The relationship between possible Hall of Famer, Alex Rodriguez, and the New York Yankees has become quite strained. With a massive youth revolution spurned on by the one-year experienced general manager Brad Wilgus, there are few spots left for the aging veterans on the team. Most players were content watching the youngsters get more and more at bats. "It's the beautiful thing about baseball," 43-year old legend Mariano Rivera said, "it is constantly evolving and changing every day. Us old timers can't stay fit forever. The trick is knowing when to take the next path whether that is a new role or a new home."
There are others who differ on that opinion. Alex Rodriguez was seeing more and more of his playing time taken away by the likes of John Ballard. Tensions between the two had flared up both in the dugout and the media, but neither would openly make a statement about the other. Joe Girardi and the rest of the Yankees would skirt around questions about the aging slugger when they got brought up. Rodriguez, though, has been fairly vocal of his opinion on playing time and the still-young general manager. "He pays me $28 million to play, yet I'm not playing. I feel like I'm the only one in New York who seems to think there's something wrong with that."
Brad Wilgus has opted not to directly respond to Rodriguez through the media, throwing his full support behind the team as a whole during their late season streak for the AL East Pennant. "Athletes don't want to sit around, they're competitive in nature. Naturally they want to be on the field making an impact. However, Joe [Girardi] and I have made personnel decisions that we believe are in the best interests for the club as a whole. If certain players cannot understand that for the betterment of the team, then they need to reevaluate their approach to the game."
There were murmurs that Rodriguez requested to be traded away from New York around the trade deadline, but it is to be assumed that Wilgus was not able to find a suitor, if he even searched for one at all. After the game against the Dodgers on July 31st, Rodriguez walked out of a postgame press conference when posed with a question about his wanting out of New York. Reports are that Wilgus and Rodriguez got into a verbal exchange in the players-only locker room. That rumor went unconfirmed by anyone in the Yankees organization, however. Rodriguez found himself on the waiver wire and on the Designated For Assignment list. After three separate waiver appearances, Rodriguez remained a member of the New York organization.
On August 6th, Mark Teixeira sustained a broken thumb after being hit by a pitch that was a part of a curious sixth inning against the White Sox. After finding out that Teixeira, who had been a crucial part of the offense, would be out for five weeks, the Yankees evaluated what would be best for the lineup both in terms of ability and chemistry. After a day off, the Yankees arrived at Yankee Stadium to see that Rodriguez was back in the clubhouse wearing a newly appointed #18. The Yankees cleaned up against wildcard opponent and playoff-hopeful Detroit Tigers, 7-1. Rodriguez, batting seventh in the order, went 2/3 with 2 homeruns, two RBIs, three runs and a walk.
"I can only play my best when I'm given the opportunity to swing the bat. I am mentally prepared to play for five more years at the least, and this organization needs to respect that," Rodriguez commented at the post-game presser.
Both Girardi and Wilgus declined to comment on the matter.
Edited by bwred, August 10, 2013 - 02:52 AM.