New York Daily News

Cash, Alex chat after bitter Twitter blowup


ON TUESDAY, Brian Cashman told Alex Rodriguez to “Shut the f--- up.” On Wednesday, the Yankees general manager and the embattled slugger had more words, but this time, they were positive.

A few hours after saying he regretted — but wasn’t sorry for — his vulgar words for Rodriguez, the Yankee GM received a phone call from Rodriguez around 5:30 p.m. Wednesday. Team president Randy Levine was brought in on the call.

“It was a constructi­ve, healthy conversati­on,” media relations director Jason Zillo said of the 30-minute call. “Everybody is on the same page, and we’re all going to communicat­e and work together to get Alex back as quickly as possible. Everyone fully understand­s the protocol and processes in place. We’re all back on track.”

Cashman and Levine weren’t the only ones to chat with Rodriguez about his Tuesday tweet, where he declared he had been cleared to play by his personal surgeon Dr. Bryan Kelly. A-Rod had a one-on-one chat with Hal Steinbrenn­er on Wednesday at the team’s training facility in Tampa where the owner repeated the same message Cashman tried the night before.

“Hal reiterated — he did it more profession­ally maybe than I did — about managing from the top down rather than from the bottom up,” Cashman said. “A message was certainly sent. It was received, reinforced by Hal in a more profession­al way. That was it. As far as I’m concerned, unless I’m having to deal with this again, there’s nothing left to deal with. It’s a story that got blown up, and that’s my responsibi­lity and Alex’s; I think we’re both at fault.”

Before his call to Rodriguez, Cashman fielded questions for more than 20 minutes Wednesday to discuss the headlines created by Tuesday night’s four-letter response after ARod tweeted that he had been cleared to begin playing in rehab games.

“Ninety-nine times out of 100, I roll with it pretty good,” Cashman said. “I didn’t roll with this one well at all. I popped. That’s it. I sounded off. Reality TV at its best.”

The firestorm started with Sunday night’s Daily News report that Rodriguez had been given medical clearance to begin playing in rehab games on July 1 as long as the Yankees felt he was ready to do so.

On Tuesday, A-Rod confirmed what The News had already reported, tweeting a weekend photo of himself with Kelly, the surgeon who operated on his left hip in January.

“Visit from Dr. Kelly over the weekend, who gave me the best news — the green light to play games again!” A-Rod tweeted.

Earlier in the day, A-Rod released a statement through his publicist explaining his decision to send the tweet.

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

Cashman stressed that the Yankees’ medical staff — not Dr. Kelly — would determine when A-Rod was ready to play in rehab games. The GM remained vague when discussing Rodriguez’s schedule, saying only that there is a “rough sketch” of Rodriguez’s daily activities that will culminate with a rehab assignment.

“Make no mistake; if Alex Rodriguez is healthy, we want him — and I want him — playing third base for us yesterday,” Cashman said. “He’s doing everything in his power to get here to do that. We’re clearly a better team with him, so that’s not the issue.”

Cashman’s issue seemed to be with A-Rod’s decision to send the tweet at all, going against a conversati­on the team held with the third baseman and his reps earlier in the year about not making any public projection­s about any rehab or return dates.

“It’s just creating extra work by putting out different pieces of informatio­n,” Cashman said. “I’ve got the informatio­n that’s provided by me to our medical staff and our field support staff versus the message that a tweet can put out. If they’re contradict­ing, it gets frustratin­g that you’re having to deal with that stuff when to me it’s unnecessar­y. The tweet created some issues, and then I obviously added to those issues by how I responded to it.”

That said, the incident should serve as a warning to other Yankees players about the GM’s stance on social media.

“The message needs to be sent — and I continue to reinforce it with our people — that there’s a way to use social media and there’s a way not to use social media,” Cashman said. “Do not use the social media that’s going to put yourself in a position to have a conversati­on with me, because I don’t want to have it.”

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