by John Furgele
Alex Rodriguez has decided to retire from baseball at age 33. It has been a tumultuous off-season for the third baseman and now that his hip is ailing, Rodriguez has decided that retirement is his best option at this time.
Obviously, he is not retiring, but maybe he should. Since arriving in New York in 2004, A-Rod has been one distraction after another. He purse slapped Bronson Arroyo in the ALCS, then stopped hitting in the postseason altogether, dressed up like Derek Jeter to earn the Single White Female moniker from his teammates, and was called A-Fraud by more teammates. There was a the Toronto stripper, Madonna, a messy divorce from Cindy, right after the birth of his second daughter no less.
He is a very talented player, but what would the Yankees give to get out of his contract, and if they had it do all over again, do you think they would have signed him in the first place? When Harry Frazee sold Babe Ruth to the Yankees in 1920, the Red Sox waited over 80 years to win the World Series. Since acquiring Rodriguez, the Red Sox have won TWO world championships and the Yankees have not even played in one.
There was a time that the Yankees aimed to build a team, a comprehensive unit that had chemistry—yes it is important—but once again, they have gone after the marquee names. To a fan, almost every Yankee follower would trade Rodriguez for Scott Brosius straight up right now, even though the latter retired after the 2001 season. Now, the Yankees are desperate to win again so they go get Sabathia, Burnett and Texiera. These are three star players, but will they have what it takes ala El Duque, David Wells and Tino Martinez?
The Dallas Cowboys just cut Terell Owens and thus far, I haven’t heard Tony Romo cry through he shades saying, “That’s my wide receiver.” Is A-Rod more of a diva than Owens? Is he more of a distraction? More high maintenance?
The answer is that he is at least the equal of Owens. Maybe A-Rod just isn’t a good dude. It doesn’t mean he’s a bad guy, but one gets the feeling that he is the nerd that tries so hard to be cool, he comes off even more nerdy and even dorky as well.
Now, he is having hip problems, and speculation will run rampant that this hip injury is the result of steroid use. Others will say that Rodriguez is still using PEDs and this is what happens when you use them. Whether it’s true or not, Rodriguez has brought this all on himself. I’m still amazed at how fragile these athletes are. They train for hours and months and many seem to get hurt doing the smallest of things. I’m probably not being fair here, but when you get paid millions to be in top shape to play a sport such as baseball, these tweaks that keep players out for two weeks are inexcusable. What specifically did A-Rod do to tweak his hip.? It is almost impossible to fathom this, even though most say that the everyday players really don’t need spring training anymore because they come to camp in such fine shape. I’ll argue that they need it more than ever.
Here’s hoping that Rodriguez enjoys his retirement and I applaud him for saying that “he no longer wants to be a distraction for his Yankee teammates anymore.”
Best of luck, A-Rod, unfortunately, we’ll see you in a few weeks.