Yankees-White Sox Beats Out May 27 Subway Series Game

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Alex Rodriguez doubleheader — his long-awaited suspension and season debut — meant a big ratings boost Monday for the YES Network.

The network had its highest-rated telecast of the season on Monday night when the embattled Yankees star took the field in Chicago, YES vice president of communications Eric Handler announced Tuesday.

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The game against the White Sox averaged a 4.34 rating in New York, the network said. It beat out the previous 2013 high of 4.16, set during the Yankees-Mets Subway Series on May 27.

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Not everyone was impressed. Sporting News writer Jesse Spector compared fans tuning in Monday to drivers rubbernecking on a highway.

“The YES Network got its highest rating of the year for the same reason there’s traffic going west after a truck flips over going east,” Spector tweeted.

No doubt the ratings were fueled by some unique baseball theater: MLB announced a 211-game suspension Monday for A-Rod, who vowed to appeal before taking the field for the first time in 2013. Twelve other players accepted 50-game bans for their connections to Biogenesis, the closed Florida anti-aging clinic accused of distributing performance-enhancing drugs.

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YES was criticized for opting to show a Gene Michael “Yankeeography” in the 6 p.m. hour while other stations aired live press conferences by Rodriguez and Yankees manager Joe Girardi.

The network’s ratings peaked at an average 8.22 from 8:30-8:45 pm.

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