Alex Rodriguez offered neither apology nor denial this afternoon. His cousin Yuri Sucart was with Rodriguez in California this week, and Rodriguez said he has no plans of cutting ties with his controversial relative.
“There are no rules that are being broken,” Rodriguez said. “He stays at his own place. The team is fully aware. He’s not on the team bus, not on the team plane, not in the clubhouse, not at the stadiums. We’re compliant with all the rules. One thing I learned a few years ago were my responsibilities, and they’re very clear… He’s been with me since I was born and I love him very much. He’ll be around for many, many years – well after I’m done playing baseball.”
Rodriguez said neither the league nor the team contacted him to discuss Sucart’s presence this weekend. Joe Girardi said he had no problem with the two still spending time together, even after Rodriguez admitted that Sucart helped him acquire performance-enhancing drugs several years ago.
“I just thought, well, his cousin showed up,” Girardi said. “I know there’s history there, and I think it’s important as people that we don’t turn our back on family. We’ve all had family members — or it could have even been us — that have done things that haven’t necessarily been the right thing to do, but I don’t think you turn your back on family. And I really didn’t think much of it.”
Rodriguez didn’t go into many detail about his current relationship with his cousin, except to say that Sucart works for him and the two watched the NBA Finals together this week. Any concern that continued association makes it more difficult to put the steroid story behind him?
“There’s nothing popping up,” Rodriguez said. “My mom is coming in next week, my daughter is coming in in a couple weeks. I’m not really concerned. I’m really crystal clear on my responsibilities, both with this team and personally. I love my family — all my family — very much, and I’m very good with where I stand today.”
• The Yankees must have gotten some good news on Eric Chavez. Girardi said it’s possible Chavez could begin baseball activities next week. “We’ll have to evaluate him when we get home on Tuesday,” Girardi said. “But hopefully we can start doing some BP and maybe throwing and maybe even taking some ground balls.”
• Speaking of injured players on their way back, Phil Hughes is still on schedule to face hitters tomorrow. He’ll go through a normal pregame warmup, then throw essentially one simulated inning. Girardi said he wasn’t sure exactly how many pitches Hughes would be allowed to throw.
• Girardi said he will not announce his rotation for the upcoming Red Sox series until after this weekend series against the Angels.
• Speaking of rotation decisions: The Angels have decided to skip Dan Haren tomorrow. Haren felt some lower-back stiffness during a bullpen on Wednesday.
• Girardi on today’s Angels starter, Jered Weaver: “He’s right up there. He’s got deception because of his windup. I think he hides the ball really well. Look at his hits per innings, he’s given up 60 hits in 80 innings or whatever, and he’s a strikeout guy and he doesn’t walk people. He’s not going to beat himself, and he fields his position, so he’s tough.”
• Girardi said that by the end of the Oakland series, he felt like he needed to have some of his relievers throw just to get work. That’s why Boone Logan got loose in the ninth inning on Wednesday.
• This is the eight-year anniversary of Derek Jeter being named Captain. “There’s an expectation when you play with Derek to win every day,” Girardi said. “And he does a lot of his work by just example. He’s going to talk to guys one-on-one, but you know that when you come into a clubhouse that Derek’s in, there’s the expectation that we need to win every day, and I think that’s the way he plays the game.”
Associated Press photos