Alex Rodriguez predicts he'll be "a little nervous" when he returns to the field Wednesday for his first game in 17 months following a season-long drug suspension.
The three-time AL MVP, who turns 40 in July, skipped the New York Yankees' spring training opener Tuesday against Philadelphia in Clearwater. He is slated to be a designated hitter for two or three at-bats against the Phillies on Wednesday in Tampa, Fla.
He says he's "excited for tomorrow" and adds: "I'm not sure how ready, but I'll give it a shot."
Are the Yankees' fans his fans? Thus far, he has been applauded during batting-practice sessions but crowds have been sparse. While Wednesday's game isn't a sellout, a crowd of about 9,000 is expected. His reception will be examined as intently as his swings.
"He was caught. He paid his time, and now he's back, and he's a Yankee and we're going to cheer for him," New York manager Joe Girardi said. "Some people are going to say, you know what, I might have a hard time cheering for him. And some people are just fans and they fall in a love with a player, and no matter what they do, it doesn't matter."
QB Wilson to visit Rangers again
Two-time Super Bowl quarterback Russell Wilson is set for his second appearance at spring training with the Texas Rangers.
The Seattle Seahawks quarterback is scheduled to visit the Arizona camp March 28. Like he did in a visit last spring, Wilson is expected to go through a morning workout with the Rangers, address minor leaguers and be in uniform for an exhibition game. It is unlikely that he will play in the game against the San Diego Padres.
Texas selected Wilson in the Class AAA portion of baseball's December draft in 2013. Even with Wilson settled into an NFL career, the Rangers felt he could have an impact on their young players.
"He has done something that each one of these players aspire to do, and that's win a world championship," new Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "Anytime you have a guy like that in camp, it is a big deal to be able to share experiences and leadership values."
•After posting a lineup with Jimmy Rollins at the top of the batting order for the Dodgers' Cactus League opener Wednesday against the Chicago White Sox, manager Don Mattingly said he expects Rollins to be his leadoff hitter this season.
"That's the one guy, I think, we are pretty sure about," Mattingly said. "Jimmy is really kind of that leadoff guy."
•The Cubs' scramble to get as much of a massive renovation of Wrigley Field done before the April5 home opener hit a bump when Mayor Rahm Emanuel dashed the team's hopes of winning city approval to keep construction crews working around the clock.
•The Yankees say they have fired a part-time tickert seller accused by Curt Schilling of making offensive comments on Twitter about the daughter of the former Boston pitcher.
•Bill Schweitzer, a lawyer for the American League and Major League Baseball for more than two decades, died Tuesday in Washington. He was 70. Schweitzer was an adviser to former Commissioner Bud Selig and his successor, Rob Manfred, and headed baseball's government relations.