Yanks skipper thinks star will miss game after retiring and may find coaching track appealing
By Steve Dorsey
Special to MLB.com |
JUPITER, Fla. -- Whenever Alex Rodriguez decides that his playing days are over, Yankees manager Joe Girardi doesn't necessarily believe that the 40-year-old slugger will hang up his uniform, too.
A-Rod did not make the trip to Jupiter for Tuesday's 1-0 loss to the Marlins at Roger Dean Stadium, but Girardi readily responded to a question about the 21-year veteran possibly staying in baseball as a coach or instructor after he retires.
"I think Alex would probably prefer to manage, if he was going to do anything, because I think he likes all the strategy of the game," Girardi said. "He would be a great hitting coach, because he understands mechanics as well as anyone that's played the game."
While the Yankees were waiting for the Marlins to finish their batting practice session, Girardi stopped behind the batting cage to chat with Barry Bonds -- MLB's all-time home run king, who this year has put on a uniform again as the Marlins' hitting coach. Girardi said he would not be surprised to see A-Rod follow a similar path.
"Until you get away from it a couple years, you're not sure exactly how much guys are going to miss it, but I think he's really going to miss it," Girardi said. "So I wouldn't be surprised if you saw him in uniform."
• When CC Sabathia was informed that his first start this spring would be in Jupiter, he didn't think too much about it, despite the fact it entailed a road trip across the state. He had a different viewpoint after his outing Tuesday.
"I didn't have a problem with it until I got on the bus," said Sabathia, who had never made a spring trip from Tampa to Jupiter. "That bus ride was terrible. Four hours. It was bad. I'm too old to be riding on a bus, man."
The Yankees spent Tuesday night nearby and will take another bus ride Wednesday morning, although much shorter -- about 30 minutes up I-95 to face the Mets in Port St. Lucie, live on MLB.TV. Sabathia said he was heading back to Tampa -- "but not on a bus" -- Tuesday night.
"Maybe I'll take a helicopter the next time," he joked.
• Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius made a nice running catch of a pop fly by the Marlins' Dee Gordon in foul territory near the stands beyond third base for the third out in the bottom of the third inning.
• Girardi spent a few moments chatting with Marlins manager Don Mattingly before Tuesday's game.
"It was really good to see him," Girardi said. "We chatted and caught up a little bit. I think he's going to do great, I really do. Donnie's a great baseball guy. He's got a great mind, and I think he'll be great for these young kids."
Steve Dorsey is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.