Have to give Alex Rodriguez credit: He didn’t try to come up with some sort of phony answer about his relationship with Joe Torre.
With the Yankees going to Los Angeles this weekend, every New York reporter here in Phoenix will be writing a Torre story for Thursday’s off day. Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada each used the phrase “father figure” to describe Torre, and Joe Girardi called him a mentor, but there’s no reason to pretend Rodriguez had the same sort of relationship with the former Yankees manager.
No one asked Rodriguez a negative question about Torre, but when he was asked the standard stuff about what it will be like to see Torre in a Dodgers uniform, Rodriguez elected not to give the cliche answers. He talking glowingly about Don Mattingly and Larry Bowa, but shutdown questions about Torre.
“No more of those questions,” Rodriguez said. “Any more questions about anything else. I’m not going to get into that.”
• Marcus Thames is with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, but he’s only there to take batting practice. He’s not ready to start a rehab assignment. “He went there to do his work there,” Girardi said. “He’s taking BP. I don’t have a day when he’ll play in a game.”
• No word on when Alfredo Aceves will be getting in a game either, but Aceves is in Tampa and reports are good. “His rehab is going fine,” Girardi said. “I know he played long, long toss yesterday and everything was good. I have not gotten the report on what he’s done today but everything has been good. He’s definitely lasted down there longer than the last time.” (Last time Aceves was in Tampa, he threw once and had to be shutdown)
• The plan all along was for Jorge Posada to play only two games this series, and Girardi said Posada will almost certainly play only two out of three in Los Angeles as well. “I didn’t even check with him,” Girardi said. “I knew I was going to play him two out of three. I wasn’t sure exactly how I was going to do it, but when he felt good after Monday’s game I said I was going to play him Tuesday to see if we could go two in a row.”
• By the way, it might be a while before Posada catches three in a row. “I just remember the last time I played him three days in a row he came up with the calf that bothered him and that sticks in my mind,” Girardi said.
• After Dan Haren had the only Diamondbacks RBI last night, Girardi started his pregame media session by saying Dontrelle Willis is a pitcher who can really hit well. “I hope I’m wrong today,” he said.
• Interesting line from Brett Gardner. When he was caught stealing last night, Gardner said it was partially because the fielder blocked second base. There’s little risk in doing that because Gardner always slides head first when he steals. Gardner said he might have to mix that up from time to time, if only to give middle infielders something to think about when he’s coming into the bag.
• CC Sabathia taking batting practice. It’s fun to watch.
Associated Press photo of Rodriguez.