Television reporters from ESPN and CBS were present at Joe Girardi’s pregame press conference Wednesday morning and they were not there to ask questions about the Yankee lineup or get injury updates.
Roughly 16 hours after news broke on ESPN.com that MLB was seeking a 100-game suspension for injured third baseman Alex Rodriguez, those outlets were there to ask Girardi about it.
As he stated after Tuesday night’s 4-3 win over Cleveland, Girardi said he talks to Rodriguez only about baseball and his rehab from a second hip surgery. He also said he knows little and urged questioners to seek out answers from MLB to avoid giving a speculative answer.
About the most perspective Girardi provided was to a question about the potential impact of yet another major performance-enhancing drug scandal.
“I think the game is always bigger than one individual, 10 individuals or a hundred individuals — a thousand individuals. This game has gone on for a long period of time,” Girardi said. “I think the important thing is you try to learn from everything that’s happened in the game, whether it’s good, bad or indifferent. You try to learn and that’s how I try to get by it, through it however you want to talk about it.
“This is a game and I love this game and I want what’s best for this game and I think baseball’s trying to do that as well. Unfortunately there’s some things that you go through in all sports that sometimes is not what’s best for the sport but you’re going to get through it because it’s bigger than a hundred players; it’s bigger than a thousand players. This game has a long history and it’ a great game and it will continue to be a great game.”
Rivera talks Rodriguez, PEDs
As he was buttoning his white dress shirt and gathering his luggage for the six-hour flight to Seattle, Mariano Rivera saw the pack of television, print and radio reporters surrounding his locker after he game he did not pitch in.
He good-naturedly asked four questions to the group surrounding his locker:
“What did I do now? What happened? What’s going on? What’s up?”
Bruce Beck of WNBC responded it’s what you didn’t do, alluding to the report about Alex Rodriguez that broke Tuesday night.
While Rivera took a similar path as his teammates by not offering much comment, he did sound concerned while discussing it.
“Definitely, you do worry but at the same time we’re trying to upgrade on what is for best for the game,” Rivera said. “Besides you have to play the game the way it’s supposed to be played.”
Since the full details have not been made public, Rivera was reluctant to say much.
“I can’t pinpoint something like that because I don’t know what happened,” Rivera said. “That’s something that someone said. Until someone tells me that he did something wrong then I will tell you guys. Besides that I can’t tell you anything that I don’t know.”
Indians dealing with own drug issue
The Indians found out Wednesday morning they may have to contend with a drug issue of their own but this instance does not involved PEDS.
Instead it involves a package sent to injured closer Chris Perez’s home in Rocky River, Ohio. According to police reports, the package in question contains a controlled substance which is law-enforcement language for drugs.
Manager Terry Francona said he found out late Tuesday night but did not elaborate further, opting to wait until the investigation unfolds.
“I spoke to Chris this morning,” Francona said. “I called him just to make sure he was OK. Other than that, we have to allow the process to unfold. Out of respect to everybody involved, that’s all I can say.”
“Earlier this morning we were made aware of a situation involving Chris Perez that occurred yesterday in Rocky River,” Cleveland general manager Chris Antonetti said in a statement. “We have talked with Chris and are currently in the process of gathering additional information. We will not have any additional comment at this time.”
Follow Yankees beat writer Larry Fleisher on Twitter @LarryFleisher.