The Norman Transcript

National Sports

August 20, 2013

A-Rod fighting a two-front war

NEW YORK — Life with Alex Rodriguez breaks down in strange ways for the New York Yankees.

There’s before and after games, and it’s not real pleasant.

“A litigious environment,” general manager Brian Cashman calls it.

Then there are the hours when A-Rod is on the field and at the plate. Between the lines, among the pinstripes, it’s one for all and all for one.

They co-exist in a setting that has few if any parallels in baseball history — a suspended star who is appealing his penalty and provoking his bosses on a near-daily basis.

Hardly a “Field of Dreams” scenario, far from “The Pride of the Yankees.” Instead, the most famous team in the sport is directly at odds with its own guy, who also happens to be the game’s highest-paid player.

Yet when Boston pitcher Ryan Dempster hit Rodriguez with a fastball at Fenway Park on Sunday night — after throwing one pitch behind A-Rod’s knees and two more inside — the New York bench and bullpen immediately emptied to defend him.

“I’m not sure how I would feel if I was on a different team,” said center fielder Brett Gardner, “but Alex is my teammate and obviously we’re glad to have him back in the room and glad to have him back on the field, helping us win ballgames. It got us fired up.”

Gardner was especially riled, barking angry words across the diamond toward Dempster.

At least that’s more than Rodriguez and Cashman are saying to each other.

“I’m not comfortable talking to Alex on this stuff because I feel we’re in a litigious environment. So I am not comfortable anymore talking to him,” Cashman said Sunday. “Hello. Goodbye. And that’s it. Because anything else, I don’t want to be distorted, to be quite honest.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
National Sports
  • Popovich wins Coach of the Year

    The San Antonio Spurs, the model for stability and sustained success in the modern NBA, were still a shaken team when they showed up for training camp in October, less than four months after a devastating loss to Miami in the NBA Finals. ...

    April 23, 2014

  • Tony Allen’s hounding defense a challenge, even for Durant

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Kevin Durant is tired of hearing about Tony Allen’s defense....

    April 23, 2014

  • Albert Pujols hits 500th HR of major league career

    WASHINGTON — Albert Pujols reached 500 homers in a hurry....

    April 23, 2014

  • Lawmakers seek change in MLB Cuban player policy

    TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Two Florida lawmakers motivated by Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig’s dangerous escape from Cuba are trying to change the way Major League Baseball treats Cuban players and are willing to tie state money for ...

    April 23, 2014

  • Physical stars ruffling Ducks’ feathers

    DALLAS — Anaheim captain Ryan Getzlaf was asked about the Dallas Stars trying to get under his skin or into his head with their physical play in Game 3. “Trying to hit my head how about?” the already stitched-up and visor-protected ...

    April 23, 2014

  • Pacers need statement game to stay afloat in series with Hawks

    INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana’s next game is the most important of the season. If the top-seeded Pacers can’t protect their home court Tuesday night, they’ll be down 2-0 heading to Atlanta — where they have only won twice since December 2006....

    April 22, 2014

  • Dwyane Wade looks like his old self, again

    MIAMI — Dwyane Wade is not planning on missing any more games this season, and that means life on the Miami Heat equipment room staff is going to get considerably more demanding....

    April 22, 2014

  • American wins first Boston Marathon after bombing

    BOSTON — “The Star-Spangled Banner” played over Boylston Street in honor of an American winner of the Boston Marathon....

    April 22, 2014

  • St. Louis falls again

    NEW YORK — Jenrry Mejia pitched four-hit ball into the seventh inning, David Wright delivered another key hit and the New York Mets beat the St. Louis Cardinals 2-0 Monday night....

    April 22, 2014

  • Portland’s Aldridge primed for Game 2

    HOUSTON — A day after etching his name in Portland’s record books with a franchise playoff-record 46 points in Game 1 of the first-round playoff series against Houston, LaMarcus Aldridge was already looking forward....

    April 22, 2014