Baseball is back and so is Alex Rodriguez. Yes, that guy they call A-Rod is back in Yankees camp. After serving a year plus suspension for PEDs, A-Rod is fighting for a job on the Yankees.
New York is paying him $22 million dollars this upcoming year with another $30 million if he hits six home runs to reach 660 for his career. The Yankees are currently trying to find a way out of the bonus A-Rod would earn for the home run milestone. So, what do you do with a guy when you are paying him $22 million? Let’s take a look.
A-Rod has played two positions in his big league career, shortstop and third base, but might have to venture to the other side of the diamond to see any time on the field this year. New York just re-signed Chase Headley to play third base for them and Tex still holds down first base, if he can stay healthy. The Yankees don’t have a set DH on their squad even though they could rotate several older players in that spot. If, big if, Alex Rodriguez can still hit, he will have a spot(somewhere) on the Yankees. Brian Cashman, Yankees GM, knew A-Rod was coming back this year and he still went out and re-signed Chase Headley who has been average at best over the last couple of years. This move, to me, signals the Bronx Bombers have no confidence in Rodriguez to come back swinging, and why should they? Mark Teixeira will be the starting first baseman but expect to see Rodriguez take some ground balls at first. Teixeira has a hard time staying healthy and if A-Rod wants a place to play he may want to purchase a first base glove.
The Steinbrenners are paying Rodriguez way too much money to not give him every chance possible to contribute for them this year. In the past, it’s been all about A-Rod and this year is no different. Rodriguez has to think only about himself while trying to carve out a spot on the Yankees.
You and I may not care for A-Rod but we all need to root for his success this year. Why, you ask? If A-Rod struggles or starts the year in AAA the media circus is going to take the focus away from the greatness that is the game of baseball and focus it solely on a guy that has cheated the game multiple times because he is a selfish person. You don’t even have to root for him to do good, just good enough to fill a roster spot on the Yankees and get a few at-bats to keep the media circus on the subway.