All the ESPN and Fox baseball experts preaching about how the fans have grown tired of the same old Alex Rodriguez steroid saga and just want to forget about it and move on never talked to this guy.
An Orioles fan turned his back to the field every time A-Rod stepped into the box on Monday night, folding his arms and staring back at the rest of the fans sitting in section 78 in left field.
Rodriguez went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts, so he didn’t miss much. A pinch-hit grand slam by Stephen Drew in the seventh inning propelled the Bombers to the 6-5 win over the defending AL East champs.
“I don’t respect him,” Tolbert Rowe told the Washington Post. “He doesn’t deserve to be watched. Absolutely not, I’m sorry. You know, and now they got all this about his tying Willie Mays’s record and the $ 6 million, and he has the audacity to think that he should be paid. I’m sorry. I don’t respect the guy. Not one bit.”
Rowe has owned a partial season ticket plan since Camden Yards opened in 1992, and while the Orioles have had their share of PED abusers, Nelson Cruz most recent among them, Rowe has never turned his back on any Orioles player or any other visiting player. He’s only turned his back on A-Rod. He told the Post that Rodriguez’s greatness, and his standing in baseball’s record books, is what led to his lonely protest.
“(H)e’s the worst. He’s the epitome of all that was wrong about it,” Rowe told the Post. “And he’s been so successful. Maybe it’s jealousy, maybe it isn’t. But I just don’t think that he deserves to be in the class with other players that have never had … and I mean, he lied about it. I’m sorry. He doesn’t deserve my respect.”
His stand on the issue caught fans in his section off guard.
“When he stood up and turned around for the first at-bat, he urged others to do the same. No one really listened to him,” Tim Anderson, who documented the man’s act of defiance on Twitter, told the Daily News.
“They all just laughed at him or took pictures of him like I did. I honestly thought he would do it for the first pitch or so and then sit down and watch — I really thought he was joking. But when he stood for the entire at-bat and then did it again for the three at-bats after that, I realize that he truly wanted to make a point. And, as far as I could tell, everyone respected the stand he was taking. No one behind him complained that they couldn’t see the field, no Yankee fan harassed him. He was almost just a part of the game whenever A-Rod came to the plate.”
Later in the game two people joined Rowe and also turned their backs on A-Rod, but Anderson speculated that they might’ve also been turning their backs on the team; his photo showing two others with their backs turned came after Drew’s grand slam.
Anderson added that some people were rooting for A-Rod to hit a home run and clock Rowe in the back of the head, but home run No. 656 will have to wait.
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