Why Alex Rodriguez Thinks His MLB Suspension Was Great for Him

Alex Rodriguez is considered to be one of the greatest baseball players of all time and has crossed over to become more than a figure of great sporting achievements and into the realm of pop culture history. During the course of his legendary career, Rodriguez has played for three of the biggest baseball teams in the league, including the Texas Rangers, the Seattle Mariners, and, most famously, the New York Yankees.

Alex Rodriguez takes part in a panel during WSJ's The Future of Everything Festival.
Alex Rodriguez | Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

Rodriguez’s career has not been without scandal: He’s experienced a number of ups and downs during the course of his professional run. But he thinks some of his downs were actually a good thing.

How did Alex Rodriguez get started in baseball?

Alex Rodriguez was born in 1975 in Manhattan. His parents were immigrants from the Dominican Republic. As a young man, Rodriguez moved all over, living in the Dominican Republic for a time before settling in Miami, Florida. He got involved with baseball at an early age and in high school he played shortstop in the baseball team as well as the quarterback in the school football team.

Talent scouts started to take notice of Rodriguez’s undeniable talent and in 1993, he became the first high school player ever to try out for the United States national baseball team. That same year, Rodriguez signed with the Seattle Mariners for a three-year contract.

Following his meteoric rise to the top of the game in the nineties with the Mariners, Rodriguez signed with the Texas Rangers. During his time with the Rangers, Rodriguez became even more popular, winning more awards and honors. Eventually, Rodriguez moved on from the Rangers and in 2004, he found the team that would drive him to even greater success: the New York Yankees. 

Why did Alex Rodriguez get suspended?

For ten years, Rodriguez played with the Yankees, achieving his 24th career grand slam. Still, in 2014, Rodriguez would suffer a major setback that would affect both his professional and personal life. Alex Rodriguez was found to have violated the league’s Performance Enhancing Drugs policy, with claims that he had used performance-enhancing drugs as well as covered up his use of them over a multiple-year period.

Rodriguez was suspended for the entire 2014 season. In a recent interview, Rodriguez reflected on his suspension, saying that in retrospect, it was “one of the best things” that could have ever happened to him. Rodriguez claimed that as a result of his suspension, he experienced a “paradigm shift” and did some serious self-reflecting. Rodriguez admitted to “some very lonely nights” before ultimately owning up to his mistakes and taking full accountability.

He also stated that the suspension cost him an insane amount of money, upwards of $45 million.

What is Alex Rodriguez doing these days?

Following his suspension, Rodriguez set to work building bridges and made it back into the game in the 2015 season. He played for another two successful seasons before announcing his retirement from the game of baseball in 2016.

Although Rodriguez is now retired from actively playing, he still stays involved in the sport that he loves so much, and can regularly be seen as a special commentator.

Things are also looking up for Rodriguez’s personal life. He’s engaged to triple-threat icon Jennifer Lopez and the two are currently actively planning their wedding. There’s no doubt Rodriguez has achieved some incredible career highs as well as some lows, but it seems as though he wouldn’t change any of it.