|Rodriguez with Tampa earlier this season |
NEW YORK — In his 10 years with the Yankees, Alex Rodriguez has endured the best and the worst of what the Bronx Zoo has to offer. From boos to cheers to playoff failures to World Series rings and parades down the Canyon of Heroes, he’s seen it all.
That will change on Monday, when Rodriguez, working his way through the home stretch of his rehab from offseason hip surgery, joins the Thunder for their three-game series in Reading against the Fightin Phils, who boast two female ostriches, Ruth and Judy, in front of their home s
The move to Trenton has seemed inevitable for days.
It was obvious that Rodriguez needed to leave Tampa, mostly because the area has been so blanketed with rain that he’s played just six games there since joining the T-Yanks on June 30. The forecast for Reading has nothing but sunshine and mid-90s temperatures slated from Monday until Wednesday, so he should get in three more games.
His rehab clock, which started with Charleston on July 2, ends on July 21. That means, even if the Yankees decide to send Rodriguez back to Arm & Hammer Park with the Thunder after Wednesday’s matinee, he could only play there for four games of their seven-game homestand.
No matter the length of time, the Thunder would certainly welcome Rodriguez to the capital city for as long as possible.
“If he’s not ready to join the Yankees when the Thunder end our road trip, we’ll be prepared to welcome Alex Rodriguez to Arm & Hammer Park,” Thunder general manager Will Smith said via e-mail on Sunday. “Our fans will be able to witness another major leaguer play up close in a first-class environment.”
Trenton this year has seen rehabs from All-Stars Mark Teixeira and Kevin Youkilis — both of whom reaggravated their injuries and are out for the season — as well as pitcher Michael Pineda, shortstop Eduardo Nunez and lefty reliever Cesar Cabral.
Beyond the sore hip, Rodriguez has also been beguiled by other, more pressing problems that could plague him for far longer.
His name was among many others found in the notes of Anthony Bosch, the Miami-based self-professed doctor and biochemist who made his bones peddling performance-enhancers to the stars. His clients also reportedly included Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli, former Yankees Melky Cabrera and Jesus Montero, and Brewers outfielder and former NL MVP Ryan Braun.
Rodriguez was interviewed by MLB investigators on Friday before a scheduled rehab game with Tampa, which was subsequently rained out.
In that interview, the New York Daily News reports, MLB presented its evidence to Rodriguez, which was damning enough for Rodriguez and his advisors to begin talking about cutting a deal for a shorter suspension.
The News reports that MLB and Rodriguez may agree upon a suspension of 150 games, which would amount to the combined penalties for a first and second offense under baseball’s drug laws.
The meeting with baseball investigators also caused more problems for Rodriguez. Those talks, combined with subsequent huddling with MLBPA reps, reportedly lasted for more than five hours. That caused him to fail to report to the scheduled rehab game on Friday, which angered Yankees officials.
He also refused a move to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, which was playing in Buffalo, N.Y., on Saturday, citing pain in his quad muscle.
Reading had two representatives in Sunday’s Futures Game, held at Citi Field: Left-hander Jesse Biddle and third baseman Maikel Franco. Biddle, who isn’t scheduled to pitch this series against Trenton, nevertheless was excited to hear that the 14-time All-Star was coming his way to begin the week.
“I would love to face A-Rod, obviously,” Biddle said. “He’s a future Hall of Famer. You want to pitch against those guys. You want to see how you do. You want to see how you stack up. I’m not going to pitch to contact — I’m going to try to strike him out.”
If things continue the way they have been for Rodriguez, the only time Biddle will face the Yankees slugger is in his dreams.