Embattled Alex Rodriguez singles in first at-bat for Yankees
The Associated Press
Alex Rodriguez (Yankees)*; Nelson Cruz (Rangers); Jhonny Peralta (Tigers); Everth Cabrera (Padres); Francisco Cervelli (Yankees); Cesar Puello (Mets); Fautino De Los Santos (Padres); Fernando Martinez (Yankees); Jordan Norberto (free agent); Antonio Bastardo (Phillies); Jordany Valdespin (Mets); Sergio Escalona (Astros); Jesus Montero (Mariners).
*Received 211-game suspension and is appealing. Others received 50 games.
CHICAGO — Alex Rodriguez blooped a single into left field in his first at-bat of the season.
It was a nice start for the embattled slugger, but that was it. The finish belonged to the Chicago White Sox.
Rodriguez went 1 for 4 in his first game for New York this year, but the White Sox beat the Yankees 8-1 Monday night, snapping a 10-game skid.
Rodriguez was suspended through 2014 by Major League Baseball in the Biogenesis case, a punishment he is appealing.
“I just hope that there’s a happy ending there somewhere,” he said.
His punishment clearly was the biggest story on a day when New York’s Derek Jeter went back on the disabled list because of a strained right calf and Andy Pettitte got knocked out early by the White Sox.
Was it a good day for baseball?
“A little bit of both,” Jeter said. “I don’t know if you can say it’s a good day anytime you’re talking about a negative, negativity. I understand what baseball is trying to do. They’re cracking down on players.”
Rodriguez, meanwhile, is digging in, ready to go toe to toe with MLB.
“We’re just getting started in this process,” he said. “But for me, personally, I just want to get back to baseball, playing hard and playing with a lot of intensity. I just want to see what our team has to offer.”
At 38 and coming back from hip surgery, he said he’s fighting for his life. He was welcomed back with the same sort of greeting he got on the road in the past, a series of boos and jeers amplified by the penalty announced earlier in the day.
The crowd at U.S. Cellular Field booed the three-time MVP during pregame warm-ups and introductions. When he stepped to the plate in the second inning for his first at-bat of the season, they could have drowned out a jet.
They weren’t feeling any better after Rodriguez dropped a leadoff single into shallow left on the third pitch. He moved to third with no outs on Vernon Wells’ double but was stranded.
Rodriguez flied out in his second and third at-bats and handled a few grounders at third, getting booed every time he stepped to the plate or touched the ball.
He also struck out in the eighth as fans chanted “Steroids! Steroids!”
The Yankees hope Rodriguez can provide some sort of spark and inject some power into the lineup even though they’re fading from the playoff picture.