Alex Rodriguez is starting to ease back into baseball activities:
Alex Rodriguez was back on a baseball field Monday, working out for 48 minutes at the Yankees' minor league complex. With the trainer Gene Monahan beside him, Rodriguez took 40 grounders at third base, made about 75 total swings (some off a tee, some on balls flipped from a coach) and did some light running.
Welcome news indeed for Yankees who, no matter how much they want to blame Rodriguez for the team's failure to fulfill potential in recent years, have to be anxious to get him back in light of the way his replacement has played. Cody Ransom is hitting .083/.154/.125 which is not really any better than having a cardboard cutout of himself out there. Heck, a carboard cutout of at least an average third baseman would probably be better than the real Ransom.
But while only the hardcore haters can even begin to claim that not having Rodriguez on the field is a good thing for the Yankees, reasonable people can still wonder what impact the hype and drama inherent in the A-Rod experience will have on the team. To that, A-Rod suggests that people need not worry:
Rodriguez said his month in Colorado helped him focus on baseball. He seems to realize that the many distractions in his life — as exemplified by the cadre of publicists and image consultants he employs — can be counterproductive.
"Not only was I able to fix myself, I was able to rethink things and reorganize my thoughts, kind of put your arms around where you want to be and where you want to go," Rodriguez said. "It's all about our team, and everything else is on the back burner . . . I want to get back to what I did in '07, cut some of the fat out and focus on playing baseball and focus on what I do best."
That would certainly be welcome. I mean, 2007 was an absolute dream on the A-Rod distraction front. Except for the stripper. And the opt-out drama. And the Katie Couric interview. Beyond that stuff it was all business in Alex Rodriguez Land.