Girardi might be one of the few to feel that way.
With the Biogenesis scandal hanging over his head, Rodriguez could be in the lineup for the series opener against a White Sox team trying to avoid its worst skid in 57 years.
Rodriguez hasn't played this season due to offseason hip surgery and a quadriceps injury that followed, but the three-time AL MVP appears ready to go after completing a rehabilitation assignment at Double-A Trenton.
Rodriguez's injury situation, though, is the least of his concerns, as Major League Baseball suspended him through the 2014 season for his link to a clinic accused of distributing banned performance-enhancing drugs.
The suspension, announced hours before this game, is set to begin Thursday."I don't suspect it'll be awkward (if Rodriguez is back). Most of these guys know him as a teammate and have laughed a lot with Alex and been around Alex a lot," said Girardi, whose team is 57-53 and a season-worst 9 1/2 games out of first place in the AL East following Sunday's 6-3 loss at San Diego. "I think it'll be business as usual. I'm sure there will be more media there, obviously ... but I think that's probably more for Alex to deal with than the rest of the guys. I don't think it'll be a big deal."
While Rodriguez could be manning third base for the first time this season, the left side of the Yankees' infield will be missing Derek Jeter - again. The team captain, who has sat out the last two games, has a mild strain in his right calf that could have happened while making a play in Friday's 7-2 loss.
Jeter, who was activated from the disabled list last Sunday (strained right quadriceps), has played in five games this season after making his debut July 11 following offseason surgery on a broken left ankle suffered in the 2012 AL championship series."It's frustrating," Jeter said Sunday. "It's terrible. The whole season has been a nightmare."
It's definitely been one for the White Sox (40-69), who limp home following a winless seven-game trip. Chicago has dropped 10 straight for the first time since June 11-20, 1976. The club's last 11-game skid spanned from July 7-18, 1956.
"There are not too many people in here, myself included, that have experience with what's happening here," captain Paul Konerko , whose ninth-inning homer forced extras in Sunday's 3-2, 12-inning loss to Detroit, told the White Sox's official website. "I was never on a team like this and a lot of the guys are the same way.
"We are just trying to get through and you just try to do the best you can at the moments you are in there playing and making decisions to do stuff. That's it. There are not a lot of positives. You have to try to find them as best you can personally and as a team."
Adam Dunn hit .393 (11 for 28) on the trip, but the White Sox batted .213 as a team with 18 total runs.
To help provide some kind of spark, Chicago could call up outfielder Avisail Garcia , who was acquired from the Tigers in the three-team deal Tuesday that sent Jake Peavy to Boston, at some point during its 10-game homestand. Garcia is 4 for 12 with a homer and four RBIs at Triple-A Charlotte.
Jose Quintana (5-3, 3.62 ERA), a former Yankees farmhand, will get the ball Monday after throwing five innings of three-run ball in Wednesday's 6-5, 10-inning loss at Cleveland. The left-hander recorded his major league-high 14th no-decision.
Quintana has faced the Yankees once, a 14-7 victory in the Bronx last June 12 when he gave up six runs in six innings.
New York's Andy Pettitte (7-8, 4.28) has made his last three starts on the road, and the Yankees have lost each time. The left-hander gave up two runs in seven innings Tuesday - his longest start since June 14 - before the Dodgers walked off with a 3-2 win.
Pettitte is 3-7 with a 6.01 ERA in 13 starts at U.S. Cellular Field, including Game 2 of the 2005 World Series while with Houston.
Yankees newcomer Alfonso Soriano will return to Chicago for the first time since he was acquired from the Cubs on July 26. Soriano, batting .241 with a homer since that deal, is 6 for 8 with a homer at U.S. Cellular Field this season, including a 2-for-3 effort against Quintana in a 7-0 Cubs win May 27.
The White Sox won five of seven from the Yankees last season, including a sweep in Chicago from Aug. 20-22.
|Alejandro De Aza||1||.000||0||0||0||0||1||.000||.000||.000|
|New York Yankees|
|August 03, 2013||Derek Jeter||Day-to-Day||Calf|
|July 27, 2013||Travis Hafner||15-Day DL||Strained right rotator cuff|
|July 23, 2013||Luis Cruz||15-Day DL||Sprained right knee|
|July 20, 2013||Zoilo Almonte||15-Day DL||Sprained left ankle|
|July 19, 2013||Zoilo Almonte||Day-to-Day||Left game - left ankle sprain|
|July 16, 2013||Robinson Cano||Day-to-Day||Left game - leg|
|Chicago White Sox|
|July 30, 2013||Alex Rios||Day-to-Day||Left foot contusion|
|July 21, 2013||Gordon Beckham||Day-to-Day||Strained ligament, left wrist|
|July 03, 2013||Paul Konerko||15-Day DL||Strained lower back|
|July 03, 2013||Paul Konerko||15-Day DL||Strained lower back|
|July 02, 2013||Jesse Crain||Day-to-Day||Right shoulder tightness|
|June 29, 2013||Brian Omogrosso||15-Day DL||Strained right triceps|
CHICAGO (AP) -- It was one strange day, even for Alex Rodriguez .
