Alex Rodriguez's No. 13 jersey was not issued in Yankees pinstripes between his unceremonious forced exit in 2016 and Joey Gallo's sudden arrival five years later.
When Gallo first emerged from the dugout wearing the familiar digits -- one of the lowest jersey numbers technically available -- some fans were thrilled to finally leave Rodriguez's checkered decade in the past, while others felt the 2005 and 2007 AL MVP was getting discarded too soon (per usual). Surely, though, after such a long layoff, it felt safe to assume Gallo had Rodriguez's blessing.
Nope. Not so fast. In fact, Rodriguez's hot air might've been blowing Gallo's bat in the wrong direction.
A-Rod, now one of the most visible men in sports media just a half-decade after being exiled from the league, finally opened up on how he felt when Gallo was assigned his number. In essence ... bothered! Predictably, he'd rather have his No. 13 in monument park than on the back of one of the worst Yankees in recent memory.
Alex Rodriguez wants No. 13 retired with Yankees
We've taken care of the first part. Gallo's not coming back. The bad man is gone now.
But Monument Park? Probably not until Hal Steinbrenner and his family subsidiaries say goodbye to Yankees ownership. Brian Cashman IV will probably have to exit the front office, too. Once all that familiar blood is out of the way and generations have passed, though, sure!
Rodríguez deserves something for his pinstriped prowess, even if it doesn't involve taking the No. 13 off the market. Maybe a plaque? If not for the man, then at least in recognition of his 2009 postseason, a generationally strong October run that almost single-handedly made sure the Yankees' championship cupboard wasn't bare from 2000 onward. That team had three starters! Three!
Of course, let it not be forgotten that before he was some people's most beloved Yankee, he was nearly traded to the Red Sox and grew up desperate to be a Met.
Instead, he landed in the Bronx, fulfilling his significant promise (repeatedly) during MVP regular seasons before finally getting over the championship hump at the end of the 2000s.
At the very least, he's going to go in the record books as "More Memorable Than Joey Gallo," so there's that.