Arlington, TX (Sports Network) - Alex Rodriguez says he is ready to play, but the New York Yankees said not so fast.
A day after getting a bizarre second opinion on his strained left quad muscle, Rodriguez issued a statement through a publicist and said he wants to play Friday when the Yankees open a three-game series against Tampa Bay in the Bronx.
"I think the Yanks and I crossed signals," said Rodriguez on Thursday in a statement. "I don't want any more mix ups. 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."
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman held a conference call Thursday after Rodriguez was evaluated in Tampa and said the third baseman's quad injury has improved. Cashman, however, said the Yankees hope Rodriguez can begin simulated games or another rehab assignment by Aug. 1.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi said during his media briefing before Thursday's game against the Texas Rangers that he wasn't sure when A-Rod would be available, but didn't think it would be Friday.
"I'm sure we'll go through all the proper rehab channels and move forward," said Girardi. "He's had like four or five days off. That's for the doctors and trainers to handle. We'll see how it plays out. I would be (surprised to have him Friday)."
Rodriguez, sidelined for the first 3 1/2 months after recovering from hip surgery, was hoping to make his season debut this week in Texas, but informed the Yankees about stiffness in the quad -- an injury he apparently sustained while on his first rehab assignment.
An MRI exam revealed a Grade 1 strain and Rodriguez was to remain on the disabled list, instead returning to the Yankees' spring training complex in Tampa to rest and receive further evaluation.
Rodriguez, though, asked Dr. Michael Gross, chief of orthopedics of Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey, to overlook the MRI for a second opinion.
The doctor appeared on WFAN radio in New York on Wednesday and said he didn't physically examine Rodriguez, but told the radio station he did not see "any sort of injury there."
Rodriguez, though, was supposed to inform the Yankees in writing that he was receiving a second opinion about the injury and failed to do so.
Cashman then issued a statement Wednesday night and said the team wants Rodriguez in the lineup "as soon as possible."
Rodriguez is also facing a possible suspension from Major League Baseball for his alleged ties to Biogenesis of America, a Miami-based anti-aging clinic suspected of supplying performance-enhancing substances.
In late June, New York media outlets were running stories from unnamed sources about how Alex Rodriguez had no intention of returning to baseball and about how the New York Yankees were purposely slowing his rehab so he couldn't get back on the field.
At the time, it sounded a bit devious, even by New York tabloid standards.
Now with the latest twist in the A-Rod drama — the strained quad that will prevent him from returning to the Yankees lineup on Monday as planned — the tin-foil-hat-wearing conspiracy lovers are probably running themselves in circles shouting, "I told you so, I told you so."
[Related: What Ryan Braun's suspension means for A-Rod]
On the eve of A-Rod's long-awaited return an MRI pronounces him injured again? Even Manti T'eo might be skeptical.
If you thought A-Rod's return date would come and everything would go smoothly, then you haven't been watching the A-Rod show long enough. This delay — whether you believe the cause of it to be on the up-and-up — is just the latest odd happening in a story that's included a smackdown from his GM, a no-show at a minor-league game and a possible looming suspension.
USA Today's Bob Nightengale breaks down the back-room scenarios that are much juicier than the simple quad injury we're being told about:
[W]ill Rodriguez be gone just long enough for Major League Baseball's investigative team to deliver its findings on Biogenesis, recommending a penalty that assures Rodriguez won't play again while Bud Selig is commissioner?
Is it possible that Rodriguez's quadriceps injury — the reported severity of which came as quite a surprise to Rodriguez — is merely part of a grand plan to fulfill the Yankees' wishes he never wear their uniform again?
Could this be evidence the Yankees need to prove that Rodriguez — who hurt his quad returning from major hip surgery in January — will never be able to physically perform at the major-league level again, permitting them to collect their insurance money and A-Rod to cash in the rest of his $114 million?
READ MORE: Yahoo! Sports
New York, NY (Sports Network) - Just when it looked like Alex Rodriguez was about to make his season debut, the New York Yankees third baseman suffered another setback.
The Yankees announced Sunday Rodriguez is dealing with a Grade 1 strain of his left quad and will not return to the team on Monday, as was originally hoped.
Rodriguez is scheduled to return to Tampa for further evaluation.
The three-time American League MVP has missed the entire season while recovering from surgery performed in January to repair a torn labrum in his left hip.
Rodriguez's time away from the Yankees has not been without controversy, with the 37-year-old headlining a list of MLB players linked to Biogenesis of America, a Miami-based anti-aging clinic suspected of supplying performance- enhancing substances that is currently under investigation by the league office.
New York, NY (Sports Network) - The NBA Board of Governors approved five rules changes on Thursday, including three tweaks to instant replay.
Officials will now be able to: (1) review a block/charge play to determine whether the defender was inside or outside the restricted area; (2) determine when an off-ball foul occurred in relation to a successful shot attempt or a throw-in; (3) assess the appropriate penalties of any unsportsmanlike and unnecessary acts that are observed during the instant replay reviews.
Also, a clear path foul will no longer be called if the defender who commits the foul is positioned ahead of the offensive player in the frontcourt at any point before the foul is committed.
The final rule change for the upcoming 2013-14 season will see a team lose possession if its player leaves the floor attempting to save the ball and does not immediately return to the floor.
HOOVER, Ala. (AP) -- Johnny Manziel strode into Southeastern Conference Media Days and was swarmed by hundreds of reporters and dozens of television cameras.
He shook some hands and the cameras flashed as he settled into his seat, the star of the SEC's latest must-see TV show.
If the Texas A&M quarterback was troubled by all the attention, he didn't show it.
