NEW YORK — Alex Rodriguez says he’s ready to rejoin the New York Yankees.
A day after a doctor retained by A-Rod contradicted the team’s diagnosis of a strained quadriceps, Rodriguez pushed for the Yankees to activate him from the disabled list for today’s homestand opener against Tampa Bay.
“I think the Yanks and I crossed signals,” the three-time AL MVP said in a statement issued by spokesman Ron Berkowitz. “I don’t want any more mixups. I’m excited and ready to play and help this team win a championship. I feel great and I’m ready and want to be in the lineup Friday night. Enough doctors, let’s play”
A person familiar with the Yankees’ deliberations says the team intends to discipline Rodriguez for seeking a second medical opinion on his injured leg without New York’s permission.
The person, speaking on condition of anonymity because no statements were authorized, said the type of penalty had not yet been determined. A fine appeared to be the most likely option.
The person also said that during a conference call yesterday, the Yankees and Rodriguez agreed to a timetable that would have the third baseman resume minor league rehabilitation games or simulated games around Aug. 1.
Rodriguez, who turns 38 Saturday, has been sidelined since hip surgery in January. He earns $153,005 each day during the season, and while he remains on the disabled list much of his salary is covered by insurance.
He is among the dozen or so players under investigation by Major League Baseball for alleged links to a now-closed clinic accused in media reports of distributing banned performance-enhancing drugs. Rodriguez has said in the past that he used PEDs from 2001-03 while with Texas but maintained he has not since.
Rodriguez hit .250 (8 for 40) with two homers and eight RBIs in 13 minor league games before the leg injury and had agitated for the Yankees to activate him.
If Rodriguez is healthy, New York could use his bat. Yankees third basemen are hitting .217, ahead of only Cleveland, according to STATS LLC. Their four homers are more than only Miami and their 29 RBIs are 28th in the majors.
New York says team physician Dr. Christopher Ahmad at New York-Presbyterian Hospital diagnosed Rodriguez with the quadriceps injury Sunday, when an MRI was taken.
At the behest of Rodriguez, Dr. Michael Gross examined an MRI — but not Rodriguez personally — and said on WFAN radio Wednesday that he could detect no injury.
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman then said Rodriguez had sought the second opinion in violation of baseball’s labor contract, which requires a player to first notify his team in writing.
Gross, an orthopedist, 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. He is the chief of the Division of Sports Medicine and the orthopedic director of The Sports Medicine Institute at Hackensack University Medical Center.