NEW YORK — His production shriveled, his aura dissipated, his place in history unsettled and his ego almost certainly bruised, Alex Rodriguez took a seat following the Snub Seen 'Round the World and became a spectator, little different than the 50,000 other fans at Yankee Stadium.

At age 37, he has become perhaps the biggest hole in the New York Yankees' batting order this October, a close-to-automatic out.

The $275 million man lives for moments like the one Wednesday night, when the game and his team's season were tottering on a high wire between success and setback.