“The Yankees would rather fly the Boston Red Sox’s World Series flags at Yankee Stadium than see Rodriguez step on the field again.
“The Yankees are disgusted by him. They want him out of their lives. And they want Major League Baseball to suspend Rodriguez into eternity.
“The Yankees no longer are concerning themselves with the race to win the American League East, but the race to see whether Commissioner Bud Selig can banish Rodriguez before he gets healthy.”
Bob Nightengale, USA Today
From “Joe Girardi faces a major challenge as questions swirl around 2013 Yankees,” Steve Politi, New Jersey Star Ledger:
“Forlorn is a good word to describe the vibe around the Yankees with the season opener looming Monday. Everyone seems to doubt their ability to get out of their own way, much less win the more competitive AL East.
“Gone is the perception that all a Yankees manager has to do is fill out the lineup card and manage the bullpen properly for the team to win 95 games, because the reality is something else entirely.
“Now, and for the foreseeable future, Girardi might have to manage his you-know-what off to keep the Yankees afloat until they get healthy. There will be only two certainties day to day: That Robinson Cano will bat third or fourth and that Mariano Rivera will pitch the ninth in a save situation.
“Otherwise, running this team will be a tricky job. He’ll have to find a productive lineup from an odd collection of newcomers and spare parts. He’ll have to keep his aging starters from burning themselves out too soon. He’ll have to use his bullpen perfectly because, chances are, his offense won’t bail out many mistakes.”