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Brian Cashman: A-Rod caused ‘frustrating’ spring training last year

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Brian Cashman admitted that the way Alex Rodriguez showed up unannounced to spring training early last year got his return to the New York Yankees after a one-year suspension off to a rough start.

But the New general manager acknowledged Rodriguez did most things right from that point forward and in doing so helped make his transition back into the clubhouse that much easier. Further, after a circus-like spring training atmosphere last year, Cashman said the ball club and A-Rod are on the same page and expects a much smoother process this time around down in Tampa.

Speaking to ESPN’s Buster Olney on the “Baseball Tonight” podcastTuesday, Cashman discussed the chaotic scene last spring and how he envisions a much calmer environment this year.

“The way Alex went about his business and performance went a long way to full acceptance and bringing him back into the fold here,” Cashman said, as transcribed by NJ.com. “Those were trying times last spring. I remember he showed up last spring training before the other position players and without a heads up for us in the front office and staff. From an organizational standpoint, we needed security to handle all the media swarming the facility. It was a kerfuffle. It was frustrating, but I’m glad it all settled down. We’re all in alignment now and on the same page. Regardless of what takes place in life, there’s higher ground we can all shoot for. Alex did that, and we’re happy for it.”

Cashman also praised Rodriguez for taking new and young Yankees players under his wing — something he has been known to do — and that kind of approach makes the 40-year-old veteran “really an extra coach.”

But Cashman nevertheless said previously he is not sure what he can expect out of A-Rod this year after posting a triple-slash of .250/.356/.486 with 33 homers and 86 RBI last season, respectable numbers given his age, to be sure.

Although the general manager did make one thing abundantly clear about the one thing he doesn’t envision seeing out of A-Rod this season.