CHARLESTON, S.C. -- Its no hits and no worries so far for Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez. The three-time AL MVP grounded out twice and turned a double play Wednesday night in the second game of his minor league rehab stint with Class-A Charleston. Rodriguez, who is recovering from left hip surgery in January, also went hitless in his first game with the RiverDogs. But the third baseman, who turns 38 on July 27, isnt panicking about his slow start -- yet. "I dont mind if I save all my hits for New York," he said with a grin. Rodriguez plans to work out at Riley Park on Thursday before leaving for the Yankees spring training complex in Florida. Hell play for the Yankees minor league team in Tampa on Friday. He said Tuesday he likely would need each of the 20 allowed rehab games to get back in shape. It sure looked that way in his two nights in Charleston. In his first game since a miserable October, he hit into a double play and struck out in two at-bats. Then he struggled against 19-year-old right-hander Mauricio Cabrera of Rome, an affiliate of the Atlanta Braves. Rodriguez swung at the first pitch he saw from Cabrera and grounded out to first. He found out when he got back to the dugout that Cabreras pitch was clocked at 101 mph. "I couldnt believe it," he said. "Its not very often you see 101." He came up again in the third and bounced to second, leaving him 0 for 4 in two games at Charleston. He did start an inning-ending double play in the top half of the third. "It wasnt too bad," Rodriguez said. "Thats the first time in eight months Ive gone out there back to back." Rodriguezs stay in Charleston was a success for the RiverDogs, who welcomed a crowd of 7,667 on Wednesday night after an announced attendance of 8,255 on Tuesday night. Rodriguez signed autographs for the RiverDogs after he left Wednesdays game, and then spent about 20 minutes signing for fans in the right-field stands. He had a playful exchange with 12-year-old Charlie Stephens in Charlestons clubhouse, trading an autographed hat for the boys Astros cap before giving that to him as well. "Hows that for a deal?" he said. Rodriguez also posed for pictures with musician Darius Rucker. "I love this place," Rodriguez said. Theres a chance Rodriguez might return to Charleston on his rehab tour, but hes unsure of his schedule past the next few days. Joining Rodriguez on the RiverDogs was Yankees shortstop Eduardo Nunez, who played six innings in his second game back from a strained oblique. He followed up on a 2-for-3 performance Tuesday by going 0 for 2 with a walk. Nunez was unsure of his rehab schedule. Intermittent rain kept the tarp on the field for much of the day and prevented both clubs from taking batting practice or getting infield work. RiverDogs manager Al Pedrique said Rodriguez met with the Charleston players earlier Wednesday to discuss baseball life and answer any questions from the young players. "Its great for the kids, they really had a blast," Pedrique said. "Its too bad he came out so early in the third inning." That was by design. Rodriguez said after Tuesdays game he wanted to see how his body handled his first game action in nine months. Pat Roessler, the director of player development for the Yankees, told Pedrique that Rodriguez felt fine Wednesday morning and was ready to go. Rodriguez said hes putting in the hard work to come back because he has "a responsibility to baseball." "Thats the way Im wired," he continued. "I obviously love the competition, I love the game. I know there are going to be a tremendous amount of naysayers out there and I look forward to going out there, playing well and contributing." Also Wednesday, Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter moved one step closer to joining Rodriguez in minor league games by running the bases after putting the ball in play during his simulated at-bats. Jeter had two singles, a double and three grounders against a pair of right-handers at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Fla. Running the bases in the simulated situation is normally one of the final steps in preparation to play in rehab games. The Yankees expect Jeter to rejoin the big league team after the All-Star break. Jeter hasnt played this season after breaking his left ankle in the opener of the AL championship series on Oct. 13. After surgery, the Yankees captain played just five spring training games because of soreness. A new break was discovered April 18. Cheap Adidas Hockey Jerseys . Vettel was 0.168 seconds faster than Red Bull teammate Mark Webber around the Suzuka circuit. Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg was two tenths of a second off Vettel. 