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Alex Rodriguez: Joe Girardi said ‘no’ to 3B

With Alex Rodriguez‘s final game in a Yankee uniform set for tomorrow night in the Bronx (pending a possible rainout), he joined ESPN’s The Michael Kay show on 98.7FM New York this afternoon.  Hosts Michael Kay and Don LaGreca asked him all of the questions that the sports world has been contemplating and debating since Rodriguez’s surprise press conference Sunday morning.

Saying that his “inbox is completely full”, Rodriguez mentioned that “Derek [Jeter] reached out to me.  He congratulated me”.  Fans can remember that Rodriguez, a shortstop by trade, gladly switched his position to third base upon signing his contract so that Derek Jeter can remain The Captain of the infield.

In the interview with Kay and LaGreca, Rodriguez also shied away from any questions about his relationship with manager Joe Girardi.  The media and fans have been speculating that their relationship has been strained since Rodriguez’s playing time has recently been quite limited.  Rodriguez told Kay and LaGreca that he asked Girardi about playing third base in his final game.  The answer: “Joe said ‘no’.”  When pressed further by LaGreca, Rodriguez, saying the fans remember him most for playing third base, responded: “I thought that I could at least make the routine plays. It would have been fun and exciting for me and for the fans. I asked the question and Joe just said ‘no’.”

Girardi, following Rodriguez’s press conference, promised: “If he wants to play in every game, I’ll find a way”. With fans at Fenway Park (yes, Boston Red Sox fans) chanting “We want A-Rod” during the past two games, Rodriguez has seen very limited time in the Yankees batting order, getting one at-bat last night.  Rodriguez is slated to be the cleanup hitter in tonight’s matchup.

For anyone questioning Girardi’s managerial philosophy, fans may recall that he was going to allow future Hall Of Fame closing pitcher Mariano Rivera to play centerfield in his last game in pinstripes.

As far as Rodriguez’s expectations for a reception from the fans at tomorrow’s game? “I hope it’s a good thing. My mother and 2 daughters will be there. I have people flying in from all over the place: Miami, Dominican Republic, [and] the West Coast. Hopefully the weather cooperates.”