A-Rod returns at Yankee Stadium, boobirds in force

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NEW YORK (AP) - Alex Rodriguez got booed in pregame introductions, booed when his picture was put up on the video board and booed again when came to bat in the first inning.

And when he struck out? Booed even more. Loudly, too.

Same thing when he fanned the next time up.

The crowd at Yankee Stadium had its say Friday night when Rodriguez played at home for the first time since last October. While some people stood to cheer, jeers mostly echoed around the ballpark as he went 0 for 4, striking out three times in a 4-3 win over Detroit in 10 innings.

With his 211-game suspension on appeal, New York fans rendered their verdict on the man at the center of baseball’s latest drug scandal. Rodriguez didn’t have anything to say, leaving without speaking to the media.

“You’re obviously going to have people that boo,” said Brett Gardner, who got the game-ending hit. “I still don’t understand people wearing the Yankees shirt pulling against one of their own guys.”

“Everybody’s got the right to like somebody or not like somebody,” he said. “But still pull for the team, at least. Right?”

Made sense to Daniel Correa. He wanted to hear a big ovation for Rodriguez, rather than a Bronx cheer.

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 wear 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.

The game was delayed at the beginning by 47 minutes, and then it was time for Rodriguez’s first home game since the AL championship series against the Tigers last fall.

The three-time AL MVP was met with mixed boos and cheers when the lineups were read over the public-address system. The boos started to get louder when the Bleacher Creatures in right-center made their daily roll call, chanting each player’s name.

Batting fifth, Rodriguez came up in the first inning with two outs, a runner on second and the Yankees ahead 1-0. He struck out swinging against Rick Porcello, and the boobirds sounded off.

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