Yankees' Steinbrenner won't discuss future of Alex Rodriguez

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NEW YORK — Hank Steinbrenner says too much blame is being directed at Alex Rodriguez for Detroit’s sweep of the Yankees, and won’t address whether the slumping star will be back in New York next season.

“He was just one of quite a few that just had a bad time at the plate,” the team’s co-chairperson said Friday during a telephone interview with The Associated Press. “So is it fair to accuse him of everything but the Kennedy assassination? No, it’s not fair, but we’ll see what happens from this point on.”

The Yankees owe the third baseman $114 million over the next five seasons.

Rodriguez, who has the ability to block trades, was benched for three games in the playoffs and pinch-hit for in three others.

A-Rod said he wants to stay in New York.

“I’m not going to get into that at this point,” Steinbrenner said.

A person familiar with the situation said the Yankees want Rodriguez to focus more on baseball and less on being a celebrity, and hope he’ll come to grips with the idea at age 37 he no longer is the player who won three MVP awards and needs to set realistic goals.

RANGERS: Dave Magadan has been hired to replace Scott Coolbaugh as hitting coach, only weeks after Texas collapsed down the stretch and lost the AL West title and the AL wild-card game.

ASTROS: Hired John Mallee as hitting coach and added Dave Trembley to the coaching staff.

The team said that Doug Brocail will return as pitching coach and the team is bringing back Dave Clark. The Astros also named Quinton McCracken as their new director of player development and promoted Allen Rowin to be his assistant.

INDIANS: Infielder Matt LaPorta had surgery on his left hip.

The Indians said LaPorta had a “debridement” of his left hip joint.

LaPorta will need three to four months to recover.


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