TAMPA, Fla. - Even after consecutive rainouts, a fresh subplot about whether he blew off a rehab game, and Major League Baseball's investigative cloud hovering above him, all remains bright and balmy in Alex Rodriguez's world.
A day after reportedly meeting in Tampa with MLB officials regarding their probe into Biogenesis, Rodriguez went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts Saturday in Class A Tampa's seven-inning, 10-0 victory against Bradenton in the first game of a doubleheader. He sat out the second game.
Both strikeouts were on called third strikes. Rodriguez is 2-for-18 in seven minor-league games since January hip surgery.
"Felt great," said Rodriguez, who added he'll play for Tampa again Sunday, then head north to an undetermined destination. "Overall, I thought it was a very positive day, another good day in the process."
Not that it could've been much worse than his Friday.
Friday's game was rained out after a delay of more than an hour, but he wasn't seen by reporters at the ballpark beforehand. On Saturday, he sidestepped questions whether he got a call from the team saying he would be scratched from the lineup because of the wet field.
His meeting with MLB officials reportedly ended well before Friday's 7 p.m. start time.
"Scratched? No," Rodriguez said. When asked about a report that he had declined when Yankees officials asked him to head north right after Friday's meeting, he responded: "I'll have to check with that . . . This is news to me.
"Look, whatever conversation I had with my coaches and my trainers, I will keep that private. But [Friday] was rained out, I'm sorry about that. More importantly, today, we played a full game. Hopefully another full game [Sunday] and then we head north."
In addition to his two strikeouts, he grounded to shortstop and was hit by a pitch, later scoring on Peter O'Brien's home run.
On his only two defensive chances, he fielded a modest grounder to third for the game's next-to-last out, and charged a first-inning dribbler between the mound and third. His throw was low and late.
"I thought today was probably the happiest I've been with the way my body reacted," said Rodriguez, one of only two players in the Tampa lineup to go hitless. "My running, coming in on the baseball, it was nice to get a ground ball out there. But I thought the way I swung the bat . . . I felt like I had more power behind my swing."