The resurrection of Alex Rodriguez

It's hard to believe, but not too long ago Alex Rodriguez was one of the ...

Posted: Jun 18, 2018 4:36 AM
Updated: Jun 18, 2018 4:36 AM

It's hard to believe, but not too long ago Alex Rodriguez was one of the most unpopular figures in sports, and maybe America.

He was criticized for poor sportsmanship, faced allegations of being a slumlord, and garnered a me-first reputation.

Shortly before he retired in 2016, Rodriguez was one of the most well-known - and most disliked - pro athletes, according to The Q Scores Company, which measures the familiarity and appeal of brands, celebrities, companies and entertainment products.

The most devastating hit to his reputation came after he admitted to using performance enhancing drugs. As a result, he was suspended by Major League Baseball and missed the entire 2014 season.

But his problems extended well beyond baseball.

In 2017 and 2013 respectively, The New York Times and The Washington Post reported on claims that Rodriguez's rental properties in Floridan and Maryland were overrun with pests and rodents and that the buildings were not maintained and falling into disrepair.

Rodriguez declined to comment for this story.

Things looked bad for the the former Yankees third baseman, but if there's one thing Rodriguez knows how to do, it's make a comeback.

Rodriguez is everywhere these days, hosting shows on multiple networks, running a real estate empire, and generally charming fans who have been reintroduced to A-Rod the affable media star.

Here's how he turned it around.

Repairing the Yankees relationship

Many consider Rodriguez's 2014 suspension from baseball to be the nadir of his career, but he says that year was a catalyst for his dramatic turn around.

"I had to turn the lens inward, and I had to think about what's going on inside. Why am I making the same mistakes over and over again?" he said on a CNBC show he hosts. "Nine out of 10 days I would look at that mountain and go 'I'm not gonna make it.'"

The slugger patched things up with the Yankees, and dropped a lawsuit he'd filed against the league and the player's union. He personally apologized to team leadership and wrote a letter of apology to the fans in which he admitted his mistakes.

During the 2015 and 2016 seasons, Rodriguez morphed into a clubhouse leader, playing the role of elder statesman to a team of youngsters. The team feted him during his retirement tour at the end of 2016, and kept him aboard as a special adviser to the club.

"With all my screw-ups and how badly I acted, the fact that I'm walking out the door and Hal [Steinbrenner] wants me as part of the family - that's hitting 800 home runs for me. That's something I will be able to share with my daughters for a long time," Rodriguez told the New York Times in 2016.

Taking over your screens

Rodriguez really turned heads during the 2016 World Series, when he provided impressive analysis on Fox Sports' broadcast of the World Series.

That touched off a remarkable media career that seems to defy norms.

Rodriguez is one of a very few personalities to appear on shows regularly for competing networks: "Shark Tank" at ABC, "Sunday Night Baseball" at ESPN and "Back in the Game" at CNBC. He also works as an MLB analyst for Fox Sports and serves as a general contributor at ABC News.

Hosting a TV show on one network is rare but to be a key part of several different shows on multiple networks is practically unheard of. Most anchors don't crossover. Even fewer have multiple areas of expertise, like Rodriguez who showcases his sports knowledge and business acumen.

Henry Schafer, executive vice president of The Q Scores Company, said Rodriguez has landed contracts at so many networks because he's "very personable" and "good at connecting with viewers."

His diverse media opportunities have in turn helped consumers see him as something more than a professional athlete, which further boosts his marketability. Rodriguez's negative Q Score is down to 28%, which is average for celebrities. At the height of his controversies, his negative score reached a high of 44%.

Refining a business mogul

He's also being lauded as a successful businessman.

Rodriguez, the CEO of A-Rod Corp., forged a friendship with legendary investor Warren Buffett, and took his investment advice to "buy what you know" to heart.

He has a stake in UFC fitness centers, TruFusion boutique studios and Energy Fitness, which is largely based in Mexico. Rodriguez also has invested in a line of luxury activewear.

He also seems to have cleaned up his real estate business.

