NEW YORK - Alex Rodriguez insisted he wasn’t bothered by George Steinbrenner’s public criticism.
The Boss told Joe Torre he didn’t mean it.
Just another day at the Bronx zoo.
After a sloppy game Tuesday night, the two-time AL MVP was singled out in quotes attributed to Steinbrenner in New York newspapers Wednesday. Rodriguez made two key errors against the rival Red Sox, and Steinbrenner voiced his displeasure as he left Yankee Stadium.
“I’m upset at a lot of them,” he was quoted as saying. “The third baseman!”
But Torre said Steinbrenner called him Wednesday and told him his comments were misinterpreted. Torre said The Boss told him he never meant to “get on” any of his players.
“It wasn’t an apology. It was basically that he doesn’t feel that way. That’s the best I can give you,” Torre said.
A clarification, he was asked?
“A clarification,” Torre said.
Torre told Rodriguez about what appeared in the papers, and A-Rod acknowledged he was surprised that Steinbrenner singled him out.
“It’s been my first time,” Rodriguez said. “We all know the history of that. It’s pretty common.”
But Rodriguez said it didn’t bother him.
“He’s the boss. He can say whatever he’s inclined,” Rodriguez said. “He signs everybody’s checks, so he’s entitled to it.
“When you’re the boss you can do pretty much whatever you want. He just wants to win.”
The nation grieved for those hurt, killed and affected by the Boston Marathon bombings. After one of the suspects was caught on Friday — following a day-long lockdown and manhunt — sports returned to Boston over the weekend.
Rodriguez, often hard on himself, obviously wasn’t happy with his play Tuesday night.
“It was ugly all-around,” Rodriguez said, adding that he’s not going to “jump off a bridge” just because of a bad game against Boston.
“We’ve been playing pretty well, so we’ve just got to keep things in perspective,” he said.
Torre also said Rodriguez appeared OK.
“Alex is not going to always own up to what bothers him, but he seemed fine,” Torre said.
Notes: The Yankees aren’t sure whether RF Gary Sheffield will be ready to come off the disabled list when he’s eligible on May 21. “I just can’t say right now whether that would be realistic or not,” Cashman said.
HBT: Carlos Ruiz was lifted from Sunday afternoon’s game against the Reds after straining his right hamstring while running the bases in the bottom of the second inning.
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