Alex Rodriguez announced Sunday that his final game in the pinstripes will come at home as the Yankees face a familiar face in division rivals Tampa Bay Rays. To many, the announcement of his retirement came as no shock, as Rodriguez sat the bench the last three weeks and the Yankee’s manager Joe Girardi failed to insert him in key pinch hit situations late in games. Rodriguez and the Yankees front office announced that Rodriguez will become a special advisor for the Yankees as soon as he’s done playing Friday. What remains unknown, and will remain unknown for some time, is how Alex Rodriguez will be remembered.
Rodriguez came up as a shortstop in the Seattle Mariners organization and made his major league debut as an 18 year old. Rodriguez was drafted first overall by the Seattle Mariners in the 1993 draft and turned into one of the game’s best early in his 20s. Rodriguez would ultimately spend time with three major league teams, the Seattle Mariners, Texas Rangers and New York Yankees. Although most baseball fans will only remember the power hitter as a Yankee, he was able to hit 47, 52, and 57 home-runs in each of his three seasons with the Texas Rangers. Although these numbers may not be authentic due to the use of PED’s Rodriguez set himself up for a luxurious contract with the New York Yankees. Rodriguez would go on to sign a 10 year/$252 million deal that expires after next season. However, this contract seems to be a little outrageous when you consider the money the Yankees lost throughout his injury/performance enhancing drug plagued career.Rodriguez ultimately was suspended for the entire 2014 season after admitting to Performance enhancing drug use during his 2001 season with the Texas Rangers in which he slugged 52 home runs, hit .318 and batted in 147 RBI’s. After his admittance of using PED’s his legacy was tarnished right away. Sports writers all over the country deemed him a cheater and the chance at the hall of fame has been severely diminished with the prior history of baseball writers and their willingness to let cheaters of the game in the hall of fame. For many, a chance at the hall of fame was gone the second he admitted his PED use, however, some believe that his ability to admit his mistakes and move on to play seasons clean from PED’s says something about his ability to come clean and tell the truth about his past. Many writers think that Pete Rose who arguably is the biggest hall of fame snub to this point doesn’t belong in the hall of fame because of his allegations of gambling while playing, which is arguably more of a crime than using performance enhancing drugs. Where the two cases differ is the fact that Pete Rose has never and probably will never admit his mistakes. Rodriguez has undoubtedly left his mark on baseball, 696 home runs sitting fourth on the all time list for career home-runs and a legacy that has yet to be determined.