If a published report on Friday that questioned Greg Bird’s desire to return from a lingering foot injury angered the first baseman, he hid it well.
Joe Girardi said if he were on the receiving end of such a report, he might not be as successful.
“I don’t think I’d be too happy about it,” Girardi said. “Because I think only the player knows. I’d be a little bit upset about someone questioning my desire, my integrity.”
The report contained an anonymous quote, attributed to a club “insider,” that essentially said Bird isn’t doing all he can to return from the right ankle bone bruise that has sidelined him since May 2. Oddly, the quote was buried low in the story and there was no mention of Bird playing almost the entire 2015 season with a shoulder injury.
“I want to play. I’ve always wanted to play since I can remember,” Bird said. “I love baseball, so for me, I’m doing everything I can to get back. I love it and I want to be playing with these guys. I would hope people see that.”
Holliday road to return
Matt Holliday, on the disabled list since June 25 with a viral infection, is slated to serve as the DH Saturday and Sunday as part of a rehab assignment. The Yankees hope he’ll return for the start of the second half next Friday in Boston.
“I’ve gradually started to feel more like myself,” Holliday said Friday. “The last couple of days . . . I’ve felt more and more normal and able to do whatever I need to do.”
Starlin Castro (right hamstring strain) was replaced on the American League All-Star team by Robinson Cano on Friday, but Girardi said his hope is that Castro will rejoin the Yankees by the Red Sox series.
A-Rod and J-Lo appearance
Alex Rodriguez and his girlfriend, Jennifer Lopez, were on the field briefly about four hours before first pitch. A-Rod was at the Stadium to interview Aaron Judge as part of his duties as a Fox Sports analyst.
Pettitte present, too
Andy Pettitte and his 12-year-old son Luke’s youth league team, which the former Yankees lefthander coaches, were on the field during batting practice. Multiple players, including Judge, took pictures with the team.