It was only a matter of time before Alex Rodriguez stepped into hot water with his new Twitter account.
A-Rod tweeted a couple of hours ago — with an accompanying Instagram photo — that he was cleared “over the weekend” by Dr. Bryan Kelly to begin playing in rehab games. But Kelly is not the Yankees’ team doctor — he only performed A-Rod’s hip surgery — and the third baseman has not been given clearance by anyone affiliated with the club.
Which brings us to this story, just published by Andrew Marchand on ESPNNewYork.com:
NEW YORK — Livid over Alex Rodriguez’s decision to tweet an update on his rehab process, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman had a message for the third baseman.
“You know what, when the Yankees want to announce something, [we will],” Cashman told ESPN New York. “Alex should just shut the f— up. That’s it. I’m going to call Alex now.”
The language is a bit excessive for what seems like a minor case of miscommunication, but maybe Cashman’s frustration surrounding this particular issue runs deeper than one might expect. Rodriguez is currently on track to return from the 60-day disabled list shortly after the mid-July All-Star break.
The Astros and Nationals share a spring training facility, so it was only natural that they would open Grapefruit League play together. The Astros were the home team. Here’s the lineup they rolled out.
Teams typically include at least a few regulars in their spring training lineups as a courtesy to the fans, who are spending money to see big league players play baseball. This is especially the case for home games. However, the Astros have decided to roll out a lineup with a combined 323 MLB plate appearances.
There might be a reason for that. Houston was lustily booed as they took the field. This was after running a video on the scoreboard celebrating their 2019 AL championship.
That’s all with the team that beat them in the World Series (and is widely regarded as baseball’s current heroes for beating the big bad cheating Astros) in the other dugout, of course. Nationals starter Max Scherzer has not thrown at any Houston player, and the game is now in a rain delay. But it seems like the Astros decided to spare their players from some possible rough treatment, both from fans and opposing pitchers.
The same could not be said for Astros mascot Orbit, who was also booed.
One can quibble with the merits of booing a bunch of players who have barely touched the big leagues because you’re mad at Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman, but sports fandom is something of an irrational business. Fans are going to want their pound of flesh, especially when they paid for the right to be in the ballpark and give the Astros a piece of their mind. Some of them even brought props! This is just how it all works, unfortunately. If you’re in an Astros uniform, you’re probably going to get booed.
Welcome to the 2020 season, Astros. It’s probably going to be like this all year.