ARLINGTON -- The crowd reaction when Alex Rodriguez stepped in for his first at-bat of the American League Championship Series on Friday was predictable. The Yankees' third baseman isn't winning popularity contests in the Metroplex area anytime soon.
But Rodriguez said he had nothing but "great feelings" as the Yankees checked in at Rangers Ballpark, a place he called home year-round during his three ultimately playoff-dry years wearing a Texas uniform from 2001-03.
"I thought we all tried hard and played well at times," Rodriguez said a day before New York's 6-5 victory in Game 1. "We had a lot of talent. It's exciting for me to see a guy like Michael Young leading this team, because he is a phenomenal player and a great friend. I think our efforts were sincere. We tried hard, but sometimes just because you want to win doesn't mean you're going to win. I thought the effort was good; we just came up short."
Rodriguez went 1-for-5 with a crucial two-run single in New York's five-run eighth inning on Friday.
While A-Rod and fellow former Rangers first baseman Mark Teixeira have been painted as the most popular targets for Texas fans in this series, Yankees manager Joe Girardi said he does not believe the extra attention will have any effect on Rodriguez.
"Alex is so used to coming into environments that are like this," Girardi said. "I don't think Alex really makes too much of it. He's had to go back to Seattle a number of times; he's had to go back to Texas a number of times. I wouldn't think Alex would get caught up in it. I think he'll just go out and play like he always does."