'He Doesn’t Deserve To Be Watched — Absolutely Not, I’m Sorry'

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Alex Rodriguez has enjoyed an easy transition back into baseball — at least in the Bronx. Fans at Yankee Stadium have mostly cheered the slugger who was suspended for the entire 2014 season. His teammates seem to genuinely want him around.

But he learned Monday that it’ll be a different story on the road. There was an emphatic anti-A-Rod crowd for the series opener in Baltimore, led by 56-year-old Tolbert Rowe, who stood and turned his back for each and every one of Rodriguez’s at-bats.

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“I don’t respect him,” Rowe told the Washington Post. “He doesn’t deserve to be watched. Absolutely not, I’m sorry. You know, and now they got all this about his tying Willie Mays’s record and the $6 million (milestone bonus), and he has the audacity to think that he should be paid. I’m sorry. I don’t respect the guy. Not one bit.”

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Rodriguez went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts in New York’s 6-5 win, dropping his average to .250. After the game, he said the reception was “par for the course” at Camden Yards.

Rowe told the Post that he wouldn’t make the same scene for any other player linked to performance-enhancing drugs. He rooted for Nelson Cruz, who played for the Orioles in 2014 after serving a ban for his role in the same Biogenesis scandal that engulfed Rodriguez.

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“Because he’s the worst,” Rowe said of A-Rod. “He’s the epitome of all that was wrong about it. And he’s been so successful. Maybe it’s jealousy, maybe it isn’t. But I just don’t think that he deserves to be in the class with other players that have never had … and I mean, he lied about it. I’m sorry. He doesn’t deserve my respect.”