KISSIMMEE, Fla. — The best first basemen, like the best umpires, are the ones you hardly notice. They’re not supposed to interest you, excite you, or make you nervous. If they’re doing their jobs correctly, you’d barely even know they were out there. On this day, however, a first baseman for the New York Yankees was definitely the center of attention. For one particular play, he was an object of fascination because this first baseman was Alex Rodriguez, and in his 21st season in the big leagues, was about to attempt something he had never done before: Range to his right, field a ground ball, pivot and flip the baseball with just enough arc to lead his pitcher to first base. A routine play for just about any first baseman. For A-Rod, a bit of an adventure, of course, because isn’t everything? Although his 39-1/2 year old legs carried him to the baseball, the grounder off the bat of Evan Gattis popped up and out of the unfamiliar leather appendage on A-Rod’s left hand. For a moment it looked as if the experiment would end in utter humiliation and failure. Or at the very least, an infield hit. But just as quickly, the ball settled back into the glove, and using those great hands that made him a standout shortstop and a better-than-good third baseman for more than two decades, A-Rod turned, flipped the ball to lead Nathan Eovaldi to the bag, and the out was made.
Great news that ARod was able to get through yesterday without anything weird happening and it causing some kind of story. Really thats all we needed out of yesterday because so far ARod has done everything right this spring and has been the furthest thing from a distraction. Even making 1 error would have caused a huge story. The thing is, ARod isn’t going to make careless errors playing first, because he has been a Gold Glove shortstop and a pretty good fielding third basemen throughout his career. So while there will be an adjustment, it wont be a huge one. Its nothing a player of his caliber can’t handle.
Teixeira left a minor league game yesterday after getting hit in the knee, and with his history of being built with the toughness of an egg yolk, its great news for Yankee fans the ARod is available to play some first. Might as well let the guy help in the field on his way to 30 home runs this year.