Alex Rodriguez Retires, Will Play Final Game on Friday

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Despite having been marred in controversy over a steroid scandal that cost him a suspension from the sport for the entirety of the 2014 season, Rodriguez goes down as one of the greatest players in MLB history. He is a 3-time MVP and a 14-time All-Star. His 2,084 RBI rank him third on the all-time list, and he owns the record for most career grand slams with 25. With 696 home runs and 3,121 hits, Rodriguez joins Hank Aaron and Willie Mays as the only players to ever reach both the 600 home run and 3,000 hit benchmarks.

Rodriguez' mid-season departure has led some to question the timing of the decision. Although his nine home runs and .204 batting average have amounted to an abysmal season for the Yanks' designated hitter, he sits only four home runs away from obtaining the super elite 700 mark reached only by Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron and Babe Ruth. It was very plausible that he would make the hallmark by seasons end, but with only five games remaining [including Sunday afternoon's affair against Cleveland], and him not likely to be in the starting line-up, it would take a surreal streak for him to go out as the fourth member of the club. Rodriguez obtaining the benchmark would be just as good for the Yankees as it would be for #13 himself, as the perennial champs pride themselves on owning most of the sport's greatest accolades. Nevertheless, together the Yankees and Rodriguez won the team's last title, in 2009, and are looking forward to developing a future champion with an array of new prospects he has been selected to help oversee.

“This is a tough day. I love this game, and I love this team, and today I’m saying goodbye to both,” said Rodriguez of his goodbye. “This is also a proud day. I was 18 when I broke into the big leagues. I never thought I could play for 22 years. At 18, I just wanted to make the team. I want to thank the Steinbrenner family for giving me this opportunity and for making me part of this team and for giving me an opportunity to stay involved and mentoring the next generation of the Yankees.”