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Yankees ignore A-Rod's upcoming HR milestone

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Alex Rodriguez is in for a fight from the Yankees when it comes time to claim his $  6 million bonus for tying Willie Mays on the all-time HR list.Howard Simmons/New York Daily News

Alex Rodriguez is in for a fight from the Yankees when it comes time to claim his $ 6 million bonus for tying Willie Mays on the all-time HR list.

BALTIMORE – When is a milestone not really a milestone? Whe the Yankees decide it’s not, apparently.

The team is not including Alex Rodriguez’s pursuit of Willie Mays’ No. 4 spot on the all-time home runs list as part of the daily “Upcoming Milestones” sheet distributed to the media every day by the media relations department, another sign that the Yankees are planning to battle A-Rod over the $ 6 million marketing bonus if he ties Mays’ career total of 660 home runs.

A-Rod currently has 655 home runs after hitting one during the season’s first week.

The Daily News first reported in January that the Yankees would fight A-Rod on the bonuses, which were inserted into his 10-year, $ 275 million contract back in late-2007. Friday, the News reported that the Yankees would not declare the accomplishment as a “milestone,” which in their mind would annul the marketing agreement between the two parties.

According to a source, if the Yankees were to designate A-Rod’s achievement as a marketing milestone, the agreement would call for them to pay him a $ 6 million bonus in exchange for the rights to use his name and likeness on any merchandise relating to the event.

If the team decides it is not marketable due to A-Rod’s connection to performance-enhancing drugs and his 162-game Biogenesis suspension, it can decide to forego the designated of a milestone and not pay Rodriguez the bonus.

A-Rod will be able to take the case to an arbitrator, though according to the source, the only thing the arbitrator will have to establish is whether the Yankees acted in good faith in deciding the milestone was not marketable.

A source said that due to the potential for litigation between the two parties, the Yankees don’t want to list A-Rod’s pursuit of any home run marks on the team’s milestone sheet out of fear it could be used against them down the road.

For what it’s worth, A-Rod is mentioned three times on the “Upcoming Milestone” sheet: He is one run shy of tying Derek Jeter for ninth place on MLB’s all-time runs scored list, while he is one stolen base behind Bert Daniels and two behind Bernie Williams and Tony Lazzeri on the Yankees’ all-time list.

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Baseball – NY Daily News