In the glow of last night’s come-from-behind win, Alex Rodriguez stood in front of his locker and answered questions about inside fastballs and redemption home runs. And when that was over — to his credit — Rodriguez stuck around to address his lawyer’s latest allegations of mistreatment.
Rodriguez acknowledged that he has begun the process of filing a grievance against the Yankees, and he didn’t deny anything that his lawyer said in Saturday’s New York Times story.
Here are most of Rodriguez’s responses. The questions were kind of coming in bits and pieces, so I’m generally listing the topic that he was addressing at the time of each statement.
Agree with Joseph Tacopina’s comments to the New York Times?
“He’s my lawyer, so yeah. I think at the end of the day we have to let this process play out. I think there’s a temptation with the leaks and this and that and he said and she said. I want to reserve the right to have an arbitration. We do have a collective bargaining agreement. I just want everybody to take it easy. When the offseason comes we’re going to have an arbitration. This is not reality TV. We’re going to get in front of Fred (the arbitrator). We’re going to put our best foot forward. So are they. And that end of the day we’re going to live with the decision.”
There was one particular allegation that Dr. Bryan Kelly told Rodriguez that Randy Levine never wanted him to play again
“I’m going to reserve comment. I did have a conversation with Dr. Kelly.”
The biggest accusation seemed to be that the Yankees hid MRI results
“I found out about 10 to 12 days later, after Detroit (in the ALCS) that I had a big hole in my left hip. Dr. Philippon said I needed to have immediate surgery. So that’s that. … The MRI is the MRI. I had a big hole in my left labrum. I’m just telling you what the doctors were saying.”
But the surgery didn’t happen until months later
“That was the plan. At some point, I think everybody will talk. Everybody has to have a little patience. I think Kelly will talk when the time is right. I think Philippon will talk when the time is right. I’m sure Bosch will talk when the time is right.”
The lawyer said Rodriguez was rolled out like and invalid, but Rodriguez says he fought to play
“Always. The question wasn’t whether I wanted to play; I’m always going to want to play, even if I’m on crutches. But science is science. If there was a torn labrum MRI (Rodriguez didn’t finish this thought, but it’s clear where he was going with it). … I’m not disputing Cashman. I’m not disputing anybody. I’m just letting you know what Philippon told me. Two months later, I had surgery.”
There is a sense that all of this is simply avoiding the question of PEDs
“I think we all signed to an agreement. This is America and we do have an opportunity to protect ourselves. I’ve chosen to take that route. I think we all have to respect that process.”
Can Rodriguez and the Yankees coexist at this point?
“I think so. We all have the same goal. The goal is to win. I’m feeling healthy, I think I can be very productive. I feel much different than I did last October; I was pretty embarrassing last October. I feel like my health is coming. I’m working hard on my conditioning to be able to play every day. I’m better today than I was two weeks ago and hopefully I’ll be better in six months and a year from now. … Look, I love this team, I love the fans of New York City. This is a very complicated situation but we’re doing the best we can.”
Has power returned because of the offseason hip surgery?
“Even in this series, I hit probably five, six or seven balls on the barrel above 94 or 95 that I didn’t have a prayer last year. Literally any right-handed pitcher that threw the ball above the belt over 90, I was a dead out. I just had no power. Philippon explains it that you just have no torque.”