Yankees Shocker: Alex Rodriguez to Retire After August 12th Game
The writing had been on the wall for a while that legendary masher Alex Rodriguez wasn’t long for the New York Yankees.
The 41-year old hitter had seen his play drop off more than ever, as he had brought just 9 home runs and a weak .204 batting average to the table during a disappointing 2016 MLB season.
With a recent demotion, talk had begun that New York was looking for a way out of Rodriguez’s contract, which was still set to run through the 2017 MLB season and cost the team $20 million.
Instead of a trade or release, Yankees and MLB fans alike were shocked to hear the news during a press conference on Sunday, that A-Rod would be retiring following the team’s August 12th game against the division rival Tampa Bay Rays.
From there, Rodriguez is slated to stay on with the Yankees as a special adviser. Yankees Managing General Partner Hal Steinbrenner broke down the star’s new role with the team:
Hal Steinbrenner statement pic.twitter.com/BuWTZDpXps
— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) August 7, 2016
Instead of attempting to go play elsewhere or ride out his deal in regressed form, A-Rod will give the Yankees fans one more show on Friday and then slide behind the scenes to help the team he’s known since 2004.
Rodriguez cited how difficult it would be to walk away from the game during the press conference, which aired live on ESPN’s Sportscenter:
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) August 7, 2016
Rodriguez will first be dropped off of New York’s books with an official release following Friday’s game, which will effectively drop the curtain on the 41-year old slugger’s epic career.
— FOX 5 Atlanta (@FOX5Atlanta) August 7, 2016
A-Rod was best known for the long ball, which he perfected during his days with the Seattle Mariners and Texas Rangers, where he smashed a combined 345 homers. Rodriguez will likely forever be known as a Yankee, however. Not only did A-Rod enjoy just as much success with the Yanks (351 home runs), but it’s ultimately where he spent the majority of his career (12 seasons) and won his only World Series title.
Rodriguez will also unfortunately be known for his role in a steroids scandal, and some will forever label him as a cheater. There is no knocking his natural talent, his elite defense in his prime or his sheer power, with or without the help of banned substances.
Rodriguez arguably showed one last time that he was great even beyond outside help, when he returned from a lengthy ban to smack 33 home runs during the 2015 season. Those were A-Rod’s final quality days as a player, but with this latest news, the Yankees have made sure they aren’t his final quality days as a presence in New York.
A-Rod emotionally closes the final chapter on a terrific career on August 12th, and despite some shortcomings in his past, it’s safe to say most Yankees fans will be watching to cheer him on, say thank you and wish him well as he steps into a new role with the team.
*Photo credit – Keith Allison | Flickr
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