In the wake of his telling ESPN New York that Alex Rodriguez should “shut the (expletive) up” in terms of using his newly created twitter account to post updates, Brian Cashman expressed regret about his comments Wednesday but reiterated that he wanted Rodriguez or any player using social media to stay on point with the message.
“The last two days, first it was an article about a rehab date set which we hadn’t set a rehab date for,” Cashman said. “So I spent a day dealing with that. The next day was (Tuesday) where obviously our guys on the field are competing and I’m trying to lock in on an important game and I wind up on the phone dealing with a tweet.”
That was one of Cashman’s answers during a roughly 25-minute press conference. Another was concerned with the intent of the injured third baseman and Cashman did not believe his intent to be malicious.
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“From Alex’s perspective, he’s not trying to create a disturbance by tweeting it this way,” Cashman said. “I know that, but at the same time it affects our media relations director, it affects me now that you have to pull away from the business at hand whatever it is at that moment in time to having again to handle something that I think is unnecessary and we’re doing it from managing from the top down instead of from the bottom up. It was an unnecessary distraction. It was unnecessary extra work that not just myself but other people have to deal with.
“Obviously timing is everything and the timing of that on the second day was something that with the pressure valve that I have which is something 99 times out of a 100, I roll it pretty good. I didn’t roll it this one well at all. So I popped and that’s it. I sounded off, reality TV at its best.”
Rodriguez also said that he meant no harm with the tweet, at least through a publicist.
“I will continue to work hard until my efforts get me back in pinstripes and help my team win,” he said through his publicist, Ron Berkowitz. “The tweet was pure excitement about Dr. Kelly’s prognosis.”
Cashman also said that general managing partner Hal Steinbrenner met with the team’s highest paid player in the weight room at the team’s facility in Tampa, Fla.
“Alex grabbed Hal and they had a conversation,” Cashman said. “Hal reiterated about the way (Alex tweeted). He did it a in a more professional way maybe than I did about managing from the top down rather than from the bottom up, which obviously is how I reacted from (Tuesday’s) tweeting and contradicting statements and things of that nature.”
Cashman losing his cool ‘one time out of hundred,’ as he puts it, created the perception of a rift between Rodriguez and the team and if that is true, he attempted to downplay it.
“That comes and goes. You’re going to have disagreements at times. You’re going to have conflicts at times. Relationships get strong, they get weak, they get better, they get worse over time and it’s up to everybody involved to try and keep things together. So my response was having to deal with some extra work that I felt was not necessary.
“But make no mistake if Alex Rodriguez is healthy we want him and I want him playing third base for us yesterday and he’s doing everything in his power to get here to do that and we’re clearly a better team with him. That’s not the issue.“
As far as baseball stuff goes, Rodriguez has been doing simulated at-bats and the team is trying to work his stamina up to reach the point of playing rehab games. That date will be decided by the team’s medical staff and not the operating Dr. Kelly, who was in the picture.
Right now, that date is unknown and Cashman would like to keep it that way.
“The other frustrating side was the last conversation we had with Alex and his representatives a few months back was that whatever we do, we’ll do it together,” he said. “Whatever messages are put out and once he goes to Tampa, we’re just going to let him go and we’ll give updates about what he did that day but not projection dates. So obviously he just got off (message) in his excitement about whatever conversations he had with Kelly, he kind of went off the beaten path and that was a change in direction to what we all agreed to already.”
Following Cashman's session with the media, a Yankees spokesman said that Cashman, Rodriguez and team president Randy Levine met for a half hour on the phone at around 5:30 p.m. Wednesday. It was described as a "constructive chat."