Yankees star: 'You have to protect yourself'
"Whatever it is I'm going to appeal it," Rodriguez said Monday. "When somebody attacks, you have to protect yourself."
Boston pitcher Bronson Arroyo hit Rodriguez with a pitch Saturday, prompting the AL MVP to stare at the mound as he moved slowly toward first base. Boston catcher Jason Varitek positioned himself in front of Rodriguez and the two began jawing before Varitek, still wearing his mask, pushed Rodriguez in the face.
The dugouts and bullpens emptied.
Rodriguez said that Varitek started the fight.
"What was said, from my half, was simply a rebut and a reply," Rodriguez said. "What was said under the mask was a lot greater."
Rodriguez said he merely stood up for himself.
"If someone challenges you like that, I'm going to stand up to it," he said.
Rodriguez still had a scrape on his right cheek before Monday night's game against Toronto.
Told that Varitek missed Sunday's game after he injured his wrist in the brawl, Rodriguez joked: "I'm stronger than I look. If you hit me, you'll break your wrist."
New York right-hander Tanyon Sturtze injured his right pinkie in the fight and will not make his scheduled start against Baltimore on Thursday. Sturtze will have an MRI in New York on Tuesday. He also has a 3-inch cut under his left ear.
Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press
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