Alex Rodriguez's road back to the Bronx has been a long, painful, and grueling experience. It started in last year's postseason when he struggled mightily at the plate while getting benched on numerous occasions. It continued in the offseason when he had to have left hip surgery before being included in the Biogenesis scandal. Major League Baseball then announced a 211-game suspension for A-Rod on Monday. However, after appealing, Rodriguez makes his long-awaited return back to New York and it'll be interesting to hear the fan response when he steps into the batter's box once again.
Though a lot of fans will disagree, the Yankees need A-Rod. If you still have faith that this team can make the playoffs (and, personally, I lose faith just about by the hour), he is basically the team's last hope. If he can match last year's production at the plate (.272/.353/.430, 114 wRC+) he'd easily be the second or third-best hitter on the team, though, at this point, they'll probably need him to be better than that to have a shot at the second Wild Card. So, with that said, you'd think the entire fan base would support him, but that's not the case. He has gotten under the skin of so many fans over the years, they'll boo him no matter the circumstance.
Asked about what the response will be by the hometown fans once A-Rod makes his return, Joe Girardi said,
"I am curious what it is going to be like Friday. I'm not sure. I don't really know what the appropriate response is. I don't think it is my right to tell people how to respond to certain situations. I did have a little bit of an issue with last night when a guy gets hit. That is a concern of mine. That is a societal concern. People are going to react the way they are going to react."
Even the skipper has no idea what the response by the fans will be. They could cheer Alex because he is a part of the team they root for and has done a lot of good things for this organization over the years. They could boo him because of his connections to PED use among other matters. Personally, I bet there will be a mixed reaction for A-Rod, maybe more booing than cheers, but there will definitely be at least a little bit of both. Though a lot of fans don't like Alex, there are still plenty of fans, like myself, who do. Normally I don't care about how fans react to X player's return to Y venue, but this case is pretty fascinating to me. I'm very curious as to how the Yankee Stadium faithful will respond to A-Rod's return.
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