NEW YORK (WFAN) — New York Yankees shortstop Alex Rodriguez appeared on WFAN with Mike Francesa before his final appearance at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees announced earlier this week that A-Rod will be released after Friday night’s game and will assume a role as a special adviser to the team.
Here are our five takeaways from Friday afternoon’s interview:
- What he really thinks of New York fans: Rodriguez may be one of the most polarizing players in Yankee history. Some fans may hate him, but Rodriguez does not feel that way in return: “What’s great about New York fans is that they bring out the best in you and they hold you accountable. … They push you like no other.”
- The PED scandal: When asked if he would have been the same player if he had not taking performance-enhancing drugs, Rodriguez said: “Arguably my best two years came as a 19-year-old skinny shortstop and as a 40-year-old man last year. And that kind of arc makes it even more frustrating, my stupid decisions.”
- How he almost quit baseball: “A lot of people don’t realize I stopped playing baseball when I was 12,” Rodriguez said. He then goes on to tell Francesca about a conversation he had with his mother when she asked him to count the number of Dominican players in the NBA compared to the MLB. After that, Rodriguez told his mom he’ll “give baseball a second chance.”
- So close to 700 home runs: Rodriguez is walking away from baseball just four home runs short of 700, and he admits he’s frustrated. “There’s no question it’s difficult. … I thought I’d hit 700 and go on to do better things for our franchise. But again, that wasn’t in the cards. It’s frustrating. It’s disappointing that I didn’t get that opportunity.”
- Life after baseball: The three-time MVP said he plans to spend some of his time at the Boys and Girls Club, because “if it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be here.”