Well, this caught me by surprise when I woke up today. I heard there was a press conference called for 11am and sat glued to the TV while A-Rod announced his retirement/release, his new status with the team, his “reporting to Hal,” and his freedom to do whatever he wants after his last game as a player on Friday.
Since Alex has been such a polarizing figure throughout his career, it’s not surprising that today’s announcement has generated such intense discussion on Twitter and Facebook. Some are in the “Good riddance” camp. Others are in the “Oh no” camp. I’m somewhere in the middle.
While I have found his actions to be genuinely despicable over the years, both on and off the field, I can’t seem to summon up the hatred and scorn that many are heaping on him. Maybe it’s because he’s a Yankee and contributed to the team. Maybe it’s because I try to figure out flawed characters rather than condemn them. Maybe it’s because he’s an athlete, not a presidential candidate. Or maybe – just maybe – when he was at his non-cheating best, it’s because he was so gifted.
With today’s announcement, the Yankees not only paid him well and insured that he gets every insane penny owed him, but they managed to release him “with dignity,” free up a roster spot and continue their efforts to rebuild with younger players. A win-win for all concerned.
Now if Cashman would retire, I’d really be happy.