NEW YORK - Alex Rodriguez’s return had an immediate impact for the New York Yankees — on the team’s television network.
A-Rod’s first major league game since October drew the YES Network’s highest rating this year for a Yankees game, even though New York lost 8-1 at the Chicago White Sox on Monday night.
YES said Tuesday the game had a 4.34 rating and averaged 393,000 viewers. The previous high was 4.16 rating for a 2-1 loss at the New York Mets on May 27.
The most viewers were around the time of his first at-bat, with the 8:30 to 8:45 p.m. period drawing an 8.22 rating and 756,000 viewers.
Earlier Monday, Rodriguez was given a 211-game suspension through the 2014 season by Major League Baseball for violations of its drug agreement and labor contract. The ban starts Thursday, but Rodriguez can play until an arbitrator decides his appeal.
Rodriguez, a three-time AL MVP, was returning from hip surgery in January.