Alex Rodriguez was perhaps the most polarizing baseball player of his era, but as an MLB analyst for Fox Sports, the jury is in: Rodriguez, no pun intended, is a hit.
But initially, he had doubts about his high-profile role in front of the camera.
“I was scared to death, to be honest with you,” Rodriguez said on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “I’ve obviously done a lot of interviews in my 23-year baseball career, but it’s totally different when you’re there and that red light is on and you have to convey a precise method clearly, and I was a novice at it. So I worked hard, I prepared, and we had a great, great crew both on camera and behind camera at Fox, and they made me feel like family.”
Rodriguez, 41, played 22 big-league seasons. He was a three-time MVP, a 14-time All-Star and won a World Series with the Yankees in 2009. He remains a special advisor to the team.
New York, by the way, is 14-7 and atop the AL East entering play April 29.
“I thought this year was a collection-of-data year,” Rodriguez said. “We needed to know going into 2018 exactly who was a prospect and who was a suspect.”
Aaron Judge, without question, is a prospect. The 25-year-old is hitting .282 with nine homers, 18 RBIs and a .363 OBP. At 6-7 and 282 pounds, he’s one of the most intimidating hitters in baseball.
“Aaron Judge specifically is a guy that has world-class talent,” Rodriguez said. “He has the body of Dave Winfield, and he’s got an incredible attitude. He’s got great parents, great manners – he’s a guy that was very lovable the minute he walked into the clubhouse. He’s well-spoken, and he’s got the making of (being) a huge, huge star in New York. The young players, for me, they were just getting a little bit stagnant and a little bit bored in Triple-A, and now you’re seeing kind of their great ability in New York.”
Rodriguez, who played his final game last August, misses playing baseball every day.
“I do,” he said. “I miss it a lot. My father played baseball. I’ve been playing baseball since I was in Pampers. It’s the one thing that I know how to do really well and I’m confident with it. I miss my four at-bats, I miss the clubhouse, I miss the guys, I miss being around the fans. But I wake up feeling great every day. I do yoga, I have plenty to do, I’m a full-time dad, and I have plenty of projects going on. The fact that I’m still an advisor to Hal Steinbrenner and I mentor the young players with the Yankees and I have that connection to the fan base though Fox and to the Yankees, that’s a good compromise.”