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The UFC announced that it had been sold for $4 billion earlier this month, changing hands from previous owners Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta to entertainment empire WME-IMG and a group of investors.When asked to describe his reaction to the sale, which is the largest financial transaction in sports history, one current UFC athlete said, At first, it was just one big blank.After an initial shock, many fighters said they immediately began wondering, What does this mean for me? What does it mean for the landscape of mixed martial arts?ESPN.com has spent the last week talking to various fighters and managers on those topics. The short answer is no one knows exactly what will change with this sale. Many of the conversations, however, seemed to center around certain points.There is a genuine well done feeling toward former parent company Zuffa and the Fertitta brothers, who purchased the UFC for $2 million in 2001, along with an acknowledgment of the positive effect they and UFC president Dana White have had on the sport. Cashing out to the tune of $4 billion? Good for them.At the same time, there is a genuine hope that this sale, whether directly or indirectly, will greatly improve financial aspects for the athletes.For starters, new ownership presumably has a plan for a return on its $4 billion investment, and more revenue streams flowing into the company is a good thing for everyone, fighters included.Theres also the hope of a more equal revenue share between ownership and athletes. The UFCs financial information is private, so official data on revenue splits is unavailable. Most within the sport, however, estimate athletes receive a percentage well below that of other professional sports. Athletes would like to see more benefits, including retirement packages, health care and less restrictive contracts that allow them to build their own brand.The possibility of a fighters union or association came up repeatedly during discussions about the sale.Below are direct quotes from a handful of fighters and managers on these topics. Many of those who spoke to ESPN.com were willing to be on record, but others preferred to remain anonymous. For the purpose of this story, the decision was made to keep all statements anonymous.This is a relatively small sample size, considering the number of active fighters in the UFC, but efforts were made to speak to a wide range of athletes in terms of age, value of previous fight purses, weight class, etc.ManagerGood for [Zuffa] at the end of the day. I think it just shows how healthy this sport is. Its now time to raise the bar for the athletes.Theres a huge gap in fighter pay between the haves and have nots. There is still this unknown way of negotiating. In the NFL, NBA, MLB -- there is so much visibility on information. You know going into a negotiation that there is a range to your value, and even then, those negotiations can take months. With fighters, a lot of times, its a fire sale. A big fight has been offered that is only two weeks away and now theres pressure to do a deal.A lot of fighters dont necessarily understand things on a real sophisticated level -- not because they cant, thats just not where theyre spending their time. But Im assuming a lot of them are reacting to $4 billion like, Why the hell am I only being paid this? I would dare to say the entire roster is a pissed-off motivated right now. I would guess youll see a lot more holdouts and a lot more free agency testing because this sale shows how healthy the business is.Things are already changing. The last few years, the UFC has probably experienced more than they ever have in the way of an FTC investigation, an antitrust lawsuit against them, athletes pushing the envelope -- it has changed, you know? And I think Lorenzo was like, S---, Im out.Fighter (more than five years with UFC, has fought for title)I am cautiously optimistic about what this means for fighters. I feel like their opinion and their attitude toward fighters so far is that we need the UFC more than the UFC needs us. Were expendable. There are 1,000 other guys ready to line up and fight, which is true, but its kind of a s--- place to be.I make a good living doing what I do. Ive been one of the more fortunate, but I feel fighters should be more secure. A lot of these guys are paycheck to paycheck, fight to fight. We pay coaches, managers, taxes -- were taking all the physical risk and only pocketing half our money. When you see a fight purse, 50 percent of that is going elsewhere. We are going to be living with long-term ramifications of competing in a combat sport, and it would be nice to have some security, maybe a monthly stipend for training.Were technically independent contractors, but were subject to things like the new Reebok deal, where we have to wear something required. We have limited health care, but we dont have health care for our families. We have no retirement. It would be awesome to be getting even a fraction of what other pro athletes