A sextet of big-market teams were quietly lining up to bid for Alex Rodriguez in early November. Meetings were scheduled with both Los Angeles teams, the Dodgers and Angels, and according to people close to Rodriguez, the Mets, Red Sox, Giants and Tigers all were showing interest, as well. But A-Rod desperately wanted to remain a Yankee.We would like to declare:
"Mentally, I never did see myself going anywhere else,'' Rodriguez said in a recent interview with SI.com.
"New York brings out the best in you. And the worst,'' Rodriguez said the other day. "You have to be able to look in the mirror and be honest with yourself I didn't want to go to a place and hide and have my weaknesses be swept away. New York has made me a better man. And it's made me a better baseball player.
"I love New York. My family loves New York. I love the Yankee family,'' he added. "I finally had gotten to a situation where I was feeling comfortable with everything there is to New York -- from the players to the coaches to the fans. My relationship with the fans has come full circle.''
After A-Rod opted out of his original record $252-million contract, he still wasn't thinking much about the six teams that were chasing him. He mostly worried that his chance to remain a Yankee was gone, and that he was again being portrayed as a money-hungry mercenary. "I'm getting buried in the press. Everybody's saying I'm greedy. The MVP will mean nothing,'' A-Rod would tell friends at that time. To the surprise of some, he didn't have the unyielding gut it would take to carry out the entire opt-out strategy.
"Proving my loyalty to the Yankees was very important to me,'' Rodriguez said to SI.com.
"I really think God put me here for a reason,'' he said to SI.com. "And I've been through a lot. My family loves New York. My daughter loves it. She loves her apartment, loves Central Park. That's the family side, which is very important to me. The other side is professionally. I just don't think there's anything more special than putting the uniform on and playing for the Yankees."
No more late 90's Yankee nostalgia people. The A-Rod era has officially begun, with many championships to follow!
Talk about it in the NYYSI Forums!