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A-Rod Wants to Play; Yankees Want Him to Rehab

Team Won’t Answers Calls for Activation

  • FILE - In this July 6, 2013 file photo, Scott Speed greets fans during driver introductions for the NASCAR Sprint Cup auto race at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. Speed will be back in Global RallyCross next weekend when he competes in X Games Los Angeles with new team DRR-SH. (AP Photo/John Raoux, File)

    FILE - In this July 6, 2013 file photo, Scott Speed greets fans during driver introductions for the NASCAR Sprint Cup auto race at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. Speed will be back in Global RallyCross next weekend when he competes in X Games Los Angeles with new team DRR-SH. (AP Photo/John Raoux, File)

  • FILE - In this July 6, 2013 file photo, Scott Speed greets fans during driver introductions for the NASCAR Sprint Cup auto race at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. Speed will be back in Global RallyCross next weekend when he competes in X Games Los Angeles with new team DRR-SH. (AP Photo/John Raoux, File)

    FILE - In this July 6, 2013 file photo, Scott Speed greets fans during driver introductions for the NASCAR Sprint Cup auto race at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. Speed will be back in Global RallyCross next weekend when he competes in X Games Los Angeles with new team DRR-SH. (AP Photo/John Raoux, File)

  • FILE - In this Jan. 7, 2012, file photo, Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt celebrates returning an interception for a touchdown against Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton during the second quarter of an NFL wild-card playoff football game in Houston.Reaching the playoffs for the last two seasons has made the Houston Texans hungry to do much more in 2013.  (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez, File)

    FILE - In this Jan. 7, 2012, file photo, Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt celebrates returning an interception for a touchdown against Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton during the second quarter of an NFL wild-card playoff football game in Houston.Reaching the playoffs for the last two seasons has made the Houston Texans hungry to do much more in 2013. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez, File)

  • FILE - In this Oct. 18, 2012, file photo, New York Yankees' Alex Rodriguez watches from the dugout during Game 4 of the American League championship series against the Detroit Tigers in Detroit. Injuries have kept him off the field for more than half the season and now A-Rod faces discipline from Major League Baseball in its drug investigation, possibly up to a lifetime ban.(AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)

    FILE - In this Oct. 18, 2012, file photo, New York Yankees' Alex Rodriguez watches from the dugout during Game 4 of the American League championship series against the Detroit Tigers in Detroit. Injuries have kept him off the field for more than half the season and now A-Rod faces discipline from Major League Baseball in its drug investigation, possibly up to a lifetime ban.(AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)

  • FILE - In this Aug. 4, 2012 file photo, Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III, center, signs autographs during fan appreciation day after practice at NFL football training camp at Redskins Park in Ashburn, Va. This camp is all about one guy: Robert Griffin III. It shouldn't be, but when there are so many health questions about the dynamic Offensive Rookie of the Year and he plays quarterback, well, it will be RG3 24/7. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

    FILE - In this Aug. 4, 2012 file photo, Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III, center, signs autographs during fan appreciation day after practice at NFL football training camp at Redskins Park in Ashburn, Va. This camp is all about one guy: Robert Griffin III. It shouldn't be, but when there are so many health questions about the dynamic Offensive Rookie of the Year and he plays quarterback, well, it will be RG3 24/7. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

  • FILE - In this Aug. 4, 2012 file photo, Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III, center, signs autographs during fan appreciation day after practice at NFL football training camp at Redskins Park in Ashburn, Va. This camp is all about one guy: Robert Griffin III. It shouldn't be, but when there are so many health questions about the dynamic Offensive Rookie of the Year and he plays quarterback, well, it will be RG3 24/7. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

    FILE - In this Aug. 4, 2012 file photo, Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III, center, signs autographs during fan appreciation day after practice at NFL football training camp at Redskins Park in Ashburn, Va. This camp is all about one guy: Robert Griffin III. It shouldn't be, but when there are so many health questions about the dynamic Offensive Rookie of the Year and he plays quarterback, well, it will be RG3 24/7. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

