Alex Rodriguez Ends Yankees Career…Is He Done?

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Aug 12, 2016; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees designated hitter Alex Rodriguez (13) gestures to the crowd as he leaves the field during the ninth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium. New York Yankees won 6-3. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 12, 2016; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees designated hitter Alex Rodriguez (13) gestures to the crowd as he leaves the field during the ninth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium. New York Yankees won 6-3. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Yankees and possibly entire career of Alex Rodriguez came to an end Friday night, the culmination of a strange week where he and the Yankees essentially planned his release due to poor performance.

It was an emotional night, one to see the embattled slugger with 696 home runs who can no longer catch up to fastballs just a year removed from missing an entire season due to more steroid allegations that have followed him his entire career.

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The “Mitchell Report”, which came out in 2009, that A-Rod had tested positive for steroids and testosterone back in 2003 before a positive test was even illegal. That certainly gave him a public black eye but no suspension from baseball.

That time came in 2013 when he was part of the Biogenesis scandal that caused MLB to suspend him for the entire 2014 season. Though at the time he adamantly denied the claims, later it came out that indeed he did take the substances and had gone to lengths to hide evidence in the case. So his legacy is certainly tarnished to say the least.

As the Yankees are still paying his salary next year, many speculate he could latch on next season as a pinch hitter / platoon DH in a quest to get at least an even 700 home runs if not Babe Ruth‘s record of 714.

Baseball has a rough history with many of it’s greatest players. The all time home run king – Barry Bonds – has also long been assumed to use PED’s through his association with BALCO but never failed a test. Also likely never to enter the Hall of Fame. Roger Clemens, third on MLB’s all time strike out leader list, is similarly presumed guilty and even faced perjury charges where he won the case legally but not in the public eye. Pete Rose of course from gambling, which leads up to A-Rod.

Of the Top 15 MLB Home Run List, I count 6 who are presumed guilty of steroid use which is a shame for baseball and hopefully A-Rod is the last cheater to get high to such hallowed records. Mike Trout certainly seems like the current heir that could challenge these all time records as he has 161 career home runs and just turned 25.

He is fourth on the all time home run list, and yet fans will remember his sultry demeanor, the record $252M contract he signed with Texas, the botched trade to Boston, the trade to the Yankees, and a friendship gone awry with Derek Jeter.

When A-Rod came up with Seattle way back in 1994, he, Derek Jeter, and Nomar Garciaparra were the trio of shortstops that would be the future of the game. He joined future Hall of Fame players Ken Griffey Jr and Randy Johnson in Seattle and emobodied the youth of the game. Yet that Texas contract was the beginning of the crafting of A-Rod the villain.

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Even his final week – Rodriguez and his manager Joe Girardo clashed over how much playing time he would get in his final week and he was denied his request to play the field at third base. He did get in the game late Friday in a manufactured gesture to finish things off in New York.

Like Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez brought an incredible talent to the game of baseball that rivals the games best ever. Yet falling prey to that desire to do more at all costs, he tarnished the record books and his own reputation forever in the process. So long, A-Rod. Please, don’t come back.

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