Boo-birds ser­e­nade A-rod in re­turn to Yan­kee Sta­dium

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - SUNDAY SPORTS - By AGEN­CIES in New York

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.”

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