I was able to catch most of Alex Rodriguez’s rain-disrupted ceremony at Yankee Stadium on Friday night. With only one TV in my house, I usually have it tuned to the Red Sox game, but this time was different. For some reason, I could not stop watching the ceremony in the Bronx. Rain clouds forming, a message from Lou Pinella, and perfectly timed claps of thunder. It all made for a sneakily memorable night for the polarizing Yankee third baseman.
Rodriguez returned to his old post at third base in the ninth inning and eventually left to an applause and standing ovation from the sellout crowd at Yankee Stadium. Throughout the whole night, despite the awkwardness, Rodriguez remained gracious. He looked like a man who knew he had his faults and had messed up a few too many times. He looked shy.
I’m personally not an A-Rod fan. Not because he was a Yankee (I’m still a big Jeter guy), but because he always needed to make things about himself. Well, on a night where everything was actually supposed to be about Rodriguez, he surprisingly acted and spoke humbly. I can respect that.
A-Rod surely made baseball a more interesting sport as he bridged two generations of players from the McGwire/Sosa era to the Harper/Trout era. He solidified the Boston vs. New York rivalry that, despite a little dust up last Tuesday, is all but dead.
Baseball, an already boring sport for most, just got a little more boring with Rodriguez’s final departure from the diamond on Friday night.