A-Rod steals the nightcap

NEW YORK -- Alex Rodriguez stopped the show.

When he left MLB’s office on Park Avenue in Manhattan around 6:35 p.m. on Thursday night, the third baseman had his usual group of supporters waiting for him in the street and chanting his name.

He also had a new following Thursday as participants in Story by Story’s fourth annual stair climb lined up behind the railings on the steps in front of the building, snapping photos and watching Rodriguez interact with supporters.

For approximately 15 minutes, Rodriguez signed autographs and posed for photos with fans before taking off. He did not speak with the media. As Rodriguez interacted, Survivor's "Eye of the Tiger" blasted in the background.

Thursday was an important day in the hearing as MLB Chief Operating Officer Rob Manfred gave his testimony. Rodriguez will be back Friday for the final day of his hearing before a hiatus for the World Series. The hearing will resume in November.

Earlier Thursday, a press conference was held by Hispanics Across America president Fernando Mateo and elected officials, and they blasted Bud Selig, Randy Levine and baseball. State Sen. Ruben Diaz called the 211-game suspension handed to Rodriguez “discriminatory.”

In other Rodriguez news, his initial conference with Selig regarding his suit against MLB and Selig has been scheduled for Nov. 7. It originally was planned for Oct. 24.