BOSTON — The simmering tension between Alex Rodriguez and the Yankees boiled over Saturday as the team’s president told the third baseman’s camp to “put up or shut up” after Rodriguez’s lawyer alleged that the Yankees conspired to sabotage his health and potentially end his career.
Joseph Tacopina, the attorney hired two weeks ago by Rodriguez, told The New York Times that the Yankees “rolled him out there like an invalid” during the 2012 playoffs and hid the results of an MRI that showed the torn hip labrum that Rodriguez eventually needed to have surgically repaired in January.
The lawyer also said Yankees president Randy Levine told the orthopedic surgeon, Brian Kelly of the Hospital for Special Surgery, that he didn’t “ever want to see him on the field again.”
Reached Saturday by Newsday, Levine categorically denied Tacopina’s statements and said the Yankees gladly would release all of Rodriguez’s medical records — with his authorization — to let the truth be known. He also said there are transcripts of those phone calls and other witnesses in on those calls who will support him.
“The one medical record we don’t have is from the time when Dr. (Anthony) Galea treated him,” Levine said, mentioning the former A-Rod physician who pleaded guilty to smuggling performance-enhancing drugs into the United States. “Since he’s put his medical condition into play, he should tell the truth about his relationship with Dr. Galea.”
After Saturday’s game, a 6-1 loss to the Red Sox, Rodriguez mostly deflected questions about Tacopina’s comments, saying he needed to read them first.
When asked about Levine’s reference to Galea, A-Rod turned icy in his reply about releasing records. “OK,” he said. “When the time is right.”
Rodriguez also refused to back up Tacopina’s statement that the Yankees knowingly played him with a debilitating injury. “I don’t even want to think about what happened last year,” he said. “I just want to focus on what’s happening this year.