Brian Cashman defends Alex Rodriguez despite poor season

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  • Álex Rodríguez
    Álex Rodríguez
    LiveTodayTomorrowvs--|
  • Brian Cashman
    American baseball executive

Every sport has always operated with a “what have you done for me lately” mindset. Players who were once the best in the game can be turned on by a fanbase the instant they stop producing at an elite level.

That’s pretty much what’s happening with New York Yankees designated hitter Alex Rodriguez right now. Rodriguez has had a love/hate relationship with New York over his 12 seasons with the club, but last year’s resurgence after a long suspension seemed to endear him to the fans again.

That success hasn’t carried over to this season. The 40-year-old Rodriguez is hitting just .206/.256/.364 over 227 plate appearances. While he’s still under contract with the team through 2017, there are some who are wondering whether the club should just cut ties with A-Rod.

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman was asked about that during a conference call Monday, and took it as an opportunity to defend Rodriguez.

Cashman’s portion about Rodriguez read:

Say what you want about Alex Rodriguez and the current season he’s having. This guy’s coming every day to prepare, bust his tail, do pregame work, put himself in the position to succeed, wait to be called upon, support his teammates.

We always have decisions we can choose to make, we [have] a direction if we want to go which you’re alluding to [releasing Alex Rodriguez], but that’s something that’s not being considered right now.

Cashman then spoke about Mark Teixeira and how he also hasn’t lived up to expectations this season. Despite that, Teixeira works hard every day to try and help the team.

Cashman finished by talking about both players:

So, [Teixeira] is doing everything he possibly can for our fans, for his teammates, for our staff, and Alex is doing the same thing. It hasn’t played out to exactly what we expected for 2016, but all I can tell you is they’re professionals. They’re doing everything in their power to put themselves in position to be successful, and we’re all hoping that better games and days are ahead.

It doesn’t guarantee it, and obviously what you’re alluding to is always something that can be discussed down the line if that’s the case, but that’s not something we’re focused on right now.

In most situations, you might look at that quote and shrug it off. Of course a GM is going to support his players. This is Brian Cashman, though.

Alex Rodriguez has had a tough season. (Getty Images/Mike Stobe)
Alex Rodriguez has had a tough season. (Getty Images/Mike Stobe)

Cashman hasn’t exactly minced words in the past when talking about the superstar, and it was clear there was at least a little bad blood between the two when Rodriguez was preparing to return from his suspension.

That no longer appears to be the case. Here, Cashman praises Rodriguez as the ultimate teammate. That’s a pretty stark change from how he was viewed a year-and-a-half ago. Since his return, there have been stories about Rodriguez revamping his image and being a better teammate. At the very least, his general manager seems to buy into that change.

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It’s worth noting that the Yankees still have to pay Rodriguez his money whether or not he’s on the team, so there’s no financial benefit to cutting him. At the same time, if he was acting like a jerk in the clubhouse, it would probably be much easier to part ways with him at this point.

Rodriguez has proven to be an incredible baseball mind, and is the type of player who could have a huge impact on others even when he’s not playing. That’s a player worth keeping around, especially if you have to pay him no matter what.

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Chris Cwik is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at christophercwik@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Chris_Cwik