Alex Rodriguez finally did something on the field worth writing about, hitting his first home run of the season off Justin Verlander in the New York Yankees' 5-4 win over the Detroit Tigers on Sunday.
It was the infamous slugger's first home run since Sept. 14, 2012. From the New York Yankees' official Twitter account:
A-Rod crushes his 1st homer of the season, tying this game at 1 in the 2nd.— New York Yankees (@Yankees) August 11, 2013
Video of the blast, courtesy of MLB.com:
The home run will surely get more than one monkey off of Rodriguez's back, as ESPN Stats and Info notes:
Prior to his HR vs Justin Verlander, Alex Rodriguez was hitless in his last 25 AB vs RHP including the 2012 postseason.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) August 11, 2013
Rodriguez, of course, has been at the center of the latest steroid scandal in baseball that ended with 12 other players accepting 50-game suspensions. A-Rod faces a 211-game suspension pending appeal. But with the appeal process possibly taking several months to resolve, Rodriguez is eligible to continue playing for the Yankees in the meantime.
His return to the field prior to his home run had been underwhelming. Before Saturday's game, A-Rod had a .200 batting average with three hits and five strikeouts in 15 at-bats.
He is back in the middle of the Yankees lineup as the team battles for a postseason spot. New York is currently 11 games back of the Boston Red Sox in the AL East and seven games back in the wild-card race.
Obviously, starting A-Rod has brought its own controversy. Some folks will surely feel that the Yankees should bench him during this scandal, while others will point out that the Yankees are paying him and have an obligation to do what it takes to win.
If that means starting Rodriguez during this scandal—which is totally within their rights—so be it.