Dressed in a dark blue suit, checkered shirt and striped tie, Manziel answered every question thrown his way during the 30-minute Q&A, some were even about football. He said he largely enjoys the spotlight that comes with winning the Heisman Trophy - even if it sometimes includes unsavory headlines.
''This is just another day,'' Johnny Football said with a grin.
The 20-year-old sophomore and face of college football spent most of his three-hour stay at the Wynfrey Hotel, bouncing from one interview session to another. He mostly talked about an eventful offseason that has frequently made him a trending topic.
''I don't feel like I've done anything that's catastrophic,'' Manziel said. ''Of course, I've made my mistakes. It's time to grow up.''
The most recent misstep came last weekend at the Manning Passing Academy. Manziel was one of many college quarterback counselors at the camp for high school prospects run by Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning in Louisiana, but he left before it was over.
He says he missed activities because he ''overslept,'' and his absence had nothing to do with being out the night before.
''I was not asked to leave. It was a mutual decision,'' Manziel said.
He said that while there were social events every night with the Mannings, he did not miss his meetings because of too much partying.
''The speculation of me being too hung over and that's the reason I missed the meetings is absolutely incorrect,'' he said.
Manziel said he fell asleep without setting his alarm and his phone died during the night. He said he was rooming with Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron, but that McCarron didn't wake him up.
''I'm definitely not going to pin it on him,'' Manziel said. ''It's my fault - 115, 120 percent.''
He said he was disappointed he missed camp activities, but that there were ''no hard feelings'' between him and the Mannings. He said he's already been invited back to next summer's camp and looks forward to attending.
The early exit from the Manning camp is just part of Manziel's offseason in the public eye.
- He pleaded guilty on Monday to a misdemeanor of not identifying himself to a police officer following a 2012 altercation at a bar near campus in College Station.
- He sent out an update on Twitter in June saying that he ''can't wait to leave'' College Station, before quickly deleting the updated. He later apologized.
- He also created a minor stir in February when he said he took most of his classes online and didn't go on campus very much.
None of the transgressions were huge, but they combined to keep Johnny Football in the news and raise questions about his character.
Every move Manziel made on Wednesday was shadowed by a media throng. At one point, the quarterback said he felt like pop star Justin Bieber.
He talked about his friendship with NBA star LeBron James, his upcoming trip to the ESPYs and all the other positives that comes from his fame.
He said his carousing has been at times ''blown out of proportion,'' though he did acknowledge that he needs to make better decisions because he's such a public figure.
''My offseason, all the stuff's that's gone on will have no effect on this season,'' Manziel said. ''I'm ready to stop. No more talk after this. Let's play football.''
Manziel is the first freshman to win the Heisman and undeniably a unique talent on the field. He led Texas A&M to an 11-2 record, including a 6-2 mark in its first Southeastern Conference season.
Second-year coach Kevin Sumlin's hurry-up offense was a perfect match for Manziel, who finished with 3,706 yards and 26 touchdowns passing and 1,410 yards and 21 touchdowns on the ground.
His 5,116 total yards were an NCAA freshman record and No. 9 on the NCAA's all-time list.
Sumlin and Texas A&M defensive back Toney Hurd Jr. both praised Manziel on Wednedsay.
''Johnny Football is a great guy,'' Hurd Jr. said. ''He works hard. He's dedicated to his craft. I can't make any predictions on what he'll do, but I can tell you if you want to stop him, you might want to put 22 men on the field.
Said Sumlin: ''I think (handling the Heisman spotlight is) a learning experience, a growing experience, because, quite frankly, it's something that nobody's ever been through at that age.''
Mississippi quarterback Bo Wallace was also at the Manning passing camp and said the other quarterbacks enjoyed their time with Manziel. Wallace said Tuesday Manziel is ''a fun kid'' and ''may catch more slack than he should.''
''It's difficult - you want to go out and do 20, 21-year-old things,'' Wallace said. ''But at the same time, you've got to know that you're the face of a brand. Ole Miss is a huge brand, A&M's a huge brand and you've got to have that in the back of your mind with every decision that you make.''
(New York, NY) -- Major League Baseball is getting set to hand out suspensions related to the Biogenesis scandal. ESPN.com reports as many as 20 players are expected to be penalized sometime after next week's All-Star break for their alleged connections to the Miami clinic. Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez and Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun are two of the biggest names who have been linked to the clinic. Biogenesis founder Anthony Bosch reportedly cut a deal last month to cooperate with MLB, which has been investigating the clinic since spring training for allegedly distributing performance-enhancing drugs.
LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Clippers called it a culture change, a great day in club history, a precursor to a championship.
But Doc Rivers, clad in a casual, open-collared shirt and asking everyone to call him "just Doc," called it "an opportunity" and wowed everyone not with his championship pedigree but his humility.
"This 'best coach' thing, we have to stop saying that," Rivers said Tuesday when he was introduced to the L.A. media as the new coach of the Clippers. "I'm not that smart yet. I just finished watching the Finals; I wasn't in it. Neither were the Clippers."
But that is clearly the expectation of the franchise now that they have pried Rivers away from the Boston Celtics, whom Rivers led to the 2008 NBA title, for a 2015 first-round draft pick.
READ MORE: USA Today
Black Sports Online - This has been the most complicated trade situation since David Stern blocked Chris Paul going to the Lakers for basketball reasons.
At this point it isn’t the NBA, but Rivers that is holding up the deal.
The official completion of the deal that will send Doc Rivers to the Los Angeles Clippers is being delayed because Rivers and his representatives are still negotiating the language in the coach’s new contract, league sources told ESPNBoston.com’s Jackie MacMullan.
The NBA has not approved the deal yet, but the league also is not holding up the completion of the transaction, a league source told MacMullan.