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Alex Rodriguez walks away from Major League Baseball today, leaving behind him a two decade-long career that will arguably always be stained by the controversy he stirred behind—and ultimately in front of—closed doors.
The three-time MVP who will retire from America’s favorite pastime with an estimated $400 million in earnings, announced his split from the New York Yankees’ team roster and subsequent pivot into a “special adviser” role during a tearful press conference on August 7.
All Kleenex aside, A-Rod will still earn another $27 million from the Yankees after being let go and another $21 million in the final leg of his 10-year, $275 million contract.
Along with a record-breaking number of grand slams and the fourth highest number of home runs of all time (just 18 shy of Babe Ruth‘s stat), Rodriguez has amassed quite a reputation preceded by the scandals he’s found himself in. He’s been caught in the crossfire of multiple doping allegations, as a result been served with the longest-running suspension in baseball history, made tabloid headlines for his tendency to romance a slew of celebrities and still emerged as one of the game’s greatest players.
Not to mention he signed two of the most lucrative contracts in sports history—his $252 million deal with the Texas Rangers was the highest at the time, only to be topped by A-Rod himself when the third baseman joined the Yankees in 2004.
Rodriguez’s life off the field is just as, if not more, fascinating than his baseball career. Here are the many (did we mention many?) scandals the 41-year-old has been embroiled in over the years.
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Madonna, Demi Moore, Cameron Diaz, Kate Hudson Just a sampling of the A-listers Rodriguez has wined and dined throughout his time in the spotlight.
“Madrod,” as Alex and the pop sensation were so affectionately dubbed, came fresh off the heels of his six-year marriage to Cynthia Scurtis, who cited her husband’s alleged infidelity and emotional abandonment of his wife and two children in the 2008 divorce filings. At the time, A-Rod did not publicly comment on the divorce petition or his alleged extramarital affair.Madonna adamantly denied any connection between the two past a friendship.
Hudson later enjoyed the baseball star’s company for several months in 2009 before he moved on to Diaz with that infamous snuggling-popcorn exchange at the 2011 Super Bowl.
Rodriguez found himself in another controversy in 2013, when the House of Outrageous Fortune: Fifteen Central Park West, The World’s Most Powerful Address tell-all claimed Rodriguez dabbled in weekly sexual encounters involving two prostitutes at a time. Rodriguez’s PR camp grand-slammed the allegations immediately, calling them “comical.”
Alex has since settled down with tech CEO Anne Wojcicki, making their red carpet debut as a couple at the 2016 Met Gala.
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If Rodriguez’s multi-million dollar fortune seems difficult to wrap your head around, let’s put it this way. Despite being the 2nd-highest paid player in the league, Derek Jeter falls more than $100 million behind Rodriguez come payday. Forbes also estimates A-Rod raked in a whopping $35 million from endorsements with Nike and Pepsi, as well as appearances and memorabilia.
So how does Rodriguez spend all that hard-earned cash?
He’s especially fond of the real estate market, launching his own construction company to flip a $7.4 million piece of land in Miami Beach into a mansion he sold for more than four times that in 2013. Alex now resides in an 11,000-square-foot enclave in Florida, which Architectural Digest writes is teeming with fine art from the likes of Andy Warhol, Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat.
Steven Klein/ Details Magazine
Rodriguez reportedly finds inspiration for his expansive art collection by looking right in the mirror, as evidence from his eyebrow-raising 2009 Details photo shoot might reveal. In an almost we-couldn’t-make-this-stuff-up-if-we-tried kind of moment, a former fling of Rodriguez told Us Weekly the athlete had portraits of himself as a centaur hanging over his bed.
The athlete has also turned his attention toward the automobile industry, investing in a Mercedes-Benz luxury dealership based in Texas. And for the past 12 years, Rodriguez has dipped into his own pocket to gift every rookie that the Yankees land three suits each.
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Perhaps what Rodriguez is most well-known for is his ill-fated ties to the Biogenesis doping scandal, a since-shuttered anti-aging clinic in Florida which allegedly supplied banned performance-boosting substances to players. Alex’s involvement in the incident cost him the entire 2014 playing season, a punishment that followed his previous claim that he quit performance-enhancing drugs after taking them for two years between 2001 and 2003.
To provide some context, Alex persistently rejected taking PED’s, even in a 2007 Katie Couric interview in which the journalist asked the athlete flat out whether he had or hadn’t. When a government-sealed survey detailing 104 major league players (including Rodriguez) tested positive for performance enhancers was released, Alex eventually came clean, citing “an enormous amount of pressure to perform.” At the time, there was no penalty for testing positive, but the MLB initiated its mandatory testing program in the year after the report surfaced.
In a handwritten letter addressed to his fans, Rodriguez took full responsibility for his involvement in the scandal. “I accept the fact that many of you will not believe my apology or anything that I say at this point. I understand why and that’s on me. It was gracious of the Yankees to offer me the use of Yankee Stadium for this apology but I decided the next time I am in Yankee Stadium, I should be in pinstripes doing my job,” he wrote.