A-Rod not a distraction for Yankees
BY TONI GINNETTI Staff Reporter August 6, 2013 10:21PM
CHICAGO, IL - AUGUST 06: Alex Rodriguez #13 of the New York Yankees tosses his bat after drawing a walk in the 1st inning against the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field on August 6, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Updated: August 7, 2013 12:09AM
Chicago native Curtis Granderson returned to the New York Yankees less than two weeks ago after missing action with a fractured left pinkie suffered May 24.
But no return could match Monday’s bizarre media frenzy surrounding Alex Rodriguez.
‘‘He came back in, there were laughs and smiles, high-fives, hugs,’’ Granderson said. ‘‘He looked at the lineup — it was all baseball-like. We didn’t miss a beat. It’s almost like he had been on vacation.’’
But the underlying fun and games stop at the clubhouse door as Rodriguez’s situation hangs over the Yankees and baseball during an appeal process likely to last beyond the season.
“No one’s told me either way, but he’s active and I don’t know how soon that appeal process works,’’ Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said Tuesday. ‘‘We’re going to be running him out there every day we’re able to do so.’’
Manager Joe Girardi had Rodriguez batting third as the designated hitter against White Sox lefty Chris Sale.
He was 1-for-3 and reached base three times with a walk in the first, a hit-by-pitch in the third and a single to left in the eighth.
He was booed, but the crowd cheered after he was hit.
‘‘I didn’t hear that,’’ he said. ‘‘It was the weirdest thing because I forgot to put on my elbow pad —first time in 2,000 at bats. I was walking up to the plate thinking, ‘Whatever you do, don’t get hit in the elbow.’ I couldn’t believe it.’’
He answered questions about the game and his performance, and he said he’s fine with being the DH or playing third base.
‘‘I think Joe has a plan. I trust Joe very much,’’ he said. ‘‘I think he’ll do the best for me and the team.’’
But when talk switched to his suspension, he was quick to end it.
‘‘I’m not talking about the case any longer,’’ he said.
Is Rodriguez a distraction?
‘‘We’re used to things. The cameras are rolling whether it’s a trade, acquisition or something else,’’ Granderson said.
‘‘It’s probably more of a distraction for him, not us,’’ Girardi said. ‘‘I come in here and answer questions every day. For the most part, I didn’t have much knowledge of what was going on [in Rodriguez’s case], so it wasn’t a distraction.’’
Girardi said Rodriguez could be a force for the struggling Yankees, who are fighting to reach the playoffs for the fourth straight season.
‘‘I think he’s capable of doing that,’’ Girardi said. ‘‘A lot of times the baseball field is where you get your relief in a sense because it’s when you can block almost everything else out [about] what’s going on in your life. It’s a place where you can do your thing, and that’s what I’m hoping happens.’’
‘‘It’s been a difficult year — one for the ages,’’ Cashman said. ‘‘I’ve been doing this a long time, but certainly there’s been a lot of extra stuff that you’re not used to dealing with. Not just the Alex stuff.’’