A-Rod has given Joe Girardi confidence that he can be a useful player

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Despite so many people saying that his days as a useful player were over, that he was going to be a distraction and that he was only going through the motions of wanting to play because there’s so much money in it for him, Alex Rodriguez has shown this spring that he can be a useful player for the New York Yankees.

That’s not my opinion. That’s his manager’s:

“I definitely think he’s swung the bat pretty good,” Girardi said. “I just think his at-bats are more consistent; his timing is more consistent.” . . . Rodriguez has shown Girardi enough in the field to give the manager confidence to play him at third base if Chase Headley needs a day off, and while A-Rod hasn’t played first base in a game yet, it looks like that will happen at some point before the spring ends.

He’s hitting .286 with two homers and three runs driven in in 13 games this spring. Oh, and we’ve heard almost nothing from him in terms of quotes or other sorts of antics that could label him a distraction.

If he can avoid a cratering of his average, particularly against lefties, hit a handful of homers and stay out of the tabloids, I think that would exceed most people’s expectations of what he’d be able to provide.