are getting paid. These new owners might be able to expand the brand and get more opportunities to continue taking MMA mainstream. Im cautiously optimistic that could include some of the these things.I think if fighters organized we would definitely have a lot more leverage. I dont know what thats going to look like with regards to the new ownership. I know the Fertittas have been fighting unions in their casino business for years, thats fairly well known. With them out of the picture, Im wondering if it would be easier for us to organize. But if there were something like a fighter strike, theres a lot of ifs involved. Were in a tough position. The UFC keeps the top guys happy, and those are the key figures youre going to need in order to have any leverage. Without them, you dont have s---.ManagerSomebody just spent $4 billion. So, if you expect them to come in and say, We just spent $4 billion based on the numbers these guys have had on the books, now the first thing were going to do is raise the numbers for our athletes and dwindle our profits? The chances of that happening are slim to none, but I think its something that can happen over time. The new ownership needs to come in and create more income streams. When they do that, there will be more money for everyone, including the fighters.Im assuming all contract negotiations go through Dana White now. Whatever deals [UFC matchmakers] Joe Silva and Sean Shelby dont do, those will go through Dana. I doubt these new guys would get involved with something they dont really know yet. I dont know if you can call [WME head] Ari Emanuel and have him negotiate an MMA deal tomorrow.In the past, the negotiating process was different for each athlete. Some guys get on better with Dana, others got on better with Lorenzo. Now that Lorenzo is stepping down, you would hope theres some sort of balance added to Dana. In other words, Im hoping that whoever comes in will be a good balance with Dana. If theres a fighter Dana isnt high on, is there a CEO or someone else who would understand that and say, I should handle this one.I think there would be more worry if Dana wasnt staying on, if these guys were selling and walking away completely. But I also only believe Dana White wiill stay for a transitional period.dddddddddddd I dont think hes going to be with the company for a long time. Its hard to wake up every day and listen to somebody new when you have $400 million in the bank.Fighter (less than five years with UFC)Im very lucky in that Im a younger guy. There are people who have paved the way for me through blood, sweat and tears. Ive been hearing athletes say, Were going to get that professional athlete money now. Lets be honest, were not near that yet.The former owners were so invested in it because its something they created. It was theirs. In many ways, they believed, right or wrong, the UFC was their brand so they should be making 70 percent of the profits or whatever it was. This company taking over maybe doesnt have that same emotion. Maybe theyll look at it as, It will help our product if our athletes make X amount of money, because now they can focus more on it. Theres another punch to this, and thats the next generation. Soccer moms taking their kids to soccer, maybe that turns into MMA. If youre looking at it through the perspective of the parents, if theres a future in MMA, maybe theyll push them in that direction.The sport is only 20 years old. Everything is relative to time. You look at hockey or football, whatever, there were times when, yeah, those guys were professional athletes, but they still had day jobs. In boxing, you have all this history behind it, the Muhammad Ali Act, the systems that are now in place, thats all part of the culture. This sport doesnt have that yet. This, like any other sport in many ways, is an opportunity for rich men to -- whats the word Im looking for? -- were chess pieces for billionaires to take on other billionaires.But I think its great to have a Hollywood agency in charge moving forward. With Bellator MMA, you have Viacom behind them and everything they do on the television side. Thats part of some of the contracts Bellator has written, that you can have a television show built around you. I look at myself and see the free agency as a huge positive right now, with the sides that are involved.Fighter (more than five years with UFC, has fought for title)I feel like what MMA will become some day and how fighters will be treated, I probably wont feel that during my years in the sport. Thats something Ive accepted. Im getting the most out of it while I can.The genius part of what the UFC did is they were able to write all these different responsibilities into the same contract. And they can provide additional opportunities or take them away. No matter how good you are at one thing, they can pull you off in a second and replace