The instructions were so simple it makes you wonder what part of “just shut ... up” Alex Rodriguez didn’t understand.
Yankees GM Brian Cashman’s directive the other day was calibrated for maximum effect, sure. He knew exactly what he was doing. It’s why he tucked a profanity in the middle.
But Cashman also knows better than anyone that for better or worse — probably worse, and certainly for the foreseeable future — the ball club and A-Rod are stuck with each other. Bottom line, all he asked for at the moment was a little peace and quiet.
Like the majority of Yankee fans and just about everybody else up and down the club’s chain of command, Cashman probably wishes A-Rod would just retire, preferably to a mountain-top retreat. Or else beg for a trade, maybe to Rodriguez’s hometown Marlins, but ideally to a ball club on the other side of world, say Japan or Korea.
But Cashman can’t do a thing about it.
Rodriguez has a surgically repaired hip and a legally binding contract. The Yankees desperately need more offense, especially with Mark Teixeira now out for the rest of the season with a bum wrist and Rodriguez’s replacements at third hitting a combined .240, with just four homers and 23 RBIs through Wednesday.
If A-Rod comes back after the All-Star break as planned, and manages at age 38 to put up marginally better numbers than those, the job will still be his. That’s assuming that he doesn’t get suspended, despite being tied to a now-shuttered, anti-aging clinic in Miami being investigated for dispensing performance-enhancing drugs.
It’s hardly a good solution, but right now it’s the only one. The Yankees are committed to paying Rodriguez him $28 million this year, and $86 million more through 2017. Dumb as that deal looks now, A-Rod makes it look even dumber every time he calls attention to himself.