“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 in the statement.
And according to Cashman it was Rodriguez who said he was injured.
“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,” Cashman said. “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’s all part of what Alex Rodriguez feels is a conspiracy between the Yankees and baseball to keep him of the field.
“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 said to ESPNNewYork.com on Tuesday night. “It makes no sense.”