|Poll: How will fans react to Alex Rodriguez in final games at Fenway?||08.09.16 at 10:22 am ET|
Alex Rodriguez is set to play his final games at Fenway Park (as least as a member of the Yankees) when the Bronx Bombers roll into town for a three-game series starting Tuesday night. Rodriguez has had some memorable moments at Fenway, and — combined with his off-field issues — he’ll go down as one of the biggest villains in Boston sports history.
With that said, Rodriguez has accomplished quite a lot during his career, and Red Sox fans respect greatness. Will the Fenway faithful forget about A-Rod’s transgressions and salute the 41-year-old as he says goodbye? Or will they let him know they’re not about to forgive his lying and cheating ways. The Red Sox organization apparently has no plans to pay tribute to him (at least not Tuesday), but will the fans handle it on their own?
Poll: Will Alex Rodriguez be cheered or booed during farewell appearance at Fenway?
- Mostly boos (68%, 132 Votes)
- Mixed (26%, 50 Votes)
- Mostly cheers (7%, 13 Votes)
Alex Rodriguez will play his final game with the Yankees on Friday, but not before taking part in a three-game series against the Red Sox at Fenway Park.
Rodriguez, 41, has been a villain to Boston sports fans for over a decade now. He agreed to a trade to the Red Sox in 2003 before the MLBPA stopped the deal and Rodriguez ended up wearing pinstripes the following season. He instantly became a main component of the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry, often having his best games at Fenway. He averaged .287 with 29 home runs and 88 RBIs in 131 career games at the ballpark.
Here are the top 10 moments from Alex Rodriguez’s time at Fenway Park.
10. May 1, 2016: Rodriguez homers, doubles to give Yankees lead twice
Rodriguez hit a two-run home run off of David Price in the third inning to give New York a 3-1 lead and then doubled home two more runs in the fifth to give the Yankees the lead again. Not even his four RBIs were enough however, as the Red Sox came back for an 8-7 win.
9. April 21, 2007: Rodriguez homers twice, but Red Sox complete comeback
Rodriguez’s two home runs gave him a record-tying 12 in the first 15 games of the season. He homered in the fourth and fifth inning to give New York a 5-2 lead, but Boston would pull off the come-from-behind win with five runs in the eighth frame. Rodriguez had four RBIs and three runs in the performance.
8. April 30, 2016: Rodriguez gives bat to young fan after homer over Green Monster
You may not like Rodriguez very much, but you have to respect this move. After homering in the second inning, Rodriguez kept his promise he made to a young fan and gave him his bat. The boy was visiting from Arizona following the death of his father, and he had been welcomed by the Red Sox as well, getting the chance to meet David Ortiz.
“I was on deck and the kid said to me, ‘Mr. Rodriguez, can I have your batting gloves?’ ” Rodriguez said. “I was about to hit, so I said, ‘I’ll do you one better; if I hit a home run, this is your bat. I’ll make you that promise.’ ”
|Red Sox not planning Alex Rodriguez tribute Tuesday||at 7:29 am ET|
According to a team source, the Red Sox are not planning to honor Alex Rodriguez when the Yankees designated hitter begins his final series at Fenway Park Tuesday night.
Rodriguez said Sunday he would be leaving the Yankees, with the team to release the 41-year-old following Friday’s game. New York is planning to have Rodriguez serve as a mentor/instructor while riding out the remainder of his current contract, which runs through the 2017 season.
Rodriguez is hitting .204 with nine homers and a .609 OPS in 62 games this season. He is four home runs short of 700.
|Alex Rodriguez announces retirement; will visit Red Sox this week, play final major league game Friday||08.07.16 at 11:33 am ET|
One of the most polarizing figures in Major League Baseball is retiring.
Alex Rodriguez announced at a press conference Sunday morning that he is retiring effective following Friday’s game.
The 41-year-old designated hitter has struggled all season, hitting .204 with a .609 OPS and nine home runs.
“This is a tough day,” Rodriguez said in a press conference on Sunday. “I love this game, and I love this team. And today, I’m saying goodbye to both.”
Rodriguez, 41, is just four home runs shy of 700 for his career. He’ll remain with the Yankees as a special advisor through 2017.
His final week of games will begin on Tuesday in Boston, a fitting place to wind down a controversial career, given his dalliances with the organization in the 2003 offseason. He agreed to a deal with the Red Sox and would’ve been acquired from the Rangers, but the union scuttled the agreement. He was then traded to the Yankees, where he began the most contentious portion of his career, which included multiple admissions of PED use and a year-long suspension in 2014.
“After spending several days discussing this plan with Alex, I am pleased that he will remain a part of our organization moving forward and transition into a role in which I know he can flourish,” said Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner in a statement. “We have an exciting group of talented young players at every level of our system. Our job as an organization is to utilize every resource possible to allow them to reach their potential, and I expect Alex to directly contribute to their growth and success. Baseball runs through his blood.
