In day two of the Alex Rodriguez spring training saga, the Yankees current third baseman Chase Headley formally meets his counterpart today at the Yankees minor league complex. It wasn’t a drama filled meeting as one might think, instead the two exchanged pleasantries and soon after got to work.
The two veteran infielders started the day with a light cardio workout (jogging), then hit the diamond where they both fielded some grounders side-by-side at third. The two even played a little friendly catch. They seemed to be getting along just fine, as A-Rod’s magnetic personality likely reeled Headley in. Though this wasn’t the first time they have spoken, A-Rod contacted Headley a few weeks ago, just to introduce himself in preparation for spring training. It was a gesture that Headley thought was very courteous.
Afterwards Headley spoke about his encounter with Rodriguez, talking with Lohud’s Chad Jennings:
“For me to be here, I feel like (playing third base) is what made sense,” Headley said. “We established that early on (in offseason contact negotiations). There’s a lot of things that can happen over the course of a season. Obviously the more bodies that you have that can fill positions (is) great, but if I thought I was coming here to be a first baseman or a left fielder or whatever, I wouldn’t have came back. That wouldn’t have made sense for me or the Yankees.”
Headley went onto say that working out with a new teammate isn’t an unusual occurrence at spring training. While each new encounter is different, meeting A-Rod wasn’t all that different he expressed.
“As a player, you experience different things in your career,” Headley said. “And I’ve been around long enough that there’s been different sets of circumstances that I’ve dealt with, and this just another one. As far as a teammate, I expect him to be great. I’ve heard great things from other guys, and every interaction that I’ve had with him has been positive. Hopefully here in a few days everything will calm down and we’ll start talking about baseball, but you know, obviously you expect to answer the questions about him. But from my point of view, it’s business as usual.”
A-Rod was mostly quiet today, along with his workout with Headley he took a few rounds of light batting practice. For those interested he hit five home runs today in those two sessions. Afterwards he spoke briefly with the media while signing a few autographs, just like yesterday. Rodriguez said he’s not going to let Headley off that easy, when asked if he still wanted the starting job at third base he replied “I’ve always had that approach.”