Cashman: 'I'm not comfortable' talking to A-Rod
BOSTON -- In yet another example of the fractured relationship between Alex Rodriguez and his employers, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said on Sunday that he has very little to say to his beleaguered third baseman.
"I'm not comfortable talking to Alex on this stuff, because I feel we're in a litigious environment, so I am not comfortable anymore talking to him," Cashman said during a lengthy interview in the visiting dugout at Fenway Park.
"Hello, goodbye, and that's it. Because anything else, I don't want to be distorted, to be quite honest."
Cashman said that he did speak to Rodriguez at the Yankees' Boston hotel on Friday, but their conversation did not go beyond a general greeting.
"At some point, it's hard to engage somebody too easily when this stuff is going on," Cashman said.
Cashman said that the Yankees and Rodriguez are "stuck" together as they attempt to handle Rodriguez's 211-game suspension and his appeal, a situation that he has described as "odd" because Rodriguez has placed himself behind a phalanx of attorneys.
The GM acknowledged that he believes Rodriguez is helping the team on the field, despite the "headaches" his due process has created. Cashman rejected a suggestion that the saga could prompt the Yankees to release Rodriguez, who has four years and $86 million remaining on his contract after this season.
"That's not something for me ... I don't think that's something that would be considered, personally," Cashman said.
The latest member of Rodriguez's legal team, Joseph Tacopina, spoke candidly in an interview with The New York Times that was published on Saturday. Among numerous claims, Tacopina alleged that the Yankees concealed MRI results that would have shown Rodriguez's left hip was injured during the 2012 playoffs.
Yankees president Randy Levine swiftly called those comments inaccurate, as well as a claim that he had told Dr. Bryan Kelly that he did not want to see Rodriguez on the field again. Rodriguez said on Sunday that he had read the article but declined to comment further.
Cashman said that Rodriguez had received the best medical care possible from the Yankees' training staff, team physician Dr. Chris Ahmad and also Kelly, who performed a procedure to repair Rodriguez's left hip in January. Levine has challenged Rodriguez to authorize the public release of his medical records.
"No one has hid anything from the guy," Cashman said. "The medical records are what they are. And if somebody wants to dispute them and fight over an opinion, that's fine. But there's a process for it. No one purposely did anything other than try to put the best team out on that field on a daily basis."
Cashman said that the Yankees have medical records that indicate Rodriguez was not receiving treatment for injuries, nor complaining of any, until he was pinch-hit for in Game 3 of the American League Division Series against the Orioles.
"So then he meets with [manager] Joe [Girardi] separately and says, 'Listen, don't give up on me, put me back in there,'" Cashman said. "He's fighting to stay in. But I see Alex's comments [Friday] saying, 'I never should have been out there,' which contradicts his own comments.
"I see his attorney talking about we're running him out there 'like an invalid.' I guess he's also lumping Alex in that, because, again, he was fighting to play."
Cashman said that Girardi and the Yankees' coaching staff have done a "remarkable job" separating Rodriguez's duties as a player from his legal situation, and expressed confidence that Rodriguez will continue to be handled professionally as long as he is a member of the Yankees' roster.
"Clearly, this is an issue that none of us ever signed up for," Cashman said.