Alex Rodriguez is set to make his post-steroids debut in New York City tonight. We really have no idea how the crowd will react, and given all that has happened since last fall, Rodriguez probably has more than a few butterflies in his stomach.
But this isn't the first time Rodriguez has had to face the fans following some bad or, at the very least, dubious press. Not by a longshot! So, because we have nothing better to do, why don't we take a look Alex Rodriguez's historical post-P.R. performances to see how clutch he really is:
Date: July 8, 1994
Event: A year after some contentious contract negotiations, Rodriguez makes his Major League debut.
Result: 0-3, batting ninth against Chuck Nabholz and the Red Sox.
Date: July 8, 1996
Event: A-Rod's first Sports Illustrated cover, in which he's labeled baseball's "Hot Player."
Result: the next day is his first All-Star game. He goes 0-1.
Date: May 11, 1998
Event: People magazine names Rodriguez one of its 50 Most Beautiful People in the World.
Result: next game is May 12th against the Tigers. He goes 1-4 with a solo homer.
Date: April 7, 1999
Event: first ever trip to the disabled list (torn knee cartilage).
Result: first game back is May 14th, and he goes 2-5 with a home run.
Date: June 29, 2000
Event: Rodriguez is named to People magazine's "America's 100 Most Eligible Bachelors" list.
Result: 0-3 with a walk and a stolen base against the Angels later that day.
Date: December 11, 2000
Event: Rodriguez signs a 10-year, $252 million contract with the Texas Rangers.
Result: 2-4 in an 8-1 loss to the Blue Jays on the following opening day.
Date: February 15, 2004
Event: Traded to the Yankees for Alfonso Soriano and other assorted junk.
Result: 1-4 with a double in an 8-3 loss to the Devil Rays on opening day.
Date: October 19, 2004
Event: Rodriguez slaps the ball out of Bronson Arroyo's hands in the eighth inning of Game 6 of the ALCS.
Result: He goes 0-4 with a strikeout in Game 7.
Date: September 25, 2006
Event: A-Rod quoted in Sports Illustrated saying "When people write bad things about me, I don't know if it's because I'm good-looking, I'm biracial, I make the most money, I play on the most popular team . . ." Also mentions that Boston was his first choice.
Result: 2-3 with a double and an RBI against the Devil Rays.
Date: May 29, 2007
Event: The New York Post runs pictures of Rodriguez leaving a Toronto strip club with stripper Joslyn Noel Morse.
Result: 1-4 with a double in a 7-2 loss to the Blue Jays.
Date: May 30, 2007
Event: Rodriguez dekes Jays' third baseman Howie Clark by yelling "I got it" while running behind him, causing him to back off the ball.
Result: 1-3 with a BB and two runs scored the next night against the Red Sox.
Date: October 28, 2007
Event: Rodriguez actually opts-out during Game 4 of the World Series.
Result: 2-3 with a double and an RBI on opening day 2008 against the Blue Jays.
Date: July 7, 2008
Event: Cynthia Rodriguez files for divorce.
Result: 0-4 with 2 Ks against the Devil Rays.
Date: March 5, 2009
Event: It's announced that Rodriguez will miss at least the first month of the season for hip surgery.
Result: 1-4 with a home run and 3 RBI in his return on May 8th against the Orioles.
The Upshot: following bad publicity, Alex Rodriguez is a .265 hitter (13 for 49) with very little power. As such, I predict that tonight he will go 1-4 with a walk against the Twins.
Mark it down.