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Quote of the Day: A-Rod on when he "gets to" retire

Aug 10, 2010, 11:59 AM EDT

Alex Rodriguez was on ESPN Radio with Michael Kay yesterday, talking about his 600th home run. The bulk of the interview was about how he’s in a better mental space than he was a couple of years ago, the pressure and the career home run mark. But I found this answer — about what people should think about his home run totals in light of his PED use — interesting:

I have nothing to say. I’m not the judge or the jury. When it is all
said and done, when my contract is up in New York and I get to retire, I
think people are going to look at my body of work and say yes, no, or
indifferent. That’s up to them. I’m not here trying to change their mind
or not. I’m trying to walk the walk.”

When “I get to retire?”

I know the guy is overanalyzed as it is, and obviously one friggin’ word over the course of long interview is probably meaningless. But man, if I was doing that interview, I don’t think I’d be able to help myself from asking “what do you mean ‘get‘ to retire, Alex?”

And yes, I realize that would make me part of a problem I complain about all the time, but I’m not going to lie and say the particular phraseology here doesn’t interest me.   

  1. Xpensive Wino - Aug 10, 2010 at 12:06 PM

    He’s a lightning rod for stuff like this. He has become one of the most disliked players in baseball history. Everything about the guy is unlikable and irritating so when he says something like that, it’s magnified……………and simultaneously adds more fuel to the fire about why pretty much everyone hates him.

  2. SouthofHeaven - Aug 10, 2010 at 12:12 PM

    He ‘gets’ to retire, as in, he ‘gets’ to sit around on his ass all day & not worry about staying in shape or doing good work. It’s how you talk about something that you look forward to. No big.

  3. RichardInBigD - Aug 10, 2010 at 12:12 PM

    Alex, if you’ll just let me have ONE of your bi-weekly checks, then I’d “get to retire” as soon as it cleared the bank, and I would. And if you do that, as hard as it would be for me, I would promise to never, ever again say or write another hateful word about you. Please, Alex…

  4. Largebill - Aug 10, 2010 at 12:16 PM

    It means less than nothing. People in all walks of life make comments about retirement. “I’ll do this or that when I retire or when I get to retire.”

  5. Chief McHeath - Aug 10, 2010 at 12:16 PM

    I think there’s something to be said for “getting to” retire after a long career rather than bouncing around the league for a handful of years and being out of the game at 27 or something.

  6. YankeesfanLen - Aug 10, 2010 at 12:17 PM

    We already know that puts his words and brain together about as well as BP Tony.

  7. Evan - Aug 10, 2010 at 12:25 PM

    Craig, I wouldn’t read into that too much. Arod is one of the worst celebrity-athletes at giving interviews. He’s about as natural as the PEDs he put into his body.
    One could easily interpret that line as him implying that he doesn’t feel he can retire until his contract is up. If you think he’s implying that he somehow can’t wait to retire and feels “trapped,” you’re basically assuming a lot based on VERY limited evidence. As a lawyer, I would think you would know better.

  8. Omega - Aug 10, 2010 at 12:32 PM

    I think he feels an obligation to play his contract out, hence he ‘gets’ to retire at the end of it.
    I don’t think it is that unusual a phrase, it just had the misfortune of coming out Mr. Rodriguez’s mouth.

  9. Craig Calcaterra - Aug 10, 2010 at 12:32 PM

    Actually, the reason I would ask him about (as I said in the post) is because, as a lawyer, I know not to assume anything. It piqued my interest and (to me at least) begged for a followup. Elite athletes are almost always forced to retire and they keep on going long after their skills tell them that they should stop. A-Rod’s answer runs counter to that, and that’s why it interested me.
    But yes, FWIW, all of the responses here make sense. And I acknowledged above that it’s almost certainly meaningless.

  10. twentyseventoseven - Aug 10, 2010 at 12:45 PM

    I wouldnt read into it. I dont think English is Alexes first language, and sometimes certain words or phrases get lost in translation. His ‘get’ might be different from YOUR ‘get’.

