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Big League Stew

Alex Rodriguez and Brian Cashman address Twitter controversy in Wednesday statements

Mark Townsend
Big League Stew

Less than 24 hours after Alex Rodriguez's seemingly innocent rehab update on Twitter angered Yankees general manager Brian Cashman enough to drop the “Alex should just shut the (expletive) up" line in front of the New York media, cooler heads and more professional etiquette have prevailed.

First of all, we did get a response from A-Rod early on Wednesday when he released the following statement claiming his tweet was born out of pure excitement.

“I will continue to work hard until my efforts get me back in pinstripes and help my team win. The tweet was pure excitement about Dr. Kelly's prognosis.”

Though the natural reaction whenever A-Rod speaks out is to poke holes and criticize, I don't think he intended to create any controversy or ruffle any feathers with his tweet. Would he have been better served to hold back and at least communicate with Cashman before going public with injury information? Absolutely, because that's the preferred method of basically all sports franchises. They like to call the shots because the athlete is their responsibility. However, as all of us have experienced at one point or another in our lives, emotions can overcome protocol and common sense, and when you're an athlete living in a social media driven world, the chance for it to happen on a grand scale always exist.

That's what happened to A-Rod. And after thinking about it for a day, it seems Cashman came to the realization that while his frustration was justified and the situation was one that would need to be addressed, it was actually his response that brought the attention and blew it out of proportions.

To his credit, he stepped forward on Wednesday to take responsibility for his words.

Thanks to Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News for providing those tweets. We also learned from WFAN's Sweeny Murti that the phone conversation Cashman hinted at on Tuesday evening never took place, but Hal Steinbrenner did speak to Rodriguez in Tampa.

As I mentioned earlier, cooler heads have prevailed and proper protocol has been restored. Though no direct apologies were issued, this should now become a dead issue. However, given the personalities involved and the frustrations that had already existed and obviously go well beyond one tweet, the fire could be rekindled at any time and go in any direction. It can be controlled and contained, sure, but I don't think it will ever truly burn out.

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