It appears the straw that broke the camel's back came over the weekend when A-Rod's newest legal representative, the infamous Joseph Tacopina, accused the Yankees of hiding MRI results and misleading A-Rod about his hip injury, which led to him playing through the ailment during the postseason.
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Yankees president Randy Levine immediately lashed back at A-Rod's camp, denying their allegations while challenging them to produce medical records. "Alex should put up or shut up" quickly became the quote of the night when Levine's comments were plastered all over ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball telecast of Yankees-Red Sox.
Obviously this back and forth became enough of a distraction that even A-Rod couldn't pretend it wasn't a big deal, and on Wednesday he vowed to put it behind him and keep things focused on baseball going forward.
"That's behind us now and I've shut everything down," Rodriguez said from the dugout steps as the Yankees took batting practice Wednesday afternoon. "I think it's the most important thing for us now — out of respect to my team, my manager and my coaches. We're in the middle of a very important pennant race. We're playing pretty well right now and we want to keep the focus on the field."
Of course A-Rod wouldn't completely admit the volatile public exchanges were causing a distraction, but his words and planned actions say otherwise. Or maybe it would be fair to say he's less in denial than usual.
"The past is the past," Rodriguez said. "The playoffs are what we're thinking about right now. That's the reason why I shut everything down.
"Publicly, I want everything to be 100 percent about baseball."
Better late than never, right?
Of course there's no guarantee the self-imposed gag order will last through the week, let alone the rest of the season, but at least A-Rod can point to the moment where he tried to do the right thing. Whether or not you want to applaud that effort is up to you, but it'll definitely be interesting to see how this plays out.
As always, stay tuned.
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