Alex Rodriguez said there’s no truth to the 60 Minutes report that he leaked the names of other players involved in the Biogenesis scandal — including teammate Francisco Cervelli — and said that he called Cervelli just this morning to make sure Cervelli heard his side of the story.
“He understands completely that it’s not true,” Rodriguez said. “I’ve been a member of this union for 20 years. It’s important for all the guys to understand that my loyalty is to this union. That would never happen, it would never occur. And it didn’t happen. Let’s make one thing clear: For the next seven weeks, it’s going to be a very, very bumpy road. Every day, expect a story like this if not bigger. After arbitration, I’ll have an opportunity with a full platform and I can tell my full story.”
At least in their public statements, the Yankees seemed to dismiss the report.
“A teammate is a teammate, and I trust my teammates,” Curtis Granderson said.
But if the story were true?
“You hope that if you do do something, you take yourself down and that’s about it,” Vernon Wells said. “… The last thing you want to start doing is throwing other people under the bus.”
Wells called this the “tip of the iceberg,” and it seemed that Rodriguez agreed. It’s the same old story, just a different chapter. And the story isn’t nearly finished. It’s coming out little bits at a time.
“We’re all going to have to get ready for a bumpy road,” Rodriguez said. “It’s going to get bigger every day. I would expect bigger and bigger stories to come out every day. It’s frustrating for the game, because the game is doing so well. This is such a big series. The team is playing relatively well and we’re excited about playing one of the best teams in baseball in Boston. It’s frustrating that it’s coming out one drip at a time. You wish all of this could be done in a confidentiality manner like the collective bargaining agreement says it should, but that’s not the case. We’re going to have to deal with it. When I have the right platform at the right time and the time is appropriate — which is not now — I will tell my full story.”
• Obviously Mark Reynolds has arrived. Girardi said he expects to use Reynolds exactly as you would expect: As a first base platoon partner with Lyle Overbay. But that doesn’t mean Reynolds will be limited to play first against lefties. “I think that’s probably what we’ll do,” Girardi said. “But at-bats determine a lot of things too. We brought him in here to play some first, and maybe he can play some third a little bit.”
• Reynolds numbers weren’t good after a strong start with the Indians, but Girardi talked about seeing Reynolds a lot when he was previously with Baltimore. It’s that first-hand knowledge that makes the Yankees think Reynolds could have more impact here than he had with Cleveland. “We saw him play against us a lot last year,” Girardi said. “Can really swing the bat; hit the ball out of the ballpark; played an excellent first base, I thought, for Baltimore in the games that we saw him play there. He can change the game quickly.”
• Reynolds acknowledged that it feels a little odd to be playing for the Yankees after playing against them in the A.L. East the last two seasons. “That’s the weirdest part,” he said. “Playing against them and — I don’t want to say hating them — but wanting to beat them day in and day out, and now being on the team and pulling for us to win, it’s going to be a change. But like I said, I get another shot to come out and play with these guys, this organization, all the history on their side, I can’t wait.”
• Preston Claiborne was optioned and Luis Cruz DFA to open roster spots for Reynolds. Girardi said Claiborne was the one to go because the Yankees wanted to keep both Adam Warren and David Huff to provide distance and possibly start one of the doubleheader games on Tuesday. “I was (surprised), but I completely understand it,” Claiborne said.
• It’s worth noting that Girardi said he has not ruled out the idea of starting Ivan Nova and Phil Hughes on Tuesday, but that would only open the need for a spot starter a few days later. “We’re just kind of going to see where we are after this weekend and decide if we could start one of our long men,” Girardi said. “Nova will definitely pitch on Tuesday. Hughesy could pitch either Tuesday or Wednesday depending on how this weekend works out.”
• Derek Jeter is in Tampa, but Girardi said he didn’t have a detailed schedule of what Jeter was supposed to do today. Sounds like Tuesday is the earliest Jeter could be back, and even that might not be realistic. “It might be pushing it,” Girardi said. “We’ll go day-by-day. Today is already Friday. He has not necessarily played in a simulated game or anything of that nature, so we’ll just have to see. For me it’s as soon as we can get him.”
• Michael Pineda update: Girardi said he does not think Pineda has picked up a ball since having that shoulder issue a little more than a week ago. “The tests all came back good,” Girardi said. “His strength tested positive. He was strong. He’s been rehabbing a long time, so maybe it was just a point that he needed a little break.”
Associated Press photos