Rodriguez says he at peace with his Yankees exit

Sat Aug 13, 2016 12:21am EDT
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By Larry Fine

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Alex Rodriguez, one of Major League Baseball's greatest sluggers, said on Friday before his last game in pinstripes that he was "at peace" despite the abrupt nature of his exit from the New York Yankees.

"When you start playing as a little boy, you don't think about the end," said 41-year-old Rodriguez, who learned from Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner last week that he was going to be released after Friday's home game against the Tampa Bay Rays.

The stunning announcement was made at a news conference last Sunday following a dismal campaign in which Rodriguez has struggled to a .199 batting average with just nine home runs.

"Baseball has a funny way to tap you on the shoulder when you least expect it and tells you it's the end.

"I'm at peace," the 22-year MLB veteran said. "This is a happy day for me and my family."

Rodriguez has had an extraordinary career, with towering highs and humiliating lows on his way to becoming fourth on MLB's all-time home run list with 696 blasts, trailing only Babe Ruth (714), Henry Aaron (755) and Barry Bonds (762).

After winning the American League most valuable player (MVP) award with the Yankees in 2007, Rodriguez exercised his right to opt out of a 10-year, $252 million deal he signed with the Texas Rangers in 2000, a record at the time.

In order to keep him in the Bronx, the Yankees rewrote the record books by giving him a 10-year deal worth $275 million.   Continued...

New York Yankees designated hitter Alex Rodriguez acknowledges the crowd before his last game as a Yankee against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium.

Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports