Alex Rodriguez’s Yankees career is coming to an end, and while we consider him one of the greatest baseball players to put on the pinstripes, it’s important we also remember that he has been also one of the weirdest. To commemorate his career, here is an assemblage of the weirdest A-Rod moments from his time with the Yankees.
The first to make the list is probably the most famous instance of Alex Rodriguez being ridiculously weird, and it might be really what clued us in to the kind of guy we were dealing with. Back in 2009, an ex-girlfriend of A-Rod’s let it be known that the Yankees slugger had the most bizarre taste in art known to mankind.
"He was so vain...He had not one, but two painted portraits of himself as a centaur. You know, the half man, half horse figure?"
What an image. I want to know where those paintings ended up because the PSA blogger manor could really use some new art. Of course, at first it was met with ridicule, but it soon became something of an inside joke among Yankees fans of the internet, leading many to lovingly dub him The Centaur.
In one of the best instances of appropriating a joke, The Centaur has lived on in many forms, probably most notably as a gif from the 2009 World Series:
Eight Famous Balls
A-Rod followed up a World Series championship by hitting his 600th career home run in 2010, becoming the youngest player to do so. It was a momentous occasion for him, and at this point he was on top of the world. Then confusion struck.
During his press conference after the game, a reporter (at 2:00) asks him a question in Spanish. No big deal, A-Rod can speak Spanish, right? Wrong! The question the reporter posed was so incomprehensible and bizarre, he was unable to answer it in two different languages. Something about his eight special balls going into Monument Center/Monument Field, and not going to the fans instead.
I considered providing a transcript of this weird conversation, but it is so cringe-worthy and embarrassing for everyone involved that I couldn’t bring myself to watch it over and over again. A-Rod mercifully ends the exchange with the most perfect “thank you” ever uttered.
This one is less about a specific moment and more about a strange practice that has been taking place over time. As Andrew pointed out back in 2013, the Yankees had been playing a game during their games, other than the games they were being paid to play. The game went like this: when someone hit a walk-off home run (there were a lot of those back then) and everyone gathered around at home plate to celebrate, the hero would circle the bases and throw their helmet up in the air for his teammates to catch it. Like so:
As we learned over the years, Alex Rodriguez is actually an adolescent boy trapped in a man’s body, so as his teammates moved on and got over the game, A-Rod continued the tradition long after anyone else wanted to play it. Eventually it seemed like he was the only one still playing and his teammates knew it. Which is why Russell Martin decided to be a jerk:
By 2012 A-Rod was actively avoiding home plate celebrations in order to fetch helmets like a dog chasing after a ball. The game finally came to an end after he was suspended for the 2014 season, but I am pretty sure he has brought it back over the last two years.
The Man From Milwaukee
During the course of the arbitration hearing that would eventually result in A-Rod’s suspension for the 2014 season, Rodriguez reportedly stormed out of the room and made his way to the Mike Francesca Show. The event was largely reported over Twitter, making his exit and subsequent journey over to the studio feel like a live event. When he finally showed up, A-Rod uttered some of the most memorable lines of the entire steroid saga.
Over the course of the interview, Rodriguez referred to Commissioner Bud Selig as “The Man From Milwaukee” and offered to go to his house so they could discuss the allegations over brunch!
It was probably one of the most unbelievable events of his whole career, and likely the most interesting thing that has ever happened during the Mike Francesca Show. Soon after, the Yankees dropped Francesca from the YES Network in favor of simulcasting company mouthpiece Michael Kay’s ESPN show. What a coincidence.
In recent years, A-Rod has taken on the new persona of Dad-Rod, an older, goofier Alex Rodriguez that proves even the world’s biggest sports superstars grow up to become awkward dads in the end. Here he is visiting his daughter at school in a full suit:
If you haven’t checked out his Instagram yet, you’re doing yourself a disservice. It is chock full of A-Rod being a dad to his two daughters. I’d honestly watch that show. The really hilarious part is that they seem to realize just how odd their dad truly is:
Ella's Parents Day assignment! ❤️ it honey. Daddy isn't 43 yet but by then, I promise I'll know how to cut an . pic.twitter.com/mFJy2oj4pV— Alex Rodriguez (@AROD) May 28, 2016
He seems to try really hard to be a good dad, but since he’s still just a child in a man’s body, he has no idea how to cut an apple yet. Sad!
Popcorn Love: Remember that time you were quietly watching Super Bowl XLV and all of a sudden A-Rod popped up onto your screen while Cameron Diaz was hand feeding him popcorn? Yeah you do.
The Emails: Randy Levine is honestly the worst, but when he interacts with A-Rod, things get a little weird. During the Biogenesis investigation, a series of emails between Levine and Rodriguez surfaced that offered a very bizarre look into a relationship we didn’t even know existed.
Over the course of several years, the two men returned emails back and forth, and things started off well. Levine had a weird form of flattery for his star third baseman:
[May 17, 2011] U are the man. I told u that for years. U can and will do it.
From there, things got a little more awkward and uncomfortable as Levine made a few very poor jokes about steroids, which were never answered:
[July 30, 2012] How r u feeing since u left Robby [Cano] under 200, he needs some steroids fast!
[August 21, 2012] Hey, what’s up with Robby. This guy must not be using the liquid.
As the emails continued you could see a relationship that became strained with time and controversy until it was cold, distant, and unfamiliar. It was truly heartbreaking to see.
The Slide: By mid-2013, it was clear just how weird A-Rod really was underneath it all. That’s why his bizarre belly flop slide and pose combo felt like peak Rod at the time:
In all honesty, there are so many weird moments during A-Rod’s time here that not all of them made it in here. What was your favorite?