When Alex Rodriguez walked out of the weight room in the spring of 2002 at the Texas Rangers spring training facility in Port Charlotte, Florida he did not look like the same guy from the previous season.
In fairness, neither did catcher Ivan Rodriguez.
The difference on A-Rod was striking; I distinctly recall Rangers manager Johnny Narron saying, "He looks great." He did. A-Rod was a monster. Now we know why.
It is hard to believe the A-Rod who signed that 10-year, $252 million deal with the Texas Rangers in December of 2000 is the guy who is on the precipice of being kicked out of the game he revolutionized with that monster deal.
I do not believe he does not want to play; this guy loved playing more than the peripheral benefits his talent and production generated from celebrity and tons of cash.
Depending on report you believe, A-Rod is either very close to coming back to the New York Yankees, or about to be banned for life for steroid use. A-Rod is one of the many players linked to the Biogenesis Bunch.
A-Rod was supposed to be the best statistical player of his era, and yet he is on the way to being placed on the Mt. Rushmore of roiders who defined this period of baseball history - A-Rod, Mark McGwire, Barry Bonds and now Ryan Braun. A player who should have been a first-ballot Hall of Fame player looks to be close to never seeing Cooperstown as anything more than a paying visitor.
A-Rod was never going to remain with the Seattle Mariners, and he never wanted to be with the Texas Rangers, but the story arc of his career never needed to include these twists and curves. He was too talented to become just another roider, which at the end is what he is.
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