The properties in Maryland and Florida that reportedly had poor living conditions are no longer listed among Rodriguez's real estate holdings.

He founded Newport Property Construction, a firm that designs, develops and renovates commercial and residential properties, and Monument Capital Management, which invests in and manages properties. Rodriguez also recently invested $10 million in Petros Pace Finance, which helps fund green energy projects for real estate companies and owners.

Newport Property Construction and Monument Capital Management declined to comment for this story.

Social media darling

He's tied it all up with a bow on social media. Rodriguez has a robust following with 1.5 million followers on Instagram and another 1.2 million on Twitter.

He shares pictures and videos, both mundane and glamorous, of him and his daughters, and includes tidbits about his girlfriend, Jennifer Lopez, one of America's sweethearts.

His social media posts and his relationship are further helping his image, according to Schafer.

"He's in a pretty good position right now," Schafer said. "He's always had a love to hate relationship with consumers but they've always been interested to know what's going on with his life, professionally and personally."

Huntsville
Overcast
77° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 79°
Florence
Broken Clouds
78° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 80°
Fayetteville
Overcast
75° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 75°
Decatur
Overcast
77° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 79°
Scottsboro
Clear
81° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 88°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 38442

Reported Deaths: 947
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson4387142
Montgomery383999
Mobile3697134
Tuscaloosa204938
Marshall153710
Lee118937
Shelby108223
Madison10577
Morgan9813
Walker86723
Franklin85213
Dallas8198
Elmore81314
Baldwin6869
Etowah62513
Butler60427
DeKalb6025
Chambers58127
Tallapoosa56369
Autauga54511
Unassigned52025
Russell4840
Lowndes45820
Lauderdale4446
Houston4344
Limestone4090
Cullman4003
Pike3995
Colbert3685
Bullock3629
Coffee3532
Barbour3231
Covington3087
St. Clair3042
Hale29321
Marengo28611
Wilcox2808
Sumter27612
Calhoun2705
Talladega2677
Clarke2665
Escambia2636
Dale2440
Jackson2382
Winston2333
Blount2141
Chilton2112
Pickens2116
Marion20312
Monroe1972
Choctaw19212
Conecuh1804
Bibb1711
Macon1708
Randolph1709
Greene1667
Perry1451
Henry1303
Crenshaw1233
Lawrence1010
Washington1007
Cherokee747
Lamar711
Fayette671
Geneva670
Clay582
Coosa551
Cleburne291
Out of AL00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 45315

Reported Deaths: 609
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby10344193
Davidson9769114
Rutherford264835
Hamilton253230
Trousdale14895
Sumner146952
Williamson109014
Out of TN10447
Knox9825
Wilson82917
Putnam8057
Robertson79211
Lake6900
Sevier6573
Bledsoe6181
Tipton6114
Bradley5803
Bedford5205
Montgomery4937
Unassigned4251
Macon4093
Hardeman3041
Maury2973
Fayette2922
Rhea2720
Loudon2651
Hamblen2634
Madison2552
Dyer2251
McMinn21617
Cheatham2141
Blount1883
Dickson1800
Cumberland1733
Monroe1354
Washington1340
Lawrence1335
Lauderdale1202
Coffee1090
Jefferson1070
Gibson1061
Anderson1042
Hardin1005
Obion982
Smith961
Sullivan912
Greene852
Franklin803
Wayne770
Haywood742
Marshall731
Hickman720
Cocke700
Marion674
Warren650
White643
McNairy620
Weakley611
Lincoln590
Grundy581
Overton571
Carter561
DeKalb540
Unicoi540
Hawkins512
Giles501
Roane460
Henry420
Polk410
Campbell391
Carroll391
Grainger370
Johnson370
Henderson350
Meigs320
Perry320
Cannon310
Crockett313
Claiborne280
Sequatchie280
Jackson260
Morgan241
Chester230
Humphreys231
Decatur210
Stewart210
Fentress180
Clay160
Scott150
Union130
Benton121
Houston120
Moore80
Lewis70
Van Buren70
Pickett60
Hancock30

 

 

Community Events