Note: this post is constantly being updated with the latest information at the bottom.
On Wednesday Dr. Michael Gross, a orthopedist that Alex Rodriguez sought out to give him a second opinion on his strained quad, went on WFAN and announced that he did not find an injury when reviewing A-Rod's MRI. The drama has continued to unfold in the hours since, and sounds like it will continue to unfold as Brian Cashman is expected to release a statement on the matter later.
According to Andy McCullough, A-Rod did not request permission from the Yankees to seek out a second opinion, which puts him in violation of the CBA. The reasoning behind all this is cloudy to say the least. A-Rod went to the Yankees about discomfort in his quad and had what he called a precautionary MRI. The MRI, according to Dr. Christopher Ahmad, showed a strain in the muscle. If A-Rod felt like the diagnosis was incorrect or that the Yankees had incentive to keep him away from the team, he might have sought out a second opinion on his own. Apparently the second doctor told him what he wanted to hear, so Rodriguez signed a HIPAA waiver allowing the doctor to release what he knew on WFAN. According to Jon Heyman, Dr. Gross may not have even seen the same MRI as Dr. Ahmad.
When Brian Cashman said that A-Rod should "shut the f--k up" regarding his tweet about being cleared for rehab games ahead of when Yankees doctors were prepared to rule him healthy enough to play games again, it started the questions about who, exactly, was telling the truth. Was A-Rod ready to play and the Yankees were holding him back to keep the circus of his impending suspension away for as long as possible? Was A-Rod lying so that he could look better? It's the biggest mess I can remember and no one is going to come out of this looking good.
If the Yankees kept A-Rod on the disabled list despite being healthy, even at the detriment of the team that has been playing Luis Cruz and David Adams in his place, they will have a lot of questions to answer. Rumors have already started to fly that another MLB may have filed a complaint against the Yankees on the matter that would draw discipline for the team if they kept a healthy player on the DL.
This drama is not over. By the sounds of it, it may even just be beginning. We'll update this post as new things happen. In the mean time, feel free to discuss your take on everything. Who do we believe here? How much crazier can everything get? What is the end result?
Updates as available:
A Yankees spokesman says the team never released a copy of the MRI to Dr. Gross. Still possible A-Rod sent records to Gross on his own.— Andy McCullough (@McCulloughSL) July 24, 2013
Dr. Gross re: reading A-Rod MRI: 'Nobody paid me. I did it as a favor. ... I thought it would be fun. It’s my five minutes of fame.' #nyy— Jeff Roberts (@TheJRob) July 24, 2013
This is promising:
As Daily News first reported, Dr. Gross reprimanded by NJ Medical Board in Feb. Complaint says he hired person who lacked license...— Daniel Barbarisi (@DanBarbarisi) July 24, 2013
...to practice medicine,& failed to "Adequately ensure proper patient treatment involving the prescribing of hormones including steroids"— Daniel Barbarisi (@DanBarbarisi) July 24, 2013
Dr. Gross was ordered "to pay a civil penalty in the amount of $30,000.00 and cost in the amount of $10,000.00."— Daniel Barbarisi (@DanBarbarisi) July 24, 2013
Yankees GM Brian Cashman has released a statement on the matter:
"I heard via a text message this afternoon from Alex Rodriguez that he had retained a doctor to review his medical situation. In media reports, we have since learned that the doctor in question has acknowledged that he did not examine Mr. Rodriguez and that he was not retained to do a comprehensive medical examination of Mr. Rodriguez. Contrary to the Basic Agreement, Mr. Rodriguez did not notify us at any time that he was seeking a second opinion from any doctor with regard to his quad strain.
"As you know, it is the Yankees' desire to have Alex return to the lineup as soon as possible. And we have done everything to try and accomplish this.
"As early as Friday, July 12, when I suggested to Alex that we move his rehab from Tampa to Triple-A Scranton (at Buffalo), Alex complained for the first time of "tightness" in his quad and therefore refused to consent to the transfer of his assignment. Again, last Sunday, Alex advised that he had stiffness in his quad and should not play on Sunday or Monday. We sent Alex to NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital for an MRI which evidenced a Grade 1 strain.
"As always, we will follow the rules and regulations set forth in the Basic Agreement, and will again re-evaluate Alex in Tampa tomorrow, as our goal is to return him to the lineup as soon as he is medically capable of doing so."
A-Rod released a statement through his publicist concerning the matter with the Yankees that took place on Wednesday:
"I think the Yanks and I crossed signals," Rodriguez said on Thursday in a statement released through a publicist. "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."
Rodriguez seems to believe he is healthy enough to be in the Yankees lineup on Friday, but Joe Girardi indicated that he would be surprised if he was able to write in A-Rod's name for the game. Does that mean the Yankees are sticking to their position that he isn't healthy enough to play, despite the fact that he thinks he is? What is the motivation to keep him out of the lineup if he thinks he is ready to go? There are still so many more questions than answers.
Source: A-Rod will be disciplined for seeing doctor without Yankees' permission. Team hasn't decided what it will be.— steven marcus (@newsdaymarcus) July 25, 2013
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