A-Rod and Yankees Are Finally At Peace

A-Rod and Yankees Are Finally At Peace

Rich Mancuso/Sports Editor

Alex Rodriguez was emotional Sunday morning in the press conference room at Yankee Stadium. GM Brian Cashman and manager Joe Girardi followed and were grateful for his 12-years in pinstripes, one that was complicated and never lacked in drama.

Next Friday the saga ends in the Bronx. The Alex Rodriguez era, at least in pinstripes, comes to a conclusion and it is not difficult to understand what transpired here.  It was never a marriage; it was more of an affair with the Yankees.

Blame the steroid era as a reason this born-to-be-baseball-star, Alex Rodriguez became the most controversial player  who  needed performance enhancing drugs to put him in the annals with Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron, and other greats who played the game without the use of PEDs.


Courtesy NBC News


In essence, as much as one can realize the accomplishments, Alex Rodriguez may be at peace but will always be remembered as a fraud because he played the game of baseball as the cheater and not the player.

Hal Steinbrenner was not there. But it was A-Rod and the Yankees boss who came to an agreement that ends a 22-year playing career and an satisfying saga in the Bronx.  It will be a different story when A-Rod joins management in spring training next year in a player development role.

And it was always about how much Alex Rodriguez, as he said, “Loved the game,” and like a marriage it worked to his advantage, that is, until A-Rod decided–as was his admission later on–not play the game the right way.

So, now, with a playing career likely coming to an end, next Friday night in the Bronx when the Yankees face Tampa Bay — A-Rod will play in his last game.

“We’ll talk to him and see how he wants to end here,” said Girardi about the next few and final days of Alex Rodriguez as an active player in Yankees pinstripes.  That will no longer be an issue for Girardi as to why or when Alex Rodriguez will be in the lineup again.

But Girardi did say, “ He has the right to change his mind.” Meaning, if A-Rod gets home and says that his mind has changed about getting that 700th home run, “I’m not sure what’s going to happen.  This is hard for any athlete.”

Consider that this legacy will not end the way it should, and whether it be good or bad with four home runs shy of 700, Alex Rodriguez will not be part of Yankees history in that elite club. The 700 home run club in the Bronx still belongs exclusively to “The Babe.”

Did the Yankees put an end to the A-Rod era before 700, or was his exit the result of a continued revamping of a roster that is getting younger, more so that needed to get younger?

And is the the end for real? There was no word of retirement, instead the world heard was, the Yankees gave Alex Rodriguez a release from the remaining, of what at the time was the biggest contract in sports and for a baseball player.

This was a marriage that was meant to be in the Bronx, perhaps never meant to be. And now, with the final few days at hand, how does the baseball world and the New York Yankees say this so-called goodbye to who many call, one of the all-time greats who played the game?

Cashman said about the career of A-Rod, “Exciting. One with ups and downs but always got back up.”  And the Yankees became the team that had the ups and downs with their star player. There were the threats of lawsuits, the courtrooms and breach of contract.

The year long suspension from steroid abuse became a distant memory last year. Alex Rodriguez had a comeback year, he played the game and went with the plan. And for the most part this season, even with limited or no playing time, you never heard A-Rod say the wrong thing.

In the end, even in the Bronx on Sunday morning, he was again the team player and handled it the right way,

But had Alex Rodriguez played the game the right way with the Yankees, and for most of his career there would be more talk of joining an elite 700 home run club.. There would be talk of him being a legitimate and great all-time New York Yankee.

However it did not work out that way and in a few more days, and perhaps with a couple of more appearances at the plate, the final legacy of Alex Rodriguez will be determined.

Rodriguez said with emotion, he was grateful to take on another opportunity with the Yankees. “Sure, of course,  I can still play baseball,” he said. And if A-Rod indeed does play again, it won’t be with the Yankees.

It was a tough day and a proud day for the soon-to-be former Yankee who never thought he’d have a career spanning 22-years.

The Yankees have offered him the opportunity to mentor the young ballplayers whose best days are ahead. He has a chance to open up a new chapter.

Saying goodbye he said is hard to do, but how much will baseball miss Alex Rodriguez remains to be seen.

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