Friday, August 12, 2016
AND NOW THE CURTAIN FALLS...
It was a 22 year career full of ego, talent and controversy. But in the end, the Yankees allowed a celebration to happen for Alex Rodriguez. I personally didn't think the whole thing was handled correctly leading up to tonight. I didn't like the way the Yankees and Joe Girardi were holding the guy back. Sure, he couldn't hit a lick this season, but putting him in the lineup wasn't going to hurt the Yankees worse. Just my opinion, and you have yours.
But tonight Alex got some at bats in his last game ever as a New York Yankee. He was able to go 1-4 with an RBI double and the crowd went wild.
There were tears, hugs and tips of the cap tonight. There were "Thank you" signs and excitement along the way. But most of all, in a sold out stadium in the Bronx... there was forgiveness... something Alex has not fully seen from fans over the past few years.
I'm the first to tell you that I hated to see that this guy, a true baseball talent dabbled in PEDs. It was a tarnished image that appeared to never be wiped clean, and to some, it may never be. But when you looked at this game tonight, the fans went wild because the fans ultimately understood all people make mistakes and Alex Rodriguez is no different. Now it seems his mistakes and missteps are long gone and Alex was cleansed tonight as he stood at 3rd base for one last time.
But the moment of forgiveness that was most evident to me was when a little Italian man named Joe Girardi did something that so many men in my own life have done in my own family. Girardi hugged ARod as he came in from 3rd base... he hugged the man, but then he gave Alex a kiss. A kiss that men give other men when you understand just how important a friendship is.
It was significant to me, and sure, no one will report it because there was so much going on tonight, but as an Italian American, I saw it and recognized it and I'm not gonna lie... I appreciated it very much. That was closure... Alex is done with his Yankee career.
And we now move forward. You have to believe that Alex will now go home to Miami, enjoy his family and live his life only to come back next spring as a Yankee advisor at Spring Training. But there's an imaginary man on my shoulder who keeps whispering to me that there is nothing that can hold Alex back from playing a few games down the stretch this year with a team that is willing to take a chance on a power hitter like Alex Rodriguez. A team that has a chance to win in the playoffs. A team that always wanted to see ARod in their uniform. Hey... it's baseball, it's business and you know how this works. Alex no longer has to do what the Yankees say this season. It will be interesting to see what happens for the remainder of the baseball season... that's all I'm saying.
But for now though, the curtain falls. The Alex show is over in the Bronx... And I'm here to tell you that I wish you the best of luck, Alex. Go raise your girls and go enjoy being forgiven.
I tip my cap.
Final: Yankees 6 - Rays 3