Despite what the Beatles song might tell you, yesterday did not come suddenly. Yesterday was the culmination of about seven months of speculation, anxiety, hearsay, delaying, and probably a lot of alcohol. All of that is over now. Biogenesis Suspension Day has passed and all we are left with is to look back, wonder how it all went down and engage in deep, meaningful, and long discussion about what is to come from everything that happened. Oh wait, that's not all we're left with. There's that whole Alex Rodriguez thing as well.
Alex Rodriguez is back. As of yesterday, he is playing third base and batting clean up for the New York Yankees. He has done this before. How long he will continue to do so is a topic for another article, one that we're sure to see many of in the upcoming days. This particular article is not about that because it's 2013 and this year has proven that no one is safe and that you can now spell 'Yankees' with the letters D and L. Take that Kindergarten English lessons. No, this particular article of discussion, which I use to love referring to as a classic IGYAR rant, is focused more on baseball fans' opinion of A-Rod. Has anything really changed when all things are said and done?
Since I've started writing for this site, I've become a huge Twitter junkie. Can I refer to that as "being a Twinkie" without copyright infringement? We'll let legal handle that. Anyway, ever since Ryan Braun's suspension it's been a solid 2-3 weeks of A-Rod this and A-Rod that. Conspiracy theories have popped up about the Yankees holding him back due to said upcoming suspension. I'm sure someone has suggested he built a time machine and is his own grandfather. I tried my best to block out the crazy and ludicrous and focus on how his rehab was going. The one thing that stuck out to me among all of it was how he was received in Double-A Trenton,when all the media hounds were hounding him.
In Trenton last week, A-Rod received a mix of boos and cheers. When he hit a dinger, a lot of those boos turned to cheers. In case you haven't heard that story before, I invite you to read "Alex Rodriguez and the Goblet of Pinstripes" and you should notice that same plot. This is nothing new. His, what's the word I'm looking for, unclutchicity was always talked about cause he tended not to perform well in the postseason, which negated all the RBI he got during the regular season. A lot of people probably felt that Alex should always perform well due to the amount of money he was making. There are so many jokes I could make from that last sentence, but I'll let your minds handle that one.
From my time watching the games on YES to my trips to Yankee Stadium, both old and new, this is what I expect to hear and see whenever Alex Rodriguez's name was announced. This took place before all the steroids allegations and confessions. It will most likely take place when A-Rod returns to the Bronx on Friday. It should take place once this gets turned into a major motion picture starring Justin Timberlake. Friday's game against the Tigers should be no different than his games in Trenton. Barring any injuries or "best interest of the game" clauses, Alex Rodriguez will don the home pinstripes, play either third base or DH, and will probably bat clean up. He will receive a huge mix of boos and cheers. If he just so happens to hit a home run, a lot of those people booing will start cheering. Again, read the book.
So while the Biogenesis debacle has create a whole new slew of problems, conundrums, and black clouds over A-Rod and the Yankees as a whole, the fan reaction to the man still really has not changed. He still has his attackers, his defenders, and the people in the middle. Another thing that still has not changed is that A-Rod can still draw a crowd. Attendance at U.S. Cellular field saw a definite spike due to him playing. We will see how much the attendance at Yankee Stadium goes up with Alex Rodriguez's return. My guess is that it will be a significant increase.
Ultimately, it seems that whether or not he uses steroids and is indeed a cheater cheater pumpkin eater, what really has not changed is that people still like watching A-Rod play the game of baseball. Or maybe, just like with Batman's Rogues Gallery, people are just really fascinated by the villain of the story. Or perhaps I just need a stint in Arkham.
Either way, I'm starting a Kickstarter to pay for my ticket to Friday's game. You know, so I can report the A-Rod fan reaction live. I'm doing it for all of you, trust me.