Embattled Yankees' slugger Alex Rodriguez laughed off a Detroit reporter's assertion Wednesday that he's a villainous figure throughout baseball by noting that he's been steadily booed for the last 15 seasons.
"I've been booed for 15 years, buddy," Rodriguez said. "I don't know if you haven't been around. It's been one long boo for 15 years."
Here's a transcript of the conversation from ESPN.
Reporter: Coming back this season, a lot of fans, see you as the so-called "villain," you get booed a lot everywhere ...
A-Rod: The, what?
Reporter: The so-called "villain" ...
A-Rod: Who said that?
Reporter: It seems like fans see you as that ...
A-Rod: Which fans?
Reporter: Most fans, in baseball ...
A-Rod: Did you talk to them?
Reporter: It seems like a lot of fans, you disagree?
A-Rod: Everywhere I go, they have been really generous. I've been humbled by the reception I've received everywhere.
Reporter: Does it seem like you have been booed more on the road?
A-Rod: I've been booed for 15 years, buddy. I don't know if you haven't been around. It's been one long boo for 15 years.
New York manager Joe Girardi defended Rodriguez Wednesday, noting the third baseman is tested for performance enhancing drugs more often than other players, according to the report.
When asked if it was difficult to have to compliment Rodriguez despite the player's past steroid use, Girardi replied, "Obviously, you don't want any of your players to do that. That's not what we want. We want this game to be clean. Sometimes people make bad choices. He paid the consequences."
Rodriguez was suspended from baseball for the 2014 season for using performance enhancing drugs. In the 2015 season so far, Rodriguez has hit .267 with four home runs.
- Will Green