“He’s a tireless worker and an astute student of the game. Alex has already proven to be a willing and effective mentor to many players who have come through our clubhouse, and I am confident that this next phase of his baseball life will bring out the best in Alex and the next generation of Yankees.”
A 14-time All-Star and three-time MVP, Rodriguez currently ranks fourth all-time in home runs (696) and third in RBIs (2,084). He’s currently a lifetime .295 hitter with a .930 OPS.
|Report: Yankees could release Alex Rodriguez before end of season||08.02.16 at 1:17 pm ET|
The Yankees purged four veterans from their roster in the days leading up to the trade deadline, but they may set their biggest fish free before the end of the season.
According to a report in the New York Daily News, the Yankees are considering releasing controversial slugger Alex Rodriguez, whose playing time has disappeared along with his production.
The 41-year-old A-Rod, who sits four homers shy of 700 for his career, is owed the remainder of his $21 million salary this year, as well as a guaranteed $21 million next year. The Yankees are expected to try to move on from him over the winter, but they may accelerate their timetable. From the story:
While the more likely scenario still seems to be parting ways with A-Rod over the winter, a source familiar with the situation told the Daily News on Monday that there’s a chance releasing the slumping DH “could happen” before the end of this season as part of the team’s ongoing overhaul.
If the Yankees part ways with Rodriguez, it’s possible his career is over. As it stands now, he ranks fourth all-time in homers behind only Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron, and Babe Ruth, and third in RBIs (2,084), behind Aaron and Ruth.
|David Ortiz on improving relationship with Alex Rodriguez: ‘Life is a learning process. … He’s finally getting the memo’||04.29.16 at 5:54 pm ET|
David Ortiz’s feelings toward old friend Alex Rodriguez are finally thawing.
Members of the Mariners organization together more than 20 years ago, the two had a falling out in 2014 when one of Rodriguez’s lawyers suggested a double standard existed between players like A-Rod caught up in PED use and others “who are God-like in Boston right now.”
Ortiz took offense to the sentiment and the fact that A-Rod never disputed it. The two finally spoke this spring at a batting cage in Fort Myers, and on Friday before the Red Sox opened a series with the Yankees, Ortiz opened up about his relationship with his fellow 40-year-old slugger in an interview with WEEI.com.
“I’ve known A-Rod for a long time and I know he’s not a bad person,” Ortiz said. “He’s just surrounded by people that sometimes make him believe that he’s doing the right thing and end up being the wrong thing. But I know he don’t mean anything bad. I saw how he handled his business last year. I think he was honest with himself, finally, and with everything that was going on around him, he finally realized the world doesn’t need him, he needs the world. I’m happy for him.”
The paths of the fun-loving Ortiz and the corporate Rodriguez diverged midway through their respective careers, but Ortiz never lost sight of the Rodriguez he knew as a teen. He believes Rodriguez lost his way en route to superstardom, but Ortiz also believes in forgiveness.
“I’ve known him forever,” Ortiz said. “And like I tell you, people like us, we’ve got to be careful who we have around us, because it can catch us down the road. Everything that has been going on with him, you see that it is somebody else’s fault beside his. Life is a learning process. I’m a huge believer that he’s finally getting the memo.
“I’ve always been a real friend to him, and I’m happy we’re hearing more good things about him than what we normally used to hear. I’m one of the guys, I always look for him getting things done the right way. At the end of the day, I know he’s not a bad person. Just because you make bad decisions does not mean that you’re a bad person. And I know for a fact that’s what’s been happening with him. He’s been poor making decisions, but in the long run, he’s a good guy.”
|Alex Rodriguez to retire after 2017 season||03.23.16 at 2:48 pm ET|
According to ESPNNewYork.com, Alex Rodriguez will retire after the 2017 season. The completion of that campaign will mark the end of his current contract, a 10-year, $275 million deal.
The controversial 40-year-old is coming off a solid season with the Yankees, totaling 33 home runs and an .842 OPS while serving as New York’s designated hitter.
In his 21-year major league career, Rodriguez has hit the fourth-most homers (687) in big league history. Rodriguez resides just 27 homers behind Babe Ruth, 68 in back of Hank Aaron, and trails the all-time HR champ, Barry Bonds, by 75.
For his career, Rodriguez boasts a .297 batting average, and .937 OPS. He has won three American League Most Valuable Player awards.
|Alex Rodriguez on shifting to first base: ‘This is a lot more challenging than people give it credit for’||08.31.15 at 6:04 pm ET|
Hanley Ramirez isn’t the only former shortstop trying to transition to first base. Across the field in the Yankees dugout, Alex Rodriguez is doing the same thing, and he wants to make something abundantly clear: it’s not easy.
Rodriguez has played two games at first in his 21-year career and started exactly one — on April 11 this season against the Red Sox following a marathon 19-inning loss. Rodriguez booted a Mike Napoli grounder for an error and looked remarkably uncomfortable for a two-time Gold Glover at short.
