American professional baseball player, a noted power hitter who was considered one of the greatest talents in the history of the sport but whose career was in many ways overshadowed by his use of performance-enhancing drugs.
At his MVP heights, Alex truly was the best in the business. He was a terrific hitter, a solid fielder, and an intelligent baserunner. When the Mariners and Rangers pushed him to hit more homers, Alex bulked up and added more lift to his swing. That had the desired effect, but it also caused his average to dip and his strikeouts totals to increase. With the Yankees, he abandoned this approach, and the results were phenomenal. No righty in New York history hit for more power in the Bronx.
A consistent fielder who makes all the plays, Alex is not flashy or spectacular. Still, he always seems to get his glove on tough balls and nip fast runners with his throws. After an adjustment period at third base—more of a reaction position than shortstop is—Alex found a comfort zone at the hot corner. He quickly abandoned any thought of returning to his old position.
Rodriguez’s first successful season came in 1996, when he accumulated a league-best .358 batting average with 36 home runs and 123 runs batted in. Over the next six seasons with the team, he continued to produce outstanding offensive statistics, most notably in 1998, when he became the third player in league history to hit 40 home runs and steal 40 bases in the same season. Before the 2001 season, when Rodriguez was a free agent, the Texas Rangers signed him to a 10-year $252 million contract, the richest contract ever given to an athlete at the time.
With the Rangers, Rodriguez continued to have great offensive seasons. He won American League (AL) Most Valuable Player (MVP) honours in 2003 with a .298 batting average, 47 home runs, and 118 runs batted in. After that season he was traded to the New York Yankees. In 2005 he posted a .321 batting average, with 48 home runs and 130 runs batted in, to win his second AL MVP title. At Yankee Stadium on August 4, 2007, at age 32, Rodriguez hit his 500th career home run, becoming the youngest player to accomplish that feat. The 2007 season was Rodriguez’s best yet—he had a .314 batting average, with 56 home runs and 154 runs batted in—and he was named AL MVP for the third time.
In 2009 Rodriguez admitted that he used various performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) from 2001 to 2003, a revelation that threatened to taint his seemingly extraordinary career accomplishments. His preseason admission was followed by a relatively sub-par regular season that saw Rodriguez fail to hit over 30 home runs and amass over 100 RBIs for the first time since 1997. His streak of nine consecutive All-Star Game selections also ended. However, he overcame his longtime reputation of faltering in the postseason by batting .365 with six home runs and 18 RBIs during the play-offs, and the Yankees went on to win the 2009 World Series. In 2010 Rodriguez became the seventh player in major league history to hit 600 career home runs.
Rodriguez missed the first two-thirds of the 2013 campaign because of off-season hip surgery. On August 5 of that year, the day of his return to the Yankees lineup, he was suspended for the final 49 games of the season and for the entirety of the 2014 season for his involvement with Biogenesis, a Florida anti-aging clinic that supplied PEDs to a number of major league players. While Rodriguez had not tested positive for PEDs, his ties to the clinic were documented sufficiently enough for MLB to hand down its largest suspension ever for a first-time PED offender. (Rodriguez continued playing with the Yankees through the end of the season while he appealed his suspension. In January 2014 an arbitrator reduced Rodriguez’s suspension to the 162 games of the 2014 major league season.)
Rodriguez rejoined the Yankees in 2015 and hit his 661st career home run that season to pass Willie Mays for the fourth highest total in MLB history. He also recorded his 3,000th career hit later that year.
One of the things that attracted me to more traditional Judaism is its belief that we have the potential to be holy all of the time contrary to the naive view that being a good Jew in a religious sense is directly proportional to how many times one has been at a synagogue recently.
To be a "24/7 Jew" means that most of one's Jewishness is expressed outside of the synagogue. Being a Jew is a full-time occupation.
And so we say a prayer when we wake up, expressing thanks for that event that almost all of us take for granted: successfully waking up. And we make a blessing upon leaving the bathroom, expressing thanks that are internal parts are more or less in working order. And we make a blessing before and after we eat breakfast.
Alex Rodriguez is not a man without character.
This is a player whose work ethic has never been questioned and who is unfailingly generous with his time and baseball knowledge when it comes to younger teammates, who revere him.
This is a player who willingly switched positions to come to the Yankees at a time when he was indisputably better than the player he was deferring to, Derek Jeter.
This is a player who never publicly complained when dropped in the batting order or pinch-hit for by an inferior player or benched -- humiliations that were inflicted on him on that most public of baseball stages, the postseason.
He didn’t throw a hissy fit and refuse to play, as Jorge Posada did when dropped to ninth during a regular-season game, and yet Posada is a man who will be forever held in much higher esteem by Yankees fans.
Alex Rodriguez is a man who has been seemingly humbled by what he did, and the price he paid for it, and has gone out of his way to rehabilitate his public image this season.
"I saw how passionate he was about the game," Rodriguez once recalled. "How closely he paid attention to it. That rubbed off on me."[On being inspired at a young age by his father, a former pro baseball catcher.]”
Rodriguez deserves a lot of credit for what he has done. After coming back from such an ugly situation, the 39-year-old has done everything right, from his behavior off the field to his performance on it. He has even taken on the role of teacher by helping out some of the younger guys on the team.
You can say plenty bad about what Rodriguez has done, but you can't really argue how well he has handled things since his downfall. It's truly an incredible story to watch and one that Rodriguez should be proud of as he grows into a better human being.
Peter Richmond,Rick Riordan.
andrew wyeth, nagel, phil hale, kent williams, sam webbe.