It's only fitting that Alex Rodriguez's tumultuous season faced another controversy heading into the final weekend.
A spokesman for Rodriguez, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman and Yankees manager Joe Girardi all refuted a New York Daily News report Thursday that Rodriguez had been granted permission to skip the final series of the season in Houston this weekend to prepare for Monday's arbitration hearing to appeal his 211-game suspension.
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Rodriguez was not available to reporters before last night's home finale against the Rays.
"We know nothing about that," Girardi said. "I know some reports came out, but we expect him to be there. He does not have permission not to be there."
Girardi said Rodriguez was not in the lineup last night because he had asked out of Wednesday's game because of lingering leg pain.
No Mo . . . no Joe?
With so much focus on Mariano Rivera's final game at Yankee Stadium, it had been mostly overlooked that last night could have been Girardi's final game in the home dugout. The manager's contract is up after the season and there are reports that his hometown Chicago Cubs and the Washington Nationals are interested.
The Yankees want Girardi back, but he declined to tip his hand about his future when given the opportunity.
"That's something for the offseason," Girardi said before the game. "Let's get through these four days and then I can maybe start to address those questions. I've said many times, I've really enjoyed being here as a manager, a coach, a player, a broadcaster. I've loved my time here. But that's not something that is handled in-season and I'll wait until the offseason."
Pettitte pitches tomorrow
Girardi adjusted the pitching rotation for the final series. Andy Pettitte will receive an extra day of rest before making the final start of his career Saturday. Girardi has yet to name starters for Friday night or the season finale on Sunday.