[MyESPNforkids is lucky to have our own Peter Gammons: Adam “Shem” Shemesh. When you contemplate the biggest names in baseball during our time as young fans, you have to think about Alex Rodriguez. At the same time, the word steroids or even Biogenesis is amazingly top-of-mind for kids. Say it ain’t so, Joe.
In this solid article, Adam not only gives us some great history on the improbable resurrection of A-Rod, he makes us think about what we as sports fans are willing to tolerate both in baseball and professional sports as a whole. What does it say about us that we are willing to so quickly embrace someone that so readily broke the rules?]
In August of 2013, Alex Rodriguez was issued a 211-game suspension for involvement in the infamous Biogenesis scandal. He responded by suing the Yankees and their team physician along with a suit against Major League Baseball (MLB). Rodriguez became the face of everything wrong with baseball. Bud Selig wanted nothing to do with him.
Never in his wildest dreams would Alex have imagined that around three years later, he’d be sitting front and center for Fox’s pregame coverage of the 2016 World Series. But that’s exactly what happened.
After missing all of 2014, Rodriguez came back for Spring Training 2015 and Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman always said that Alex was by no means guaranteed the roster spot. Rodriguez responded by putting up vintage A-Rod numbers: 33 homers and 86 RBIs. This performance left many fans wondering why and how Rodriguez put together such a tremendous season at age 37. Some pointed to the absence of Derek Jeter. Others opined that he just needed a little rest. And of course, many people pointed to steroids.
That performance gained Rodriguez newfound respect among Yankee fans, and he was able to leave on his own terms in the middle of the 2016 season with a farewell sendoff out reminiscent of a Hollywood movie.
Rodriguez made his first appearance with FOX in their NLCS Pregame coverage last year. This year, he was a member of FOX’s ‘America’s Game of the Week’ pregame on Saturdays and their All-Star Game coverage, which included an awkward interview with ex-teammate Andrew Miller that aired around a month after Rodriguez retired. He then appeared in Fox’s ALCS and World Series coverage, offering poignant insights as he did so.
Somehow, someway, Alex Rodriguez has regained the respect of so many in so little time.