George Michael Steinbrenner III passed away on July 13, 2010 at the age of 80. When Steinbrenner died, Alex Rodriguez was in the midst of his last professional contract with the New York Yankees. This 10 year, $275 million deal would keep Rodriguez in the Bronx for the rest of his career and seemingly assured the Yankees brass of a grand day, sometime between 2015 and 2017, where they could celebrate the new all-time home run record holder. Rodriguez, and his perfect South Florida smile, would save baseball’s prestigious home run record that was stolen by Barry Bonds and return deliver it back to a “clean” player. And then, a few years later, the gang would get back together to celebrate. Derek, Jorge, Mo and Girardi would gather at the Stadium to help Alex hang number “13” on a wall in Monument Park.
Instead, the Yankees are paying Rodriguez over $25 million to go away, but not until after the game on Friday.
The steroid allegations started in 2009 and would continue to be an issue (really two separate issues, one from the early 2000’s and the other from the late 2000’s) until Rodriguez was suspended in August of 2013 by Commissioner Selig. Rodrigurez appealed, played the rest of the 2013 season but was ultimately suspended for the entirety of the 2014 season.
Rodriguez returned to spring training in 2015 and the media circus followed. Questions about whether he felt supported by the Yankees and if he thought he could still compete at a high level marred the start of the season. Rodriguez would go on to appear in 151 games and he smashed 33 home runs.
But he just can’t hit anymore. He is 3-for-30 since the All-Start break and is hitting under .200 against relief pitchers and fastballs clocked at 95 MPH or higher. With the recent turn toward a youth movement in the organization, the Yankees do not have room for a has-been, egotistical, lying, steroid using cheat who is stuck on 696 career home runs. Major media outlets are now criticizing Girardi for not allowing Rodriguez to play last night when he is timestamped to expire on Friday night.
If George Michael Steinbrenner, III were alive, this embarrassment would have ended years ago.
The “Boss” had his issues (he was suspended twice by Major League Baseball) but he was a loyal man and he loved the pinstripes. He actually compared owning the Yankees to owning the Mona Lisa.
Steinbrenner often gave flawed characters extra opportunities (Darryl Strawberry and Doc Gooden just to name two) and was described by people who knew him best as someone who was demanding, yet caring.
But there is no way Steinbrenner would have tolerated Rodriguez, the man who cut the eyes out of his “Mona Lisa.” In 2009, Forbes Magazine estimated that the business mogul was worth over $1 billion and there is no way that after his suspension in 2013 that Steinbrenner would have allowed Rodriguez to wear the Yankee uniform. A suitcase full of cash and a swift kick in the backside would have been the last Rodriguez ever saw of the Boss as he was shown the door on 1 E 161st St.
If only George could have had a few more years on this planet to save us baseball fans from the Rodriguez Circus.