Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Maybe New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman is smarter than everyone thinks.
Regardless of how you feel about him, he is one of the best general managers in baseball. If he was fired tomorrow, he'd be hired the day after. Unlimited salary structure or not, it's hard to argue with the success his teams have had since he assumed his current role back in 1998.
But Cashman may have pulled off his most impressive act yet on Tuesday.
Cashman made Alex Rodriguez a sympathetic figure. Well, as much as he can, anyway.
Shortly after Jose Canseco welcomed Rodriguez to Twitter in pretty unflattering manner, the former three-time American League MVP sent out what seemed to be an innocuous tweet on Tuesday, "Visit from Dr. Kelly over the weekend, who gave me the best news - the green light to play games again!".
Dr. Kelly, of course, is Dr. Brian Kelly, who performed Rodriguez's left hip surgery in January.
Seems harmless enough, right? Nothing wrong with a player trying to get back to help his team.
And if you haven't noticed, the Yankees offense has been pretty offensive, particularly of late at Rodriguez's third base, where David Adams isn't exactly lighting things up at a .185 clip.
But, maybe the oppressive heat on the East Coast got to Cashman, or maybe he has just had enough of being involved in A-Rod's world because the general manager fired back at his slugger, telling ESPN New York, "You know what, when the Yankees want to announce something, (we will). Alex should just shut the (expletive) up. That's it. I'm going to call Alex now."
Are you kidding me? Something tells me it would have been a different response had St. Derek Jeter been the one doing the tweeting.
Forget the fact that most major news organizations had this news on Monday, but in this crazy up-to-the-minute update world we now live in, most athletes routinely tweet details of their recovery. In case Cashman didn't know two of his other ailing stars, Mark Teixeira and Curtis Granderson, have used Twitter in the past to give similar updates.
It's one thing if a loudmouth like Curt Schilling rips Rodriguez for not being a true Yankee, but Cashman is essentially Rodriguez's boss.
What would happen at any normal workplace if your boss spoke to an employee like that?
Yes, it wasn't the Yankees' doctors who cleared him, but that seems to be the next logical step. Was what appears to be a simple miscommunication enough to offer that vitriolic response from someone in the position of Cashman?
It's obvious Cashman, like everyone else, has had enough of A-Rod. But there is a time and a place for everything. A comment like that was neither the time nor the place.
Of course, Rodriguez is not an innocent bystander, either. He's brought a lot of things on himself, which has left him open to a ton of criticism. Put it this way, Rodriguez is probably wrong 90 percent of the time. This instance, though, falls into that 10 percent category.
Perhaps Cashman knows Rodriguez's flowery view of his recovery is kind of off base considering that he is likely staring a lengthy ban from baseball right in the face given his involvement in the Biogenesis scandal.
Cashman, like many in the Yankees organization are hoping that Rodriguez never plays another game again with the team and not because of the circus that surrounds him. The $105 million or so remaining on Rodriguez's deal would be fully insured if he can't return from this hip injury, probably another reason why Cashman was so harsh in his stance.
It was Rodriguez, not Cashman, who offered up the mea culpa on Wednesday.
"I will continue to work hard until my efforts get me back in pinstripes and help my team win," Rodriguez said in a statement. "The tweet was pure excitement about Dr. Kelly's prognosis."
At some point, whether he likes it or not, Cashman is going to need Rodriguez. Even if he returns as a shell of the player he was, he's going to help. How could he not? The team is hitting .239 and only three teams in the American League have scored fewer runs.
Amazingly, though, the Yankees are still only one game of the American League- East leading Boston Red Sox in the loss column.
Just another day in the Bronx.