Alex Rodriguez has been a blight on baseball for the better part of the last decade. Rodriguez, a known user of performance enhancing drugs, has been a lightning rod for New York Yankees fans who simply want the 39-year-old to go away. Now, Rodriguez might be seen in somewhat of a different light.
On Jan. 21, Yankees radio announcer John Sterling lost all of his personal affects in a blaze at his apartment complex in New Jersey. In the immediate aftermath, the slugging third baseman offered his space in Manhattan to Sterling, according to Bob Raissman of the New York Daily News.
“We talked right after the fire. Alex felt terrible about it,” Sterling told me over the telephone. “He offered me his place in Manhattan to stay in when this happened. I guess he was in Florida.”
Sterling has been a vocal supporter of Rodriguez since he came to the Yankees in 2004. Sterling famously make personalized calls for each player’s home runs, with Rodriguez’s being an “A-Bomb for A-Rod.” Sterling has been offered shelter from multiple other people as well, including a Yankees fan from Upper Saddle River, N.J. and Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter, a former New York skipper.
Sterling was planning to move to a new apartment before the fire robbed him of his belongings. The announcer is now hoping to be moved into his new digs before the beginning of Spring Training, which starts Feb. 2o for the Yankees.
“It would be very tough going to spring training and having to leave stuff in different places, including my car,” Sterling said. “And then coming back and not having a place. I’m just hoping the new apartment is ready before the season starts.”
Rodriguez has dealt with a very poor public persona since being popped for steroid use in Feb. 2009 by Sports Illustrated writer Selena Roberts. Rodriguez’s steroid issue dates back to at least 2001, during his time with the Texas Rangers. Rodriguez was then suspended in Aug. 2013 for violating the league’s performance enhancing drug policy, with the ban ending with the last game of 2014.
Perhaps this gesture will alter some opinions of the embattled star.