February 15, 2004 was supposed to mark the beginning of another New York Yankees legacy. That was the date in which 3B Alex Rodriguez was traded from the Texas Rangers to the Bronx, for Alfonso Soriano and a player to be named later. With Rodriguez recognized at the time as one of the best, if not the best, player in the game of baseball, traditionally it seemed like a match made in heaven for both parties involved. Alex Rodriguez would finish out his storied career in Bronx pinstripes and be remembered throughout generations, being added to the list of names such as Ruth, Gehrig, Mantle, DiMaggio and his teammate Derek Jeter.
Yet now, here we sit on June 4, 2013, and now — as if most haven’t already — Yankee fans young and old wish that the day after Valentine’s Day nine-years ago never happened.
Amid the report today that Tony Bosch, the founder of Miami’s Biogenesis Clinic, is ready to testify against Rodriguez and others on a reported list of client names, it’s being said that Major League Baseball is looking into a severe 100-game suspension for the All-Star third baseman.
Should this come to fruition, then we shouldn’t count Rodriguez’s legacy as “tarnished.” It should be flat-out non-existent.
It hasn’t been a honeymoon since 2004 with Yankee fans and Rodriguez. This isn’t the first time that his name has been linked to performance-enhancing drugs. He’s struggled in the postseason, where Yankee greats from the past have built their everlasting legacies. He’s had contractual issues, including the brief almost opt-out period following the 2007 season. He’s brought shame on the organization with some of his off-the-field behavior.
He hasn’t lived up to the Yankee reputation. But, today’s issue stems way beyond just being remembered as a great player on any one team — even if it is the New York Yankees.
No, Alex Rodriguez was chasing the brass ring of being considered one of the greatest baseball players of all time. This point of his career was supposed to be where he was going to make his mark on that.
Instead, this point of his career is now on the track to being remembered as the era that literally erased him from people’s minds. And, erased from people’s minds is exactly where he will end up, should this all come to light as expected.