Continued from page 1

Cashman praised outfielder Alfonso Soriano, acquired Friday from the Chicago Cubs for minor league right-hander Corey Black. His accolades for Soriano’s attributes could be interpreted by some as criticism of what Rodriguez is not.

“Over the years, we used to be attracted to all types of players and all types of personalities. If they could play, that’s all the mattered,” Cashman said. “I do think with the evolution social media and the explosion of the Internet and ESPN, everything, that having high-character guys that work hard and get along with everybody and obviously you have talent to boot, clearly is important.”

Given his team’s offensive struggles, manager Joe Girardi said he would be happy to have Rodriguez back as quickly as possible.

“People follow him around a lot. I never really had to deal with that,” Girardi said. “When I was in rehab, no one came to watch. They didn’t care if I teed or tossed or anything.”

NOTES: CC Sabathia allowed six runs in the second inning and seven runs over five innings in all. He is 0-3 with a 7.04 ERA in his last four starts, dropping to 9-9 on the season. “Left a fastball up, a couple sliders, a changeup up,” Girardi said. “That was the problem in the second inning. He was up in the zone, and they didn’t miss it.” Sabathia became the only big league pitcher this year to give up seven runs or more in three straight outings and only the second Yankees pitcher since 1935, joining Chien-Ming Wang in April 2009. “If I can help us out, I feel like we would be doing a lot better. But getting no help from me is making it tough,” Sabathia said. … Soriano was 0 for 5 with an RBI grounder in a three-run ninth in his first game for the Yankees since 2003.

___

AP freelance writer Mark Didtler in Tampa contributed to this report.