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Alex Rodriguez Announces He Will Retire After Friday's Game

2011-06-22-arodkiss

Alex Rodriguez will be remembered as the most polarizing player in baseball history. Based on the amount of money he made during his career and the controversy surrounding him no player, not even Barry Bonds, comes close. For anyone in their late 20’s or early 30’s, we remember how exciting it was to see ARod play, whether it was for or against your team.

Over the years the biggest knock on Alex was that he was weird. He had himself painted as a centaur and did a photoshoot where he was kissing himself in a mirror. But what do you expect from a guy carrying the weight of a huge contract and everyone expecting him to break every offensive record in the game? Most of us can’t handle a stern talking to from our boss let alone the pressure that Alex has faced in his career.

As ARod plays his last string of games out this week, if he plays more than just Friday, there should be a lot of emotions for Yankee fans. The immediate feeling is excitement that the team is moving on from Alex and focusing on the young talent that we just acquired. As we look forward to Saturday it will be exciting to see who gets the call from AAA to take his roster spot. On the other hand though for both Yankee fans and baseball fans in general, we are losing a superstar who loved playing baseball. Fans of other teams hated him but they hated him because he was a threat at the plate and in the field.

Over the next few days I’ll put something together to reflect on his career but for now here is the official release on today’s announcement.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEALEX RODRIGUEZ TO PLAY IN FINAL MAJOR LEAGUE GAME
ON FRIDAY, AUGUST 12, AT YANKEE STADIUM;
WILL ASSUME POSITION AS SPECIAL ADVISOR AND INSTRUCTOR WITH THE YANKEES

The Yankees today announced that Alex Rodriguez will play in his final Major League game on Friday, August 12 vs. Tampa Bay at Yankee Stadium. Following the game, he will be unconditionally released by the club from his player contract in order to sign a contract to serve as a special advisor and instructor with the Yankees through December 31, 2017.

“After spending several days discussing this plan with Alex, I am pleased that he will remain a part of our organization moving forward and transition into a role in which I know he can flourish,” said Yankees Managing General Partner Hal Steinbrenner. “We have an exciting group of talented young players at every level of our system. Our job as an organization is to utilize every resource possible to allow them to reach their potential, and I expect Alex to directly contribute to their growth and success. Baseball runs through his blood. He’s a tireless worker and an astute student of the game. Alex has already proven to be a willing and effective mentor to many players who have come through our clubhouse, and I am confident that this next phase of his baseball life will bring out the best in Alex and the next generation of Yankees.”

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In his new role, Rodriguez will be assigned to work with various players at all levels of the Yankees farm system, including many of the club’s top prospects. He will report directly to Hal Steinbrenner and offer instruction to players in conjunction with the Yankees Baseball Operations and Player Development Departments. As part of his wide-ranging duties, Rodriguez will provide the Yankees regular feedback and analysis regarding the club’s minor league system. Additionally, he will serve as a Guest Instructor during spring training in 2017.

Rodriguez, a three-time American League MVP (2003, ’05, ’07) and 14-time All-Star (1996-98, ’00-08, ‘10-11), ranks fourth on Baseball’s all-time list with 696 home runs, including an all-time record 25 grand slams. He is second in Baseball history with 2,084 runs batted in (trailing only Hank Aaron’s 2,297), eighth with 2,021 runs scored and 19th with 3,114 hits. He has had 14 seasons of at least 30 home runs and 100 RBI (1996, ’98-2010), and is the only Major Leaguer to ever accomplish the feat.

Originally acquired by the Yankees on February 16, 2004, from the Texas Rangers in exchange for Alfonso Soriano and a player to be named later (Joaquin Arias), Rodriguez has played 12 seasons for the club (2004-13, ’15-16), reaching the postseason nine times and winning the World Series in 2009. During that postseason, he batted .365 (19-for-52) with 15R, 5 doubles, 6HR and 18RBI in 15G, leading the Yankees in batting average, runs, home runs and RBI.

In 1,506 career games with the club, Rodriguez has hit .284 (1,579-for-5,568) with 1,012 runs, 262 doubles, nine triples, 351 home runs, 1,094 RBI, 779 walks, 152 stolen bases, a .378 on-base percentage and a .901 OPS. On the Yankees’ all-time lists, he ranks second in grand slams (15), sixth in home runs and slugging percentage (.523), seventh in OPS (min: 2,500PA), 10th in runs scored, 11th in RBI and stolen bases, 12th in walks, 17th in games played and 18th in on-base percentage.