Boo-birds serenade A-rod in return to Yankee Stadium
NY Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez has hired private investigators to help his legal team prepare an appeal of his 211-game suspension for allegedly using performanceenhancing drugs, according to New York Magazine.
Last week MLB suspended Rodriguez for the remainder of the 2013 season and all of next season.
He appealed the penalty and returned to the field for the first time this year after recovering from hip surgery in January.
In his first game back at Yankee Stadium on Friday night, A-Rod was greeted by a mixture of boos and cheers and struck out three times as New York defeated the Detroit Tigers 4-3 in 10 innings.
While he was heartily booed for much of the night, there was a smattering of applause for him during the pregame introductions and prior to his first at bat.
Rodriguez, a three- time American League MVP, did not speak to reporters after the game, leaving his teammates and manager Joe Girardi to assess the crowd response.
“It was probably 50- 50 tonight; maybe a little bit more cheers,” Girardi told MLB.com
“It’s something Alex has to be able to put out of his mind and just be a player for us.
“Alex has had to deal with stuff before. He’s been booed before. He knows what he has to do and I expect him to do it.”
Facing Tigers starter Rick Porcello, Rodriguez struck out swinging in the first and third innings before lofting a lazy fly ball to right field in the fifth.
He was greeted by muted applause for each of his plate appearances, but a loud chorus of boos rained down after he was retired each time.
“I thought the crowd was great,” Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner told MLB.com
“I thought they responded to him pretty well. You’re obviously going to have people that boo, but I don’t understand the people wearing Yankees shirts and pulling against onr of their guys. But, you know, everybody’s got the right to like somebody or not like somebody. They’re still pulling for the team at least, right?
“But I thought it was a great reaction, and I know he felt the same way.”
A- Rod struck out looking against Tigers reliever Bruce Rondon in the seventh before being replaced at third base by Jayson Nix in the ninth.
Rodriguez is now 3-for-15 in four games since returning from the disabled list.
“I think he’s been through so much in the past several years, I’m not sure what he’s affected by anymore, to be honest,” said Gardner.
“He’s got a pretty thick skin.”