TAMPA, Fla. -- Alex Rodriguez has been so impressed by Jeremy Lin's performance, he's willing to offer the Knicks standout a reserved spot on his couch.
"Linsanity, wow, what a run," Rodriguez said Saturday, as he took a break from discussing baseball topics during his 23-minute news conference. "You look at the Giants, you look at Linsanity, there's been so many great things happening in New York, we kind of feel like we want to jump in the party.
"The great thing about Linsanity is it kind of reminds you how fun the game should be. For some of us that have been playing for a long time, if just for one second you've taken the game for granted, it makes you realize how much fun the game is."
Lin has reportedly upgraded from sleeping on Manhattan couches to a posh 38th floor, two-bedroom apartment at New York's W Downtown Hotel. But if he gets tired of that, A-Rod said that he'd be willing to have Lin stop by as a house guest.
"If he's still looking for a place to crash, maybe he can crash at my apartment," Rodriguez said, adding, "Imagine the tabloids then?"
Rodriguez was in an NBA state of mind on Saturday. He said that he thanked Kobe Bryant for introducing him to German doctor Dr. Peter Wehling and his Orthokine therapy, lauded Lin's emergence and compared his own "corrective exercises" to the ones that extended Grant Hill's career.
Ibanez liking the look of pinstripes
TAMPA, Fla. -- Raul Ibanez would be the proud owner of a World Series ring if not for the 2009 Yankees, so now the veteran is hoping that putting on pinstripes will give him a second crack at the opportunity.
"I'm still mad about the 2009 World Series loss," Ibanez said with a smile on Saturday. "Up until about a week ago, I was still mad about it, and then I said, 'OK, now I'm over it.'"
Ibanez, 39, finalized a one-year, $1.1 million deal with the Yankees last week, coming aboard as the left-handed-hitting complement to a designated-hitter platoon with Andruw Jones.
"It didn't really hit me until I pulled into the stadium and realized I would be working here," Ibanez said. "Putting on pinstripes you saw so many great players put on before you, it's an honor and a privilege."
Ibanez batted .245 with 20 home runs and 84 RBIs for the Phillies last year, his third season in Philadelphia after also playing for the Mariners and Royals in his 16-year career.
He described 2011 as "not very good" and said he wanted to eliminate problems that created inconsistencies, but manager Joe Girardi was encouraged by his first looks at Ibanez in camp.
"He looks healthy, he looks strong, he looks like he's moving fine," Girardi said.
The Yankees wanted Ibanez over other choices like Johnny Damon, Vladimir Guerrero and Hideki Matsui because of Ibanez's ability to play the outfield if needed, as well as his left-handed bat.
Ibanez said that he received offers from other clubs this winter, declining to say which teams called with interest. He liked the Yankees' opportunity best and was optimistic that it would work out.
"It had all the criteria," Ibanez said. "It's a winning team, it's a chance to win the World Series, being able to be close to home in Philadelphia where I live with my family, and an opportunity to get at-bats."
Girardi uses celebration video as motivation
TAMPA, Fla. -- Yankees manager Joe Girardi used a video of the team's wet and wild celebration of their 2009 World Series championship to kick off the club's Spring Training camp.
Girardi said that he wants the club to focus on the goal of winning it all, so the '09 celebration was used as part of the introductory welcome-to-camp package, as well as some more recent video.
"I talked to them about why we're here, our goals and the importance of keeping your goals in mind when you're going through your work," Girardi said. "Spring Training, as we know, can get long at times.
"We ask you to do things and make adjustments sometimes that you've never been asked to do. ... The real message is keeping in mind what we're setting out to do, and don't lose sight of that when you're doing your work every day. That's why we do the work."
Two players missed Saturday's workout; catcher Austin Romine (back) and right-hander George Kontos (oblique). Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that Kontos could miss a couple of weeks and does not expect Romine to take part in Sunday's workout.
Yankees ace CC Sabathia will not pitch the club's Grapefruit League opener on March 3 against the Phillies, Girardi confirmed. Pitching coach Larry Rothschild is still working on assignments, but Girardi said the spring's first games would be given to some of the younger pitchers already throwing live batting practice.
Alex Rodriguez said that he was "very excited" by the Yankees' January acquisition of right-hander Michael Pineda from the Mariners.
"I texted or called about half our roster," Rodriguez said. "That's the one great thing about playing for the New York Yankees; every year, you have an opportunity to not only make great moves, but an opportunity to win a championship.
"For us, going to the World Series is not enough -- it's obviously winning it. Pineda is very exciting. We faced him once [on May 27] in the summer and he had unbelievable stuff. We're definitely looking forward to having him on our pitching staff."
If Mark Teixeira follows through on his threat to bunt against the shift as a left-handed batter this year, Girardi reiterated that he won't have a problem with it.
"I believe in this game when you have an opportunity to take something, you take it," Girardi said. "If they're going to give you a free base with the hitters that are going to be behind him in our lineup, sometimes you've got to take it."