Yankees manager Joe Girardi criticizes A-Rod book on eve of releaseBy Jay Cohen, Gaea News Network
Sunday, May 3, 2009
Yankees manager Girardi critical of A-Rod book
NEW YORK — Yankees manager Joe Girardi lashed out Sunday at a potentially damaging biography of Alex Rodriguez, questioning why the book was written and its accelerated release date.
Sports Illustrated writer Selena Roberts’ “A-Rod” reportedly offers an unflattering portrait of the MVP slugger as a needy personality who wanted his ego stroked constantly. The book’s release was moved up to Monday after the Daily News reported some of the details last week.
“I have some issues with it, that it’s interesting how the book date got moved up now,” Girardi said, “and I get tired of answering these questions. I don’t understand why someone would write a book like this anyway, and some people may not care to hear that but I don’t understand.”
The Yankees’ game against the Los Angeles Angels was rained out Sunday. A makeup date wasn’t immediately announced, but both teams are off Sept. 14. That rest day occurs during a Yankees homestand and before the Angels open a three-game series at Boston.
Sunday’s scheduled starters, New York’s Phil Hughes and Angels left-hander Joe Saunders, each were pushed back a day.
Rodriguez, rehabbing his injured hip in Florida, is expected to return to the Yankees within the next couple of weeks. The All-Star third baseman played defense Saturday in an extended spring training game for the first time since he had surgery in early March.
Girardi said he has never understood why someone would write a book that delves into another person’s personal life, whether it’s an athlete like Rodriguez or a president.
“There’s things in my life that I’m not proud of, that I’ve done,” he said. “I wouldn’t want my kids to have to deal with it. You know, I tell my kids that daddy makes mistakes. I do, and I apologize for them. I say ‘Daddy’s not perfect.’ It’s not necessarily something that I would want them to read about all the time and to be the focus.
“This man wants to be a father, too.”
The book arrives on the heels of a report in The New York Times that Major League Baseball is investigating Rodriguez’s statements about his use of performance-enhancing drugs.
Investigators have reached out to several of A-Rod’s associates to examine whether he used drugs for a longer period than he has acknowledged, according to an article in Sunday’s edition of the newspaper.
Girardi said he hasn’t been contacted. When asked whether he knows if any clubhouse personnel or players have been approached by MLB, he responded: “I can only speak for myself. As I said, we’re going to move on.”
Rodriguez admitted in February to using steroids while with the Texas Rangers from 2001-03, but insisted he stopped before he was traded to the Yankees in February 2004. But the Daily News reported Thursday that Roberts’ book says he may have used steroids as early as high school and even after he was acquired by New York.
General manager Brian Cashman said he hadn’t talked to MLB about an investigation into Rodriguez. Derek Jeter, who became the Yankees’ captain in 2003, said he hasn’t been contacted.
“I have no idea what you’re talking about, so I don’t have any answers for you,” Jeter said before the game was washed out.
Rodriguez was off Sunday, and will play in another extended spring game Monday. He has two hits — including a homer — in 18 at-bats with three walks over three extended spring games.
While Girardi said repeatedly that the team is going to move on from the controversy that has dogged Rodriguez, he acknowledged that an MLB investigation would make it difficult for the club to put the whole thing in the past.
“If it is, it’s something we have to deal with,” he said. “That’s all. We’ll deal with it, but as far as I know … I don’t know anything.”