NEW YORK -- Alex Rodriguez walked back to the dugout in the second inning after looking at strike three on Friday to mild grumblings from the crowd. Three at-bats and six innings later -- a groundout to third that capped off an 0-for-4 evening -- those grumblings turned to full-on boos.
Yankees fans have always been quick to jump on Rodriguez, as high expectations come with high-paying contracts. But despite surpassing 30 home runs and 100 RBIs in each of his seven full seasons in pinstripes, the third baseman has never been able to shake the boo birds nor the notion that he fails to deliver in the clutch.
"He's been through it before. Alex understands," manager Joe Girardi said. "They just want him to be productive and get a base hit every time and to put up big numbers. And that's what he wants to do. A lot of times players are more critical of themselves than others, so I think they expect it sometimes."
Entering Saturday, A-Rod's average stood at .265, with 13 home runs and 38 RBIs. Since 1998, Rodriguez has fallen shy of the 30-home run mark just once -- last season, when he played in just 99 games.