Alex Rodriguez was ‘close to tapping out’ during 2014 suspension
Alex Rodriguez recently revealed that anguish suffered during his 2014 PED suspension almost led him to “tapping out,” as he bluntly put it in a recent in interview.
Rodriguez was suspended for the entirety of the 2014 MLB season and postseason for violating the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy, with findings suggesting use of numerous PEDS, including testosterone and human growth hormone.
Rodriguez has been on a prolonged redemption tour ever since the scandal destroyed his reputation and irreparably damaged his otherwise Hall of Fame-caliber career. And the case can be made said efforts to rehabilitate his image has progressed tremendously, especially given his successful segue into broadcasting.
It wasn’t always so easy for Rodriguez to look to the future with the hope of better days ahead. In fact, Rodriguez admits things almost took a dire turn, to put it mildly, while serving his suspension.
A-Rod explored those dark times during a candid interview with Marisa Guthrie for The Hollywood Reporter:
I ask whether he ever thinks about the arc of his career from superstar to outcast, and he shoots me a look that says, “Every second of every day!” Then he grabs my notebook and pen. Turning it sideways, he jots down five dates: 1994, 2000, 2004, 2014, 2017. (Curiously, 2009, when he won his only World Series, is not included.) He draws a jagged line under the numbers; 2000 (he hit 41 homers and had 132 RBIs, powering Seattle to the ALCS against the Yankees) and 2004 (his first season with the Yankees) are high points. When he gets to 2014 (when he sat out the season during the longest suspension in baseball history for using performance-enhancing drugs), he drags the pen to the bottom of the page then brings it back up to 2017. No doubt: 2014 was rock bottom. “There were nights in Miami when I was close to tapping out,” he admits.
Rodriguez obviously was able to overcome the alluded-to depths of despair. And now? He’s all-in on the road to redemption.
“It starts with being accountable,” Rodriguez said. “When people can see that you’re genuine, that’s when they pay attention. You have to own your (expletive).”