The LoHud Yankees Blog

A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News

Rodriguez on his health, his position and his spot in the order

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Feb 25, 2012 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

During this afternoon’s press conference, Alex Rodriguez mentioned three different NBA players by name. He also brought up his high school football career, said he worked out at a German soccer field, and compared his thumb injury to one suffered by a skier.

At some point, he also talked about baseball.

On staying in the cleanup spot in the lineup
“It’s very important for me to be very productive in the middle of the order, but let’s make one thing clear: Winning trumps everything. Whatever the manager wants to do is exactly what I’ll do. With that said, I take enormous pride in hitting fourth. I think the combination of hitting lefty-righty-lefty always works in the middle. It brings huge dilemmas for the opposition. With my track record, I haven’t been very good at hitting eighth, so I’ll try to stay away from that. I’m going to make it as difficult as possible for Joe to take me out of that position.”

On the need to DH more days this season
“First of all, let me just say this. I don’t train and prepare to be a DH. I’m definitely not a DH. I think one of the things that I actually did that was above average last year was play very good defense. It’s also very important for the dynamic of our team to have a guy that plays not only solid defense but hits in the middle of the order. Is that going to say that you’re going to play 145 games down at third base? I’ll obviously defer to Joe, and I’ll do exactly what he wants me to do, but it’s definitely important for me to throw a very big number out there of playing third base. I came up watching, loving and admiring Cal Ripkin, and I saw him play third base well into when he was 40, 41. I don’t see any slowing down defensively. I think it’s important for our team to collect more wins and be more productive and have a longer lineup by me playing third base.”

On the importance of staying healthy
“I’m at a point in my career where I know exactly what I need to do. I’m at a point in my career where less is more. Range of motion, flexibility, stability is most important. I feel similar to last year, but I think in those variables I feel a lot better… I’d like to go out and play north of 145, 150 games and let the chips fall where they may, but at this point in my career, it’s go out and avoid the injury bug, stay focused, and stay healthy. The most important stat to me is the win column. The stats that don’t go on the back of your baseball card. But to answer your question, anything’s possible. You can throw up big numbers year-in and year-out with the games played. To me, wins and games played are the most important statistics.”

On accepting a less-is-more philosophy
“I’ve always felt that more is better. It’s just the way I’ve always done it. It’s the way I saw my Mom work when I grew up. I just felt that I needed to get up early and do the work, and stay up late and do the work. It’s been a hard lesson to learn, but over the past two or three years I understand that doing my corrective exercises, focusing a lot more on recovery (is best). When you’re in your 20s, you think about training and (then) you think about recovery, and at this point in your career it’s actually the exact opposite. To your point, yeah, I think I learned that lesson… The one thing Philippon told me many years ago when he did (the hip surgery) is that less is more, but I didn’t listen to him then. I went back to see him this winter and he’s very happy with the range of motion and how it looks. He reiterated the importance of less is more. I’m on board now.”

On the importance of corrective exercises to improve stability, flexibility, range of motion…
“I keep going back to corrective exercise, because I think that’s going to make a big difference in my career. One guy that you guys should probably talk to is Grant Hill. Grant Hill adopted the corrective exercises about four years ago. He had a lot of injuries – a big ankle problem – and I think he’s missed one game in four years. He gives 100 percent of that credit to corrective exercises, so we’ll see what happens and give it a shot.”

On whether he’s thought about retirement
“I came up loving guys like Hank Aaron and Cal Ripken; guys that played into their 40s. I feel really good right now, so I think avoiding the injury bug, I can play at a really high level for a long time. I’ve never felt, while I’ve been on the field, overwhelmed by anything or my performance declining in any way, as long as I stay healthy.”

On the Pineda trade
“I was very excited. I texted or called about half our roster. That’s the one great thing about playing for the New York Yankees: Every year you have an opportunity to not only make great moves, but an opportunity to win a championship. For us, going to the World Series is not enough – it’s obviously winning it. Pineda is very exciting. We faced him once or twice in the summer and he had unbelievable stuff. We’re definitely looking forward to having him on our pitching staff.”

On the Ryan Braun decision
“I don’t know any of the details or the facts so I’d rather not comment on that. I learned several years ago to stay in my very small circle of competence, which is very small. I’ll let the experts like you guys weigh in on that.”

On Jeremy Lin
“Linsanity, wow, what a run. You look at the Giants, you look at Linsanity, there’s been so many great things happening in New York, we kind of feel like we want to jump in the party. The great thing about Linsanity is it kind of reminds you how fun the game should be. For some of us that have been playing for a long time, if just for one second you’ve taken the game for granted, it makes you realize how much fun the game is. If he’s still looking for a place to crash, maybe he can crash at my apartment. Imagine the tabloids then.”

Associated Press photos




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