  • FILE - in this April 1, 2013, file photo, New York Yankees' Alex Rodriguez talks to reporters outside the Yankees' clubhouse in New York. Injuries have kept him off the field for more than half the season and now A-Rod faces discipline from Major League Baseball in its drug investigation, possibly up to a lifetime ban.  (AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File)

    FILE - in this April 1, 2013, file photo, New York Yankees' Alex Rodriguez talks to reporters outside the Yankees' clubhouse in New York. Injuries have kept him off the field for more than half the season and now A-Rod faces discipline from Major League Baseball in its drug investigation, possibly up to a lifetime ban. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File)

  • FILE - in this April 1, 2013, file photo, New York Yankees' Alex Rodriguez talks to reporters outside the Yankees' clubhouse in New York. Injuries have kept him off the field for more than half the season and now A-Rod faces discipline from Major League Baseball in its drug investigation, possibly up to a lifetime ban.  (AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File)

    FILE - in this April 1, 2013, file photo, New York Yankees' Alex Rodriguez talks to reporters outside the Yankees' clubhouse in New York. Injuries have kept him off the field for more than half the season and now A-Rod faces discipline from Major League Baseball in its drug investigation, possibly up to a lifetime ban. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File)

  • FILE - in this April 1, 2013, file photo, New York Yankees' Alex Rodriguez talks to reporters outside the Yankees' clubhouse in New York. Injuries have kept him off the field for more than half the season and now A-Rod faces discipline from Major League Baseball in its drug investigation, possibly up to a lifetime ban.  (AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File)

    FILE - in this April 1, 2013, file photo, New York Yankees' Alex Rodriguez talks to reporters outside the Yankees' clubhouse in New York. Injuries have kept him off the field for more than half the season and now A-Rod faces discipline from Major League Baseball in its drug investigation, possibly up to a lifetime ban. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File)

  • FILE - In this July 28, 2010 file photo, New York Yankees' Alex Rodriguez reacts after he popped out in the second inning in a baseball game against the Cleveland Indians in Cleveland. Injuries have kept him off the field for more than half the season and now A-Rod faces discipline from Major League Baseball in its drug investigation, possibly up to a lifetime ban.  (AP Photo/Tony Dejak File)

    FILE - In this July 28, 2010 file photo, New York Yankees' Alex Rodriguez reacts after he popped out in the second inning in a baseball game against the Cleveland Indians in Cleveland. Injuries have kept him off the field for more than half the season and now A-Rod faces discipline from Major League Baseball in its drug investigation, possibly up to a lifetime ban. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak File)

  • ** FILE ** St. Louis Blues forward Bill Guerin responds to a question at the NHL All Star hockey media  availability  in Dallas, in this Jan. 22, 2007 file photo. Guerin was traded to the San Jose Sharks by the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday Feb. 27, 2007, just hours before the NHL trading deadline.  (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

    ** FILE ** St. Louis Blues forward Bill Guerin responds to a question at the NHL All Star hockey media availability in Dallas, in this Jan. 22, 2007 file photo. Guerin was traded to the San Jose Sharks by the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday Feb. 27, 2007, just hours before the NHL trading deadline. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

