There have been few athletes, if any, that have been as polarizing and publicly scorned as Alex Rodriguez. Love him or hate him, there is no denying that he is one of the most talented and enduring players to ever play baseball. As he continues to set records, he also continues to have the legitimacy of those records called into question. He has 687 home runs in his controversy-filled career and sits just 27 dingers short of Babe Ruth’s 714. Approaching 41 years of age, he still has two years left on his current contract which gives him a very good chance to break the Babe’s mark.
He is well known to alienate teammates and coaches. Fellow players openly refer to him as “A-Fraud” and a previous coach has called him a “diva” and a “pretty boy.” He is routinely called a liar and a cheater by fans, media and other players. Despite all of the criticism, Alex Rodriguez continues to play and he continues to make his mark in the record books.
Being A-Rod can’t be easy. It’s not easy to be a fan of his either, but there are many who adore him and are willing to overlook his flaws. They simply recognize his on-field accomplishments which are too numerous to mention. There are still a few things that fans would rather not remember. Here is a list of 15 things fans would love to forget about New York Yankee Alex Rodriguez.
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Nobody loves Alex Rodriguez as much as he loves himself. He has no shame and he doesn’t seem to care how bad his vanity makes him look. A prime example of his infatuation with himself came in 2009 in a magazine piece that featured photos of Rodriguez kissing himself in a mirror. Stuff like this makes Rickey Henderson look humble. The same article showed a shirtless Alex stretching across a bare mattress. It is tough enough being an Alex Rodriguez apologist without having to deal with stuff like this. He must have been the subject of a few behind-the-back laughs in the Yankees dressing room. At least he was kissing the person he loves most.
Alex Rodriguez married Cynthia Scurtis in 2002. They had two children but their relationship became heavily strained when rumors of Alex’s infidelities began to surface. Rodriquez was seen in newspaper photographs in the company of other women. He was spotted with a blonde-bombshell in Toronto. He was then believed to be canoodling with Madonna. This did not sit well with his wife, Cynthia, who filed for divorce in 2008.
After the divorce was settled, more allegations of Alex’s infidelity came to light. An ex-stripper told the media that she had 'relations' with A-Rod while he was still married. Rodriguez has also been linked to various other 'ladies of the night'.
13 Being a Diva
Former Yankees coach Joe Torre has been known to be critical of A-Rod. Torre referred to Rodriguez as a “diva” in the clubhouse who didn’t fit in with his teammates. The former skip cited an incident in which A-Rod wanted his own clubhouse attendant when there were four or five assigned to the whole team. Knowing that there was already a divide between Rodriguez and his teammates, Torre took Alex aside and suggested that he at least get his own coffee.
Later that day, Rodriquez made a big deal about it by loudly pointing it out to Torre that he had gotten his own coffee. Once again, as Torre points out, Alex was trying to draw all the attention his way.
12 What’s Your Number?
It’s obvious that Alex’s head is not always in the game. He might not go as far as some ex-Boston Red Sox players have, but he has nudged the line. In game one of the 2012 ALCS, Alex’s poor play had landed him on the pine. Instead of taking things seriously, reflecting and cheering his teammates on, Alex was flirting with a couple ladies that were sitting behind the Yankee dugout. He tossed them a baseball on which he had written that he wanted their numbers. One of the ladies wrote on the ball and tossed it back to Alex who read the note and smiled.
11 Rodriquez, You’re Batting Eighth
The number eight spot isn’t the most prestigious place to be in the batting order. This is where Alex Rodriguez began the fourth game of the ALDS in 2006. After A-Rod had been mired in a 1-for-11 slump during the 2006 ALDS against the Tigers, Joe Torre dropped him way down in the batting order. It wasn’t a total surprise as Alex did not have a reputation for being a clutch hitter in the playoffs but this demotion definitely hurt A-Rod’s precious feelings. This could have been a great spot for Rodriguez to shine but he went 0-for-3 in a losing cause which saw his team eliminated from the playoffs.
10 Terrible Timing: Opting Out of His Contract
On October 28th, 2007, the Boston Red Sox were in the 8th inning of their World Series clinching game against the Colorado Rockies. There was a lot of anticipation as the close game was finishing. The Red Sox would be champs, Mike Lowell would be MVP and Alex Rodriguez was not in anybody’s thoughts. That is until it was announced during this game that Alex Rodriguez was opting out of his contract and looking into free agency.
Needless to say, he and his agent were heavily criticized for the timing, especially because Rodriguez had 10 more days to make his announcement. It appeared to be an attempt at shifting the focus from the Red Sox to A-Rod and Major League Baseball was a little miffed. As you likely know, he remained with the Yankees.
9 How Did I Look Striking Out?
Joe Torre and Alex Rodriguez have had a tumultuous relationship in which Torre has not been afraid to criticize his star slugger. In his book, The Yankee Years, Joe Torre has revealed a few tidbits concerning A-Rod. In Joe’s opinion, Alex Rodriguez tried to monopolize all the attention in the Yankees clubhouse. Torre went on to say that when it came to pressure situations, Alex was not able to “concern himself with getting the job done.” Instead, he was more focused on “how it looks.” Who knew it was possible to strike-out and look good doing it? This could have been a reason that Joe would refer to Alex as “a pretty boy.”
