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Rodriguez state of mind

Savor the career of the incomparable Yankees half-man, half-horse.

Alex Rodriguez is not actually a centaur.
Alex Rodriguez is not actually a centaur.
Jonathan Daniel

To Alex Rodriguez's kids (whenever you come along):

Wait, you already exist? Well, you're still kind of young so just go with it.

You were born too late to know your father the way we did, so I want to take just a minute to tell you how much he meant to us. Sure, we are pretty much strangers and you are his children, but trust us when we say you missed out on a lot.

Rodriguez was more driven than a 1990 Honda Accord. He desired to be nothing short of the very best. It might have been enough for some to be an amazingly talented ballplayer, but your father strove for much more. He wanted to be the greatest ever. So he took a TON of steroids. He even sacrificed his 2014 season doing so. Many will claim this was an affront to the game, but trust us, we appreciated how committed he was to becoming the best ballplayer he could be.

Your father was like The Terminator, determined to complete his mission no matter the cost. While others would allow themselves to be tagged out on an easy grounder in a critical playoff game, Rodriguez did not go gently into that good dugout; he triumphantly slapped the baseball out of Bronson Arroyo's glove in an effort to save his team from certain doom. Sure, he was out and mocked incessantly, but his indomitable will was on full display that day.

Your father was a prince among ordinary men. He embraced New York City like the Yankee heroes of yore. Seemingly every other day he was on the back page of a newspaper gallivanting around with a young starlet or lighting up a cigar at an amazing restaurant. Money, power, secret prostitute visits–he enjoyed all that the Big Apple had to offer him. And we loved him for it.

When his teammates needed him, he was always there. If a helmet was flung away after a game-winning hit, he would retrieve it. If an awkward hug or butt-grab was needed to boost morale, he would give it. Even when dropped in the order or pinch-hit for at critical moments, he would clap for his comrades until his hands were bloodied.

Sure, he had his faults. Some say he cared too much. If the Yankees lost in the playoffs, he would seclude himself in a Tibetan monastery in order to clear himself of the rage and disappointment he felt. And he might have been a tad vain. Having two paintings of you as a centaur commissioned might seem like a bit much, but damn it, the man demanded perfection!

Sadly, there will be no "Alex Rodriguez Day", no plaques in Monument Park. A hero unloved by the game that he loved so much. No, A-Rod (as those who knew him best called him) will have his achievements mostly forgotten to time. The bombastic home runs, the stellar fielding, the eye for tasteful art. They will be but whispers on the wind. But you will know his tale.

He was ours for thirty years (oh yes, he'll play that long) but he's yours now, and I just wanted to let you know how lucky you are.