NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Alex Rodriguez was suspended by Major League Baseball on Monday and then booed heavily during his first game of the season in Chicago.
A-Rod will be the target of angry fans Tuesday and Wednesday, and it’ll be more of the same Friday when he makes his home debut in the Bronx.
Just don’t expect any piling on from the Bleacher Creatures. “Bald Vinny” Milano says Section 203 will stand behind the third baseman and include him — as if there was any doubt — in the famous Yankee Stadium roll call.
“We’re definitely not going to skip him,” Milano told CBSNewYork.com. “That’s not our intention, that’s not what we put forward as Bleacher Creatures. We are passionate fans. We support our Yankees.”
“Some people like him, some people don’t,” he added. “That’s really neither here nor there. After roll call, you want to boo him for the rest of the nine innings, that’s your right. But as far as roll call is concerned, we support everybody. You’re going out there, you’re fighting for our team, you’re trying to play for a win, and we certainly respect that.”
Rodriguez vowed to fight a 211-game suspension handed down by MLB for his connection to Biogenesis, the closed Florida anti-aging clinic at the center of the sport’s latest performance-enhancing drugs scandal.
“Not for nothing, I feel like the guy needs a little bit of love,” Milano said. “It feels like nobody’s in his corner. For that brief minute we can show him that, yes, we’re in your corner, we’ve got your back. If you’re fighting for the Yankees and you’re trying to help us win, God damn it I’m gonna yell for you.”
Because of the Biogenesis mess, Milano said he was “bombarded” with questions on Facebook and Twitter about whether A-Rod would be in the roll call.
“As far as I’m concerned, there was no debate whatsoever,” he said. “There is no question to the fact that we are going to chant everybody who plays defensively for the Yankees every night.”
Designated hitters aren’t included, but occasionally the Bleacher Creatures stray from tradition (see Mattingly, Don).
“If he’s DHing, if he’s not in the field then we’re not doing anything special for him,” Milano said. “We’re certainly not going out of our way to do anything like that. At least we have no plans to. We haven’t discussed anything about that.”
A-Rod, who previously admitted to using PEDs during his time in Texas, was jeered without remorse during his season debut in Chicago. Milano expects the same treatment in the Bronx.
“This guy gets booed when he goes to the supermarket. Are you kidding me?” he said. “There’s no way he’s not getting booed. I feel like he gets booed in his own apartment complex. He gets booed constantly. No question about it, he’s definitely getting booed, which I think is kind of all the more reason why we have to roll-call him.”
There’s no question that fans are hurt, disappointed, angry — you name it. One person even told CBS 2 that A-Rod “cheated me” and “broke my heart.”
“The weeping of ‘You broke my heart,’ that’s silly,” Milano said. “I don’t see anybody weeping over Francisco Cervelli.”
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