First, he was hit with a long suspension. Then he made his season debut. He got booed, blooped a single and, all things considered, said he felt pretty good out there.
Rodriguez went 1 for 4 in his first game for New York, but the Chicago White Sox beat the struggling Yankees 8-1 on Monday night to snap a 10-game losing streak.
"I just hope that there's a happy ending there somewhere," he said.
Rodriguez returned to the big leagues hours after he was suspended through 2014 by Major League Baseball in the Biogenesis case, a punishment he plans to appeal. The three-time MVP had been out following hip surgery.
His punishment overshadowed everything else, whether it was teammate Derek Jeter going back on the disabled list because of a strained right calf or Andy Pettitte (7-9) getting knocked out early.
Alex Rios drove in four runs, Alexei Ramirez added four hits and Jose Quintana (6-3) pitched into the seventh for the White Sox.
Was it a good day for baseball?
"A little bit of both," Jeter said. "I don't know if you can say it's a good day anytime you're talking about a negative, negativity. I understand what baseball is trying to do, They're cracking down on players."
Rodriguez, meanwhile, is digging in, ready to go toe to toe with MLB.
"We're just getting started in this process," he said. "But for me, personally, I just want to get back to baseball, playing hard and playing with a lot of intensity. I just want to see what our team has to offer."
At 38 and coming back from the hip injury, he said he's fighting for his life. He was welcomed back with the same sort of greeting he got on the road in the past, a series of boos and jeers amplified by the penalty announced earlier in the day.
The crowd at U.S. Cellular Field booed Rodriguez during pregame warmups and introductions. When he stepped to the plate in the second inning, the fans could have drowned out a jet.
They weren't feeling any better after Rodriguez dropped a leadoff single into shallow left on the third pitch. He moved to third with no outs on Vernon Wells ' double but was stranded.
Rodriguez flied out in his second and third at-bats and handled a few grounders at third, getting booed every time he stepped to the plate or touched the ball.
He also struck out in the eighth as fans chanted "Steroids! Steroids!"
Rodriguez shrugged off the reaction. "I love Chicago," he said. "I love the fans here. It's just a great town, great people. I'm just so humbled being on the field, being able to play the game I love."
Rodriguez did not deny using performance-enhancing drugs in a news conference after the punishment came down. Instead he said he will talk about whether he used PEDs at another time when he is more free to speak.
He did say he has to defend himself because no one else will.
"I want nothing but the best for Al and his family," Pettitte said. "Glad to see him back. He's going to help this club. He's a great ballplayer. He's in to the game. He'll definitely help us."
The Yankees are hoping Rodriguez can provide some sort of spark even though they're fading from the playoff picture. They need more power for their lineup, something that's been a particular problem for their third basemen.
Pettitte, however, did them no favors. He lasted 2 2-3 innings in his shortest outing since July 18, 2010, while matching season highs for runs (seven) and hits (11). He fell to 0-3 in his last four starts.
Rios delivered an RBI single and scored during a three-run first. He added a two-run single in the second that made it 5-0.
Rios then capped a two-run third with a bases-loaded walk after Preston Claiborne replaced Pettitte, making it 7-0.
That was more than enough for Quintana, who gave up one run and eight hits in 6 2-3 innings.
"It was just a good night offensively," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "Guys were swinging it."
NOTES: Pettitte is the first Yankees pitcher since at least 1920 to allow runs in the first inning in seven straight starts within a single season, according to STATS LLC. ... Besides Rodriguez, Yankees C Francisco Cervelli and minor league OF Fernando Martinez were suspended 50 games. "I think he had made strides this year as a player, and I want him to come into spring training ready to go, try to learn from what has happened," manager Joe Girardi said when asked about Cervelli. ... With Jeter going on the DL, the Yankees recalled infielder Dave Adams from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. They also designated infielder Brent Lillibridge for assignment, and Rodriguez was activated from the disabled list. Outfielder Thomas Neal was claimed off waivers by the Cubs. ... White Sox LF Dayan Viciedo jammed his left thumb diving for Robinson Cano 's single in the first inning and left the game. The team said X-rays were negative and he's day to day. ... RHP Hiroki Kuroda (10-6, 2.38 ERA) starts for the Yankees, with LHP Chris Sale (6-11, 2.92) pitching for Chicago on Tuesday.