Girardi: Wrong to cheer for A-Rod's HBP

Some fans cheered Tuesday when Alex Rodriguez was hit by a Chris Sale pitch at the Cell. Mike DiNovo/USA TODAY Sports

CHICAGO – In addition to feeling that Chicago White Sox fans were insensitive Tuesday night, New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi also believed they were poor role models.

Girardi, a Peoria, Ill., native and Northwestern graduate, was asked about the cheer that went up at U.S. Cellular Field in the third inning of Tuesday's game when Alex Rodriguez was hit by a Chris Sale pitch.

"There's something wrong with that," said Girardi, a former Chicago Cubs catcher. "I often think that it starts from the adults. And if it was their child, would they want them to be hit? Because the kids will only repeat what the adults do."

Sale's 93 MPH fastball appeared to graze off Rodriguez's left elbow as he tried to squeeze himself out of the way.

Fans have been especially hard on Rodriguez since he made his season debut Monday after spending the entire year on the disabled list. On Monday, Major League Baseball announced that Rodriguez was suspended 211 games for his relationship with the now-defunct Biogenesis clinic and impeding MLB's investigation, but he has been allowed to play as he appeals that suspension.

Girardi said he is against performance-enhancing substances in baseball, but when asked about having a probable PED user in his lineup, he did not admit to having an internal conflict.

"No, because I think that in our world you're supposed to be innocent until proven guilty," Girardi said. "We know that's not the case in this world, even though that's what it's supposed to be. ... Is there internal conflict? No. (But) I think it's important that players realize that you need to do it the right way."

During Monday night's game at U.S. Cellular Field, Rodriguez was greeted by hand-held signs in the stands that read "A-Roid" and "Cheater."