  11. Benny Blanco - Aug 10, 2010 at 1:25 PM

    What would you have rather had him say? When I am able to retire? When I do retire?
    He becomes a lighting rod for this stuff when people overanalyze a simple sentence which means nothing in the long run. Unless you really feel that he feels he is obligated to play the game of baseball because he is so great and at some point will “get” to retire. Like he no longer is forced to show off his great skills.

  12. qcompson - Aug 10, 2010 at 1:26 PM

    Not sure if anyone else noticed this- during the pre-game interview for Sunday night baseball on ESPN, Arod said something about “staying on script” and limiting distractions, going about his job, etc. A moment later, Bobbie V. affectionately grabbed Arod’s arm and said (paraphrasing here) “folks, I want you to know that this is completely authentic and unscripted.” I was amused.

  13. Craig Calcaterra - Aug 10, 2010 at 1:30 PM

    I wouldn’t have him say anything. He can say what he wants. All I’m saying is that his words interested me. I tend to believe that people’s words often reveal how they truly feel about something, whether they realize it or not. I like A-Rod as a player. I’d like to think that he enjoys playing baseball. His words here offer a suggestion — and it may be a total illusion — that he feels it’s more of an obligation than a passion.
    That could be totally wrong. All I’m saying is that I’d like to ask him about it. Not in an accusatory way. Not because I have some preconceived idea about it. But because I am genuinely curious.

  14. Jonny5 - Aug 10, 2010 at 1:47 PM

    It’s quite simple. He has sold his soul to the dark side. This is him acknowledging that fact. Do you think the Dark overlord Stienbrenner and his equally evil diciple Sith lord Cashman would allow him to retire without draining him of all of his marketability first? I mean, he’ll be working for the dark side until he dies basically.

  15. Benny Blanco - Aug 10, 2010 at 1:48 PM

    Understandable. The more i think about, it is not hard to view him as someone who feels he is obligated to play the game. But that maybe completely unfair to him as a player and a person.

  16. ThinMan - Aug 10, 2010 at 2:17 PM

    Hell. I’m a Sox fan, and I can’t stand A-Rod, but even I wouldn’t read too much into this one.

  17. Md23Rewls - Aug 10, 2010 at 2:23 PM

    Can you really blame the guy for looking forward to the end of his career? So many people have made him out to be a bad person and the scum of the universe. Maybe he’s just tired of everybody hating him and saying that he’s garbage and telling him that he’s a horrible human being. And why do people say these things? Because he made a few missteps in a game? Because he makes more money than most people? Because he took steroids, same as a TON of players? I know I’d be looking forward to retirement and receding from the public view if everybody was going to be a jerk about everything I did. Money can do many things, but it cannot shield the soul when the entire universe tells you you are a piece of **expletive**. Rodriguez will never be my favorite player, even though he plays for my favorite team. There’s just too much about him that makes him hard to relate to. That being said, I can certainly understand why a little bit of the passion might have been sucked out of him over the last decade or so, and I can’t say that he’s wrong to feel that way.
    Either that, or the whole thing was just him using a word without meaning to to try to get at what he wanted to say.

  18. Materialman - Aug 10, 2010 at 4:36 PM

    You mean when he gets to retire with all his phoney records he cheated to get?

  19. Mayan - Aug 10, 2010 at 5:04 PM

    A-Rod’s productivity, now that he is off PEDs, is declining precipitously. This season, he is averaging 23 at-bats per home run, way off his career performance, and actually quite mediocre, equating to about 22-25 home runs over a full season.
    PEDs don’t just boost performance, they also help against aging and recovery from injury. So the prospects for the next few years portend more of the same. Figure a couple more 15-20 home run seasons and then he’s done.
    He will retire short of 700 home runs, and like McGuire and Bonds, will face considerable resistance among Hall of Fame voters.

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