A-Rod admits to missing minor league game
Embattled New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez admitted he failed to show up for a scheduled rehab game Friday but said his absence hasn't kept him from having "productive conversations" with the Yankees.
READING, Pa. -- Embattled New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez admitted he failed to show up for a scheduled rehab game Friday but said his absence hasn't kept him from having "productive conversations" with the Yankees.
"Whatever I do with the organization, I will definitely keep private. But I will tell you I think over the last several weeks we have had very productive conversations and I think we're all aligned to come back on time and healthy," Rodriguez said before going 2-for-4 with a home run in his rehab game with the Double-A Trenton Thunder on Monday.
On Friday, Rodriguez met with investigators from Major League Baseball, who questioned him about his involvement in the Biogenesis case. After the meeting, Rodriguez was supposed to head to George M. Steinbrenner Field for the Class A Tampa Yankees' game, but team executives in New York were left wondering why he was a no-show.
The New York Post first reported that Rodriguez was AWOL prior to the rainout.
When asked whether there was any conflict between him and the organization, Rodriguez said, "Not that I know of."
Rodriguez is slated to play with Double-A Trenton in its next two road games against the Reading Fightin Phils. His schedule beyond that is unclear at this point.
Rodriguez could return to the majors July 22 against the Rangers in Texas, which would mark the end of his 20-day minor league rehab.
Rodriguez is 5-for-25 with five RBIs and seven strikeouts since his rehab assignment started July 2.
He homered in a live game for the first time since Sept. 14 on Monday night.
"That one felt pretty good, it felt pretty awesome. It's been a long time," said Rodriguez, who also handled three ground balls at third base. "To take a mid-90s fastball and hit it that way, I was certainly not able to do that the last two or three months of the season last year, so that's definitely a good check in the box."
When asked how quickly he felt he could return to the major leagues, Rodriguez smiled and said he was "about six days away."
"It's been a long process," Rodriguez said when asked whether he could be ready to return to the Yankees in a week. "We've been at this now for four and a half months already, or something close to that. ... I feel like I'm here, and I'm a week away, and I'm excited where I am today."
ESPN's "Outside the Lines" has reported Rodriguez and as many as 20 other players are expected to be suspended for their relationship to Anthony Bosch, the founder of the now-closed Biogenesis anti-aging clinic, who allegedly provided performance-enhancing drugs to the players. Rodriguez has denied the allegations.
When asked directly about his involvement with Biogenesis on Monday, Rodriguez said, "I appreciate you asking that question. But due to the process, we're not allowed to comment on that. But with due time, we'll talk about that."
MLB commissioner Bud Selig, appearing Monday night on the "Late Show with David Letterman," said "only time will tell" when asked whether Rodriguez would ever play for the Yankees again.
"We're in the midst of a very thorough and tough investigation on all of this because I really believe it's not only the right thing to do, we're going to do it," Selig said.
But Selig danced around the topic of whether Rodriguez faces a suspension, saying: "I'd rather not say."
"But you know, don't you? I can tell," Letterman asked.
"I do. The answer is, I do," Selig said before drawing applause from the studio audience.
Selig also said the issue of Rodriguez's contract would be for the Yankees and the third baseman to work out, though he added the sum of money in question would not be "incalculable."
"It's over $100 million, and it's been calculated by everyone," Selig said.
The Yankees still owe Rodriguez around $100 million on a contract that runs through the 2017 season, when he will be 42. Rodriguez can make an additional $6 million if he hits 13 or more home runs for the Yankees, which would give him 660 in his career, tying him with Willie Mays for fourth all-time. In the contract, there is a grand total of $30 million in home run milestone bonuses, which were agreed upon prior to Rodriguez's being outed by Sports Illustrated as a PEDs user.
During his rehab, the Yankees have asked Rodriguez to try to avoid any controversy. Toward the end of last month, he angered team officials when he tweeted about his rehab schedule; the organization's protocol is for the team to announce it.
Ian Begley is a regular contributor to ESPNewYork.com.
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