For a baseball team whose offensive explosions have seemed downright cartoonish from the start, this was one for the comic books, the Yankee bats finally treating Lester, Bard and Hideki Okajima like they were the Riddler's and the Joker's hapless henchmen.
And in the middle of all of this, in the middle of a Yankee Stadium that officially made the transition from acoustic to electric this weekend, in the midst of this murderous row of raw might, there stood Rodriguez, drinking in the adulation, hearing something he'd never quite heard from the people in the stands: love. Unadulterated, unfiltered, unabashed.
"When you hear that crowd," Teixeira would explain later, "there's nothing quite like it."
They all heard it. A-Rod just heard more of it, from citizens who've always been hesitant to hand themselves over to him completely. Theirs has been a complicated relationship, the fans and the superstar, the people who pay the freight for Alex Rodriguez to bank more money than any athlete in the history of American team sports, the star who longs for their acceptance and approval.
The people have always been seduced by the talent, and by the numbers, and by the knowledge that they were watching one of the sublime talents the game has ever known. But they've also seen the October meltdowns, the Page Six addiction, they've seen him cop to steroid use. And opt out of a contract during the final innings of somebody else's World Series.
It has been an uneasy truce. There have been boos. There have been hard words. There have been hard feelings. The people could never deny his talent. He was never reviled. But he was also never revered.
Now, suddenly, they aren't just seeing talent. They are seeing heart. And New York loves to see that, more than anything.
And they see it almost every day now, during the most turbulent and difficult season of Alex Rodriguez's life, one that began with a humiliating press conference and proceeded to a Colorado operating room and onto a pronounced batting slump and a prolonged home-run drought. He no longer is the most complete offensive player on his own team, serving as Teixeira's wing man.
Then, 42 minutes after Friday night bled into Saturday morning, A-Rod blasted a game-winning, 15th-inning home run that sent the people into hysterics before sending them scurrying for the Deegan.
And there was last night, A-Rod splattering another scoreless tie, fueling the electric jolt that used to be part of the furniture across the street and finally returned to the New Stadium thanks to a weekend in which the Yankees didn't just sweep the Sox out of town with their brooms but battered Boston over the head with them.
It was the kind of ovation that draws a player from the dugout for a curtain call, and it did. In the past, these have almost seemed like mutual obligations. Not now. Not this time. A-Rod showed the fans his heart. They showed him their love.