you with someone else. Were all just spokes on a wheel. The UFC was able to sell for $4 billion because they were able to create a situation where, as athletes, were promoting the business. We dont promote ourselves as individual athletes without promoting the overall business of the UFC.What do I do to change that? You tell me. Im a spoke on a wheel and Ive accepted that. What if the UFC were to tell me, Well take every fight youve ever had and well hold it. Well stop showing it. Every fight youve had with us does not exist now. Well cut your contract. Thats it. I dont exist now. Its not that they would do that or have ever threatened to do that, but I understand the realness of the situation. I think being sold for this amount of money is a step in the right direction. Is a fighters union something we all might need? Possibly, yes. But Im looking at it realistically and saying that during my career, I dont see it happening. I will have helped the company out more than my own brand. I need the UFC platform to grow, so Im going to continue helping it grow. I like having a job. I need this job. Im a blue-collar individual. Im not rich. When youve worked as long as I have, you learn how to be happy with what you get when you get it.Fighter (more than five years with UFC, has fought for title)?If I had 50 cents for every action figure I signed, Id be a millionaire. The UFC tells me to sign autographs, and I dont see any money from that. I turn on a UFC video game and see myself on there, and Im asking, When did I sign a contract that let people put me in a video game without paying me for it? How am I allowed to sign that contract? I dont know if that will change or not with the new owners. These are guys are smart, powerful people. I hope so.Fighter (more than five years with UFC)Fighters, a lot of times, are uneducated. Theyre happy to get their $20,000 scraps and say, Whatever, man, Im just happy to work. The idea of a union is tough, because you have a few guys who can afford to say, I dont have to fight for a year. Then youve got a whole bigger group of guys who say, F--- that, Ive got to fight.What is this going to turn into? What does the sale have to do with it? I think it has lit a fire under peoples ass. Youre going to have to take one of the biggest champions, one of the brightest stars, to go to a press conference and drop the ball and say, F--- everybody, this is what Im doing. Thats what it would take. Who in their right mind would do that? Its really risky, to say, Im going to turn down $10 million to fight on pay-per-view but Im going to put my name in history forever to start this thing. That, in my mind, is what has to happen.ManagerI think Lorenzo especially saw there were other avenues for other interests he wants to pursue, and it was his time to move forward. We dont know what Danas role is going to be. He can say nothing has changed, but in the corporate world you understand how it works. People dont put money into something to not have control.When this new ownership takes over, I hope theres a window of opportunity for a collaboration between fighters, managers and agents to change some of the things that are very controlling in their contracts. They are very limiting. And I think some of the UFCs growth has been stymied by the leash that has been put on the fighters. I do think this opens a big door for a fighters union, because I think there is a lot of interest now in whats being done in this sport. I think it has to change. WME understands the acting and sports world. The athletes they represent in other sports have associations to back them. Actors have the Screen Actors Guild. I just dont see how that is not pursued in this sport within the next couple years.Fighter (more than five years with UFC, has fought for title)I think its good. I know that WME was a big part of the UFCs success and Ronda Rouseys success because they represented her. Now its going to be interesting because there are going to be two sides of this thing. Theyre going to try to build fighters as big as possible, which they have the means to do that with access to so much media, but then theyre also, as the owner, going to try to keep the fighter pay to a minimum.So I think its going to be a good thing overall. The bigger a person gets, the more notoriety and clout they get, the more they can demand. I think all in all, having this entertainment group behind us is going to be a good thing. cheap falcons jerseys cheap ravens jerseys cheap bills jerseys cheap bears jerseys cheap bengals jerseys cheap cowboys jerseys cheap lions jerseys cheap texans jerseys cheap colts jerseys cheap jaguars jerseys cheap chiefs jerseys cheap rams jerseys cheap dolphins jerseys cheap vikings jerseys cheap saints jerseys cheap giants jerseys cheap jets jerseys cheap eagles jerseys cheap steelers jerseys cheap 49ers jerseys ' ' '