NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Alex Rodriguez might not be heading to his 15th All-Star game next week, but he’s had quite an impressive season after not playing in 2014.
So good, in fact, that Yankees owner Hank Steinbrenner think what his designated hitter has done in 2015 is historic.
“I think it’s one of the greatest comeback years any player has ever had,” Steinbrenner told reporters on Monday from his charity golf event at Trump Golf Links in The Bronx. “It’s an amazing year. The bad hips, all the other stuff, the more than a year off at his age. To come back and do what he’s done is pretty amazing.”
Rodriguez was suspended for the 2014 season because of his involvement with performance-enhancing drugs. It was unclear how productive he’d be upon his return, but the soon-to-be 40-year-old has exceeded all expectations.
Entering Tuesday night’s game against the A’s, A-Rod is batting .284 with 16 home runs, 47 RBIs and a .390 on-base percentage.
“As I’ve said all season, my No. 1 goal is helping the Yankees win a championship,” the three-time American League MVP said in a statement. “I’m excited that we’re in a good position to get there.
“Of course, it would have been an honor to represent the American League next week, but I’ll have fun cheering on the guys who were put on the team and watching them protect home field.”
American League manager Ned Yost admitted that it was difficult for him to leave A-Rod off the roster.
“We talked a lot about Alex Rodriguez,” Yost said, according to The Associated Press. “I just felt very strongly (that) if we could get another infielder or another outfielder out of that five-man vote, it would help us.”
Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner is one of those five finalists. Reliever Dellin Betances and first baseman Mark Teixeira are headed to Cincinnati for the Midsummer Classic.
According to ESPN.com, presidential candidate Donald Trump told Rodriguez that he’s having a “hell of a season” at the event, and encouraged him to keep up the good work.