Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Trop fans join chorus of boos for A-Rod

ST. PETERSBURG — The boos were loud and long when Yankees star Alex Rodriguez stepped to the plate for the first time Friday night.

"It was 'J-u-u-u-i-ced!' " said Roy Jay, a 51-year-old Rays fan from Orlando sitting behind home plate. "I think we invented the new 'Boo.' "

Rodriguez, 38, has been similarly reviled and jeered by fans in other stadiums the past couple of weeks, even criticized by some players around baseball for being able to play while appealing his 211-game suspension for violating baseball's drug agreement.

And most of the 24,239 at Tropicana Field for Friday's Rays-Yankees game let Rodriguez hear it, booing him during each of his four at-bats (he went 0-for-4).

When Rodriguez struck out looking to end the first, there was a loud ovation, with some fans standing. Every time the third baseman touched the ball in the infield, there were more boos and name-calling.

"Bum!" one yelled.

" 'Needle-rod,' " another said.

"I'm mad," said Mike Freese, 64, a retired state police officer. "He's a cheater. I figure if he does something wrong, he has to pay the price."

Manager Joe Maddon said the Rays weren't going to act as vigilantes and intentionally throw at Rodriguez during this three-game series, like Red Sox starter Ryan Dempster seemed to do Sunday (Dempster is serving a five game-suspension for hitting Rodriguez). There were no beanings or even brush-backs Friday, and it doesn't seem like there will be any this weekend.

"I want to get him out," said Rays left-hander David Price, tonight's starter.

Rodriguez wasn't available for comment after the game. But he wasn't without a few supporters, many of whom packed the third-base line for autographs before the game.

Cory Decker, 20, from Massachusetts, said Rodriguez is "innocent until proven guilty." Mike Schutrum, 25, from Charlotte, N.C., said, "We need him." Alana Servido, 31, from New Jersey, held a sign that said "A-Rod I love you" and yelled to him: "You said that if you don't stick up for yourself, nobody will. You forgot about me. I'll fight the world."

Mark Boyar, 53, from Sarasota, came close to bringing a different sign. "World-class contract, world-class cheater," Boyar said.

Boyar drove to St. Petersburg with his friend Jose Rodriguez ("No relation," he quipped). Rodriguez has been a Yankees fan for nearly 40 years, staying up until 3 a.m. to watch games while growing up in the Dominican Republic. But he couldn't bring himself to cheer for A-Rod, believing the 14-time All-Star with 649 home runs has brought embarrassment to a proud franchise.

"He's cheated the game; that ain't right," Rodriguez the fan said.

"He has to sit; he's suspended. Be clean, or get out."

Trop fans join chorus of boos for A-Rod 08/23/13 [Last modified: Saturday, August 24, 2013 12:28am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays have their chances, but end up with another loss (w/video)

    The Heater

    TORONTO — The litany of games the Rays have given away this season is long enough, arguably too lengthy. So the only way to get to the postseason is make up for some of those losses by grabbing some wins when the opportunity is presented, especially at this time of year when the margin is diminished and the stakes …

    Associated Press
  2. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Wednesday's Rays-Blue Jays game

    The Heater

    You wonder if the scouting reports and/or workload are catching up to rookie RHP Jake Faria. The bottom line wasn't bad again, three runs in 51/3 innings, but he's having to work harder to get there.

  3. Rays journal: Chris Archer eager for eventful final stretch

    The Heater

    TORONTO — RHP Chris Archer takes the mound today for the Rays as they head into the final 40 games of the season with little margin for error as they battle for an American League playoff spot.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Chris Archer (22) takes a moment on the mound in the second inning of the game between the Milwaukee Brewers and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, August 6, 2017.
  4. Tim Tebow's slump continues, as does fan support


    CLEARWATER — On July 29, playing against the Charlotte Stone Crabs, Tim Tebow smacked a mammoth three-run homer, helping the St. Lucie Mets cruise to a 10-3 victory at Charlotte Sports Park.

    St. Lucie’s Tim Tebow, shown Monday at Spectrum Field, struggled at the plate Wednesday against the Threshers.
  5. Rays at Blue Jays, 4:07 p.m. Thursday

    The Heater

    Today: at Blue Jays

    4:07, Rogers Centre, Toronto

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun, 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Rays info: Toll-free 1-888-326-7297

    Probable pitchers

    Rays: RH Chris Archer (8-7, 3.84)

    JAYS: RH Chris Rowley (1-0, 1.69)