Alex Rodriguez went AWOL on Friday, putting more pressure on the relationship between the one-time star and the Yankees, according to a report in the New York Post.
A-Rod met in Tampa Friday with Major League Baseball officials investigating his ties to performance-enhancing drugs and Biogenesis, and afterward was scheduled to play for the Class-A Tampa Yankees.
But The Post reported that Rodriguez never showed up for what was going to be his seventh rehab game, and team officials were trying to find him. Eventually, sources said, Rodriguez informed the Yankees he was not going to play, which infuriated team officials, the Post story said.
As it turned out, the game on Friday night was postponed by rain. Rodriguez did, however, play on Saturday and went 0 for 3.
Sources told the paper Rodriguez had enough time on Friday to get from the nearby location where he was interrogated to the park before it was official that the game would be rained out. He was not excused by team officials from attending the game and, in fact, the Yankees had been told by MLB the interview would be done in a time frame to allow Rodriguez to continue his rehab games, and the meeting ended about two hours before the scheduled first pitch, the Post story said.
Reached by phone, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman refused to comment on whether Rodriguez was absent without permission.
An A-Rod spokesperson would only say today that "Alex is back in the lineup tonight and laments the game was rained out, he will not comment on any other topics."
Multiple sources have told The Post Rodriguez never made it to George M. Steinbrenner Field, where the Yankees also hold spring training. A published report, nevertheless, stated he did. The report claimed Rodriguez arrived at the team facility hours after his sit-down with MLB investigators, and that he was greeted by some soft applause by an estimated 50 people.
Later, the game was postponed.
Rodriguez did not speak to media members publicly on either Thursday or yesterday. He is trying to return to the majors after a second significant hip surgery in four years. But his connection to Tony Bosch, Biogenesis and PEDs looms over his immediate future in the game.
A-Rod is on a 20-day rehab assignment. If all goes well, he could be play July 22 in Arlington.