Today was day one of Alex Rodriguez's rehab assignment. He started at third base for the Low-A Charleston RiverDogs and played a total of three innings before being taken out of the game. At the plate he grounded into a double play and struck out looking in his two at-bats, while he fielded two bunts at third that went for infield hits. Not the best start, but it's still way too early to think anything of it.
While addressing the media he said that he will need all 20 rehab games before he is ready to return to the Yankees. That means that barring any setbacks he is less than a month away from returning. A-Rod said that he would be back in Tampa on Thursday in order to play for the Tampa Yankees on Friday.
Rodriguez talked to the media about the spat he had with Brian Cashman last week over his Twitter account.
"We have the same interests," Rodriguez said Tuesday at Joseph P. Riley Park. "We have the same goal, which is to get me back to New York as soon as possible and hopefully, like in 2009, win a championship."
He also spoke about the reality of the situation he is in as he tries to rehab from a serious injury toward the end of his career. He seems confident, but at the same time he still doesn't know for sure what he can do. He's also taking responsibility for his failures:
"Anything that has to do with putting the ball in play and making a couple plays will be a huge moral victory for me," he said. "I have to be honest. I'm 38, not 28. I'm no longer a spring chicken. But I still feel like I can go out there and be productive.
"It's been a long time since I've done anything. Let's be honest, the way the year ended last year was pretty bloody. We got swept. I got benched, and pinch-hit for. And I have no one to blame but myself because I stunk up the house, that's for sure."
This guy definitely sounds like the awful PR nightmare the Yankees want everyone to think he is, but at the end of the day he just wants to get back to the one thing he's done well throughout the majority of his life. I can't really blame him for that. His contract might be awful and hamstringing the Yankees, but they still need him to come back and be the above-average third baseman he was last season if they want to compete this year.
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