Alex Rodriguez re-appeared in the Yankees' line-up last night in a game at the Chicago White Sox, hours after the MLB suspended him for 211 games. Rodriguez, who had been nursing a quadriceps strain (as well as recovering from hip surgery), is allowed to play until his appeal is heard. But White Sox fans booed him heartily at his first at-bat:
Rodriguez managed to single, which was his only hit of the evening. The Yankees lost the game, 8-1, and Rodriguez said, "It was fun to go out there and play the game again. It was a tough game for us, but it was good to be out there.” He didn't address questions about his alleged use of performance-enhancing drugs, saying there "will be a time and place," adding, "From this moment on, I want to focus on baseball, play every game like it’s do-or-die. Every game is very important for us.”
The players union president, Michael Weiner, told reporters that the 211-game suspension was "way too harsh... We’ve never had a 200-plus penalty for a player who may have used drugs, and you know, among other things, I just think that is way out of line." The Times reports that Weiner doesn't believe the appeal will be heard until November, "which means Rodriguez can presumably play through the rest of the season."