As we continue to inch closer to pitchers and catchers . . .

YES was on hand Wednesday for the grand opening of the Alex Rodriguez Educational Center at the Hank Kline Boys and Girls Club in Miami, where A-Rod spent time in his youth.

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Kimberly Jones sat down with the Yankees third baseman for an interview that will appear on YES' "Yankees Hot Stove" at 6:30 p.m. Thursday.

"You sense that [the opening] meant a lot to him," she said, adding the interview also included Rodriguez' reflections on how his experiences in 2009 changed him.

An excerpt of the interview is scheduled to be aired during the 4 o'clock hour of Mike Francesa's WFAN/YES simulcast.

A-Rod has come a long way since this time last year, when I spent the last week of January obsessively covering the fallout from Joe Torre's book, in which Rodriguez did not come off particularly well. 

Photo: Getty