NEW YORK (AP) — Alex Rodriguez said Wednesday he's cutting off all non-baseball talk after a wild weekend of accusations and retaliations on and off the field.
Playing while he appeals a 211-game suspension for violating baseball's drug agreement and labor contract, the New York Yankees star and his fleet of lawyers and representatives sparred with the Yankees and Major League Baseball over his medical care and evidence in the doping case that stems from MLB's investigation into Biogenesis, the now-closed Florida anti-aging clinic accused of distributing performance-enhancing drugs.
"I think that's behind us now. I've shut everything down," Rodriguez said. "I want everything to be 100 percent on baseball and that's what I want my guys to focus on."
Rodriguez was not in the Yankees' lineup Wednesday night, a day after playing both games of a doubleheader against the Toronto Blue Jays. The teams will play a day game Thursday.
"I felt I couldn't play him both tonight and tomorrow, it's probably too much," manager Joe Girardi said.
Rodriguez's change of public-relations strategy comes after a weekend in Boston that turned increasingly intense and bizarre.
— While the Yankees were playing the AL East-leading Red Sox, it was learned Rodriguez paid Florida-based attorney Susy Ribero-Ayala in February to represent Anthony Bosch, head of the Biogenesis of America anti-aging clinic. ESPN first reported the deal.
— Rodriguez's newest lawyer, Joseph Tacopina, accused the Yankees of botching the slugger's medical care last postseason when the three-time MVP was benched and pinch hit for during a pitiful playoff performance. Rodriguez had left hip surgery in January.
— Team president Randy Levine basically dared A-Rod to file a grievance, and the slugger said his lawyers would ask the players' union to do so.
— Yankees general manager Brian Cashman told reporters on the field in Boston that he felt "lied to" by Rodriguez regarding his medical care, and that he doesn't feel comfortable talking to one of the team's most important players because they are in "a litigious environment."
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