Well, Vernon Wells managed to sum it up in his own way yesterday.
“I’ve always taken the stance that he has nothing to explain to me,” Wells said. “This isn’t my story. This isn’t even a Yankees story. This is an Alex Rodriguez story. If he feels he has to address the team, then great. We’re going to continue to move on and go play baseball.”
That’s the reality of the Yankees clubhouse.
Rodriguez wears the uniform, and he’s in the room, but when it comes to this particular issue, he’s essentially on his own. Curtis Granderson can speak about Players’ Association issues, and Joe Girardi can talk about just wanting to win, and Andy Pettitte can pledge his support while making it clear that cheaters should be punished, but that’s pretty much the extent of it. The Yankees involvement in this thing only goes so far, and there’s only so much they can say or do.
The Yankees clubhouse is too experienced and too savvy to create an in-house battle by venting frustration, but look around the league at some of the comments coming from other players. You think there aren’t Yankees feeling the same way?
“It’s easy to say when you’re not in the same clubhouse as a guy and you don’t want him out there beating you,” Wells said. “I think that’s pretty safe to say. It’s been said about certain other guys on other teams when we had to play against them. Guys talk. I’m sure you’re going to say some stuff, (but) you probably won’t say it around guys that are in your clubhouse. There’s a process, and that’s the biggest thing. He decided to use the rules that are in place and fight what he feels is right.”
Granderson said he trusts Rodriguez when Rodriguez says the 60 Minutes story isn’t true, but Granderson was immediately asked how Rodriguez earned that sort of trust.
“That’s baseball,” Granderson said. “In baseball you’ve got a lot of guys that you get along with more than others, that you may not get along with as much, but at the end of the day when it comes time to play, we’re all going out there playing for the same thing. That’s the trust that I give to him and everyone else on this team.”
In the Yankees clubhouse, there’s baseball, and there’s the Rodriguez saga. Rodriguez is a part of the baseball. His teammates aren’t necessarily a part of the saga.
Associated Press photo