In the end, he’ll most certainly say “I did it my way ” and you can watch Sinatra sing it here because the song is as haunting as it is true………. And nothing comes closer to the real story of A-Rod…….
Very few ballplayers get the chance to go out “their way “. David Ortiz is trying to do what Derek Jeter did two years ago rounding the ballparks one last time. Others like Michael Cuddyer seemingly wake up one morning and say, “That’s it, I don’t have it anymore ” and they disappear from the baseball landscape in the blink of an eye.
Still others hang on simply because they can’t let go even though they are but a shell of what they once were. Willie Mays comes to mind getting those last few hapless at bats with the (then) hapless New York Mets.
And for others, it’s the trap of that lucrative long term deal you signed when you were young and seemingly invincible. Although now, you have aged and your skills have proportionately diminished – and because of the money you are owed – it’s like you’re being hung out there to dry and you look for a lifeline that isn’t quite reachable……..
This now is the story of Alex Rodriguez…..
Safe to say, Alex Rodriguez probably draws more conversation and controversy than any player in the game today. And it also safe to to say that he owes it all to himself. He did it “his way ” and now he owns the
present as well as his future.
In the early days when he was with Seattle, he set the bar high for both himself and the generation of players around him. Then, he moved on to Texas where the numbers grew but the team didn’t.
With a career in a stalemate position, inevitably he caught the eye of George Steinbrenner in New York and the proverbial stars aligned themselves. Again, the numbers continued to pile up. But what didn’t happen was winning – and with the Boss’s team that always meant one thing – a World Championship
During those early years of A-Rod’s Yankees contract, the Yankees continually made the playoffs but Alex was a no-show at the plate. Finally, after Steinbrenner poured another $400 million into the team for the 2009 season, the team went all in and won everything…… And A-Rod excelled throughout the playoffs. Vindication? Not quite…..
Because then the whole bubble burst wide open and the steroid thing surfaced and gained traction. Whether acting on his own or listening to wayward advice we’ll probably never know…….. But Rodriguez steadfastly tested everyone’s patience and trust by denying it all, hiring his own “dream team”, and challenging the hands that fed him (Yankee Brass).
Now, in all probability, because so much money is at stake both sides have declared a truce and A-Rod is penciled in as the everyday DH in a lineup that screams for his contribution. With but one home run for the month of April and seemingly light years away from Babe Ruth let alone Barry Bonds, the bar has now been reset for Rodriguez – because even if he was 50% of what he was…..that should be a cakewalk.
Maybe history could have been kinder to him and last year could have been his final year……23 home runs, 90 RBI….Coming off a suspension year and not seeing major league pitching…….that might have been nice….
But it doesn’t look like it’s going to play out that way anymore…… And honestly I don’t know how that makes me feel………