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A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News


Pregame notes: “I’ll still back him up”

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Jul 22, 2013 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Alex Rodriguez

Obviously this day just took a significant turn, so I’ll have to make this quick.

Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte all talked about the Ryan Braun suspension in the minutes after it was announced. Jeter largely declined to comment, saying he wanted to find out more of what was going on before saying anything beyond his usual distaste for what this sort of thing means for baseball.

“Any time you’re sitting around here talking about this kind of stuff, it’s not fun,” Jeter said. “It’s not good for the game. But it shows that what they’re trying to do is working.”

Pettitte and Rivera were a little more forthcoming, and pledged support should Alex Rodriguez face a similar situation. But both also made it clear that they want PED users caught and punished.

“We’re going to back (Rodriguez) up,” Pettitte said. “We’re his teammates. There’s no doubt. But if he did something wrong, you have to be punished for it. But I’ll still back him up. I’m still going to love him because I built the relationship with him. He’s a teammate of mine. You just wish nothing but the best for him.”

Said Rivera: “He’s my teammate. He’s my brother. I’m not saying he did or didn’t do it, but if it happens, I can’t throw him in the street. He’s still my brother. … I don’t know what happened with Alex. He’s my teammate and I have to support him 100 percent. I really don’t know until something different happens. We need to see what follows. The good thing about this is we’re cleaning the game. That’s the way it should be. This is a message for whoever tries to do this again — he’s going to get caught.”

Derek JeterNot much real news coming out of the pregame clubhouse…

• Derek Jeter took ground balls for the first time since straining his quadriceps. He was also on his way to hit inside when reporters stopped him on the field. “I’m going day-to-day,” Jeter said. “Like I said, I want to play as soon as possible. What is Saturday the first day I can play? So yeah, I want to play on Saturday.”

• Down in Tampa, Alex Rodriguez is scheduled to rest for a few days before the Yankees reevaluate to determine if and when he can resume baseball activities. “I think we’re going to get him back,” Girardi said (before news about the Brain suspension). “But what’s a significant amount of time? That’s the question. I don’t expect this to be real, real long. It’s a Grade 1, and you hope that heals in 15 days or so, and you get him back.”

• How many days off with Rodriguez need? “Jeet took about seven,” Girardi said. “We’ll have to see how he feels in the next three or four days through the treatment. Can he start some non-impact stuff like Jeet did? Jeet started riding the bike, then moved up and progressed a little bit. You go day-by-day.”

• Turns out, Austin Romine was supposed to catch last night but was unavailable because of a stiff neck. “He’s probably more available today than yesterday,” Girardi said. “Yesterday I had planned on catching him, but got to the ballpark and he couldn’t turn to his left, so you have a problem.”

• Chris Stewart has occasionally had some trouble staying on the field in extreme heat this year, and it’s going to be very hot these four days in Arlington. “Well, my plan is to keep him in the lineup as much as I can and not to get him dehydrated,” Girardi said. The hope is that Romine will be able to catch tomorrow.

Associated Press photos

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