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Rodriguez happy — but not too happy — with fast start

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First pitch. First swing. Alex Rodriguez sent his first spring training home run to right field this afternoon. It was a solo shot off Roy Halladay, either a good omen or a good result that means nothing.

“I don’t know,” Rodriguez said. “Look, last year I stood here and had a really good spring, felt really good and the results during the year weren’t what we all wanted. Definitely one day a time. A good start, hopefully the first of many more days to come.”

Rodriguez finished the day 3-for-3, a triple short of the cycle in a 7-4 Yankees win. He used the whole field, drove in two runs and scored twice. He said he felt good in the field though no ground balls were hit to him. As usual, Rodriguez stressed that his biggest need is to stay healthy, [3]and Joe Girardi said he’s planning to treat Rodriguez more or less the same as everyone else. He’ll play every other day for a while, then start getting into some consecutive games later in the spring.

“You just take it slow,” Girardi said. “There’s no reservations about doing that, (no plan of) treating him any different than anyone else… I think a guy like that is just not going to get too carried away with at-bats and hits, but I look at how well he hit the ball. That’s what I like to see. He’s probably not going to hit 1.000 for the year.”

Fair enough, but a home run is better than a strikeout, right?

“Okay, I’ll give you that,” Rodriguez said.

Associated Press photo