Alex Rodriguez has had one of the most controversial careers of any MLB player. When he entered the league at the age of 18, fans were amazed that such a great player was so young. When he left Seattle to play for Texas, he set records for his astonishing $252 million contract. That’s not even touching his controversial time in New York that saw him get nailed for his steroid usage from the 2001-2003 season when he was a Ranger.
Below you’re going to read 15 things that only true fans know about Alex Rodriguez. Ranging from quotes from the man himself about his most controversial moments, to some of the lesser known facts like his incredible affinity for call girls and his pick-up techniques.
You may also be aware of some of his high-profile relationships, but do you know what he hangs above his bed? You’re about to (but I bet your partner is hoping you won’t get any ideas). You may also absolutely despite A-Rod, but there’s a story from a day in Boston that may help change your opinion on him. You'll even learn just how much money he made and how many sports teams he could buy with that money (spoiler alert: it's a lot!)
We’ll also examine some of the bigger moments of his career, such as why it was he turned down the Mets in free agency (let’s just say his agent had some outrageous demands) and what went wrong that kept him from being traded to Boston, instead of New York (imagine that timeline for a second).
The career of Alex Rodriguez was not all good, and this list is proof enough of that. But at the end of the day, what you’re left with is one of the greatest baseball players of all time.
15 How He Was Almost A Red Sox
It can be insane to think of A-Rod as a member of the Red Sox, but when the Texas Rangers were shopping A-Rod around it was Boston that came out as the strong front-runner. Rodriguez had even agreed to reduce his salary by $4 million a year, but would have also been able to opt out of his contract in 2005 (and not in 2007 as originally stipulated).
The trade would have seen A-Rod go to Boston, who would have sent Manny Ramirez and Jon Lester (who was only two seasons into his career) as well as cash over to Texas. The White Sox were also going to get into the action, with the Red Sox sending their now unnecessary shortstop, Nomar Garciaparra to Chicago as well as Scott Wiliamson and would have received Brandon McCarthy and Magglio Ordonez back.
There are several names there that all played huge prominent roles in World Series Championship, so you can only fathom how different the league would have looked.
The Player's Union stepped in and rejected the trade however, stating that it was against any efforts for a player to reduce the value of an exhausting contract (as A-Rod was doing).
If you want to examine this even deeper, ESPN did a 30 for 30 short film in which they examine the trade in further detail.
14 His Love Of “Call Girls”
While Madonna was the biggest name that A-Rod allegedly cheated on his wife with, by no means does she appear to have been the only one. It was reported in the New York Daily News that Candice Houlihan, who is a former stripper, slept with A-Rod while he was in town playing the Red Sox.
In 2009, the Daily News reported that A-Rod had gone after the call girls of Madam Kristin M. Davis (a high-profile call girl ring). When talking about it, Davis said “Throughout the years, there were a number of clients that I befriended and it was not uncommon for them to want the women they can't have whether it be the phone bookers or the madam. In regard to Alex, all I can say is our paths have definitely crossed personally and professionally."
Rodriguez is rumoured to have actually dated Kristin M. Davis. David Beckham and Eliot Spitzer (a former NY Governor) have also been allegedly linked to the ring.
In an autobiography Michelle Gross (a former known affiliate of A-Rod), also opened up more about Rodriguez’ love saying that he “Got hookers all the time. Usually two at a time, two times a week." And that on one occasion he had two women go up, leave, and then 10 minutes later Cameron Diaz came to visit him.
13 What He Said About His Steroid Use
You can't think A-Rod without steroids, so you may as well hear what he has to say on the matter.
In 2009, Alex Rodriguez sat down with ESPN’s Peter Gammons and talked at length about his alleged steroid use in the 2001, 2002, and 2003 seasons. At the time, Rodriguez had just signed a 10-year, $252 million dollar contract. This was the most expensive contract in sports history, but Rodriguez quickly made good on the money. In his first season, he put up a 52 HR, 135 RBI season and followed it up by an even more impressive 57 HR, 142 RBI.
The following season he put up 47 HR and 118 RBI, definitely not too shabby.
When talking about why he used performance-enhancing drugs, Rodriguez blamed the culture of baseball, saying that it was just a different era back then.
As well as this, Rodriguez said “When I arrived in Texas in 2001, I felt an enormous amount of pressure. I felt like I had all the weight of the world on top of me, and I needed to perform, and perform at a high level every day."
Rodriguez passionately denies that he used any performance-enhancing substances when he was a member of the Yankees.
12 Why His Relationship With Torrie Wilson Ended
Alex Rodriguez has been in several prominent relationships, but one of his biggest was the three years that he spent with former WWE Diva Torrie Wilson. The two ended their relationship back in February 2015 and details have emerged that the relationship ended because Rodriguez was refusing to commit to Wilson and was also refusing to close contact with his ex-wife, Cynthia Scurtis.
Wilson was also allegedly jealous of Rodriguez’s constant flirtation with other women, and given his past relationship history, you can understand her suspicions.
