Yankees Start Playing the PR Game

A-Rod meets fans, has soft hands

By Josh Alper
|  Friday, Jun 19, 2009  |  Updated 9:25 AM PDT
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He may be struggling with runners on base, but there's not a callus in sight.

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There have been a lot of complaints from fans about the new Yankee Stadium. Two of them have been the lack of access to players before games for autographs and the ill-conceived decision to place Monument Park in a cave beneath a sports bar. That's not a particularly appealing place to visit, no matter how many great players are honored, but the Yankees came up with a good solution to both their problems.

Alex Rodriguez spent 15 minutes greeting fans, posing for pictures and signing autographs in Monument Park before Tuesday's game. While that made the Yankees look good, it also earned some goodwill for A-Rod. Things have been unusually quiet around Rodriguez since his return from hip surgery/steroid admission, but there's been some audible grumbling from the masses as his batting slump lingers this month. 

You can't make everyone happy, but many generations of politicians will tell you that shaking a few hands and kissing a few babies never hurts matters. Especially when you're as blessed as A-Rod. 

After meeting A-Rod, one fan told Newsday: "He has soft hands."

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It wouldn't be surprising to see the Yankees doing more of these grip n' grins in the future. It's a quick, easy crowd pleaser for a team that's earned just about every one of the slings and arrows shot in their direction this season. Is that cynical? Maybe, but it probably isn't to the people who get to meet their heroes.  

After meeting A-Rod, one fan said: "He has soft hands."

Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City and is a contributor to FanHouse.com and ProFootballTalk.com in addition to his duties for NBCNewYork.com.

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