On February 14, 2004, Yankees G.M. Brian Cashman swung a trade to acquire Alex “A-Rod” Rodriguez from the Texas Rangers. And, on February 7, 2009, it was reported that (in spite of claims in the recent past from A-Rod that he never used, or considered using, performance-enhancing drugs) Alex Rodriguez tested positive in 2003 for having two anabolic steroids (in his system).
In a period just one week short of five years, the Yankees’ “A-Rod Story” has taken an interesting turn, huh?
On the plus side, in his Yankees career, to date, A-Rod has come to the park, just about everyday, ready to play ball. According to FanGraphs.com, from 2004 through 2008, including the post-season, Alex has hit 1,000 groundballs – how about that for a nice round number? – and I’m pretty sure that he’s run everyone of them out, hard. And, by the way, he won the league MVP award in 2005 and 2007. Geez, what’s not to like about all that?
Well, there’s been some other events during A-Rod’s Yankees career too – between the time the Yankees traded for him and today (when the news came out about his reported usage of illegal steroids). Here’s a summary of some of that stuff:
July 2004: A-Rod gets into a fight with Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek – which many claim became a season rallying event for Boston that year.
October 2004: A-Rod tries to slap the ball out of Boston’s Bronson Arroyo’s glove and is ruled out for interference during Game 6 of the ALCS.
October 2005: A-Rod bats .133 in the ALDS.
November 2005: A-Rod is cautioned by the New York Yankees that playing poker in illegal clubs could be dangerous and harmful to his image.
December 2005: A-Rod creates a bunch of drama regarding which team he will play for in the World Baseball Classic.
September 2006: An embarrasing feature on A-Rod, where he is spoken of negatively by other Yankees, appears in Sports Illustrated.
October 2006: A-Rod bats .071 in the ALDS.
November 2006: A-Rod stands up Yogi Berra at a charity event.
February 2007: A-Rod holds a press conference where he says that he and Derek Jeter have been “lying” about having a great relationship.
May 2007: A-Rod is caught cheating on his wife with a muscular stripper.
May 2007: A-Rod yelled “Mine!” or “Ha!” (or something like that) as Blue Jays third baseman Howie Clark tried to catch a Jorge Posada pop fly with two out – causing the ball to drop in and annoying the heck out of the Toronto players.
July 2007: A-Rod’s wife wears a shirt to a game at Yankee Stadium which contains an obscene word.
October 2007: A-Rod strikes out 6 times in 15 At Bats during the ALDS.
October 2007: During the World Series, A-Rod opts out of his Yankees contract.
July 2008: A-Rod is caught having an affair with Madonna – leading to a divorce with his wife and many tabloid headlines.
July 2008: A-Rod leaves Yankee Stadium before the completion of the 2008 All-Star game – and catches some heat for not sticking around.
And, that’s just the list of A-Rod related embarrasing things that I can remember, as of this moment. There’s an excellent chance that I missed a few.
So, this all said…whaddaya say Yankees fans…when you look back at the first 1,820 days of A-Rod in pinstripes, factoring it all in, has it been worth it?