Alex Rodriguez announced on Sunday that he is retiring from baseball. He will play his last game on Friday.
After 22 seasons in the majors, A-Rod is walking away. In more than two decades as a professional, Rodriguez hammered out 696 home runs (4th all time, behind only Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron, and Babe Ruth) and 3,114 hits (only 30 people have ever accomplished this). He also won the MVP title three times and helped the Yankees win their 27th World Series championship in 2009. By all accounts, he should be a first-ballot Hall of Famer, but in all likelihood, his admittance to using performance-enhancing drugs (more on that later) will likely keep him out of the Hall for some time. But instead of focusing on that, we’re going to focus on something that made A-Rod great: His constant ability to make us say “WTF, A-Rod!” Below, in no particular order, are our favorite weird A-Rod moments.
The Mirror Kiss.
Look on the bright side A-Rod. If you get released, that's way more time you have to kiss the mirror. pic.twitter.com/6w45Aq2SkD
— Damon Amendolara (@DAonCBS) August 2, 2016
We’re leading off in the strongest way possible: That 2009 image from a “Details” magazine photoshoot where he’s basically making out with himself. When it’s all said and done, this awfulsome picture will define A-Rod’s legacy as much as his accomplishments on the field and his steroids scandal. It’s as if the photographer told A-Rod to be normal, and the ballplayer’s natural response was to indulge his narcissism. We are here for it.
The two alleged paintings in his apartment that portray him as a centaur.
— Gary Phillips (@GaryHPhillips) August 7, 2016
Speaking of rampant narcissism, in 2009 (holy crap, that was a particularly rough year for him, huh?), “US Weekly” published an interview with an anonymous ex-lover who claimed that A-Rod has not one but TWO massive paintings in his apartment that portray him as a centaur, the Greek mythological creature that’s half-horse and half-man. TBH, if we had his hundreds of millions of dollars, we’d do the same thing. After all, when you’re that rich and successful, you can afford to give zero f*cks.
That really weird time Cameron Diaz fed him popcorn during the Super Bowl.
When he wasn’t busy making out with himself, A-Rod spent a lot of quality time with famous women. The Yankee slugger dated Madonna, Kate Hudson, Demi Moore and Cameron Diaz, among others. (He’s currently dating Anne Wojcicki, CEO of 23andMe and ex-wife of one of Google’s founders.) This being A-Rod that we’re talking about, even his romancers were on the unusual side of things. Perhaps no other moment was as publicly bizarre as that time during Super Bowl XLV when Cameron Diaz shoved a handful of popcorn into his mouth. On paper, there’s nothing wrong with a little PDA, but the way he reacts, like a child being spood-fed his meal, is very much #onbrand.
Not every A-Rod shenanigan took place out of the ballpark. Rodriguez made a name for himself for messing with opponents. Perhaps the most famous example of this took place during game six of the 2004 American League Championship Series (you know which series we’re talking about). Down two runs and trying to stop what would become one of the greatest sports comebacks of all time, A-Rod slapped the ball out of Bronson Arroyo’s hand because… hey, you gotta do whatever it takes to win right?
“Ha! I got it!”
A-Rod has always been a competitor, which means he’s done some pretty assholish things to win. Nothing exemplifies this better than that May 2007 game against the Toronto Blue Jays, where A-rod allegedly yelled “I got it!” while in between third baseman Howie Clark and shortstop John McDonald. The ball would drop on the dirt, resulting in a much-needed Yankee run. A-Rod would later claim that he yelled “ha!” to distract the opposing team.
That time A-Rod finally admitted to using steroids.
— WSJ Greater New York (@WSJNY) February 19, 2015
You can’t talk about about A-Rod and not bring up his year-long suspension for taking performance-enhancing drugs. After fighting and denying his involvement with Biogenesis, the anti-aging Miami clinic that pretty much shot him and other athletes with banned steroids, A-Rod admitted to the feds that he had indeed taken steroids. Instead of holding a press conference to tell his fans what he did, Rodriguez wrote a personal letter, in cursive and all, saying he was sorry.
This at-bat from May 2016. Just Because.
Oooh, yeah. pic.twitter.com/l8Tvh1q5as
— Deadspin (@Deadspin) May 2, 2016
For all the bad things you can say about him (trust, there’s so much more; we only scratch the surface), we’re gonna miss A-Rod and his weirdness. His juicing aside, he deserves to be in the Hall of Fame, and we hope he gets there some day.
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