When Alex Rodriguez struggled then sat during the playoffs, folks started crowing about the Yankees potentially trading A-Rod. All that talk, of course, glossed over the fact that any trade would have to be approved by Mr. Rod himself thanks to a no-trade clause in his rather burdensome contract. He's not going anywhere. That being the case, it's in the Yankees' best interest to keep the man feeling happy and comfortable in New York (well, now that I think about that, alienating him might be an effective way to get him to waive that no-trade clause, but let's rule that out for now ... ).
With the above in mind, Joe Girardi reportedly hopped on the phone to get in touch with Rodriguez and sort out any differences stemming from the benching and subsequent weirdness. Wallace Matthews:
"It was a great conversation,"' said the source, who had been briefed on the content of the call by one of the participants. "Joe could not have been more supportive, and Alex could not have been more receptive."
The call was made the same day that it was reported by CBSSports.com that Girardi had made a call to the Yankee Stadium public-address announcer during one of the team's postseason games requesting that A-Rod's name not be announced when the manager sent a pinch hitter up to bat for him, presumably to spare him the scorn of the fans.
According to the source, Girardi made no apologies but reinforced Rodriguez's value to the Yankees lineup and laid out some expectations for his offseason training program.
I picture the two of them reclining in their respective bathtubs, twisting curly phone cords and chatting until the wee hours.
Anyway, A-Rod's an adult and a league veteran, but some extra reconciliation, motivation, and instruction from Girardi can't hurt. If anything, it's useful to at least appear to have smoothed things over, since ongoing stories about some sort of feud have the potential to be more distracting than an actual feud. But hey, let's all just get along.