Rodriguez married Scurtis in 2002, but they separated in 2008 after allegations came out of Rodriguez cheating. One of the alleged women that broke up the marriage was Madonna, which you can imagine would be a pretty hard affair to keep quiet.
Considering Rodriguez’ playing days have now come to an end, it's sure to be a matter of time before he has found a new lovely lady to woo.
11 Why He Switched Positions To Come To New York
One of the biggest things about A-Rod’s switch to New York was that there was absolutely no way he was going to move Derek Jeter away from his spot at shortstop. Prior to the trade, the decision to switch positions was talked about at length with A-Rod’s agent Scott Boras saying: "You'd have to decide what the [shortstop] position means to you, and understand what you'd be giving up for a chance to win. Think about it."
When A-Rod responded the next day that he would switch positions, it stunned the Rangers owner Tom Hicks who said that A-Rod had always refused to switch positions. Rodriguez sat down with Sports Illustrated shortly after the trade was completed and talked about the switch, saying “Once Scott brought it to my attention, it made perfect sense, I began to think about the pinstripes. I felt the allure of the tradition and the opportunity to win and asked myself, Why not do it?”
Rodriguez was also frustrated with the losing in Texas, and especially the critics who blamed his large contract for the reasons.
10 What He Has Hanging Above His Bed
Now I’m going to be honest: if I was as rich and famous as Alex Rodriguez I would probably own some really weird or unique things in my house. But I’m not too sure if I’d have anything as weird as what A-Rod has, and I definitely would not hang it above my bed.
Back in 2009, one of Rodriguez’ scorned lovers opened up to US Magazine saying: "He was so vain. He had not one, but two painted portraits of himself as a centaur. You know, the half man, half horse figure?"
I’m not really sure if that’s awesome or incredibly awkward, but I would love to hear that conversation with the artist.
Considering Rodriguez was dating Kate Hudson at the time of the story breaking, you can only wonder if she allowed him to keep the paintings or if a new lady meant a new art collection.
9 He Saved A Boy's Life
Anytime Alex Rodriguez steps foot at the plate in Boston, you can understand why he would receive a chorus of boos. But back on April 15, 2005 Rodriguez would be hailed as a hero in Boston after he saved an eight-year-old boy from getting hit by an oncoming truck. The boy's father spoke to a local newspaper saying: “I can’t express enough gratitude, he saved my son’s life.”
When talking about the incident, Rodriguez said: "I was trying to get out of the way, and the kid was running the other way. He was about to run into the street and I kind of just put my arm around him. We both almost got run over."
It just so happened that the boy was a huge Yankees fan and his father had been born and raised in Manhattan. Rodriguez has had many key catches in his career, but you may agree with the boys father who joked that catching his son was the best catch that he has ever had.
8 His Favourite Season Was 2007
Alex Rodriguez put together an outstanding career, but you can understand that he must have one year that was his personal favourite. When talking about it in an interview, Rodriguez said: “I had the greatest year of my career in 2007. It's a year that I'm very proud of. Although we didn't win a championship, it was a year that was full of -- you know, it was a very historic year. Just to have 2007, 1996, that for me says a lot.”
That year Rodriguez had shown up to camp having reduced his body fat from 16% to 9% and also modified his stance, which he had hoped would increase his bat speed and make him less likely to strike out.
It clearly worked for him and Rodriguez had a record-setting season, including being the first player in MLB history to have 10 consecutive seasons of 35 HR, 100 runs scored, and 100 RBI.
Rodriguez led the AL in HR (54), RBIs (156), slugging percentage (.645), OPS (1.067), and total bases (376).
Not shockingly, he was announced the AL MVP (for the third time). Following this year, A-Rod became a free agent and ended up re-signing with the Yankees, signing a 10-year, $275 million contract.
7 How He Tried To Pick Up Ladies During The ALCS
Rodriguez may not be afraid to call on some call girls, but during the ALCS back in 2012, it became evident that Rodriguez had found another fun way to flirt. Rodriguez was allegedly flirting with two female fans throughout the game and eventually had a ball boy toss them a ball with the instructions on it to write down their phone number. An eye-witness fan talked more about the incident saying: “The girls, who had already caught two balls, seemed bemused at first and tried to hand the ball to another fan, but other fans noticed the note on it and yelled at them to read it.” One of the girls then wrote her number on the ball and threw it Rodriguez’ way.
Die-hard Yankee fans may remember this as being the same game in which Derek Jeter, unfortunately, broke his ankle. At least if the Yankees were ever trailing in games in the future, Rodriguez had a fun way to at least make sure he was having himself a nice night after the game!
6 Why He Didn’t Become A Met
When Alex Rodriguez was testing out the free agent market in 2000, there were definitely a few suitors that were interested in trying to acquire the superstar's talents. One of the teams that seemed to be a strong candidate were the New York Mets, who were allegedly Rodriguez’ dream team. It was enough for Scott Boras to get a sit-down meeting with Steve Phillips who was the GM of the Mets at the time. You may be stunned that Boras immediately started to list off various demands that Rodriguez would need to have met if he was to sign, this included: an office at Shea Stadium, his own marketing staff, a merchandise tent to be set up at spring training, a luxury box, his own private jet, and definitely more billboards than Derek Jeter.
