New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman regrets the language, but not the message, he delivered to injured third baseman Alex Rodriguez, who violated club policy and contradicted him by commenting on his return from injury.
ESPN.com reported that Cashman had told one of their reporters who relayed an A-Rod tweet to him on Tuesday that Rodriguez “should just shut the fuck up.”
“I regret the choice of words I used yesterday,” Cashman told reporters before Wednesday’s game against the Texas Rangers, but said his message that “the team was run from ‘the top down and not from the bottom up’ remained important.”
Rodriguez on Tuesday tweeted that the surgeon who had operated on his hip had told him he was ready to play, though he is still being evaluated by team doctors and trainers.
The enthusiastic tweet from Major League Baseball’s highest-paid player came the day after Cashman had told reporters that no date had been set for Rodriguez to begin the final stage of his rehabilitation in Florida by playing in games.
Getting a telephone call for comment on A-Rod’s tweet during Tuesday’s Yankees-Rangers game sent him over the edge, Cashman said.
“As the game’s going on last night, the last thing I wanted as general manager of the New York Yankees watching [Texas pitcher Yu] Darvish and [Yankees pitcher Hiroki] Kuroda hook up in a great battle was to be dealing with something that we didn’t create,” he said.
The Yankees won 4-3 in a thriller clinched by a walk-off home run by New York’s Ichiro Suzuki.
Cashman, who has had a chilly relationship with Rodriguez since the slugger admitted in 2009 that he had used steroids earlier in his career, later cleared the air with A-Rod just before Wednesday’s game.
“Alex called Cash,” Yankees spokesman Jason Zillo told reporters. “Cashman got [team president] Randy Levine on the phone, they spoke for close to 30 minutes. It was a constructive, healthy conversation.”
Earlier, Cashman said he just reached a boiling point and Yankees owner George Steinbrenner let him know he was disappointed in his choice of words.
“I guess 99 times out of 100 I roll with it pretty good, but this time I didn’t. I popped. I sounded off. Reality TV at its best,” he said.