Jeter: “I Don't Condone What He Did”

But Jeter Gives Support to A-Rod

Alex Rodriguez was the last of 60-plus New York Yankees to take the field for the team's first full-squad workout, sprinting from the right-field corner just as the first shuffle run began.

Some of the 1,200 or so fans gathered under a near-cloudless sky at Steinbrenner Field cheered when they saw No. 13. A few yelled out encouraging words. Not a single boo or insult was heard.

It remained that way as the most-prominent baseball player to admit using banned drugs completed two hours of training for a season that doesn't start until April 6. Based on Wednesday's small sample, Yankees fans are as forgiving as Rodriguez's teammates.

"We're here to support him through it," Yankees captain Derek Jeter said. "I don't condone what he did. We don't condone what he did. And Alex doesn't condone what he did. And I think at this point now it's our jobs to try to help him be as comfortable as he can on the field and try to move past this."

Rodriguez reported for spring training on Tuesday and held a 32-minute news conference, his first since Sport Illustrated reported on its Web site Feb. 7 that he was on a list of 104 players who tested positive for steroids during baseball's anonymous 2003 survey. He had admitted to ESPN on Feb. 9 that he used banned substances while playing for Texas from 2001-03, and he expanded on his story during his news conference. He claimed a cousin -- whom he would not identify -- repeatedly injected him during those years with a mysterious substance from the Dominican Republic called "boli."

With photographers and television cameras tailing him around the complex, the star third baseman spent most of Wednesday's workout on a back field behind the first-base stands. He fielded grounders, hit in an indoor cage with Hideki Matsui and Juan Miranda, took batting practice on the back field with Johnny Damon, Mark Teixeira and Colin Curtis, and finished with bunting in the bullpen.

After conditioning on the field behind the third-base stands, A-Rod returned to the clubhouse, went to the players' lounge and then to the weight room. He showered and dressed, then left without commenting on his day other than to say, "Talk tomorrow."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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