Originally written on The Other Paper  |  Last updated 11/18/14
Hal Steinbrenner ignored the pink elephant in the room when asked questions about Alex Rodriguez's looming 211-game suspension and legal woes with Major League Baseball. But the New York Yankees owner said he made it clear to his embattled third baseman about the team's expectations when he donned the pinstripes once again. “Look, as I told him when I talked to him in Tampa, we need him. We do. That’s just obvious,” Steinbrenner told the N.Y. Daily News before Tuesday’ game against the Angels at Yankee Stadium. “We’ve still got our injuries and my hope is that he comes back and continues to improve and stay healthy. He has to perform, and he has to act professionally.” When we last heard from Steinbrenner discussing the A-Rod situation back in June, he acknowledged "there have no doubt been times that we’ve been disappointed" in A-Rod since he signed his $275 million contract in 2007, adding that the organization wanted Rodriguez “to act like a Yankee” if and when he returned to the team. The three-time AL MVP played in his seventh game Tuesday following offseason hip surgery and since MLB slapped him with a ban last week that was intended to cover the remainder of this season and all of 2014 for the 14-time All-Star's involvement in the Biogenesis/PED scandal. Because he was suspended under the joint drug agreement in the CBA, Rodriguez is eligible to play until his appeal his heard. “I’m not going to get into that, at all. We’re just waiting to hear the way everybody else is,” Steinbrenner said. When asked if he’s disappointed that A-Rod and other past and present Yankees — including Francisco Cervelli — who accepted a 50-game ban — have been linked to PEDs, Steinbrenner added, "Like I said, I don’t have any comment on it." As for Yankees' poor showing so far this season — they were 61-57 and 6.5 games out in the race for the second wild card berth in the American League, but have won 4 of the last 5 on the current homestand —  Steinbrenner pointed to the unusually high rate of injuries his high-priced team has endured all year. "It’s bad policy to lean on excuses, but it’s also bad policy to ignore the facts. We’ve had at least 15 different guys on the DL, several of them multiple times. It’s mostly been on offense. When you’re playing with those kinds of injuries it’s tough to play against teams that are fairly healthy. That’s just a fact,” Steinbrenner said. “But I will say the (recent 2-6) road trip was very disappointing to me." It sounds like there's a pinstriped elephant in the room now.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Yankees wanted Rollins but Phillies' price was too high

Pop misses game for medical reasons; Messina takes over

John Beilin upset with ESPN for late start time to game

Tyson Chandler felt like Knicks' scapegoat at times

Fred Jackson has 'no respect' for Donte Whitner

Devon Still responds to unpaid child support allegations

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Diamondbacks sign Cuban slugger Yasmany Tomas

Josh Gordon felt alienated by some in Browns organization

Jerry Jones: I'm a big admirer of Robert Griffin III

Raiola fined for uneccesarily striking Pats' Zach Moore

Report: Michigan keeping Jim Hackett on as athletic director

LeBron James on Ferguson: 'Violence is not the answer'

Todd Gurley begins rehab after surgery on knee for torn ACL

Brodeur to practice with Blues

OSU player posts Michigan player's girlfriend as his 'WCW'

Jim Harbaugh's family may not eat turkey thanks to NBC

Ole Miss' The Grove threatened by Mississippi State fan

Is it time for the Redskins to move on from Robert Griffin III?

Top 10 fantasy football turkeys for 2014

WATCH: Coyotes lose in ugly fashion, score own goal in OT

Warriors are having tons of fun on team plane

Jenn Sterger hints she'll be back in her FSU cowgirl gear for game

Game of the week: Kansas City Chiefs vs. Denver Broncos

Top storyline for each Week 13 NFL game

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

John Beilin upset with ESPN

Should Washington move on from RG3?

Dominic Raiola fined for cheap shots

Game of the week: Kansas City Chiefs vs. Denver Broncos

Rose leaves with injury again

WATCH: Pierce signs for fan during game

Report: McCoy to start over RG3

Braxton Miller headed to Oregon?

10 most one-sided college football rivalries

Pierce: C's Big Three like 'Holy Trinity'

Maclin unhappy with Cooper comments

Post-Week 13 CFB Playoff projection

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.