No matter who you are, or what you’ve done in your career, New York Yankees fans will cheer for you as long as you produce. And if you don’t, they will boo you — case in point, Alex Rodriguez.
In his first game back at Yankee Stadium on Friday night, playing in the Bronx for the first time since the atrocious postseason performance he put together last season, A-Rod came to the plate, greeted by a mixture of cheers and boos. Those who had been cheering were no longer doing so by the end of the night as A-Rod picked up right where he left off in October, striking out three times in four at-bats.
A-Rod was given Saturday off, but returned to the Yankees’ lineup Sunday to face on of the league’s most dominating pitchers, Justin Verlander. Once again, the reception filled the air with an equal number of boos and cheers. This time, those who were booing no longer did so after A-Rod took advantage of a fastball from Verlander, launching it into the left field seats for his first home run of the year.
For the moment, the fans had forgotten who was batting, what he’s done and how he’s done it. Instead, all they saw was that a player on their team had done something good for once. For the moment, there was something to cheer about, and it didn’t matter who made it happen.
For A-Rod, it was the 648th home run of his career, putting him 12 shy of Willie Mays for fourth all-time. It was also his 1,951st career RBI, moving him past Stan Musial for sole possession of fifth place on baseball’s all-time list.
Gavin Ewbank is a Yankees writer for RantSports.com. Follow @GavinEwbank2013 on Twitter for more Yankees talk.