New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez responded Wednesday morning to general manager Brian Cashman's firm directive to "shut the f*ck up" about his recovery status, issuing a brief statement that chalked Tuesday's controversial tweet up to "pure excitement," per Andy McCullough of the Newark Star-Ledger:
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"I will continue to work hard until my efforts get me back in pinstripes and help my team win," Rodriguez said through his publicist, Ron Berkowitz. "The tweet was pure excitement about Dr. Kelly’s prognosis."
While the irony of responding to instructions to keep quiet is not lost, it was probably a necessary step for A-Rod to keep his troubled relationship with the Yankees' front office from deteriorating further.
The cause of the back and forth between A-Rod and Cashman was a tweet from Rodriguez's new Twitter account expressing information that was contradictory to the reports that the Yankees have given the media. Cashman stated repeatedly over the weekend that no timetable had been set for Rodriguez's rehab assignment, only to watch as A-Rod shared some very different info with the public Tuesday night:
Visit from Dr. Kelly over the weekend, who gave me the best news - the green light to play games again! http://t.co/RuzfXOJjHI— Alex Rodriguez (@AROD) June 25, 2013
Cashman blew up when notified of A-Rod's tweet, issuing his STFU directive then dropping off the media radar. The small to-do with Rodriguez is the second war of words that Cashman has had with a member of the Yankees organization this month. The GM called out hitting coach Kevin Long earlier this month for statements about Mark Teixeira's recovery that didn't jibe with the diagnoses he had given the team.
Rodriguez, who is recovering from offseason surgery to repair a torn labrum in his hip, was originally slated to return to the club some time after the All-Star break. As Cashman has made abundantly clear, there is no firm time frame at the moment, and things may change drastically when the league finally decides on punishments for involvement in the Biogenesis PED scandal.