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Tuesday, July 16, 2013
A-Rod talks Bronx reception, geography

By Ian Begley

READING, Pa. -- Alex Rodriguez is, potentially, six days away from returning to the majors.

So how does the embattled slugger think he'll be received in the Bronx?

"Well, I hope that the reaction is great," he said after going 0-for-3 in his 10th rehab game on Tuesday. "Look, you're a human being. You go out there and you do your best and you hope the reaction is better than bad."

Rodriguez could return to the majors on July 22 against the Rangers in Texas, which would mark the end of his 20-day minor league rehab assignment.

Ten games into his rehab stint, Rodriguez is just 5-for-28 with one home run and six strikeouts.

He said on Tuesday night that he felt good at the plate despite the 0-for-3 showing.

"I'm happy about putting the ball on the bat four times tonight. That's always a good sign," Rodriguez said. "And I think, again, driving the ball to the outfield in the air, that's always a good sign."

It's hard to predict how Rodriguez will be received in the Bronx, but his alleged involvement in baseball's latest PED scandal won't endear him to an already upset fan base.

ESPN's "Outside the Lines" has reported Rodriguez and as many as 20 other players are expected to be suspended by baseball for their relationship to Anthony Bosch, the founder of the now-closed Biogenesis anti-aging clinic, who allegedly provided performance-enhancing drugs to the players.
Rodriguez has repeatedly declined comment when asked about his involvement in Biogenesis.

On Tuesday, Michael Weiner, the head of the players' association, said it's possible that the players with alleged ties to Biogenesis would not serve their penalties -- if there are any -- until the 2014 season.

When asked about this development, Rodriguez said, "It's a good question, but I'll defer to Michael and people who know a lot more than me on that situation. So I can't really comment on it."

Question: Will you boo A-Rod if and when he returns to the Bronx? Or are you going to support the embattled slugger?

Geography lesson: Rodriguez had a curious exchange with reporters after Tuesday's game.

Rodriguez was asked if he expected to continue his rehab assignment with Double-A Trenton at home against New Hampshire on Thursday.

"To Trenton?" Rodriguez said.

He was then informed that, yes, the Thunder will play in Trenton Thursday.

"Where is that?" Rodriguez said.

A reporter told him it was in New Jersey.

"I've never been there," Rodriguez said.

You learn something new every day. Even when you are Alex Rodriguez.

Off day on Wednesday: After playing four straight games, Rodriguez will get the day off on Wednesday. He will work out before the Thunder's matinee Wednesday afternoon against the Reading Fighting Phils. It is unclear if Rodriguez will remain with Trenton on Thursday or move on to Triple-A Scranton.