YESterdays: Alex Rodriguez
A-Rod on being moved back and forth between the Seattle Mariners and their AAA team in Tacoma:
I was so frustrated. A lot of my friends were all freshmen in college. And there was a little bit inside of me that said, "Did I make the right choice here?" I know I was the No. 1 pick but, Miami to Seattle, maybe there is a sign there: "It's so far away." And the University of Miami looked so tempting. I wanted to be a quarterback. I wanted to be a starting shortstop. I would have been able to do that as a freshman. And for us, growing up in Miami, the University (of Miami) was like the New York Yankees. And Mark Light Stadium (baseball home of the Hurricanes) was like Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, so that was the ultimate dream for me for many years of my childhood.
And when I got to Seattle, the up-and-down shuttle (to Tacoma) was really frustrating. And I remember I bought myself a little Cherokee. And I had a speakerphone, and I called Mom, and I said "Mom, this is, uh ... this is tough. I think I want to come home. You know, can I still go back and play at the University of Miami?" And she said, "Absolutely not. If you come home, we are not opening the door. You gotta stay there and, and, and do what's right and ... you are not a quitter," and all those right things.
A-Rod's wife Cynthia recalls how he met and wooed her:
We met in Miami, 1996. And I was on a treadmill in a gym. And he came up to me. He scouted out my plan in the gym. He said, "I know you are gonna go over there and stretch. Uh, do you mind if I wait for you over there?" So this kinda went on for a few days. And then eventually we ended up going to dinner. And really, we became good friends for a while, and then eventually started dating.
A-Rod: I scouted her out for a month, you know? And I wanted to see her routine. And I wanted to see what time she came in, see how consistent she was. And sure enough, she was like a machine. She would come in right after work, and get on the treadmill and do her abs. And finally, I build enough courage after about three-and-a-half weeks... And I said, "I know you are gonna go do some abs after. And do you mind if I join you?" And she was very short. And she may not have said "yes" or "no," I don't know what she said, but I waited for her anyways.
Cynthia: I know he played baseball, because everybody in the gym said, "Do you know who that is? And he plays baseball!" or whatever. I didn't grow up - and maybe I was ignorant at the time - but I didn't grow up in a sports-oriented family. So, I wasn't aware that you could have an entire livelihood off of a sport. So when they would say, "Oh, he plays baseball," I always think, "Oh, I wonder what else he does." Like, "that's a nice hobby...but what does he really do?"
Cynthia on A-Rod's passing out during the birth of their first daughter:
As tough and big as he seems, he is real wimpy around doctors or any type of medical situation. I don't know why I thought the birth of our child would be different.
In the middle of the night, I realized that I needed to go to the hospital. I wake him up. The first thing that comes out of his mouth, "Can we call your mother?" And I started, "No. Let's wait and make sure that I am in labor, and make sure that, you know, it's the middle of the night." And go to the hospital and everything. And finally, a few hours later, I said, "I think you can call my mom now." Uh, and the color came back to his face when I told him he could call my mom. And then forget it. I was like not even having a baby; he was the one. The one nurse had a cold cloth on his head. The other nurse had the blood pressure on his arm. And my mother was, like, rubbing his back. And he is passed out on a couch. And I am there, in the middle of labor. And really, I am not being paid much attention to besides the doctor and a couple of nurses. And he is there moaning. In between pushing, I am going, "Honey, are you OK?" And are you breathing? Are you OK?"
Former high school teammate Doug Mientkiewicz, who was A-Rod's teammate with the Yankees last year:
When we weren't playing a game, we would go to the University of Miami football games. And we ran the same offense they did. He (A-Rod) would call out the play before it happened, from watching it...watch 'em break the huddle. He literally knew what play it was, and he was right 95 percent of the time. There is no doubt in my mind - he could have been a Division I superstar, Heisman candidate/NFL quarterback and he could have done the NBA. But the only thing with the NBA is ... Alex didn't pass a lot. Because he didn't like to pass!