NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- The Alex Rodriguez doubleheader -- his long-awaited suspension and season debut -- meant a big ratings boost Monday for the YES Network.
The network had its highest-rated telecast of the season on Monday night when the embattled Yankees star took the field in Chicago, YES vice president of communications Eric Handler announced Tuesday.
The game against the White Sox averaged a 4.34 rating in New York, the network said. It beat out the previous 2013 high of 4.16, set during the Yankees-Mets Subway Series on May 27.
Not everyone was impressed. Sporting News writer Jesse Spector compared fans tuning in Monday to drivers rubbernecking on a highway.
"The YES Network got its highest rating of the year for the same reason there's traffic going west after a truck flips over going east," Spector tweeted.
No doubt the ratings were fueled by some unique baseball theater: MLB announced a 211-game suspension Monday for A-Rod, who vowed to appeal before taking the field for the first time in 2013. Twelve other players accepted 50-game bans for their connections to Biogenesis, the closed Florida anti-aging clinic accused of distributing performance-enhancing drugs.
YES was criticized for opting to show a Gene Michael "Yankeeography" in the 6 p.m. hour while other stations aired live press conferences by Rodriguez and Yankees manager Joe Girardi.
The network's ratings peaked at an average 8.22 from 8:30-8:45 pm.
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