A-Rod, Yanks return to their corners

NEW YORK -- After four rounds of fighting this week, the Yankees and Alex Rodriguez went back to their respective corners on Friday, waiting to (likely) fight another day.

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman offered a "no comment" to most A-Rod-related questions during a news conference to announce the Alfonso Soriano deal. Cashman declined to say if the Yankees have decided to discipline Rodriguez for not going through the proper CBA protocol for a second opinion.

The Yankees have yet to decide if they will or not, a source said Friday afternoon. Rodriguez, rehabbing his famous quad in Tampa, drove by a waiting group of reporters at the Yankees' training facility but did not speak. He did not call into any radio stations.

While Rodriguez thought his quad was well enough to play Friday, he could potentially be back in less than two weeks, with a major league return date of possibly Aug. 6 in Chicago. Rodriguez could be suspended by MLB for his involvement in the Biogensis scandal, but if he appealed -- which is the anticipation, at the moment -- he could still play for the Yankees.

Joe Girardi emphasized there was no problems between him and the $275 million injured third baseman, who is distrustful of the organization. Girardi and Rodriguez have communicated -- mostly via text -- during A-Rod's rehab. The manager said he has not been in contact with A-Rod this week because Rodriguez hasn't been working out.

"I've had good communication with Alex, so I'm not too concerned about that when he comes back," Girardi said. "Obviously, our goal is to get him healthy so he can help us. I think that is important. So our communication has been fine, so that is not really a concern of mine."

Girardi said any perception that Rodriguez won't be welcomed back in the clubhouse is off base. Generally speaking, Rodriguez is popular among his teammates.

"I don't think it is going to be a problem when he comes back," Girardi said. "There have been a lot of people who have walked in this room this year and there haven't been any issues, and I don't expect there to be any issues. There are things that you have to work through as a club. The common goal is to win and that will take over."

During the Soriano news conference, Cashman did defend the Yankees' medical staff and said that if any player had a problem with it, there is a proper way to file a grievance. In a late-night phone call on Tuesday, Rodriguez told team president Randy Levine he did not trust Yankees' doctor, Chris Ahamad.

The drama died down a bit on Friday, but Girardi, as no-nonsense as they come, sort of shook his head over how little things A-Rod does become the biggest story in sports.

"I'm not sure," Girardi said. "Maybe people follow him around a lot. I never really had to deal with that. When I came to rehab, no one came to watch. ...[Curtis Granderson] has put up some really big numbers for us, but I'm not asked every day exactly what he is doing. It is just like [Jeter] and Alex, that is what they get. It is part of being a superstar."