With his team leading by two runs following his RBI single in the top of the ninth, A-Rod was running between second and third after Jorge Posada had popped up the potential third out.
As Rodriguez went behind Toronto third baseman Howie Clark, who had camped under the ball, he appeared to shout something toward Clark, causing him to back off the play. The ball fell in for a single, allowing a run to score and extending an inning that wound up breaking the game open for the Yankees.
“I said, ‘Hah,’ that’s it,” Rodriguez said. “I was almost past third base. I was surprised the ball bounced.”
The Blue Jays didn’t see it that way.
“I was under it and I heard a ‘Mine’ call, so I let it go,” said Clark, who thought the call came from shortstop John McDonald. “This is my 16th season, granted most of them are in the minor leagues, but it’s never happened once. It happened tonight.”
“I told him it’s bush league. That’s what we do in Little League,” Gibbons said. “The one thing that everybody in the game respects about the Yankees is that they play the game right, they play the game hard. That’s what they’re known for. They’re a class operation.”
“I could care less,” Rodriguez said. “We’re looking not to be swept. It really doesn’t make a difference; we won. Those guys have their opinions, our guys have ours. I’m fine with that.”
Troy Glaus, the Blue Jays’ regular third baseman and a 10-year veteran, was appalled by the play.
“Not since I think ‘Major League II,’ the movie; I think that’s the only time I’ve ever seen it on the field,” Glaus said. “I’ve never heard of someone doing it and I’ve never seen anybody do it. That’s not proper. That’s not the right thing to do.”
In all seriousness, A-Rod might be far more savvy than any of us give him credit for. He might well have realized he’d have to do something rather sensationational to distract the media from his zipper problems, and it appears as though he did just that. I can only hope the organization appreciates that kind of maturity and leadership.