Alex Rodriguez’s place in baseball has come into question—heavily— in the past few years, and in many ways, rightfully so. It’s a story that many of us are familiar with.
So, why am I writing about it? It’s really to ask just one question- do you believe in second chances?
I don’t think anyone expected him to come back and reach the 30-home-run-plateau. Heck, he should have made the All-Star team and just six months ago there were people that thought he never would put on the Yankee pinstripes again.
Both on and off the field Alex has completely exceeded expectations and he’s taught me to think about two key things:
Do I believe in second chances?
I have been pretty unforgiving when it’s come to baseball players and performance enhancers over the years. Yet, after working on a few things with Alex this year, I have realized that he has paid his dues. He served his suspension, a whole year of baseball lost, and of course forfeited a ~$25 million salary.
It’s never too late to be the person you want to be.
It’s time I tell you a story. Almost a year ago—Halloween night actually—I was in the office late and Alex called me for advice. Everyone was gone, just me left in the office and here I was talking with Alex for over an hour. He told me that he was going to turn things around in his life and that he had been working harder than ever to getting back in shape-- baseball shape and mental shape. He wanted to make things right with his teammates, the Yankees, fans, the media...everybody.
“I want to play the game right for more than myself," Alex said, "even though nobody believes I can.”
There wasn’t much advice I needed to give. There he was, giving himself a second chance instead of worrying about all the people doubting him. (And I was one of them).
By the time we finished talking that night, I learned something about him: Alex loves baseball more than he loves being a player. Maybe he lost his way at some point, but who hasn't? There are plenty of people in the world who have lost hope in their ultimate dream, though that doesn’t mean you can’t redeem yourself.
I always knew from Alex's teammates that he was the hardest working guy on a baseball field and that he would be ready to compete when he stepped in the batter’s box. But after that night, I knew that Alex was destined to fix everything else in his life, too.