‘Paulie, Pull Over, I Gotta Take a Leak’

Rodriguez, according to an associate, is eager to begin playing and does not understand why the Yankees have shelved him…

via Rodriguez Angers Yankees – NYTimes.com.

Like a man who knows his days are numbered, the Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez trudged to Tampa from Scranton to begin “rest and treatment” for a leg injury he says he doesn’t have.

This is what baseball gives us in July: Ryan Braun’s urine and Mr. Rodriguez’s Sad Sack Road Show.

It’s so sad that Mr. Rodriguez was compared to a child who is left behind at recess. The Yankees’ Curtis Granderson, in Tampa recovering from a broken finger, himself another member of the club’s well-heeled disabled list, said Mr. Rodriguez had wanted to hit baseballs with the rest of the kids in Tampa. He added ominously, according to The Associated Press, “They had to stop him.”

7:11 PM John
…So, really, do you think A-Rod “doesn’t understand” why the Yankees are holding him over the hamper like a pair of stinky socks?
7:18 PM Samantha
Well, with a-rod it’s tough to know

The Yankees have their reasons. You see, Mr. Rodriguez is on baseball’s magic list of players who have engorged themselves with the help of a now-disgraced Florida doctor.

Mr. Rodriguez had hip surgery in January, and a few days ago completed a longish stint in the minors honing his now-mediocre timing — he had eight hits in 13 games. Had the Yankees wanted him back, they could be penciling him in the lineup right now.

Instead, team officials announced he had a strained quadriceps and needed “rest and treatment.” Which, if it weren’t in the cold, clinical language of American sportswriting, would sound like a line from “The Godfather.” As in, “I’m putting you on a plane to Vegas;” “…the boss says he’ll come in a separate car;” or, you know, “Paulie, pull over, I gotta take a leak.”

The Yankees, already vexed with their three-time M.V.P. for bleating on Twitter without permission last month, were further provoked on Wednesday when one of Mr. Rodriguez’s cronies, a New Jersey doctor, told a New York radio station that “I don’t see any injury there.” Oddly, the doctor was reprimanded Thursday by the state for allowing an employee of his clinic to peddle steroids. Is there anyone in Mr. Rodriguez’s entourage who is taking this seriously?

The Yankees certainly are. For all the world, they are acting like Don Corleone himself, sitting in a dark, smoky room, waiting to hear back from baseball’s Luca Brasi. Some wags believe Mr. Rodriguez is in for a lifetime suspension.

To reporters who tried to corner him Wednesday at the Yankees’ complex, Mr. Rodriguez said, “I feel great.” He added, a bit dishonestly, if you ask us, “That’s all I’ve got to say.”

Mr. Rodriguez is acting like nothing is going to happen, calmly stepping into the fishing boat with a sullen figure he hardly knows.

Which I suppose is all you can do.