The End of the A-Rod Era
He has been among the most polarizing athletes of our lifetime as a mere mention of his name can bring a vast variety of reactions from fans, fellow players, past and present teammates and others.
Some things are obvious. Alex Rodriguez WAS a great player, winning three MVP awards in a 22-season career that saw him hit 696 home runs. Two of those MVP seasons came while a Yankee and in 2009 he won his only World Series ring when the team from the Bronx beat the Phillies in six games.
Rodriguez also made a lot of money, much more than any other baseball player in history. When it’s all said and done he will have earned $420 million from the Mariners, Rangers and Yankees.
Unfortunately for “A Rod” and his most loyal fans he will likely also be remembered as a cheater who denied and then later admitted to using performance enhancing drugs and was suspended for the entire 2014 season by major league baseball. That was just the biggest of his many transgressions as he often lived up to being called a lightning rod who was a regular on the back and front pages of New York newspapers.
Alex is in that spot again today as Sunday he and the Yankees held a joint press conference in which the 41-year old announced Friday would be his last game wearing the pinstripes. This is not his decision as he is being released for the simple reason he can no longer hit a baseball.
“A Rod” will go home to Miami and then next year serve as a special advisor and instructor to the Yankees while collecting the final $26 million they owe him. A career in the broadcast booth awaits as he is a student of the game and can offer a unique perspective.
His career numbers add up to a first ballot Hall of Famer but don’t expect to see Rodriguez in Cooperstown anytime soon. He like many others with extraordinary talent got caught cheating and it’s a part of his legacy, one he can’t erase and will likely follow him for many years to come.