New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi gleefully insists he is in regular contact with Alex Rodriguez and remains excited about his improbable comeback.

“I am,” Girardi tells ESPN of Rodriguez, who after sitting out all of last season serving a yearlong steroids related suspension is expected to be in camp for the start of Spring Training in the next several months.

“There is going to be attention,” added Girardi. “Some of it is going to be negative. Some of it is going to be positive. We’ll deal with it. I know there is going to be a lot of attention the first week [of spring training] and then everyone sort of disperses and covers other stories around the country. We’ll have to deal with a lot in the beginning, but it will spread around the country. It always does.”

Girardi insists he’s convinced Rodriguez can make it all the way back to top playing form, and may even be able to rehabilitate himself in the eyes of many of the game’s fans.

“We live in a forgiving world in the sports world,” he said. “It is something we live in. His job, his main concern, just has to be getting prepared to play and just doing his job. That’s what he needs to do.”

What Girardi envisions for Rodriguez is a return to his familiar third-base position. Currently, the Yankees have no starter penciled into the spot and it appears  Rodriguez will be given every chance to reclaim it as his own.

[Photo Credit: Keith Allison]

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