“It felt uncomfortable,” Rodriguez said on Monday before the Sox and Yankees opened a three-game series. “I thought I was terrible at it. I had one of the ugliest games I’ve seen. Like I told some of you guys, this is a lot more challenging than people give it credit for.”
Rodriguez is in a different place in his career than Ramirez. He just turned 40, has spent the entire season at designated hitter, and is coming off a 2014 season that he missed to suspension. The risk of injury weighs more heavily on him.
“Honestly, your guess is as good as mine, because I’ve never had to do this before,” Rodriguez said when asked about getting hurt. “I wish I had some experience on it, but I don’t. My guess is as good as yours.”
Yankees manager Joe Girardi, who has loaned Rodriguez a mitt, said Rodriguez might play first during this series. The Yankees are scrambling to fill the position with starter Mark Teixeira injured and rookie Greg Bird inexperienced.
Rodriguez doesn’t want to cost the team a game in a pennant race.
“No question,” he said. “The stakes are much higher. The risk-reward ‘¦ spring training is one thing. Even earlier in the season, you take April and May, it can be kind of a more trial-by-error kind of thing. It’s kind of a different story now.”
|Red Sox-Yankees series preview||at 8:31 am ET|
Though at opposite ends of the division standings, the Red Sox and Yankees have both seen the momentum shift their way in the past week and will clash at Fenway Park for a three-game set starting Monday.
The Red Sox are 60-70, good for last place in the overachieving AL East. However, since July 24 and their post-All-Star break hangover, they’ve turned in a respectable 18-16 record. And in their last 12, they’ve gone 8-4.
The Sox are fresh off a series win against the first-place Mets, who own the fourth-best team ERA in baseball (3.31). While the lineup couldn’t get it going early in games, the Sox showed resiliency late in taking two games after the sixth inning. In the first game of the series, Matt Harvey held Sox batters scoreless through six, but Boston snagged three runs in the seventh and three in the 10th off the bullpen to earn the 6-4 win. In the second game it took five innings, but the Sox finally figured out Jacob DeGrom when Pablo Sandoval doubled home Mookie Betts. They would tack on two more runs and emerge victorious by a 3-1 score.
“All around we’re playing good baseball,” Joe Kelly said after holding the Mets offense to one run over 7 1/3 innings in Saturday’s squeaker. “Defensively, offensively, guys are making good swings and staying with their approaches and, like I said, top to bottom we’re playing good baseball. It’s fun to watch coming to the ballpark winning more than losing, obviously. We’re not in it right now, but watching the way everyone is playing, it’s pretty fun.”
In 12 meetings this year, the Sox have gone 4-8 against the Yankees. Their most recent encounter left the Red Sox reeling. After getting pounded 13-3 by the Bronx Bombers in the opener of a three-game set at Yankee Stadium on Aug. 4, the Sox turned around a stole a 2-1 victory from their rivals the next day, beating rookie phenom Luis Severino in his major league debut. However, the last game of the series proved the most damaging. With one out in the seventh in a 1-1 deadlock, Jacoby Ellsbury laced a home run down the right-field line off lefty Eduardo Rodriguez. That would be all the offense the Yankees would need as their top-notch bullpen shut down the Sox lineup the rest of the way.
|Mark Teixeira on Alex Rodriguez: ‘Playing well cures all things’||07.14.15 at 5:34 pm ET|
CINCINNATI — The Yankees are in first place in the AL East and Mark Teieira says embattled teammate Alex Rodriguez is one of the biggest reasons why.
Teieira is one of three Yankees at the All-Star Game and he said before Tuesday’s 86th Midsummer Classic that A-Rod has been exactly what the Yankees needed in the middle of their order.
Rodriguez is batting .278 with 18 homers and 51 RBIs. Only Teixeira has more homers (22) and RBIs (62) on the team, which is leading the Rays by 3.5 games at the break.
“He’s been huge,” Teixeira said. “Without Alex, we’re not in first place. There’s no doubt. What he’s done in the middle of our lineup kind of solidified the DH spot for us. We really appreciate what he’s doing for our team.”
The Red Sox can certainly attest to that. He belted first-inning homers Friday and Saturday nights, with Friday’s coming in a 5-1 win. Rodriguez had an RBI double and scored Sunday in an 8-6 New York win that put the last place Red Sox 6.5 games back.
Rodriguez is certainly among those under consideration for Comeback Player of the Year at the halfway point of a season that comes on the heels of his one-year suspension for his Biogenesis PED transgressions.
“Playing well cures all things,” Teixeira said of Rodriguez. “If he were struggling right now, you can imagine the hoopla surrounding him. It would’ve been a mess. But when you play well, that means that your team is playing well and your teammates are appreciating what you’re doing. It’s worked out for him.
“He’s a great teammate. He’s always been a great teammate. I said that in spring training. We’ve never had a problem with Alex as a teammate. He’s proven to everybody he hasn’t changed as a teammate or as a baseball player. When he’s healthy, he’s as good as it gets out there.”
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