TAMPA, Fla. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Hank Steinbrenner is looking ahead and not back when it comes to Alex Rodriguez.
Suspended last season for violations of baseball’s drug agreement and labor contract, Rodriguez reported to the Yankees’ spring training camp Wednesday at George Steinbrenner Field. A-Rod is trying to return as his 40th birthday approaches in July.
“Hopefully this spring he can contribute, that’s the bottom line,” Steinbrenner, the Yankees’ co-chairman, said Wednesday. “He can hit. He’s a natural. Hopefully he can still do it. We’re just going to take it as it goes. As far as whether he can contribute or not, we’ll have to see. Hopefully he will. Hopefully he’ll help the lineup.”
Steinbrenner was heavily involved in the team’s decision to sign Rodriguez to a record $275 million, 10-year contract in December 2007 after the three-time MVP terminated his $252 million, 10-year deal with three seasons remaining.