This was enough for the Mets to realize that A-Rod was never going to join their team, especially considering their current star Mike Piazza was described by Philips as “the most low-maintenance superstar there was, with no entourage, only his brother and dad coming around once in a while.”
A-Rod ended up signing with the Rangers for $252 million, but the Mets said they would have maybe offered around $170-$180 million, but the numbers never made their way to A-Rod after the perks disaster.
5 The Story Behind His 660th Home Run
It was in May 2015 that Alex Rodriguez sailed his 660th home run in his career over the walls of Fenway Park. The HR tied Rodriguez with Willie Mays for fourth on the all-time list. Mays was quick to congratulate Rodriguez on his achievement saying: “milestones in baseball are meant to be broken and I wish him continued success throughout his career."
Rodriguez stepped into the game as a pinch-hitter and as you may expect, was serenaded with boos from the Fenway faithful. The boos turned to awe when he connected on a 3-0 pitch off Junichi Tazawa. The less-fun part of the story for A-Rod comes with what ended up happening to the ball. It just happened to land in the arms of a Red Sox fan who openly stated how he did not want Rodriguez to have the ball; including turning down offers of several Red Sox memorabilia (such as a David Ortiz jersey).
When Zack Hample was the lucky recipient of Rodriguez's 3,000 hit which also just happened to be a homerun, he was reported as saying Rodriguez would need to "pay the piper" to get the ball off him.
4 How He Angered The Yankees In 2013
A-Rod may be in good standing with the Yankees now, but back in 2013, he left general manager Brian Cashman fuming. Earlier in the year A-Rod had undergone surgery on his hip for a torn labrum and started the season on the 60-day disabled list.
When A-Rod decided he was ready to play baseball and that his doctor had cleared him, he announced it on Twitter. Probably not the best move, leading Cashman to say that Rodriguez' doctor's opinion doesn't matter and that Rodriguez should shut the **** up.
If that wasn't enough for one year, it was in August 2013 that A-Rod was also appealing a 211-game drug suspension, leading Cashman to speak out against A-Rod on several occasions including: “I'm not comfortable talking to Alex about this because we feel we are in a litigious environment. Hello and goodbye, that's about it. I'm not comfortable talking to him anymore. I don't want to be distorted. I can't speak for others but I know it's definitely a distraction for me. I've got a lot of extra work from this stuff. It's very frustrating."
It’s clear that A-Rod has done a lot of good for the city of New York, but he definitely kept Cashman up for many long and unpleasant nights.
3 He Didn’t Choose To Retire
The world is all looking at Alex Rodriguez right now, but while you would hope he’d be able to make the decision to retire, it was the club that decided his career was over. When talking about it at a press conference, Rodriguez said: “I'm obviously disappointed but I'm also at peace with their decision."
Rodriguez is going to continue to stay on with the team as an instructor and mentor to the younger players on the team. This is perhaps fitting, considering Rodriguez’ release came because the team is striving towards what he called a youth movement. It’s already been an unusual year for Rodriguez who had spent a significant portion of time on the bench. Rodriguez was also asked about this saying: “I've played almost 22 years in the major leagues and I've never sat on the bench. It was new territory, that's for sure."
At least you can be happy that the team is ending on really positive terms with A-Rod.
2 Just How Much Money He Made
As you are well aware, A-Rod has earned a ridiculous amount of money over the course of his career. In fact, it was reported that his career earnings are in the ballpark of $378 million. You want to help put that money into some real context? A-Rod can literally buy one of 13 NHL franchises.
Or if A-Rod wanted to dabble in the MLS, he could play for the Seattle Sounders for $245 million or the Los Angeles Galaxy for $240 million. If he prefers the EPL? A-Rod could track down West Ham United and make it his for $279.5 million or Newcastle United for $287.3 million.
In 2013 when A-Rod was bringing in $29 million, it was also more than the entire Houston Astros organization. It was the 13th year in a row that A-Rod had the highest salary in baseball.
1 The Records Under His Belt
Even if you absolutely hate Alex Rodriguez, you better believe you’ll be hearing about him for a long time because his name is all over the record books. If you just want to look at individual positions, for a short stop A-Rod holds records in runs in a season (141), slugging percentage (.631), total bases (393), home runs (57), extra-base hits (91), and the most HR’s by a third basemen with 52 (though two were as a DH).
Rodriguez also has more grand slams than anyone in MLB history with 25. A-Rod is also a member of the 3,000 hit club, ranks fourth all-time in home runs, and third in RBI. Rodriguez fell a few home runs short of being only the fourth player in MLB history to reach 700. Rodriguez was a polarizing figure throughout his career and no matter your feelings towards A-Rod, there is no denying his impact; for better or worse.