Just ahead of embattled slugger Alex Rodrguez's final game as a New York Yankee Friday night, former teammate Derek Jeter released a statement about his professional relationship with the fellow infielder.
"I've spent 22 years playing against, playing with and watching Alex from afar, and there are two things that stand out to me the most: the conversations we had when we were young -- hoping for the opportunity to play at the Major League level and then somehow finding a way to stick around -- and the championship we won together in 2009. That was a season everyone on that team can cherish," the statement reads.
"What people don't realize is how much time, effort and work that Alex put in on a daily basis. He live and breathes baseball. I know it will be difficult for him to not be on the field, but I'm sure he will continue to give back to the game. Congrats, Alex," the statement continues.
Rodriguez will serve as the Yankees' designated hitter Friday evening for his final outing as a player for the team.
His career was tainted by his 2009 admission that he used performance-enhancing drugs while with Texas from 2001-03 and his season-long suspension in 2014 for violations of baseball's drug agreement and labor contract.