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Torre: Rodriguez shouldn't have tried to distract Blue Jays' fielder

Alex Rodriguez Rodriguez

BOSTON -- Even Joe Torre says Alex Rodriguez was out of
line.

The New York Yankees manager concluded A-Rod shouldn't have
distracted a Toronto fielder this week during a popup, joining a
chorus of baseball people who said the two-time AL MVP broke the
sport's unwritten code.

"He may have been excited about the fact that we were leading
the ballgame," Torre said Friday before his team's series opener
at Boston. "It was probably inappropriate to do it at the time he
did it, but you can't change it, unfortunately."

Alex, New York, biggest contract, biggest team. That's combustible right there. If this is in Kansas City, it probably would be a story that wouldn't have lasted two days. It's a longer story and a louder story because it's New York and it's Alex Rodriguez.

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman

The play occurred in the ninth inning of New York's 10-5 win at
Toronto on Wednesday night.

With the Yankees leading 7-5, Rodriguez was on first base and
ran hard when Jorge Posada popped up. As he ran near third baseman
Howie Clark, Rodriguez said something -- 'Hah!' according to
Rodriguez, 'Mine,' according to Clark. The ball dropped for a
run-scoring single.

When the game ended, many Toronto players stayed on the bench,
staring at Rodriguez and New York players.

"They were angry," Torre said. "Oh, there's no question. I
can't say I blame them, but what are you going to do about it?
What's happened has happened."

Torre said he spoke with Rodriguez after the game.

"It's probably something he shouldn't have done," Torre said.
"I don't sense he's going to do it again."

Torre didn't explicitly tell Rodriguez not to do it, and
Rodriguez didn't say he wouldn't, according to the manager, but it
was clear to Torre there will be no repeat. A-Rod wasn't available
to reporters before the game.

"When you know somebody, you sort of have a conversation and
it's what you get out of it," Torre said. "I think he was
probably uncomfortable with" the reaction.

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman wasn't convinced Rodriguez
did anything wrong.

"I'm not sure what the difference between that and the
hidden-ball trick is, or a catcher dekeing at home plate that a
ball is not coming in and the last second he gets the ball and
drops the tag down," Cashman said. "I'm kind of indifferent to
it, because I was looking at it, trying to figure out, is this
something that's not right?"

Cashman said he had heard reports that some players do the same
thing and others that it doesn't happen.

It did happen in the bottom of the second inning Friday when the
Red Sox had the bases loaded and two outs. J.D. Drew hit a popup
short of third base. As Rodriguez camped under it, fans started
screaming. He made the catch and threw the ball to a fan as he left
the field. The fan threw it back onto the field.

Cashman said he wasn't sure the play in Toronto was "that big a
deal, to be quite honest. But, obviously, other people had issues
with it."

"Alex, New York, biggest contract, biggest team," Cashman
said. "That's combustible right there. If this is in Kansas City,
it probably would be a story that wouldn't have lasted two days.
It's a longer story and a louder story because it's New York and
it's Alex Rodriguez."

Notes
The Yankees placed DH Jason Giambi on the 15-day DL with
torn tissue in his left foot that is expected to keep him out at
least three to six weeks. "It could be longer," Cashman said.
"No one's told me about season-ending." He said that Giambi has
to rest and let the injury heal and that surgery is not an option.
... Torre said CF Johnny Damon, who is having calf problems, will
be Giambi's primary replacement at DH.