Thursday, June 27, 2013

A-Rod's Making Yanks Sick

Injuries, A-Rod Drama Hurting Bombers

By Rich Mancuso

BRONX, NEW YORK, JUNE 27- Social media can be a problem and New York Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman admitted that Wednesday afternoon. And it was established that Alex Rodriguez would rather use Twitter to announce his return to the Bronx.

That is an issue that had to be addressed by the Yankees GM because social media tends to put high profiled ballplayers in a dilemma. This time, A-Rod was not the center of a steroid issue. He may be needed in the Bronx, but is he?

Cashman apologized for throwing the “F” bomb word to a reporter that was directed to his highly paid third baseman. Rodriguez precipitated the situation by using social media as a message pertaining to his condition of when he would be returning to the lineup.

He says, the doctor said he is ready to return. Cashman says, that is not the determination of Rodriguez who may never be the player he once was. Performance enhancing drugs may have contributed to a contract that the Yankees wish they could take back.

But they can’t do that, or get a return on a contract that is still one of the top three in sports. And the questions always surround Rodriguez, and how effective he can be when returning from his latest hip procedure.

And there in turn is the problem, one the Yankees do not need as they continue dealing with adversity of the injured, whether it be physical or through a war of words.

Medical updates on the injured have been a common occurrence at Yankee Stadium. The manager Joe Girardi can only respond to reports he receives from the doctors and as he says, “I let our medical staff handle that.”

In essence, Girardi can only worry about who he has on the roster, “The guys in the room,” he says. And that is the only thing Girardi needs to be concerned with, as truth be told the manager has excelled under the circumstances of a revolving door seeing 13 players on the disabled list, 16 different times in 2013.

And the defining truth is, Rodriguez, as much as he becomes the story, and as much as the Yankees and Girardi feel he is needed, has become a real dilemma. There is no guarantee that he becomes the way, as Girardi says to, getting it done.

The mission is to win ballgames, something the Yankees need if they are to stay in this tight race that exists in the AL east. You can see the concern etched on the face of Girardi. He is tired of answering the questions about the progress of Rodriguez.

“I know he is anxious to get back to playing,” he says. Truth is, Girardi has done well under the circumstances. The post game meetings with the media are brief, as it was again Wednesday night after an 8-5 loss to Texas. The night before, Girardi saw his team hit four solo home runs.

“If we hit four homers like we did last night every night will be okay,” he said. The subject was about Rodriguez, but as the manager said, he expects him back. He is worried about the guys in the room and is aware they know what has to be done.

The unfortunate news that Mark Teixeira will need a season-ending surgery on his right wrist did not make matters better. It is a headache for Girardi, an added one for Cashman, but to their credit Lyle Overbay is still around and hit another home run Wednesday night.

The inexperience of the left side of the Yankees defense due to the injuries has Yankee fans looking for the return of Rodriguez. Jayson Nix at third, and Alberto Gonzalez at short Wednesday night let a foul pop fall. Eduardo Nunez is not close to returning and what about Derek Jeter?

Cashman, surely would love to see Jeter back on the field tomorrow. He could return after the all-star break. However, Jeter is not a user of social media and the captain is unavailable for comment as he continues his recovery down in Tampa.

Yes, A-Rod did his talking this week. So did Cashman who said it has been reality TV at its best and this is not the way he conducts himself. In the end, winning will end all the controversy as well as a healthy compliment of players that Girardi can place in his lineup.

Oh, and we don’t need social media to tell us when the injured will return to the Bronx healthy and wise.

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