Alex Rodriguez had the night off in the Yankees’ 5-1 defeat of Florida Friday, a somewhat humiliating scenario given the third baseman having invited some 100 family and friends to attend the game at LandShark Stadium. The Journal News’ Peter Abraham notes Rodriguez had earlier claimed Doctors Marc Philippon Mark Lindsay had recommend he take 5-8 games during his first 45 back. That’s in stark contrast, Abraham writes, to Rodriguez playing in 38 consecutive games, 33 of them at third.

A-Rod said he fought to stay in games, which is what he supposed to do. Knowing him, I™m sure that™s exactly what he did. But why didn™t the Yankees stick with the plan their doctors drew up? All of a sudden a third baseman with a high school education knew better than the two best doctors in their respective fields? Of course Alex said he wanted to play. What else would he say?

Joe Girardi admitted yesterday that he should have given Alex more days off than he did. It appears that Brian Cashman finally forced the issue yesterday. But he should have made that call a week ago.

Tom Verducci had a great stat yesterday: Alex is hitting .246 since he turned 33 last July 27. If you look at those numbers more closely, he has an .880 OPS. That™s pretty good compared to most players. But he was at .969 before that. He also has stolen only five bases in his last 96 games.

Whether it™s his hip, his age, his use of PEDs for three years, his personal issues or whatever, Alex is in a steep decline and the Yankees have to figure out a way to stabilize that and get something out of him. Otherwise that $258 million they owe him through 2017 is going to go down as the worst contract in sports history.