NEW YORK — Alex Rodriguez's already strained relationship with the Yankees hit another low Thursday when he pushed to be activated from the disabled list today to face the Rays, the team refused and he had a lawyer join the discussion of his injury rehabilitation.
Already a target of MLB'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 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 in New York.
"Um. You know, I'd rather not get into that," he responded. "I'm just frustrated that I'm not on the field."
Sidelined since hip surgery in January, Rodriguez issued a statement early Thursday saying he wanted to be activated for today's 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," said GM Brian Cashman, who explained treatment would continue and include functional work through Wednesday, with the possibility of a simulated or rehab game Aug. 1.
"I know I can help my team," A-Rod said. "Obviously, I'm frustrated but I agreed to this five-day plan."
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 that he examined an MRI exam and could not detect an injury. Gross, who never examined A-Rod 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.