8 Dissin’ Derek
Alex Rodriguez has said many controversial things over his long career. One of these quotes is beyond laughable and it is one that Alex probably wishes he never said. In 2001, while playing for the Texas Rangers, Rodriguez offered up some pretty sketchy advice to Esquire magazine. He said that when you go into New York, you need to stop Bernie Williams and Paul O’Neill. He is quoted as saying “You never say ‘Don’t let Derek beat you.’ He’s never your concern.” Again, as you likely know, he would play in New York and it's been said that the two stars were never close.
7 Ha, I Got it!
Some fans might forgive Alex Rodriguez for trying to win at all costs. He has been known to do some bush league things though. The Yankees were on a losing streak and in danger of being swept by the Blue Jays. Rodriguez was on first and was off and running after Jorge Posada popped up to the third-base side of the infield. Howie Clark was pursuing the fly-ball as Rodriguez rounded second base. Alex yelled something to the effect of “Mine” which prompted Clark to stop and give up on the ball. The ball dropped in for a hit and the Yankees won.
The Blue Jays were furious. Toronto coach John Gibbons called the play “bush league” and the media had plenty to say as well. Of course, Alex didn’t see what the fuss was about and insisted that it was a common play.
6 Leaked Incriminating Document
While this wasn’t exactly on the same scale as Wiki-Leaks, Alex Rodriguez’s inner circle leaked documents implicating Milwaukee’s young star Ryan Braun and one of A-Rod’s own teammates, Francisco Cervelli, in the Bio-Genesis scandal. When the Miami Times originally reported on the Bio-Genesis scandal in 2013, Rodriguez’s name was prominent while it omitted any mention of Ryan Braun and A-Rod’s teammate Francisco Cervelli. Rodriguez, possibly feeling a little singled out might have just wanted to show the world that he wasn’t the only guy who was breaking the rules. Whatever his motive, it was a pretty low thing to do, especially to your own teammate. The episode did nothing to enhance A-Rod’s image or promote peace in the clubhouse.
5 A Mound of Dirtbaggery
Alex doesn’t just break the written rules, he also likes to bend and break the unwritten rules too. Unwritten rules are kind of funny in that, well, they aren’t written and breaking them carries little consequence. Evidently, one such unwritten rule is that a player shall never walk over the opposing pitcher’s mound, which is exactly what A-Rod did in a game versus Oakland. Rodriguez was on first base when a foul ball was popped up. He rounded second base and approached third when the play was called dead. Instead of doing what most major leaguers do and return to first via second base, Alex took the shortcut and walked over the pitcher’s mound causing a stir on the field as well as in the media.
4 Pants on Fire
Back in 2009, Alex Rodriguez was still in the denial phase of his PED controversy. That year saw Sports Illustrated publish an article that claimed Rodriguez had tested positive for PEDs back in 2003 while still a member of the Rangers.
Rodriguez responded to this by telling ESPN that SI reporter Selena Roberts, who broke the story, was basically full of baloney. He then played the victim card by saying that Roberts was stalking him. As we all know now, it turns out that Roberts was correct and Alex was indeed juicing in 2003. In a rare moment of showing class, Rodriguez has since apologized to Roberts.
3 The Slap
The 2004 ALCS will go down as one of the most exciting. The Yankees took the first three games and then fell victims to one of the most epic collapses in MLB history. In the 8th inning of game 6, the Yankees found themselves trailing by 2 runs in front of their home-crowd. With Derek Jeter on first base, A-Rod hit a soft grounder to the right side of the infield that was easily scooped up by Red Sox pitcher Bronson Arroyo. Arroyo then proceeded to apply the easy tag when Rodriguez slapped Arroyo’s arm causing the ball to come loose. This allowed Jeter to round the bases and score while A-Rod was originally called safe at first. After a few minutes of heated debate and umpire conferences it was ruled that Rodriguez had interfered. Alex was ruled out at first and Jeter was forced to return to first base. The Red Sox hung on to win that game as well as the next to complete the comeback.
2 Hung Like a Horse
If there is one theme that A-Rod stories seem to feature, it is his uncontrollable obsession with himself. Alex’s ex-wife Cynthia told US Weekly, and therefore the whole world, that Alex had two painted portraits of himself as a centaur. Apparently one of the paintings hung proudly over his bed. She didn’t clarify whether or not he was depicted as the top part or the horse’s rear. Perhaps he had a thing for Newton from the classic Hercules cartoon or, more likely, he is even more obsessed with himself than we could possibly imagine.
True to form, Alex denied these allegations in a 2012 interview when he stated that he did not have that painting in his house. Maybe not anymore but…..
For years, Alex Rodriguez maintained that he did not take steroids despite rumors and mounting evidence to the contrary. It wasn’t until 2009 that the proof became too insurmountable and Rodriguez was forced to start facing reality. A 2009 Sports Illustrated article blew things open with evidence that A-Rod was doping. He held a press conference where he admitted steroid use between 2001 and 2003. Of course, he blamed everyone else and played the victim.
He got out of this controversy without suspension.
Then, the Bio-Genesis scandal broke in which Rodriguez was revealed to be involved. After his usual denials, his hand was forced and he revealed his role. This time, MLB was able to punish him by hitting him with a 211 game suspension and he was lucky not to be prosecuted. His suspension was reduced to 162 games.
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