Alex Rodriguez is the greatest baseball player of his generation and probably the greatest of any generation, but he still has something to learn.
After hitting his 500th career home run last week he said:
“I’ve had my trials and tribulations in New York and I’ve learned from them. I’ve had some great times and I’ve had some good times and I’ve had some tough times. Today kind of brings it full circle. Maybe there’s a happy ending for me somewhere.”
Rodriguez needs to understand that there are no happy endings in baseball. There are just endings. Mike Myers got one the next day when he was designated for assignment. Miguel Cairo got one a few days later. Bernie Williams reached the end this past winter.
Rodriguez will get there someday because all ballplayers do. Then he’ll understand what Lou Piniella told him when he first came up as a teenager. “The climb ain’t most of the fun, kid. It’s all the fun.”
Rodriguez is the most perfect ballplayer I’ve ever seen and I only hope that he enjoys every minute because when it’s over, well, it’s over.