He wanted to play forever. But apparently, the Yankees had other plans for Alex “A-Rod” Rodriguez.
Rodriguez's turbulent career as one of the most talented baseball players is at an end. The athlete will play his last game Friday at Yankee Stadium against the Tampa Bay Rays Friday, the New York Yankees announced on Sunday.
After the game, the 41-year-old Rodriguez will be released from his playing contract and will head home to Miami. However, he will come back as a special adviser and instructor for the Yankees through the end of 2017 season.
In a tearful press conference at the Stadium, Rodriguez said, “This is a tough day. I love this game and I love this team. And today I’m saying goodbye to both.”
The news does not come as a surprise for baseball fans who witnessed the player struggle with the game, especially after he was reduced to a part-time player after hitting a mere .204 this season. Rodriguez is still due $21 million in 2017 because he has one year left on the 10-year, $275 million contract he signed in 2007. It isn’t clear if he will get the full amount once he retires.
The decision to release Rodriguez was made by Hal Steinbrenner, the team owner, as the baseball player’s role in the team became increasingly irrelevant.
“Accepting the end gracefully is part of being a professional athlete. Saying goodbye may be the hardest part of the job, but that’s what I’m doing today,’’ said Rodriguez.