Alex Rodriguez left Yankee Stadium on Friday night without talking to the media, but was available prior to Saturday afternoon's game to talk about the reception he received from Yankees fans in his return to New York. A response that in his mind was "so much better than I ever dreamed of."
"It was awesome, it was just an amazing experience," Rodriguez said Saturday morning. "The fans were incredible. Such great energy and such a great response. It was pretty overwhelming. I was having a hard time keeping my emotions in check."
The initial response was unquestionably mixed, so I can see how it exceeded his expectations. It then fell off the cliff as the night progressed and Rodriguez finished the game 0 for 4 with three ugly strikeouts. But apparently that didn't sour his experience one bit.
He added: "I just felt the love walking around the city. What people were screaming, (it was) pretty incredible. This city is, it's the greatest city in the world."
Rodriguez was not surprised that some fans in the sellout crowd of 46,545 decided to boo him.
"For the last 14 years, there's always been a mix. It's not going to be, I mean do you ever get 100 percent on anything? Even Chicago was a mix," he said, referring to his season debut earlier this week. "Boston is a mix. Well, maybe not Boston. No mix in Boston. But I was overwhelmed. Yesterday was a day I'll never forget."
I wish I could have heard some of those things people in New York were screaming. Also, the response in Chicago was not exactly what I'd call mixed, but the smattering of claps was also probably better than A-Rod ever dreamed of.
Unfortunately for A-Rod, he won't get the opportunity to bath in that mixed reaction again on Saturday unless he's called upon as a pinch-hitter in the late innings. Manager Joe Girardi has given him the day off on the heels on his struggles Friday night, which is probably a good idea for everybody. It gives A-Rod a day to refocus (or think about the discipline New York will hand down for seeking a second opinion on his quad injury) and it gives Yankees fans a much needed break from the circus.
Yes, I know it has only been in town 24 hours, but this circus is exhausting and in constant need of attention.