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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — He was back in the Bronx on Friday night. Alex Rodriguez made his return to Yankee Stadium for the first time since the announcement of his suspension from Major League Baseball.
A near capacity crowd blasted the troubled Bomber with boos prior to the start of the game against the Detroit Tigers, but those boos were soon muffled by cheers from fans who rose to their feet as Rodriguez stepped up to the plate for the first time, CBS 2′s Hazel Sanchez reported.
Some fans expressed sympathy for A-Rod.
“Yes, maybe he’s done steroids, that’s wrong. Everybody’s getting punished, but he’s getting excessively punished, and I’m a Yankee fan. He’s a Yankee. We gotta stand up for our Yankees and we’re here to cheer for him,” fan Joe Lorenti said.
“I definitely disagree with everything he’s done. But, at the same time I feel bad for the guy,” Jason Tsujikawa added.
It was A-Rod’s first time back at Yankee Stadium since October, and just four days after he was handed a 211-game suspension for his role in the Biogenesis scandal.
Rodriguez appealed the decision and is expected to play for the Yankees for the rest of the season, but some fans said they want to see him riding the pine.
“I don’t think he should be able to play at all. It’s sort of a slap on the hand. You know, I don’t agree with it,” Carol McGuire said.
Rodriguez finished 0-for-4 with three strikeouts before being removed from the game, a 4-3, 10-inning win for the Yankees, but supporters said they will stand by him. Daniel Correa, for one, was in Rodriguez’s corner.
A Yankees fan from Hartford, Conn., Correa stood in line to get into the stadium before the gates opened. Wearing a pinstriped No. 13 jersey, too.
”Hopefully, it’s a positive reaction for him,” Correa said. ”But New York is a rough crowd.”
Correa said he also owns a Derek Jeter jersey, and decided to go to Rodriguez’s number.
”I’m disappointed in him, but he plays for my team, the Yankees, and you’ve got to support him,” he said.
(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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