NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — We all knew it was coming.
And we all knew it would get ugly afterwards.READ MORE: New Yorkers Urged To Wrap Up Holiday Weekend Travel Before Sunday Evening Storm
On Friday night, Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez hit his 660th home run, tying him with Willie Mays for fourth on the all-time list.
After Rodriguez reached the milestone, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said — as expected — that the organization doesn’t plan to pay A-Rod the $6 million bonus it had initially agreed to pay him for reaching the mark.
“We have the right, but not the obligation to do something, and that’s it,” Cashman told reporters on Saturday morning. “So there is no dispute, from our perspective.”
On Sunday, Rodriguez kept his cool when asked about the bonus and didn’t talk negatively about the Yankees’ controversial decision.READ MORE: New Jersey Officials Warn Storm Will Bring Dangerous Mix Of Snow, Freezing Rain And Strong Winds
“I’m just happy to be playing baseball. (The bonus discussion is) family business,” the 14-time All-Star said. “That’s nowhere near where my energy is these days. My energy is playing the game tonight. Just baseball.”
A-Rod missed all of last season due to a drug suspension and admitted to performance-enhancing drug use. Because the Yankees didn’t market his 660th home run like they would have had he not been linked to PEDs, they feel that the agreement is no longer valid. In the franchise’s mind, Rodriguez’s home-run feats are no longer marketable because of the controversy that surrounds him.
“I’ve been in a good place for a while now, and it’s just fun to be playing baseball,” Rodriguez said. “I’ve learned my lesson.”
The three-time American League MVP added that the disputed bonus is not a distraction to him, and his only focus is on playing hard and helping the Yankees win.MORE NEWS: Bronx High-Rise Victims Remembered With Public Funeral, Officials Pledge To Keep Up Support For Survivors
The Major League Baseball Players Association may file a grievance on A-Rod’s behalf, and if a settlement isn’t reached the case would be heard by an arbitrator.