Yankee fans were saddened Sunday when news hit that their beloved A-Rod, or Alex Rodriguez, will play his last game August 12th.
Rodriguez, who has been named American League MVP 3 times and an All-Star 14 times, will be unconditionally released from his contract once that August 12th game ends. Fans need not mourn too much; A-Rod will be sticking around Yankee Stadium for a while. He’s taking a position as special advisor and instructor to the team, with that contract lasting until Dec. 31, 2017.
A-Rod’s professional league career lasted 22 years. He hold the 4th place spot for career home runs, 696, behind Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron and Babe Ruth. Basically, he’s a living legend. Rodriguez turned 41 on July 27 and has had a bit of a down year, with only 9 home runs in 62 games this season. In 2015 he had finished the season with 33 home runs.
It looks like those low stats are what pushed up his retirement; A-Rod was quoted as saying “That was the Yankees’ decision” in regards to the retirement negotiations that reportedly began on Wednesday; “You always think you have one more hit in you.”
Joining the upper ranks of the team will be an interesting move for the 10-time Silver Slugger who butted heads a few years ago with top Yankee officials. Their point of contention was Rodriguez’s alleged use of performance-enhancers, a scandal that knocked him out of the 2014 season entirely. He has been working hard to mend relationships since his return from suspension. Apparently, it’s paid off.
Yankees General Manager, Brian Cashman, spoke after Rodriguez at the Sunday press conference. He had nothing but praise for his departing player. Reportedly he removed his 2009 World Series ring and placed it in front of him on the table saying, “That doesn’t come along to this franchise’s trophy case without Alex’s substantial contributions.”