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Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Doctor who proclaimed Alex Rodriguez healthy never met him

07.25.13 at 8:12 am ET

Welcome to Thursday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB: Rays at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Yankees at Rangers, 2 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Phillies at Cardinals, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Cubs at Diamondbacks, 9:30 p.m. (WGN)
WNBA: Seattle Storm at Los Angeles Sparks, 3:30 p.m. (NBA TV)


‘™¦ Alex Rodriguez might have showed his hand in a moment of desperation this week. The rehabbing Yankee, who is expected to receive a lengthy suspension from Major League Baseball for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs, appears to be trying to rush back to the majors so that he can collect his salary from the team if he is then banned by the league. The team is in no such rush, having told Rodriguez to rest a strained quad he reported Sunday (for the second time in two weeks).

Rodriguez, who has been on a minor league assignment as he works his way back after January hip surgery, attempted to prove that he’s healthy and ready to make his season debut in the majors by going off on his own to get a second opinion — in violation of the collective bargaining agreement, as he did not first get clearance from the team. To make matters worse, the doctor who pronounced A-Rod healthy acknowledged Wednesday that he has never actually met the player.

Dr. Michael Gross — the chief of orthopedics at Hackensack Medical Center in New Jersey who was reprimanded and fined by the New Jersey State Board of Medical Examiners in February for allowing an unlicensed individual “participate in the care and treatment of patients at the center and failing to adequately ensure proper patient treatment involving the prescribing of hormones including steroids” — said in an interview that he based his diagnosis on viewing MRI results and asking Rodriguez over the phone if he felt any pain.

Rodriguez spent four hours at the team’s minor league complex in Tampa on Wednesday.

“I feel great. That’s all I’ve got to say,” he told reporters upon leaving.

‘™¦ Mariners manager Eric Wedge suffered a mild stroke, the team announced, and he will miss the team’s next series in Seattle as well as the upcoming road trip to Boston and Baltimore while he recovers at home.

Wedge, 45, was released from the hospital Wednesday, two days after he was helped from the field after becoming dizzy during batting practice. Bench coach Robby Thompson will fill in as manager while Wedge, a former Red Sox catcher, rests.

“We expect a complete recovery,” general manager Jack Zduriencik said. “What he needs to do is stay home for the next short period of time. We expect him to be back sooner rather than later. He sounds normal, talking to him it sounds like everything is fine and he’€™s ready to roll. But we’€™re going to err on the side of caution. The common-sense thing is to have Eric rest, and it makes sense that he won’€™t take this trip to the East Coast. When we get back, he’ll be evaluated and we’ll see where we stand.”

‘™¦ It’s been a rough month for Lakers fans (not that Celtics backers would have any sympathy). First, Dwight Howard departed via free agency. Then Metta World Peace was waived.

Now, Andrew Bynum, who was traded from the Lakers to the Sixers last year and signed as a free agent with the Cavaliers this week, took a veiled shot at Lakers fans when asked about Cleveland fans in an interview following his introductory press conference.

Said Bynum: “I just know that they’re really, really passionate, and I haven’t had the opportunity to play for a city that is really just going to stand up and really support the team. I’m super excited and I can’t wait to see what it’s like.”

Meanwhile, Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony showed no support for rumors that he was planning to sign with the Lakers if and when he becomes a free agent after the upcoming season.

“I doubt it,” he told a reporter from TMZ.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On July 25, 1966, Ted Williams was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. During his speech, Williams lobbied for the induction of which two players?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “It’€™s a sad day, it’€™s really a sad day on so many levels.” — Patriots coach Bill Belichick, breaking his silence on the Aaron Hernandez situation at a Gillette Stadium press conference

STAT OF THE DAY: 1.96 — The career ERA at Fenway Park for Rays ace David Price, who pitched a complete game Wednesday night as Tampa Bay stifled the Red Sox, 5-1

‘NET RESULTS (mobile users, check the website to see the videos): An 11-year-old soccer fan who had his wrist broken by a Cristiano Ronaldo free kick that sailed into the stands tells his story.

Here’s video of the May motorcycle accident involving Florida State football player Nick O’Leary (grandson of golf legend Jack Nicklaus). It looks bad, but O’Leary apparently is OK and expected to play this season.

Royals pitcher Ervin Santana, the subject of much speculation leading up to next week’s trade deadline, has a video called “Trade rumors” that takes a dark turn.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Negro League stars Josh Gibson and Satchel Paige

SOOTHING SOUNDS: Bruce Woodley, former member of the Seekers, was born on this day in 1942.

Read More: alex rodriguez, Andrew Bynum, Carmelo Anthony, Eric Wedge