The Yankees honored Alex Rodriguez before he took to the field for the final time (as a Yankee, and probably ever) last night. During the pre-game ceremony there was a video tribute from A-Rod's first manager and Yankee great Lou Piniella; Jennifer Steinbrenner gifted Rodriguez with a base signed by his teammates; and Rodriguez's family members were escorted onto the field by retired greats Reggie Jackson and Mariano Rivera, and current Yankees Starlin Castro and Didi Gregorious. It was great, but a thunderstorm nearly derailed the whole thing:
— Dave (@theballisorange) August 12, 2016
The rain was brief however, and eventually resulted in this rainbow and pun:
— Stephanie J. Lezama (@slezama90) August 13, 2016
As for the game itself, disappointingly, Rodriguez didn't hit 4 home runs to reach the 700 home run mark. He did, however, manage one last exciting baseball moment, doubling home Brett Gardner with the tying run in the 1st inning.
Rodriguez DH'ed the entire game and grounded out in his final at-bat. Manager Joe Girardi allowed A-Rod to take the field at third base in top of the 9th inning for a single out so he could come off to an ovation, after declining A-Rod's request to play the field for the whole game.
Despite the awkward release/retirement that ended Rodriguez's tenure with the Yankees—and until otherwise noted, his career—Girardi tearfully said at a press conference after the game that, "If this is the last time he [A-Rod] plays, I wanted it to be something he never forgot."
As for Rodriguez himself, he said in a post-game press conference that he had been hoping to hit a double into the rightfield gap, and when he was asked whether or not "in his heart" he'd played his last baseball game, he said that the game "would be a memory I owned forever."
See everyone in Miami for the A-Rod Unretirement Press Conference in March 2017!