Alex Rodriguez at Super Bowl LIV in 2020. Feb 2, 2020; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Alex Rodriguez on the sidelines before Super Bowl LIV between the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

There were a lot of unusual twists and turns during Alex Rodriguez’s MLB career. Those included his early days with the Seattle Mariners, his 2001 free agency decision to choose the Texas Rangers for the then-largest contract in MLB history, his 2004 move to the New York Yankees and to third base in favor of Derek “Pasta Diving” Jeter remaining at shortstop, his various performance-enhancing drugs controversies (including a 2014 suspension and a big fight with the Yankees upon his 2015 return), and more. But A-Rod’s post-playing career has perhaps been stranger still.

We’ve seen a lot of odd broadcasting careers over the years, but Rodriguez’s stands out on many fronts. Right from his 2015 beginnings with Fox Sports, he drew attention for on-set hijinks. He drew some praise for his work there over the next several years. And that led to several odd things, from him doing regular-season games and MLB Whiparound for Fox to contributing to ABC News to joining ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball and then the KayRod altcast. During that time, he also took criticism from some documentaries and more. But perhaps the most notable thing there has been around discussions of Rodriguez as a franchise owner.

Those conversations began in 2020 around discussion of A-Rod and Jennifer Lopez putting together a bid to buy the New York Mets. That led to a number of interesting things, including his employers at ESPN trying to keep him off Mets’ games. And that was a higher regard for conflicts of interest than they’d previously shown.

Then, in 2021, Rodriguez was linked to a bid to buy the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves. And some at ESPN were annoyed that the initial story there didn’t come from their NBA reporters, especially with Rodriguez working for them on MLB coverage. And that led to claims his “lieutenants” were planning to feed future scoops to the Worldwide Leader.

Since then, Rodriguez’s ESPN role has diminished, with him leaving Sunday Night Baseball in 2022 to join Michael Kay for an alternate broadcast on select games. That continued last season but went away this year. Meanwhile, a planned multi-part Pivot series eventually showed up on ESPN, but only as one 30-minute special, a long way from the initial four-part series it was conceived as.

The latest development here saw the accepted bid from Rodriguez and Marc Lore for the Timberwolves and the WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx fall apart Thursday. Here’s more on that from an release:

Glen Taylor, Chairman of Taylor Sports Group, Inc., the general partner of Minnesota Timberwolves Basketball Limited Partnership (“Timberwolves and Lynx”), this morning confirmed the expiration of the option of Marc Lore and Alex Rodriguez to acquire controlling interest in the Timberwolves and Lynx.

Under terms of the purchase agreement, the closing was required to occur within 90 days following the exercise notice issued by Lore and Rodriguez. That 90-day period expired on March 27, 2024.

Under certain circumstances, the buyer could have been entitled to a limited extension. However, those circumstances did not occur.

“I will continue to work with Marc, Alex and the rest of the ownership group to ensure our teams have the necessary resources to compete at the highest levels on and off the court,” said Taylor. “The Timberwolves and Lynx are no longer for sale.”

That drew notable reaction, including from Meadowlark Media’s David Samson. And Samson’s “I’ve been calling this for two years” glee there certainly is not alone.

One of the many remarkable things around that bid collapsing is that most valuations have the Timberwolves worth much more (maybe $2.5 billion, as per Forbes in October 2023, or more) than the $1.5 billion price Rodriguez and Lore agreed to in 2021. And while there were discussions around some uncertainties with that bid, it was reportedly “still on track” as recently as last week. So it’s unclear just what went wrong here. But it is the latest odd off-field story involving Rodriguez.


About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.