When Joe Girardi addresses the Yankees prior to their first full-squad workout today at George M. Steinbrenner Field, the manager’s words won’t land on Alex Rodriguez’s ears. For the first time since joining the Yankees in 2004, Rodriguez will not be on hand for the start of a spring training camp he won’t attend at all. While the Yankees go through drills, Rodriguez will be in New York rehabbing the surgically repaired left hip that is expected to keep him out at least until July — and possibly for the entire season. That leaves Rodriguez’s teammates to answer questions about his alleged ties to Biogenesis, the shuttered Miami anti-aging clinic that has been linked to performance-enhancing drugs. And until Rodriguez talks about it, Derek Jeter is staying quiet. “I have always tried to give people the respect to respond to anything before I respond to it,” Jeter said. Jeter admitted it would be different not having Rodriguez in camp. “It’s going to be odd that he isn’t here,” Jeter said of the third baseman, who has been replaced by former Red Sox mainstay Kevin Youkilis. “It’s going to be weird not having him here. He has been part of this team since 2004. It’s going to be awkward.” Girardi’s message will be about improving. That would have been easier with a healthy Rodriguez, baseball’s fifth-place all-time home run hitter with 647. “It’s odd when you don’t have players that you are expecting to be here,’’ Girardi said. “I keep in touch with him and see how he is rehabbing.’’ With 84 players in camp, Mark Teixeira explained even if Rodriguez was around he might not have seen him amid the crowd yesterday. However, the time is coming when Rodriguez will be missed.
Jeter: ‘Awkward’ without A-Rod
New York Post | Feb 18