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It's easy to get hyperbolic about Alex Rodriguez's three-run home run last night, but it's also tough to ignore the significance. Redemption began with the the first at-bat. It only took one pitch.

With the Yankees' season imploding, A-Rod, with his U-haul, returning to the line-up after hip surgery just wasn't guaranteed to be the offensive or emotional boost they needed. It was easy to see how this could make the '09 season even more cumbersome, with the stench of the Selena Roberts book, Torre's book, the weird press conference, the "Boli", the Bitch Tits, the muscular strippers, the Madonna crap, the divorce, all still relatively fresh. Everything the man has touched has been turning into runny shit for a quite some time now. And it was satisfying to watch because this is a player that even the most ardent baseball fans could never warm up to. The destructive path his career has taken in recent months was karmic justice for a man who's exceptional play has always been overshadowed by the fact that he's a giant asshole. And then in one pitch some of that changed. At least for me it did. Because, regardless of where you stand on the steroid issue, whether it tarnishes your outlook on how you see baseball, there is still baseball to be played. A-Rod's homer on the first pitch — which Suzyn Waldman predictably wet herself over, by the way — is as good a reason as any to continue to believe that beneath the bodies enhanced by Winstrol, HGH, fertility drugs, breast cancer drugs, or whatever else can be used to give ballplayers and cattle longer healthier lives, there's still a tremendous athlete inside of each of them that just loves to play.

"It was a dream," said Rodriguez, who had hip surgery on March 9. "It's been two months, which is a long time. I've been watching a lot of baseball, being very frustrated. I feel like I'm back with my family now where I belong."


And, of course, all of this touchy-feely goodness will go away if A-Rod gets suspended for PEDs this season. So far so good, though.

And ON the first pitch... [Fack Youk]
Back With A Bang [NYP]

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