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MLB Roundup: Rodriguez just wants to play

The SportsXchange

Enough with the doctors, already. Alex Rodriguez says he's ready to play -- now.

That was the message in a statement released by Rodriguez on Thursday that read: "I think the Yanks and I crossed signals. I don't want any more mix-ups. 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."

Rodriguez and the New York Yankees have been sending mixed signals as to the readiness of the third baseman to return to the lineup due to a reported quad injury during his rehab assignment. Rodriguez told Yankees president Randy Levine on Tuesday that his quad is fine and he doesn't trust the team's doctor, Chris Ahmad, according to ESPN New York. Rodriguez has remained in Tampa with the Yankees projecting him to miss another week or two.

Ahmad's diagnosis of a Grade 1 quad strain prevented Rodriguez from returning to the majors this week. Rodriguez, 37, also reportedly believes Ahmad should have discovered his hip injury during the playoffs last year. Rodriguez went 3-for-25 with no extra base hits during the postseason and it was later discovered he had a significant hip injury that required an operation.

---Former San Francisco Giants closer Brian Wilson was scheduled to work out for scouts on Thursday in Los Angeles.

Wilson, 31, is attempting to return from a second Tommy John surgery and last appeared in a game April 12, 2012.

The 31-year-old Wilson has 171 career saves, which is seventh among active players. Wilson was Reliever of the Year in 2009, converting 48 of 53 chances, and was the closer in 2010 when the Giants won their first World Series since 1954.

--- George Brett stepped down as the Kansas City Royals hitting coach after two months on the job and will resume his role as vice president of baseball operations.

The Kansas City Star reported Brett initially agreed to serve as hitting coach for one month, and assistant hitting coach Pedro Grifol will take over the position full-time.

In a statement, Brett said: "My lifelong passion after playing was not to be a hitting coach. But Dayton (Moore, the club's general manager) asked me if I would consider it, and I did, but only on the promise that it would be on an interim basis."

---Two minor league pitchers were suspended by Major League Baseball on Thursday for violations of the substance abuse policy.

Delvin Hiciano, a right-hander in the Pittsburgh Pirates' organization, received a 50-game suspension without pay that begins immediately after testing positive for metabolites of Stanozolol. He currently is on the roster of the Dominican Summer League Pirates.

Eric Smith, a right-hander in the Arizona Diamondbacks' system, also was given a 50-game suspension without pay that starts right away after a second violation for what baseball labels a drug of abuse. Smith was with Double-A Mobile in the Southern League at the time of the suspension.
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