Yanks Go Yard 2016 Season Awards
Lifetime Achievement Award- Alex Rodriguez
A-Rod’s incredible 2015 career renaissance failed to carry over into this season. Just one year removed from hitting 33 home runs and receiving MVP votes, Rodriguez was one of the worst hitters in baseball before his release by the team in August.
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It was hardly the storybook ending many had hoped for, with A-Rod restoring his image and leading the Yankees to one last championship before riding off into the sunset, but ultimately he avoided controversy in his final weeks and finished his career with dignity.
It is nice to see Rodriguez working so hard to maintain a relationship with the organization that history will most identify him with. His instructor job is not the ceremonial position that many speculated it might be, as he’s already been back in uniform working with New York’s prospects in the Fall Instructional League, and is expected to help at big league spring training next year.
So what will A-Rod’s legacy be with the New York Yankees? Rodriguez played almost twice as many games in pinstripes than with any other club. In his 12 years, he compiled a .283/.378/.524 (136 OPS+) batting line with 351 home runs and 1096 RBI. He received two AL MVPs as a Yankee and received votes for the award during eight of his seasons with the team.
You don’t have to like him, but he was one of the greatest Yankees hitters in history. That is just a fact. He has made a lasting impact on the team and the game, regardless of whether he ends up in Cooperstown or Monument Park.
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Runner Up: Mark Teixeira wasn’t the transcendent all-time great talent A-Rod was, but he was one of the best power hitters of his era and much better during his eight years in pinstripes than he gets credit for. It’s a shame he had to limp to the finish line, but he had an excellent run with the team.