Sunday, August 4, 2013

A-Rod Fans and Critics Attend Trenton Thunder Game

By Jhazalyn Prince (New York, NY)

Tonight at Arm and Hammer Park in Trenton, Alex Rodriguez played what could be his last game for a long time. Halfway through the evening, news broke that Rodriguez was going to be suspended for 214 games.

Seats at the minor-league stadium, home of the Trenton Thunder, were sold out, with many people paying for standing-room-only tickets.

“You mean of the year? Yeah, this is the busiest we’ve been,” said Alex, a 17-year-old vendor and longtime baseball fan, about tonight’s boost in business. As for his opinion on Rodriguez—who has been accused of using performance enhancing drugs—he said, “He needs to be done with baseball.”

Laurie, a mother of two boys, had a different perspective as a parent. “I’m very disappointed because I have my boys and they’re huge baseball fans who look up to him as a role model and there are other famous players who were able to do it without it so…” When asked if she believed that Rodriguez was to blame or if it was the culture of baseball, she was adamant that it was all a matter of personal choice.

Nick, a fan of Rodriguez, was more forgiving. He said he believes there is a lot of pressure on players to be the best. And he argued that other players had probably done the same thing but weren’t targeted.

Midway through the game, word began to filter into the crowd that Rodriguez’s suspension may be for a length of 214 games. Responding to the news, David Savage, a longtime baseball fan, said, “I’m surprised it wasn’t more.” Savage is a Yankees fan although he doesn’t care too much for Rodriguez. Still, he stated, “I don’t feel what he did was extremely wrong.”

Darryl Beam Bristo, a 56-year-old Pennsylvania resident and Thunder season ticket holder, guessed that A-Rod had added 2,000 visitors to the crowd. He also said there were more people at the stadium when Derek Jeter had played there.

“He’s a cheater,” Mike Cahill, a 27-year-old New Jersey resident, said while chuckling among his friends.

But not everyone was so harsh. There was a 50-50 mix of boos and cheers in the crowd for Rodriguez, and while some shouted profanities at him, at least one fan defended him, shouting, “Sit down! He made a mistake.”

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