Alex Rodriguez played his final game as a Yankee (and possibly Major Leaguer) last night and it was, like his whole life and career, fucking weird and spectacular. Before the game started, the Yankees held a brief ceremony for one of the greatest baseball players of all time—his mother and children were escorted onto the field by Yankee luminaries like Reggie Jackson and Didi Gregorius—and ominous black clouds started rolling in almost immediately. Then some rain started to fall and then it got straight-up biblical. Everyone had to scamper off the field early because the skies opened and buckets of water started falling. It was possibly the most A-Rod thing ever. But, like every crummy thing about this past week, he took it in stride.
Then the game started and A-Rod was hitting third, so no matter what, you knew he was getting up in the first inning. He stroked an RBI double the other way for the Yankees first run. That was his only hit of the night, and it seemed like his end might be a little anti-climactic, but then in the ninth inning, Joe Girardi finally—finally—threw one of ten best players of all time a bone. And man, was it ever a delicious bone:
Look at that face, he is so goddamned happy! Like, seven-year-old kid-just-met-Santa happy and all because he got to briefly play third base—a position he never should have been playing in the first place—in his final game. He spent the last weeks of his out-of-this-world career on the bench—forgotten and humiliated—and the second he stepped foot on the field with a glove on his hand, it all seemed to go away.
Say whatever you want about him, but all Alex Rodriguez wanted was to play baseball and for one measly out last night, the Yankees let him do just that, and he loved every second of it.