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Wednesday, June 5, 2013
Joe: I don't talk PEDs with my players

By Mike Mazzeo



NEW YORK -- Yankees manager Joe Girardi says he doesn’t discuss performance-enhancing drug use or potential penalties with his players.

“That’s something that the union, I think, discusses clearly with the players, and they understand that, so that’s handled through the union, I’m sure. But personally, I don’t,” Girardi said Wednesday, a day after “Outside the Lines” revealed that Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez could be suspended for 100 games because of his connection with Biogenesis founder Tony Bosch. “Players are well-informed. That’s the bottom line. You’d have to have your head buried in the sand to know that there are repercussions if you don’t do things properly.”

The Major League Baseball Players Association released a statement on ESPN’s Biogenesis report.

“The Players Association has been in regular contact with the Commissioner’s Office regarding the Biogenesis investigation,” the statement read. “They are in the process of interviewing players and every player has been or will be represented by an attorney from the Players Association. The Commissioner’s Office has assured us that no decisions regarding discipline have been made or will be made until those interviews are completed. It would be unfortunate if anyone prejudged those investigations.

“The Players Association has every interest in both defending the rights of players and in defending the integrity of our joint program. We trust that the Commissioner’s Office shares these interests.”

Girardi said he hadn’t spoken to Rodriguez on Wednesday and reiterated that when he does it will be strictly about “baseball stuff and rehab stuff like it always has been.”

Rodriguez is still working his way back from hip surgery.

Girardi said he doesn’t expect the investigation to be a distraction for his players.

“When we talk about this, my concern is about the game and the game being clean," Girardi said. "I’d hoped that we were through it, but obviously, maybe we’re not. But we’re going to find out.”

Asked how it would affect the team if A-Rod does get a 100-game suspension, Girardi responded, “We’ll cross that bridge. This is in MLB’s hands, and for me to speculate doesn’t make a lot of sense.”

Girardi doesn’t know what the future holds for Rodriguez or catcher Francisco Cervelli, who could be suspended 50 games. Second baseman Robinson Cano's charity spokeswoman Sonia Cruz appears in the Biogenesis investigation, but a senior team official told ESPNNewYork.com that Cano “isn’t part of this.”

“I’m not privy to any of that information. If you want to find out stuff, you’re going to have to talk to MLB,” Girardi said. “That doesn’t come through my desk; it doesn’t come to me. My job is to manage the guys in the clubhouse, and I’ll continue to do that.”

Girardi was asked how MLB is going to get past this investigation.

“The game is always bigger than one individual, 10 individuals, 100 individuals, 1,000 individuals,” he said. “This game has went on for a long period of time, and I think the important thing is you try to learn from everything that happens in the game; good, bad or indifferent, you try to learn.

“But this is a great game and I love this game and I want what’s best for this game. And I think baseball’s trying to do that as well. Unfortunately, there’s some things that you go through in all sports that’s not what’s best for the sport, but you’re going to get through it, because as I said, it’s bigger than 100 players, it’s bigger than 1,000 players. This game has a long history, and it’s a great game that will continue to be a great game.”