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Big League Stew

A-Rod vs. Brian Cashman: Injured star wants to play Friday, GM says no [Updated]

Big League Stew

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The bizarre back-and-forth between the New York Yankees and their injured $250 million man Alex Rodriguez got a little more direct on Thursday.

A-Rod issued a statement saying he feels great, he's ready to play and he wants to be in the lineup Friday. Hear that, Brian Cashman? Thy A-Rod hath spoken, now bend to his will!

[Jeff Passan: Voiding PED contracts not the right solution]

A-Rod also said he wants to help the Yankees win a championship, which means he either madlibed this statement together or he still thinks he's an MVP type of player. Either way, here's what he said:

"I think the Yankees and I crossed signals. I don't want any more mixups. I'm excited and ready to play and help this team win a championship. I feel great and I'm ready and want to be in the lineup Friday night. Enough doctors, let's play."

"Crossed signals" is a nice way of putting it. That's like saying Ryan Braun has "a little downtime" in the next few months.

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The whole sordid, too-good-for-reality-TV drama that played out Thursday was captured wonderfully by Yahoo! Sports' Tim Brown.

The most amusing detail? A-Rod's second-opinion doc was recently tsk-tsk'd by the New Jersey attorney general for "failing to adequately ensure proper patient treatment" in a steroids related case. Geez, A-Rod sure knows how to pick 'em.

We know that A-Rod's proclamations of being ready to play haven't really gone over well with Yankees GM Brian Cashman. In a statement Thursday, Cashman said: "It is the Yankees' desire to have Alex return to the lineup as soon as possible."

Now we'll see if Cashman really means that. Or, perhaps, A-Rod's camp saw an opportunity to call the GM's bluff and made the next move in this dysfunctional chess match.

UPDATE: The Yankees and Brian Cashman have already responded to A-Rod's remarks. Boiled down: "More doctors, still no playing."

Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News sent out a flurry of tweets Thursday afternoon after talking to Cashman. The Yanks GM says A-Rod will not play Friday and that putting him in the lineup "wouldn't be responsible." A-Rod was examined again by a team-approved doctor in Tampa who confirmed the quad strain. So Cashman says A-Rod will continue rehab work through next week and could play a rehab or simulated game as soon as Aug. 1.

Meanwhile, the AP is reporting that the Yankees will discipline A-Rod for seeking a second opinion on his quad without team permission. It's unknown what that discipline will be. But if the Yankees are, as many believe, looking for reasons to keep A-Rod off the field, this is something they can keep in their back pocket.

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