Yankees general manager Brian Cashman admitted that he “popped” at Alex Rodriguez. Cashman’s tirade was still telling, though, and despite efforts from both sides to smooth things over, this whole saga might have a bumpy ending.
Cashman took exception to a seemingly harmless tweet sent out by Rodriguez on Tuesday. Rodriguez tweeted, “Visit from Dr. [Bryan] Kelly over the weekend, who gave me the best news — the green light to play games again!” Cashman countered by saying, “Alex should just shut the [expletive] up.”
The Yankees GM has since apologized, saying, “I regret the choice of words I used yesterday.” But the apology doesn’t answer the question of why Cashman was so overly upset, and it feels like we’re just scratching the surface of this whole thing.
For all of Rodriguez’s faults, his Twitter announcement hardly seemed like something to get upset over. Kelly isn’t the Yankees’ team doctor — which seems to be the reason that Cashman disapproved of A-Rod tweeting such major news — but even so, was the tweet cause for flying off the handle?
The Yankees apparently want to control the message and relay the news of Rodriguez’s impending return in an appropriate manner. Cashman’s strange handling indicates that his frustration might actually go beyond one minor Twitter mishap, though — even if he won’t admit such.
Contradicting Rodriguez’s tweet, refusing to comment or insisting that the matter will be handled internally (in a calmer manner) are all viable options when it comes to handling a player’s misuse of social media. Going berserk, on the other hand, will only overshadow the carefully massaged messages that are subsequently put out.
ESPN.com is reporting that Rodriguez thinks the Yankees don’t want him to return this season, and perhaps ever again. He reportedly thinks that the Yankees are deliberately slowing his return as part of a plan to eventually rid themselves of the 10-year, $275 million contract he signed after the 2007 season. It’s one man’s side of the story, obviously, but if it turns out to be true, wouldn’t it explain Cashman’s outburst?
Typically, when a player of A-Rod’s stature returns, it’s viewed favorably. That’s especially true for a team like the Yankees, who have been bitten by the injury bug all season. Yet Cashman, who claims that the Yankees want Rodriguez back, not only wasn’t enthused by the news, but he also came off as disgruntled.
Perhaps Rodriguez will slap on pinstripes before long, thus rendering this whole tale moot. Until that’s the case, though, it’s hard not to wonder whether Cashman’s brief moment of rage was about much more than Rodriguez not following news protocol.
“I didn’t handle this one well. I popped. Reality TV at its best,” Cashman said of going off on Rodriguez.
Stick around. This reality TV episode might just be starting.