soft hands.

Even when Alex Rodriguez carves out a Yankee moment, he barely has time to enjoy it. In the eyes of some, he always does something wrong. Last night, he offended the Mets by admiring the path of his grand slam for a second too long, then taking a scenic tour around the bases as the hyper-critical Stadium crowd drowned him in love.

By the time A-Rod neared home plate, his trot had slowed to a dull roar and the attitude Joe Torre calls "an inner conceit" was in full bloom. Yankee fans loved it, Paul Lo Duca not so much. The Mets catcher was mumbling loudly as A-Rod strolled down the third-base line. Rodriguez might not have heard or noticed Lo Duca at first, so delirious were the fans. It had been, what, an entire day since A-Rod hadn't messed up? They barely had a chance to boo him before he smoked a fat pitch the opposite way off Alay Soler in the third inning, the ball sailing into the bleachers, the Yankees going from two runs down to two runs up, the game and mood doing an about-face.

But now here was Lo Duca, cluttering the vibe. A-Rod jumped on the plate, ready to slap some Yankee hands. Lo Duca was smack in the happy pile, expressing his dissatisfaction. Words were exchanged with A-Rod and Jason Giambi, one of the runners who scored. In the end it was lots of posturing about nothing, though that's never really how it ends when A-Rod is involved. [lisa olson]

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