Notes: No truth to A-Rod rumor

Notes: No truth to A-Rod rumor

PHILADELPHIA -- Alex Rodriguez a Phillie? Nope.

That was the latest grist floating through the rumor mill on Friday. It started on Wall Street on Thursday, and reached Rodriguez in Toronto, where the Yankees are playing a weekend series against the Blue Jays.

Here are the specifics: A-Rod, outfielder Melky Cabrera and a player to be named would come to Philadelphia for the quartet of Bobby Abreu, Pat Burrell, David Bell and Tom Gordon.

Before figuring how that works financially and in a baseball sense, know that it's not happening.

"It doesn't make any difference," Rodriguez told The New York Post. "I would veto it."

Rodriguez has become the main target of boos this season at Yankee Stadium, after he's made crucial errors and struggled in clutch situations. However, he has a blanket no-trade clause in his contract.

Three Phils officials also laughed at the rumor. One joked that Rodriguez was in the starting lineup, where he would pitch, play third and bat in the third through fifth spots in the batting order.

"I think he could fit somewhere in our lineup," manager Charlie Manuel said.

"I'm also getting traded to the Montreal Expos," joked reliever Rheal Cormier.

Ouch: Sometimes the ball smacks into flesh with a loud thud. Other times it cracks loudly on bone. Either way, it elicits a sympathetic groan from the crowd.

Next comes the examination by Phillies trainer Jeff Cooper. Shortly after that, center fielder Aaron Rowand typically dusts himself off and heads to first base with another hit-by-pitch.

"I figure I don't walk enough, so I can increase my on-base percentage by getting hit by more pitches," Rowand said, half-joking. "I try to get on base any way I can. A lot of times if the ball coming in at me, I usually don't try to jump out of the way. I'll just turn and take it."

Rowand, who also runs into walls, has been hit by 13 pitches this season -- second in the National League. He was hit 21 times last year with the White Sox. Earlier this season, former teammate Scott Schoeneweis joked that Rowand "couldn't stay away from balls and walls."

July has been particularly rough for Rowand, who's been hit five times. He usually stays in the game after a plunking, then loads up on ice after the game.

Three of the 57 times Rowand has been hit stand out, and he recalled them in graphic detail.

There was Aug. 24-25, 2005, against Minnesota's Joe Mays and Carlos Silva, which is really a two-parter.

"I got hit on the bone of my [left] elbow in one game and was really hurting the next day," he said, wincing. "I was in the lineup and Carlos Silva was throwing. I told [Mark] Buerhle before the game that if I get hit on the elbow, I'm going to cry. So my first at-bat, a sinker 92 [mph] in right off the same spot. My face welled up and I almost started crying. That was brutal."

His worst memory came on Sept. 9, 2004, when facing Texas starter Chris Young.

"He hit me right in the middle lower of my back -- on the side, in the ribs," Rowand said. "Chris throws about 92, 93, but throws a really heavy ball. It felt like the ball went through me. I crumbled. I looked like Roger Dorn in 'Major League' when I went down, or who's the guy Rick Vaughn hits in the middle of the back on the Yankees?"

Cleanup hitter Clue Haywood.

"Yeah, that was me," Rowand added. "I probably sounded like a little girl, too. It was fuzzy. He knocked the wind out of me. I went down and tried to catch my breath. Luckily, it was my third at-bat, so I only had one more at-bat left. We went to Anaheim the next day and Bartolo [Colon] is throwing. I woke up and couldn't move. It felt like he bruised my organs, not just my ribs. My whole insides ached. I missed two games."

Fasano returns: Catcher Sal Fasano (left knee inflammation) is back with the Phillies after a four-game rehabilitation assignment with Class A Clearwater. Though he went just 1-for-12 while catching and serving as the designated hitter, Fasano declared himself fit to return. Manuel said Fasano will see team doctors on Saturday, and the team will likely make a decision on whether to activate him.

That decision will force another tough decision, specifically how to clear a roster spot for him. They could option Chris Coste, or pitcher Geoff Geary -- their only players with options -- to Triple-A, though both seem unlikely.

Philling in:Lefty Randy Wolf threw 94 pitches in a rehab outing with Double-A Reading on Friday. He allowed six hits and two walks, while striking out four in five innings. ... Singer Meat Loaf sang "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" in the seventh inning. ... Former GM Ed Wade was at Friday's game.

Coming up: Brett Myers, who opposes Atlanta lefty Chuck James on Saturday at 4:05 p.m. ET, gets his first taste of the home fans' reaction as he takes the Citizens Bank Park mound for the first time since his May 23 arrest for domestic assault.

"I think the stands might get a little loud," Manuel said. "I'm not trying to send him a message. I think Brett can handle things. I want this to get over, and I want to put it behind us."

In his first start back in San Francisco, Myers shook off the boos, limiting the Giants to two runs in seven innings. His only nemesis was the long ball, as he was burned for two home runs, including one to Barry Bonds. Myers has two no-decisions against the Braves this year, allowing five earned runs in 12 innings.

Ken Mandel is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.