Alex Rodriguez #13 of the New York Yankees warms up...

Alex Rodriguez #13 of the New York Yankees warms up during batting practice before a game against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field on June 1, 2015 in Seattle. Credit: Getty Images / Otto Greule Jr

Surprised by how good Alex Rodriguez has looked in pinstripes this season? You're not alone.

"You know, I have been surprised -- pleasantly surprised," A-Rod's former manager, Joe Torre, said Thursday night. "I think he started out before the season apologizing and doing a lot of things that really didn't gain any traction. Now he's just settling in to play baseball, which is what he does best.

"And I think the fans appreciate that, that he's not trying to make promises. He's just going out there and playing."

Torre spoke before an event at Yankee Stadium in which the Green Sports Alliance honored the Yankees with its 2015 Environmental Leadership Award.

Among the other sports personalities in the Bronx for the event was another figure from A-Rod's checkered past, the recently retired commissioner of baseball, Bud Selig.

His thoughts on old No. 13, who under Selig's watch was suspended from baseball for the entire 2014 season?

"I'm glad in a great sense that everything seems to have worked out," Selig said. "I don't really have any comment. I don't want to go back and replay all that.

"But it's obvious that he's off to a good start and there's been no controversy on or off the field and that's good for Alex and that's good for the Yankees."

Rodriguez is closing in on his 3,000th career hit (he's at 2,987 going into Friday night's game against the Angels), another milestone the Yankees will have to decide how to handle publicly.

Selig said he has been keeping busy in retirement, teaching at the University of Wisconsin and at Marquette and planning a book about his life and career.

What does he think of the job his successor, Rob Manfred, is doing?

"I think he's off to an excellent start," Selig said. "It's been a seamless transition, which is the way we planned it, and that has been, I think, very helpful to everybody, most importantly to the sport."

Selig said he was heartened but not surprised by the relatively successful start to the Mets' season.

"I came here many times and there were always a lot of questions about the Mets and my own relationship with the Wilpons," he said. "Sandy [Alderson] worked for me for a long time and I've known Sandy back into the Oakland days.

"Everybody kept telling me they're on the right track, they're on the right track . . . There are some situations that are hopeless. Houston and the Mets weren't, because they were building a good farm system."

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