NEW YORK (WFAN) — Alex Rodriguez says he hasn’t swung a bat since he grounded out in his final game with the Yankees in August. But don’t think that means he doesn’t miss playing the game, at least somewhat.
“I miss my four at-bats. I miss the clubhouse. I miss a lot of what happens with the guys — going to dinner, spending time with them,” Rodriguez told WFAN’s Mike Francesa on Thursday. “But I don’t miss the grind. I don’t miss waking up and my body hurting and waking up sore. But I get my fix with Fox and being around the Yankees, and I’m in a good place. I’m enjoying retirement.”
Rodriguez spoke to Francesa hours before calling his first game from the booth in FS1’s broadcast of the Yankees-Royals game in Kansas City.
A-Rod, who also serves as a special adviser for the Yankees, said he’s been impressed by the Bronx Bombers.
“Aaron Judge obviously has been kind of the great story, but there’s a lot of unsung heroes,” the 14-time All-Star said. “I mean, top to bottom, they’ve been unbelievable.
“I don’t even recognize (Aaron) Hicks. He’s been probably, for me, the most pleasant surprise and one of the biggest turnarounds, obviously not only in performance and body language and attitude, but he is completely focused, and he’s been a big key of this team.”
Rodriguez said the success of Judge, who is batting .320 with 14 homers, is the product of hard work in the offseason.
BEST OF FRANCESA: Interview With A-Rod Just Before His Final Game
“He had a full offseason, and he went back. He was very focused,” A-Rod said. “He worked on bat angle, and he worked, especially, on neutralizing that leg kick that was getting out of control, and he’s just a different guy this year.
“When you go into the offseason and you get a chance to look back and understand how people got you out and how pitchers were pitching you, sometimes in those four months, you can figure it out. And when you combine that with really high talent, you get what you’re getting.”
One of the few negatives for the Yankees, however, has been first baseman Greg Bird, who was 6-for-60 before being placed on the disabled list with a bone bruise on his right ankle. Rodriguez and Bird grew close over the past couple of years.
“I’m very high on him,” A-Rod said. “I continue to be very bullish in his future. The one thing that is impossible to forecast is can a guy be durable. And as a star player, especially a superstar player, the most important statistic year in and year out is games played.”
To listen to the interview, in which Rodriguez also discusses his upcoming appearances on “Shark Tank,” click on the audio player above.