Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Fireworks Night

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Fireworks Night

Article excerpt

Just in case Alex Rodriguez had any illusions about his relationship with the Yankees, he got a cold blast of reality from his general manger Tuesday night. Brian Cashman blasted Rodriguez in a profanity-laced response after learning the slugger was giving updates on his rehab via Twitter.

Cashman told the website ESPN New York, "You know what, when the Yankees want to announce something, [we will]. Alex should just shut the [bleep] up. That's it. I'm going to call Alex now."

Rodriguez angered the team by tweeting: "Visit from Dr. [Bryan] Kelly over the weekend, who gave me the best news -- the green light to play games again!" Kelly, who operated on A-Rod's hip last off- season, has no control or jurisdiction over the slugger's rehab, now that he's in Tampa and not in New York.

This would've been a mere misunderstanding with any other player. But the simmering hostility between Rodriguez and his employers catalyzed the incident into a full-blown confrontation. The Yankees aren't just annoyed because A-Rod spoke out of turn; they think he's been stealing money from them since 2009 and beyond, as he's allegedly been using performance-enhancing drugs.

Yes, this has everything to do with the Biogenesis scandal, which is now reaching a critical phase. Investigators from the commissioner's office have been interviewing Anthony Bosch, who is believed to have injected Rodriguez with PEDs as recently as October. According to the Miami New Times, Rodriguez's name appears 16 times on Biogenesis documents from 2009-12, although MLB's case could be damaged by reports that it paid for those documents and is believed to have compensated Bosch to the tune of several hundred thousand dollars.

Still, Bud Selig is moving closer to a 100-game suspension of A- Rod as well as Ryan Braun, whose name is also found in Biogenesis paperwork. The commissioner knows whatever action he takes will be appealed, but he is taking his chances that the evidence will be so damaging, so overwhelming, that A-Rod will end up on the sidelines.

No one is rooting harder for A-Rod's punishment than the Yankees, who are looking at every possible avenue to void his contract. The fact that Rodriguez is still owed another $100 million through 2017 burns the franchise all the way to the ownership level. The Steinbrenners would be thrilled if A-Rod simply retired, convinced he can't continue to play with two refurbished hips and without the help of steroids.

If Rodriguez were to tell his doctors he's in too much pain and it was determined he was medically unable to resume his career, then not only would the slugger get his money, but the Yankees would recoup 80 percent of his salary through insurance.

That might be a long shot, though, considering Rodriguez has been happily tweeting about his progress from Tampa all week. …

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