It often is the case in sports a mistake in ones personal life can be forgiven provided that player is productive. Such is the case with the former prodigal son, Alex Rodriguez. After serving a 162 game suspension last season for PED use, Alex was practically a non-person.
The New York Yankees tolerated Rodriguez, verbally criticized him at every turn, and made him a DH, citing his age. Despite this, Rodriguez rebounded and started hitting the ball with consistency and power. The Yankees continued to ignore his contributions, including his passing of Wille Mays when he hit home run 661 on May 1st. They settled on giving the six million dollar milestone money to charity thus avoiding negative press.
Alex emerged, along with Mark Teixeira, as the power duo that has been a major reason for Yankee success this season. He has 24 home runs and 68 RBI’s along with a healthy .268 average. Alex Rodriguez reached his 3,000th hit hitting a home run off Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers in June.
Surprisingly, the Yankees announced that they would honor the 3,000 hit achievement on September 13th opening alot of eyes around Major League baseball. Alex for one was among the curious.
“I think its amazing, extremely classy by the Steinbrenners, the Yankee organization.”
“I didn’t think I would be getting any ceremonies, that’s for sure.”
Brian Cashman, Yankees GM, who was in the forefront of the bitter war with Rodriguez last year and going into this season, seems to have softened on his aging superstar.
“I think it certainly shows how far he’s come,”
“Mistakes can happen, and you can move past it over time.”
Say what you will but if this looks like a marketing opportunity for the Yankees and a reward for Alex for the way he has carried himself this year along with his vintage A-Rod numbers, you cant fault either side. Rodriguez is enjoying a comeback for the ages at 40 and the Yankees are benefitting immensely. Its just good business sense at this point.
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