New York Yankee Alex Rodriguez announced Friday’s Yankee’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays will be his last. The Yankees intend to release A-Rod after the game Friday leading to his immediate retirement announcement followed by accepting a job in the Yankees office thru 2017. A-Rod will be paid the remaining $26 million on his current contract. The rebuilding of the Yankees has begun.

The split between the club and A-Rod seems civil, but he did leave himself wiggle room when he said he was not ruling out playing for another team in the future. Batting .205 for the season the timing was right for A-Rod to step away and not further damage his long shot chances of being voted into the baseball Hall of Fame.

Possibly why he announced this during the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

Storied career or train wreck?

The career is storied for A-Rod who broke into the big leagues with the Seattle Mariners in 1995 playing on a team that also had Ken Griffey Jr. and Randy Johnson both Hall of Fame inductees. Early on in his career talk of a first ballot HOF vote seemed a natural fit for A-Rod as well. Then the wheels feel off.

A huge unheard of contract in 2001 took A-Rod to Texas to play with Jose Canseco and Rafael Palmeiro and hushed rumors of steroid use surfaced, but the rumors were mostly ignored as A-Rod won the MVP in 2003.

After three years in Texas his stats were HOF worthy, averaging 50 homeruns, .300 batting average, and 133 RBI so he packed up and moved to New York in 2004.

Hall of fame or shame?

Over the course of his career, A-Rod has the stats to be in the hall, but he will never get in. Barry Bonds, Mark McGuire, Roger Clements, and Palmeiro have all been left out, so it stands to reason those same voters will leave Rodriguez off their ballots as well.

A-Rod brought much more bad press about steroids to the MLB than all the others combined.

What could have been a story for baseball folklore turned into another sad story about an entitled big league player who disrespected the game by trying to get an unnatural edge. How will we ever know the real truth?

Did A-Rod really enhance his career with steroids, or was he simply that good? Without them was he have just another journeyman baseball player?

In his first partial season with the Mariners, A-Rod had 11 hits, all singles in 59 at bats while hitting .204. The next year in 149 at bats 13 of 33 hits were for extra bases with 5 going over the fence. Over the course of his career almost half of his 3114 hits were for extra bases. What A-Rod did with a bat is very similar indeed to other Yankee HOF greats Babe Ruth and Mickey Mantle.

It is an honor system

The difference will be the way people judge A-Rod as a person more than on his accomplishments at the plate. Baseball has a storied history that has unwritten rules, Rodriguez broke one of those unwritten rules and the voters will punish him.

The thing about baseball, it is an honor system. If you don’t have any honor, we simply don’t want you in the system.

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