  • FILE - In this July 6, 2013 file photo, Scott Speed greets fans during driver introductions for the NASCAR Sprint Cup auto race at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. Speed will be back in Global RallyCross next weekend when he competes in X Games Los Angeles with new team DRR-SH. (AP Photo/John Raoux, File)
  • FILE - In this July 6, 2013 file photo, Scott Speed greets fans during driver introductions for the NASCAR Sprint Cup auto race at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. Speed will be back in Global RallyCross next weekend when he competes in X Games Los Angeles with new team DRR-SH. (AP Photo/John Raoux, File)
  • FILE - In this Jan. 7, 2012, file photo, Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt celebrates returning an interception for a touchdown against Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton during the second quarter of an NFL wild-card playoff football game in Houston.Reaching the playoffs for the last two seasons has made the Houston Texans hungry to do much more in 2013.  (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez, File)
  • FILE - In this Oct. 18, 2012, file photo, New York Yankees' Alex Rodriguez watches from the dugout during Game 4 of the American League championship series against the Detroit Tigers in Detroit. Injuries have kept him off the field for more than half the season and now A-Rod faces discipline from Major League Baseball in its drug investigation, possibly up to a lifetime ban.(AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)
  • FILE - In this Aug. 4, 2012 file photo, Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III, center, signs autographs during fan appreciation day after practice at NFL football training camp at Redskins Park in Ashburn, Va. This camp is all about one guy: Robert Griffin III. It shouldn't be, but when there are so many health questions about the dynamic Offensive Rookie of the Year and he plays quarterback, well, it will be RG3 24/7. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)
  • FILE - In this Aug. 4, 2012 file photo, Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III, center, signs autographs during fan appreciation day after practice at NFL football training camp at Redskins Park in Ashburn, Va. This camp is all about one guy: Robert Griffin III. It shouldn't be, but when there are so many health questions about the dynamic Offensive Rookie of the Year and he plays quarterback, well, it will be RG3 24/7. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)
  • FILE - in this April 1, 2013, file photo, New York Yankees' Alex Rodriguez talks to reporters outside the Yankees' clubhouse in New York. Injuries have kept him off the field for more than half the season and now A-Rod faces discipline from Major League Baseball in its drug investigation, possibly up to a lifetime ban.  (AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File)
  • FILE - in this April 1, 2013, file photo, New York Yankees' Alex Rodriguez talks to reporters outside the Yankees' clubhouse in New York. Injuries have kept him off the field for more than half the season and now A-Rod faces discipline from Major League Baseball in its drug investigation, possibly up to a lifetime ban.  (AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File)
  • FILE - in this April 1, 2013, file photo, New York Yankees' Alex Rodriguez talks to reporters outside the Yankees' clubhouse in New York. Injuries have kept him off the field for more than half the season and now A-Rod faces discipline from Major League Baseball in its drug investigation, possibly up to a lifetime ban.  (AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File)
  • FILE - In this July 28, 2010 file photo, New York Yankees' Alex Rodriguez reacts after he popped out in the second inning in a baseball game against the Cleveland Indians in Cleveland. Injuries have kept him off the field for more than half the season and now A-Rod faces discipline from Major League Baseball in its drug investigation, possibly up to a lifetime ban.  (AP Photo/Tony Dejak File)
  • ** FILE ** St. Louis Blues forward Bill Guerin responds to a question at the NHL All Star hockey media  availability  in Dallas, in this Jan. 22, 2007 file photo. Guerin was traded to the San Jose Sharks by the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday Feb. 27, 2007, just hours before the NHL trading deadline.  (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

New York — Alex Rodriguez’s already strained relationship with the New York Yankees hit another low when he pushed to be activated from the disabled list today, the team refused and he had a lawyer join the discussion of his injury rehabilitation.

Already a target of Major League Baseball’s drug investigation, the third baseman angered the Yankees when he obtained a second medical opinion on his strained left quadriceps this week without informing the team in writing, a step required by the sport’s collective bargaining agreement. The Yankees intend to discipline him, most likely with a fine.

“Do you trust the Yankees?” Rodriguez was asked during an interview on WFAN radio.

A-Rod’s answer was telling.

“Um. You know, I’d rather not get into that,” he responded. “‘I’m just frustrated that I’m not on the field tomorrow.”

Sidelined since hip surgery in January, Rodriguez issued a statement early Thursday saying he wanted to be activated for today’s homestand opener against Tampa Bay. But that wasn’t in the Yankees plans.

“We agreed that a protocol would be followed that is necessary when you return somebody from a quad injury,” general manager Brian Cashman said during a conference call with the team’s beat writers. “That protocol will include further treatment, which he’ll continue tomorrow with some light conditioning, and then expand to more functional work from the 27th through the 31st. Our hope, as well as Alex’s hope, without any setbacks or new complaints, that would put him in a situation to have either a simulated game or a rehab game on Aug. 1.”

A-Rod was miffed.

