TAMPA, Fla. -- Under a patchwork of blue skies and billowy clouds, Alex Rodriguez spent a little more than 30 minutes taking batting practice Wednesday morning on the side field at George M. Steinbrenner Field. He, along with the approximately 30 fans watching, seemed oblivious to what may happen when he meets with MLB officials on Friday about his involvement with Tony Bosch and the Miami-area Biogenesis clinic.
"He's still a legend," said Donna Gartrell, 52, who was in town from Alexandria, Va., to see her son, Alec Grosser, pitch for the Gulf Coast Braves, the rookie-level affiliate of Atlanta. "My son didn't get to take the mound the other day when they were here to play, but he was still excited because he got to see Derek Jeter and [Rodriguez] take batting practice. It's amazing he's out here. What a day."
After going 0-for-3 with two strikeouts as the starting third baseman for Class A Tampa on Tuesday, Rodriguez was slotted to be the designated hitter in the No. 2 spot of the batting order Wednesday when the Yankees' Class A affiliate takes on the Dunedin Blue Jays.
During his routine Wednesday morning, Rodriguez spent several moments talking with former Yankee Marcus Thames, who is the hitting coach for the Tampa Yankees. Rodriguez switched off with a couple of other Tampa Yankees players during his batting practice, taking 8-10 swings each time in the cage.
He practiced hitting to all fields and sent four balls over the outfield wall.