NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Alex Rodriguez is indeed on hand for Monday’s festivities in the Bronx.
As expected, the injured third baseman arrived for Opening Day at Yankee Stadium, though he wasn’t a part of on-field introductions prior to the opener.
There likely would have been some healthy pregame jeers for A-Rod, who has been wrapped up in baseball’s Biogenesis scandal.
He didn’t sound like a player ready to line up on the chalk.
“I don’t need to be introduced to feel like a part of this team,” Rodriguez said Monday. “I’ll tell you what, when I get introduced, I want to be on the field and not look back.”
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A-Rod was among the many players reportedly linked to the alleged PED-peddling clinic in Florida.
He has denied the allegations, and declined to comment on the matter prior to the opener.
“No, I’m not (worried),” he said. “But I’m not going to further discuss this. At some point, I feel that everything will be good.”
The 37-year-old has been rehabbing in New York from offseason hip surgery. He never joined his teammates this spring in Tampa, Fla.
“His presence is good for the team,” Yankees closer Mariano Rivera said Monday.
Rodriguez is expected to miss at least the first half of 2013 — if not more. He posted images on Facebook last week of his workouts as he tries to return this season from a torn labrum in his left hip.
“I love when all these people say, ‘You can’t do this. You can’t do that. You’re done. You’re old.’ … It’s a great challenge to prove all you guys wrong,” he said.
Should A-Rod have taken the field for introductions? Be heard in the comments!