“Obviously I’m very, very disappointed,” he said. “I know I can help my team. Obviously, I’m frustrated but I agreed to this five-day plan, and on we go.”

Whether he gets back on a big league field any time soon or ever plays for the Yankees again remains to be seen.

MLB has been investigating Rodriguez as part of its probe of the closed Biogenesis clinic in Florida , accused in media reports of distributing banned performance-enhancing drugs. A suspension appears likely, but Rodriguez could ask the players’ association to contest a drug penalty — making it possible he might not have to serve any time until next year.

He is among the dozen or so players under investigation by MLB; he has said in the past that he used PEDs from 2001-03 while with Texas but maintained he has not used them since.

The Yankees intend to discipline A-Rod for seeking a second medical opinion without their permission, a person familiar with the team’s deliberations said.

The exact penalty had not been determined, the person said, speaking on condition of anonymity to The Associated Press because no statements were authorized. A fine appeared to be the most likely option.

Meantime, Rodriguez’s return from hip surgery has created more drama than most players experience in their entire careers.

Seemingly days away from rejoining the Yankees, Rodriguez injured a leg last weekend and was sent to New York for an MRI on Sunday. Team physician Dr. Christopher Ahmad diagnosed a grade 1 strain, the least severe level.

Dr. Michael Gross, the orthopedic director of The Sports Medicine Institute at Hackensack (N.J.) University Medical Center, was retained by Rodriguez and said on WFAN on Wednesday that he examined an MRI and could not detect an injury. Gross, who never examined Rodriguez personally, was reprimanded this year by New Jersey’s board of medical examiners over steroid prescriptions, fined $30,000 and ordered to pay $10,000 in costs.

Rodriguez was re-examined Thursday by Dr. Daniel Murphy, the Yankees’ orthopedic surgeon in Tampa, Fla., who confirmed Ahmad’s diagnosis. Cashman said Murphy determined there was “clearly some improvement.”

Yankees President Randy Levine and Cashman got on a 15-minute conference call with Tim Lentych, the head athletic trainer at the player development complex in Tampa; Rodriguez; and Jordan Siev, co-head of the U.S. commercial litigation group at Reed Smith, a law firm used by A-Rod pal Jay-Z.

A-Rod is baseball’s highest-paid player with a $28 million salary this year and is owed $86 million more in the next four seasons. He sounded like a man who anticipated having to fight for his money.

“Just want to make sure that everything is documented properly,” he said.

Siev did not return a telephone call seeking comment.

Earlier Thursday, Rodriguez issued a statement provocative to a team that already has told him it determines his return schedule, not him.

“I think the Yanks and I crossed signals,” the three-time AL MVP said in the statement issued by spokesman Ron Berkowitz. “I don’t want any more mixups. I’m excited and ready to play and help this team win a championship. I feel great and I’m ready and want to be in the lineup Friday night. Enough doctors, let’s play.”

Rodriguez, who turns 38 Saturday, earns $153,005 each day during the season, and while he remains on the disabled list much of the money is covered by insurance.

Rodriguez has hit .250 (8 for 40) with two homers and eight RBIs in 13 minor league games. About a week before he began the injury rehab assignment on July 2, Rodriguez tweeted that the surgeon who operated on his hip “gave me the best news - the green light to play games again!”

Cashman memorably responded: “Alex should just shut the ... up.”

If Rodriguez is healthy, New York could use his bat. Yankees third basemen began Thursday hitting .217, ahead of only Cleveland, according to STATS. Their four homers are more than only Miami and their 29 RBIs are 28th in the majors.

Seeking offense, the Yankees are closing in on a trade to acquire former New York star Alfonso Soriano from the Chicago Cubs.

Rodriguez said he’s like to rehab with the major league team, as captain Derek Jeter as he comes back from a quadriceps injury.

But the Yankees seem to regard A-Rod as toxic.

“Obviously, I’m an employee,” he said. “I have to follow my bosses.”

———

Associated Press Writer Mark Didtler in Tampa, Fla., contributed to this report.