A-Rod: Will he stay or will he go?

September, 26, 2013
NEW YORK -- Yankees GM Brian Cashman branded a report in a New York tabloid that Alex Rodriguez had been granted permission by the team to skip this weekend's final road trip to Houston in order to prepare for his hearing with Major League Baseball on Monday morning as "false."

"Totally false," Cashman told ESPNNewYork.com this afternoon. "Why wouldn't he be going?"

Informed of the report, Cashman said, "There's been no request for him not to go. Our manager hasn't been informed of it, our training staff hasn't been informed of it and I haven't been informed of it. As far as I'm concerned, he's going."

"Certain publications have reported inaccurate information, as has been done in the past," A-Rod's spokesman Ron Berkowitz said. "Alex will be in Houston with his team, as you would expect."

Rodriguez pulled himself out of Wednesday's might game after three at-bats, telling Joe Girardi his "legs weren't great." It is unknown whether that explanation sat well with the manager, who has made a point of not allowing injuries or fatigue to be used as an excuse for the Yankees failure to make the playoffs for only the second time in 19 seasons.

Girardi did not rule out the possibility of Rodriguez playing in tonight's home finale against the Tampa Bay Rays, saying he would make lineup decisions on a day-to-day basis over the final four games of the season.

Girardi said he had no knowledge of the situation.

"I know some reports came out, but we expect him to be there," Girardi said. "He does not have permission not to be there ... We expect our players to be there. If they're able bodies we expect them to be there. I'll see if he's available to me tonight but there's no indication that he won't be."
Wallace Matthews has covered New York sports since 1983 as a reporter, columnist, radio host and TV commentator. He covers the Yankees for ESPNNewYork.com after working for Newsday, the New York Post, the New York Sun and ESPN New York 98.7 FM.
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