The final chapter of Alex Rodriguez’s New York Yankees career was officially written Friday night in front of a sold-out crowd at Yankee Stadium.
Rodriguez, who will now be released from his player’s contract, went out on a high note given his unusual circumstances, contributing an RBI double in four at-bats. Manager Joe Girardi then allowed Rodriguez to man third base for one batter during the ninth of New York’s 6-3 win against the Rays, before removing him to take his final bows.
It was a highly emotional scene that had built up the entire game and was paid off perfectly with A-Rod’s final appearance coming in the field.
Rodriguez had been greeted by standing ovations before each plate appearance. His first time up, he responded with one of his best at-bats of the season against a tough pitcher in Rays’ right-hander Chris Archer. His run-scoring double there was his first extra-base hit since homering against Baltimore’s Kevin Gausman on July 18. The two-bagger also moved him into 30th place on MLB’s all-time list at 548, breaking a tie with the similarly polarizing and controversial Manny Ramirez.
And yes, he was especially amped for that first plate appearance, as this fact indicates.
That double by A-Rod was his first hit on a pitch 95+ mph since June 7 against Angels.
— Katie Sharp (@ktsharp) August 13, 2016
The rest of A-Rod’s offensive game was rather anti-climatic. He grounded out to shortstop on a 2-2 pitch leading off the fourth inning. In his third at-bat against Archer, A-Rod finally looked overmatched, going down swinging on three pitches. That was one of eight strikeouts for Archer on the evening. In what proved to be his final at-bat, Rodriguez grounded softly into Tampa Bay’s defensive shift on the very first pitch.
For those who predicted fireworks at the plate after his pre-game ceremony was interrupted by thunder and lightning, it fell short of expectations. On a personal level though, he can at least hang his hat on contributing to a Yankees victory and also the warm reception he received from the fans.
More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:
– – – – – – –