Today, Rodriguez is slated to report to Spring Training. However, he won’t be taking the field for the Yankees this season. Instead, Rodriguez will begin his new job as the ‘special instructor’ to the minor-league players.
The Yankees claim that they have always liked Rodriguez’s knowledge of baseball, and that may be so. However, I also think the Yankees just gave him this job so they didn’t feel like they were basically giving him the rest of his $21 Million contract.
Or, it could be that the Steinbrenners believe in giving people infinite chances.
“Mr. (George) Steinbrenner always gave people second and third chances and brought people back to the organization that did really good things for the organization,” Joe Girardi said to the media on Monday morning. “There are situations that happen that aren’t always so positive, but that didn’t keep Mr. Steinbrenner from bringing people back, and Hal’s doing the same thing.”
But what is Rodriguez expected to do as the ‘special instructor’ to the kids in the organization?
“To work with our players; to extend the knowledge that he has about playing the game and talking to the young kids; how to deal with expectations; how to deal with different positions and how to hit in the middle of the order,” Girardi said. “You know, all the things Alex did well. Those are the things that we want him to offer: insights to our young players and to the older players as well.”
There’s no denying Rodriguez was a problematic ballplayer and all of his misfortunes were a result of his actions. However, Rodriguez knows baseball and could really put his knowledge to good use.
Rodriguez will be in camp and will be in uniform. But instead of No. 13 stepping in the batter’s box, he will be coaching the next core of players who hope to take Yankee Stadium by storm.