|Alex Rodriguez fist-bumps a young autograph seeker|
before a spring training game in Clearwater, Florida, on Friday.
If you believe the New York City tabloids (frequently a risky proposition), Alex Rodriguez entered spring training on the verge of physical breakdown and with the Yankees management devoutly wishing that he would quickly reinjure his post-surgical hips. Supposedly the Yankees covet the insurance money on A-Rod's bloated contract more than they covet whatever he can do on the field. (That they had the veteran make the long haul to Clearwater says something about how they view him.)
So far this spring, the 39-year-old is slashing .306/.405/.583 with three homers. He's seen only limited time on the field -- a little third base, a little first base action scheduled for today -- but mostly DH. This was expected; the Yankees re-signed midseason trade acquisition Chase Headley for third base and have Mark Teixeira at first. (It's completely possible that Teixeira will break down before Rodriguez does. Neither veteran has a stellar health record of late.)
There's no need to root for the widely-reviled Rodriguez, who missed all of 2014 to suspension for his involvement in the Biogenesis performance-enhancers scandal. But he's a no-loss proposition for devoted Yankee haters such as me. The Yankees many not want him, but he's not going anywhere, and he's got two more seasons on his contract after this one.