Alex Rodriguez was the talk of the town on Sunday night when the New York Yankees faced off against the Boston Red Sox on a nationally televised game. Unless you live under a rock, you heard about him being plunked by Red Sox pitcher Ryan Dempster in the second inning — only to get his revenge in the sixth inning by hitting the longest home run by a Yankee this year — off of the guy who threw four straight pitches at him.
The Yankees had a day off to let that great victory against their rivals sink in, until they had to play a double-header against the Toronto Blue Jays today. A-Rod would definitely like to remember Sunday night instead of what he did all of Tuesday.
In the first game that the Yankees won 8-4, he went 1-3 with a run scored and a walk but struck out twice. Those numbers are nothing to hang your head over, especially because the Yanks picked up the win. The second game is where it all went south and the fans in the Bronx began to forget about his heroics on Sunday night.
A-Rod went 0-4 with three K’s, the biggest at bat coming in the bottom of the eighth, when the Blue Jays intentionally walked Alfonso Soriano with a man on second and one out to get to A-Rod in a tied game. That’s when he did the one thing he absolutely couldn’t do — he grounded into a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning and turn up the boo-birds. Another strikeout to get the Golden Sombrero would have been a better option, but Rodriguez grounded weakly to the shortstop and the Yanks would have to win in walk-off fashion, which is exactly what they did in the bottom of the ninth when Ichiro Suzuki pinch-ran for Mark Reynolds, who was walked. Eduardo Nunez then bunted Ichiro to second, who then stole third base. Right after that, Jayson Nix hit a walk-off single for the win and the double-header sweep.
A-Rod’s teammates picked him up in the next inning and he can and should completely forget about the day. But, so should Yankees fans. Rodriguez is quietly hitting .296, which is far and above any other player that has played at the hot corner this season. He might be a pariah, but he is the best player the Yanks can put out there. The jeers simply don’t help, and even if fans don’t like him, at least be polite. The boos make you sound jaded.