Before the news conference, Pudge met with pitching coach Dave Eiland, first-base coach and former catcher Tony Pena, and Jose Molina, who became the regular catcher after Jorge Posada's injured right shoulder limited him and, ultimately, resulted in season-ending surgery on Wednesday.
"This is a learning process right now," Rodriguez said. "I'm a very simple catcher behind the plate. I just want the pitchers to feel good when I'm behind the plate."
Rodriguez waived a no-trade clause to approve the deal after he was told by the Tigers that they planned to use Brandon Inge more. Even so, Rodriguez was surprised by the deal, for two reasons:
Detroit isn't out of it in the American League Central, sitting six games behind the White Sox entering Thursday's action. In addition, Molina has one of the best arms in the game, and he leads the Majors with a 46.3 caught-stealing percentage.
"It's still hard to believe I'm talking to you guys here in Yankee Stadium with a Yankee uniform," Rodriguez said. "But I'm happy, and I'll do my best."
And he has Molina's blessing.
"How many All-Stars does he have? How many Gold Gloves does he have?" said Molina, who has known Rodriguez for years. "People think because he's 36 he's losing it. I don't think so. I think he still has game. He still has his arm, his glove. We'll have to see if it's going to be better or worse, hopefully, for good. I don't want to lose."
Rodriguez will plenty of support on Thursday, as his parents, wife and three children will be attendance. He'll also have the backing of manager Joe Girardi.
"He understands what it's like, in a sense, to be a Yankee," Girardi said. "He's excited about being a Yankee and what lies before us and the challenges. He's caught two World Series and was a champion in one of them. He's excited for that opportunity."