A-Rod has gone two weeks since his last homer and the mad fervor surrounding his imminent 600th career homer has significantly died down amongst the outfield fans at Yankee Stadium.
A-Rod hit No. 599 on Thursday, July 22 and two days later against the Royals the scene in leftfield was hectic. Although fans in the outfield sections and bleachers were uncomfortable in the heat, practically melting in their seats and taking refuge in the shaded walkways of the stadium, they eagerly rose to their feet for every Rodriguez at-bat. Fans who were not seated in the outfield sections packed the walkways and pressed up against the railings to watch him.
Such was not the case in last night’s 8-2 loss to the Blue Jays.
Fans in the outfield sections were still parked in their seats or scurried back to them when Rodriguez approached the plate, but the intensity was gone. Whereas entire sections of people were shouting and rising to their feet in those games versus the Royals, last night’s crowd was mostly seated. Fans did crowd the bottom of the bleachers near the bullpens, but the walkways in leftfield were sparsely filled, with many fans walking steadily and peeking at each pitch as they went on their way.
There was almost the feeling that fans wanted it to happen just to get it over with, not so much to celebrate the milestone. On that boiling Saturday afternoon just days after Rodriguez last went deep, the crowd groaned like thunder when Rodriguez flied out in his first at-bat. Last night there was only the gradual dying down of cheers.
The fans are not the only ones who want the see the homer come soon. A-Rod hasn't had a hit in his last 17 at-bats, and is 9-for-46 (.196) since hitting No. 599.
Girardi said yesterday he was not sure if Rodriguez was pressing and called his struggles “a little funk.”
It seems the milestone is being overshadowed by the team’s overall play and falling out of first place. Yankees pitchers gave up four homers in last night’s loss, which could also explain for the lack of enthusiasm amongst the bleacher creatures after the third inning.
Rodriguez’ 600th blast could be exactly what the team needs to regain focus and get back on track. Now that’s something fans are anxious to see.