Alex Rodriguez met with reporters for the first time of the year yesterday and it was different from years past because there were no major controversies to discuss (unless you count popcorn based stories).
A-Rod laughed off the popcorn stories, but he did talk about his hip and revealed something interesting. For the first time this offseason Dr. Marc Philippon, the Dr. who performed the hip surgery, told him he can go back to working out at 100 percent.
“This is as healthy as I’ve felt over the last several years,” A-Rod said. “I went down to see Philippon either in late-November or December and he gave me the full green light to actually go out and train like I usually do. The last several years, I’ve probably been 60-70 percent rehab, 30 percent training. This year, he actually let me go out, gave me the green light to do 100 percent training, get ready to play baseball.
“That said, I don’t make any excuses for what I’ve done the last several years, because no one wants to hear excuses, but at the end of the day, it’s been fun getting back to work.”
Maybe I’m being a bit naive here, but I’m excited for the possibility of a big season for A-Rod in 2011. Since the hip surgery his numbers just haven’t been what they used to be including the worst statistical season of his career last year. If he’s been able to work out at 100 percent for the first time in years that should go a long way in reversing his statistical trends. He’s not getting any younger, but he’s still just 35 and based on the weight he showed up to camp in, he still has the desire.
It doesn’t seem out of the question at all to think that A-Rod could put together a .300/35-40 home run season in 2011.