Tallahassee Journal

Chase Headley calls workout with A-Rod ‘business as usual’

Chase Headley calls workout with A-Rod ‘business as usual’

For the first time this spring, New York Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez and Chase Headley were paired up at third base for a workout. While it’s unknown what they discussed, it begs a back-page headline in one of the New York tabloids. With his arms out and a quizzical look on his face, Headley seemed to be saying: What are you doing over here? We already have a third baseman. “I promise you I didn’t say that,” Headley said, laughing. “I don’t know what I said, but I promise you I didn’t say that.”635603881364383778-2-24-headley

With Rodriguez and Headley each early arrivals in Tampa, today was their first opportunity to work side-by-side. They ran, they hit, and they fielded ground balls at third base; the position Rodriguez used to play every day in Bronx, and the one Headley will now play every day. “For me to be here, I feel like (playing third base) is what made sense,” Headley said. “We established that early on (in offseason contact negotiations). There’s a lot of things that can happen over the course of a season. “Obviously the more bodies that you have that can fill positions (is) great, but if I thought I was coming here to be a first baseman or a left fielder or whatever, I wouldn’t have came back. That wouldn’t have made sense for me or the Yankees.”

Really, Headley said working out with Rodriguez was a lot like working with any other new teammate. Obviously it’s a unique situation that has its own quirks, but Headley said there was nothing awkward about today’s workout. He and Rodriguez spoke on the phone earlier this winter — it was Rodriguez who initiated that conversation — and today was a pretty typical first meeting. “As a player, you experience different things in your career,” Headley said. “And I’ve been around long enough that there’s been different sets of circumstances that I’ve dealt with, and this just another one.

“As far as a teammate, I expect him to be great. I’ve heard great things from other guys, and every interaction that I’ve had with him has been positive. Hopefully here in a few days everything will calm down and we’ll start talking about baseball, but you know, obviously you expect to answer the questions about him. But from my point of view, it’s business as usual.” Manager Joe Girardi reiterated that he expects Rodriguez to primary play designated hitter. Bu the said Rodriguez will also get some time at third base, and Girardi wants him to take some ground balls at first base just in case he’s needed to back up over there.