As you know, over the weekend the Yankees and Alex Rodriguez announced the embattled slugger will play his final game on Friday at Yankee Stadium. He'll then be released and join the team as a special adviser and instructor.

During Sunday's press conference, manager Joe Girardi said he would talk to A-Rod to see whether he wanted to play any games prior to Friday. Rodriguez has started just one of the team's last 15 games as they have essentially phased him out.

Girardi backtracked on those comments on Tuesday though, telling reporters he needs to put the best team on the field, and that doesn't include A-Rod. Here's what he said:

Rodriguez is not playing Tuesday or Wednesday -- he may pinch-hit those days -- but will be in the lineup Thursday for New York's series finale against the Red Sox in Fenway Park. A-Rod played his first MLB game at Fenway and I'm sure playing his final road game there will be special for him.

A-Rod will start Thursday, but not Tuesday or Wednesday. USATSI

That said, A-Rod told reporters he asked to play all three games against the Red Sox this week as his career winds down, but Girardi doesn't want him in the lineup the next two days.

Man, that's harsh, especially after Girardi said Sunday he would talk to A-Rod to see if he wants to play this week. Saying that at the press conference then going back on it is a bad look.

Also, it's really hard to buy the "we're trying to win games" line after the Yankees traded arguably their three best players (Carlos Beltran, Andrew Miller, Aroldis Chapman) at the deadline. They're 4 1/2 games back of the second wild card spot with five teams ahead of them. SportsLine puts their postseason odds at 0.4 percent.

Well, anyway, the Yankees don't owe A-Rod anything and vice versa. They're not under any obligation to play him this week just because his career is ending Friday. It's just kinda weak for Girardi to say he'll talk to Rodriguez about playing this week, then go back on it.

I didn't think this was possible, but the Yankees managed to turn A-Rod into something of a sympathetic figure during this entire ordeal.