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He made all his plays in the field, but acknowledged feeling rusty. His bat looked a little slow, though he said he felt pretty good up there.
Meanwhile, the last-place White Sox snapped a 10-game losing streak with an 8-1 victory over New York.
"It’s been crazy, but from this point on I’m going to do my very best to focus on baseball," said Rodriguez, who strained his quadriceps during a minor league rehab stint, delaying his return for two weeks. "It’s good to get the first one behind me."
Fading fast in a crowded playoff chase, the aging Yankees are desperate for power. Their third basemen have been among the most inept in the majors all season. They need a genuine boost right now — not a question mark in the middle of the lineup.
On the same day Rodriguez was suspended, shortstop Derek Jeter went back on the disabled list with a strained right calf, the latest leg injury in his lost season. Old reliable Andy Pettitte got rocked and couldn’t make it through the third inning.
It won’t be easy for A-Rod, either.
Boos and "Steroids!" chants are sure to follow wherever he goes, even at home in the Bronx. And it will take an awful lot of production to justify his $28 million salary this season.
"It’s not the first time he’s gotten a bad reaction. It’s not surprising," Jeter said after Monday’s game. "I’m sure he’s happy to be out there, finally."
Just last Friday, Rodriguez hinted that the Yankees did not want him back and were trying to avoid paying him the $94.5 million they still owe him through 2017. The team responded Monday with a statement:
"We are compelled to address certain reckless and false allegations concerning the Yankees’ role in this matter," the club said. "The New York Yankees in no way instituted and/or assisted MLB in the direction of this investigation; or used the investigation as an attempt to avoid its responsibilities under a player contract; or did its medical staff fail to provide the appropriate standard of care to Alex Rodriguez."
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