Thursday, January 15, 2015

A-Rod thinking positively as return season nears

Ask the average Yankees fan what their opinion of Alex Rodriguez is today, and chances are it won't be a favorable one.

Rodriguez, entering his age 39 season this spring, brought bad publicity upon himself numerous times this winter, and is coming off a year-long suspension for steroid use. He allegedly urinated on his cousin's floor back in November, and has been sued by everyone from his lawyer to his ex-brother-in-law since the summer.

Still, in a somewhat surprising turn of events, the veteran's thinking positively about his upcoming return to the diamond, limited as it might be after the signing of Chase Headley.

"I'm feeling really, really good," Rodriguez told The New York Post's Kevin Kernan this week. "I've been working hard, doing a lot of plyometics, and I am so excited for spring training and to be back with my teammates."

Rodriguez posted pictures of himself in the batting cage on Instagram last Wednesday, so it can certainly be assumed he's doing his part to get ready. He's even been taking grounders at third base, despite the fact he's expected to be the Yankees' DH in 2015. 

But really, can you blame him?

"Alex is looking at this season as a fresh start," a friend of Rodriguez's said. "He's prepared to do the best he can in his role as a DH, but he is also preparing to play third base, knowing there will be times that Headley needs a break."

As things stand, it's likely Rodriguez will be hitting somewhere in the bottom third of the Yankees' order, probably between second baseman Stephen Drew and shortstop Didi Gregorius. According to GM Brian Cashman, the team has low expectations for him in the upcoming season, with Cashman saying months ago that's the smart thing to do from someone in his position's standpoint. 

Nonetheless, A-Rod is making his presence known.

"I'm ready to go," he said.

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)