Alex Rodriguez’s already strained relationship with the Yankees hit another low when he pushed to be activated from the disabled list Friday, the team refused, and he had a lawyer join the discussion of his injury rehabilitation.
Already a target of Major League Baseball’s drug investigation, the third baseman angered the Yankees when he obtained a second medical opinion on his strained left quadriceps this week without informing the team in writing, a step required by the sport’s collective bargaining agreement. The Yankees intend to discipline him, most likely with a fine.
‘‘Do you trust the Yankees?’’ Rodriguez was asked during an interview on WFAN radio.
A-Rod’s answer was telling.
‘‘Um. You know, I'd rather not get into that,’’ he responded. ‘‘I'm just frustrated that I'm not on the field tomorrow.’’
Sidelined since hip surgery in January, Rodriguez issued a statement early Thursday saying he wanted to be activated for Friday’s homestand opener against Tampa Bay. But that wasn’t in the Yankees plans.
‘‘We agreed that a protocol would be followed that is necessary when you return somebody from a quad injury,’’ general manager Brian Cashman said during a conference call with the team’s beat writers. ‘‘That protocol will include further treatment, which he'll continue tomorrow with some light conditioning . . . Our hope, as well as Alex’s hope, without any setbacks or new complaints, that would put him in a situation to have either a simulated game or a rehab game on Aug. 1.’’
A-Rod was miffed.
‘‘Obviously I'm very, very disappointed,’’ he said. ‘‘I know I can help my team. Obviously, I'm frustrated but I agreed to this five-day plan, and on we go.’’
Whether he gets back on a big league field any time soon or ever plays for the Yankees again remains to be seen.
MLB has been investigating Rodriguez as part of its probe of the closed Biogenesis clinic in Florida, accused in media reports of distributing banned performance-enhancing drugs. A suspension appears likely, but Rodriguez could ask the players’ association to contest a drug penalty — making it possible he might not have to serve any time until next year.
The Yankees intend to discipline A-Rod for seeking a second medical opinion without their permission, a person familiar with the team’s deliberations said.
Rodriguez injured a leg last weekend and was sent to New York for an MRI on Sunday. Team physician Christopher Ahmad diagnosed a grade 1 strain, the least severe level.
Dr. Michael Gross, the orthopedic director of The Sports Medicine Institute at Hackensack (N.J.) University Medical Center, was retained by Rodriguez and said on WFAN on Wednesday that he examined an MRI and could not detect an injury. Gross, who never examined Rodriguez personally, was reprimanded this year by New Jersey’s board of medical examiners over steroid prescriptions, fined $30,000, and ordered to pay $10,000 in costs.
Rodriguez was re-examined Thursday by Dr. Daniel Murphy, the Yankees’ orthopedic surgeon in Tampa, who confirmed Ahmad’s diagnosis. Cashman said Murphy determined there was ‘‘clearly some improvement.’’
Rodriguez said he’d like to rehab with the major league team, as would captain Derek Jeter as he comes back from a quadriceps injury. Jeter believes he'll be ready to play when eligible to come off the disabled list on Saturday.
Yankees outfielder Curtis Granderson, out since breaking his left pinkie May 24, started a minor league rehabilitation assignment with Single A Tampa Thursday.
Bosch associate talks
A former associate of Biogenesis head Anthony Bosch told ESPN he turned down a $125,000 offer from Major League Baseball for documents said to implicate players in the use of performance-enhancing drugs. Porter Fischer also said an additional dozen athletes from different sports — whose names have not been made public — were involved in the now-closed Florida anti-aging clinic.
Fischer, 49, admitted giving documents to Miami News Times, which published a story in January detailing the alleged purchase of performance-enhancing drugs by Rodriguez and several other baseball stars. Also implicated was Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun, who agreed this week to a 65-game suspension.
Braun’s locker at Miller Park in Milwaukee was absent of most personal items. A Brewers spokesman said Thursday that Braun texted him a message saying he wants to speak with the media but isn’t ‘‘legally’’ permitted at this time.
Hudson done for year
Tim Hudson is out for the season with a broken right ankle, leaving the Braves without the leader of their pitching staff as they make a push for the pennant. The team said Hudson will have season-ending surgery in Atlanta once the swelling subsides. The righthander was injured Wednesday night. Hudson (8-7, 3.97 ERA) will likely have surgery in the next few days, and recovery time is expected to be about 3-4 months . . . The Phillies put All-Star outfielder Domonic Brown on the seven-day concussion disabled list. Brown hit his head on the ground diving for a ball Tuesday night at St. Louis . . . The Athletics placed catcher John Jaso on the seven-day concussion disabled list. He was replaced Wednesday night after taking a ball off his mask and complaining of a headache . . . The Dodgers designated injury-plagued lefthander Ted Lilly for assignment. Lilly, 37, was 0-2 with a 5.09 ERA in five starts, and has been on the disabled list three times. He hasn’t pitched since June 4 because of a neck strain . . . Blue Jays righthander Brandon Morrow has been shut down for six weeks with a nerve problem in his forearm, effectively ending his season . . . Marlins rookie outfielder Marcell Ozuna will miss the rest of the season because of a left thumb injury . . . George Brett is stepping down from his role as the Royals’ interim hitting coach and returning to the front office.