"At the end of the day, you write your own destiny," Alex Rodriguez told 60 Minutes in 2007 while describing his love for the game of baseball. And, in fact, A-Rod did shape his own destiny, but not entirely the destiny he would have wished.
He plays his final game tonight against the Tampa Bay Rays. After more than 20 years on the field, the Yankees' onetime third baseman leaves the game with an impressive record marred by doping, deception and unfulfilled dreams.
Rodriguez denied using performance-enhancing drugs in that 2007 interview with 60 Minutes. Two years later in 2009, Rodriguez admitted he'd lied, and that he had doped while playing for the Texas Rangers from 2001-2003 -- something he was never punished for because Major League Baseball didn't enact penalties until 2004.
In 2014, Rodriguez was hit with one of the longest doping suspensions in history. After a contentious private hearing, Major League Baseball's arbitration judge took Rodriguez out of the game for the entire season. After the decision, Rodriguez repeated that he had never taken performance-enhancing drugs in the years that he played for the Yankees.
A day later, 60 Minutes aired an interview with Anthony Bosch, who ran a secret doping practice for pro athletes, including, he said, Rodriguez. Bosch told 60 Minutes correspondent Scott Pelley that he gave Rodriguez testosterone, insulin growth factor one, human growth hormone, and some different forms of peptides. Bosch said Rodriguez was completely aware they were banned substances, and he was too scared to inject them himself.
"Alex is scared of needles. So at times he would ask me to inject," Bosch told Pelley. "He would study the product. He would study the substance. He would study the dosages because he wanted to achieve all his human performance or in this case, sports-performance objectives. And the most important one was the 800 Home Run Club."
Two weeks later, A-Rod admitted to the DEA that Bosch had in fact supplied him drugs and he'd been doping while playing for the Yankees for two years. After being forced to sit out the 2014 season, Rodriguez returned to the Yankees, playing third base, as well as first, and serving as a designated hitter. By this season, A-Rod's abilities had faded and he spent most games on the Yankee bench.
Although his contract extends through next year, the Yankees and he worked out a retirement agreement which calls for him to serve as an adviser. Rodriguez hit 696 homeruns in his career and will play his last game tonight at Yankee Stadium, saying goodbye to a job that, back in 2007, he told 60 Minutes was a dream come true.
"You get to put on the same uniform as Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig," Rodriguez said. "I mean, you can't put a price on that. You can't."