CHICAGO - The last time the Yankees were in this ballpark, August 2013, the fact that the White Sox swept three games went mostly unnoticed because a certain third baseman made his return to the field.
So Joe Girardi was asked before Thursday night's game at U.S. Cellular Field if he's been in contact with Alex Rodriguez, who is suspended for the season. Girardi paused a moment before answering. "I'm not going to say," he said.
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It was a good answer. He had nothing to gain by saying yes ("What did you guys talk about?") or no ("Are you avoiding Alex? And why?")
As for the circus that began Aug. 5, 2013, when Rodriguez returned, and never really subsided, Girardi said returning to this park didn't bring back those memories.
"[We've] been in Chicago for three days and it hasn't even crossed my mind until you brought up the school room, which I really didn't like too much that day," he said, a reference to the college lecture hall-like room in which he and A-Rod addressed a World Series-sized media horde. "But it's part of my job. That's part of my job."
Michael Pineda, on the DL since May 5 with a strain in his teres major muscle (located just beneath his right shoulder), is scheduled to throw live BP or a simulated game Saturday in Tampa. "He's progressing like we want. Everything's going according to plan," Girardi said. "So let's just keep going forward."