A-Rod To Retire: But Does Anyone Care?

Jun 29, 2016; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees designated hitter Alex Rodriguez (13) during the filming of a commercial at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 29, 2016; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees designated hitter Alex Rodriguez (13) during the filming of a commercial at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports /

Alex Rodriguez (aka A-Rod) announced his retirement on Sunday prompting the question, “does anyone really care?”

Former Texas Ranger and current New York Yankee, A-Rod, is finally hanging up the cleats. During a season to forget, one in which the former all-star and League MVP hit only .204 from the plate with a .609 OPS (career lows), Rodriguez was informed by the Yankees he will soon be let go.

A-Rod, 41, will be given a final farewell on Friday where he will serve as the Yankees’ DH one last time. After that, he will be cut from the roster and ride off into the sunset…

It’s a harsh reality for all professional athletes – retirement. Eventually, age catches up with everybody. But A-Rod will be given his one last time in the spotlight. It’s a time for fans to appreciate all that he’s done at the highest level in sports.

A-Rod finishes his career with 3,114 hits, 2,084 RBIs, and 696 home runs. He wasn’t just one of the best players in the game during his career but he is one of the best all-time.

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Then why don’t I care?

In fact, I’m fairly relieved to be rid of A-Rod. I don’t hate the guy like some people seem to but I’m certainly no fan either. What gives? On the latest Rangers Chat I had, most people a similar response. Some didn’t even want to talk about it at all. “Didn’t he retire last season?” someone said.

When my editorial director asked me write something up on A-Rod (based on his forgettable history with the Texas Rangers), I immediately thought, “A-Rod? Who the hell cares about A-Rod?” But it brought out emotion. It conjured up memories of yesteryear. It reminded me of lessons learned.

All of this told me that maybe I did care. I might not want to care, but I did. Wrinkling up my nose at the idea of penning an article in his name was caring. It’s the same response I have when seeing mayonnaise on a burger. A-Rod = Mayo

The reality is, not many people around baseball think very fondly of him either. A-Rod is most notable for two things in his career: Performance enhancing drugs and making a ridiculous amount of money.

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What’s strange is neither of things really offended me and I suspect many others are the same.

By now I suspect all players in the 80s-90s were on some sort of performance enhancer. MLB didn’t seem interested in stopping it and virtually anyone could get away with it. I consider busted athletes like cockroaches. If you see (catch) one that means there are 50 more hiding around the corner.

The money can be a pretty polarizing issue for people.  According to CNN Money, A-Rod has already earned $401M in his career.

Even though the Yankees are cutting him, his contract is fully guaranteed so he’ll still see the full amount of his contract in retirement. That’s supposed to be another $27M.

I can see how the magnitude of this would upset some but I honestly have no problem with someone making as much as they can. I’ve never turned down a raise before and I suspect not many people have.

It bothered me what happened to my beloved Texas Rangers when he was on the team. In case you’ve forgotten (or blocked it out to protect your mental well-being), A-Rod signed a record deal in 2000 to join the Texas Rangers. He proved to be every bit the player the Rangers wanted but he nearly bankrupted the franchise along the way.

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Even with the league MVP, the Rangers were the worst in baseball and learned that one player does not a team make. It was a harsh lesson that resulted in the Rangers paying the Yankees just to be rid of him (they agreed to pay $67M of his salary).

It wasn’t A-Rod’s fault but rather Tom Hicks, the Texas Rangers owner at the time. So why does everyone seem to dislike A-Rod? Why did I?

The real problem was A-Rod was just simply unlikeable.

Additionally, A-Rod was a player who conjures up bad memories for Texas Rangers’ fans. His unlikeability was just icing on the cake.  It happens. Some people are just hard to like. I suppose that’s why I wrinkle my nose at the mere mention of him. And that’s why I’m happy his career is coming to an end this week.

It was a great career but it was also a painful reminder of season’s past to the Texas Rangers’ Faithful.

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A-Rod is the mayonnaise of baseball for me. He won’t be missed by this Texas Rangers fan …or forgotten.