It has been officially announced that polarizing former Major League Baseball star Alex Rodriguez will be joining Fox Sports this season as a full-time MLB analyst. This move along with an announcement several weeks ago truly closes the door on the long speculated belief that Rodriguez would attempt a comeback.
This move is not a surprise as Alex Rodriguez seemed comfortable on-air, during MLB Playoff coverage last season, and seemed to be a natural in the role. His on-air chemistry with fellow past MLB All-Stars Frank Thomas and Pete Rose was a bright spot in what was one of the more exciting postseasons in recent memory. This group along with the host Kevin Burkhardt have seemingly found a winning formula that has been rarely seen with studio baseball coverage.
Fun off-the-cuff interactions among the three such as Pete Rose showing Rodriguez and Thomas the finer points of hitting was interesting. Especially for a trio that lays claim to 6 Most Valuable Player Awards and a cumulative 36 All-Star appearances.
Alex Rodriguez talks about returning to Fox this year:
“I’m excited to continue working with the Fox Sports family,” A-Rod said in a statement. “It’ll be great to get back on the set with the guys for the regular season and postseason, especially the All-Star Game in my hometown of Miami.”
A-Rod has other endeavors that he is pursuing on television with his impending CNBC reality show pilot, in which he will try to assist former athletes that are struggling financially. As USA Today stated about Rodriguez’ business background:
Rodriguez has long maintained business interests beyond baseball, earning a reported $20 million a year in off-field endeavors alone. During his year-long suspension in 2014 after his involvement with baseball’s Biogenesis scandal, Rodriguez frequently sat in on business-school classes and sought career advice from financial magnates.
Rodriguez was estimated to have made over 440 million dollars in his playing days; not even including endorsement deals. His wisdom could become valuable. And, with his personable disposition that he showed in his time on Fox last postseason, the show could be a success.
The three-time MVP Rodriguez decided to retire after a 22 year playing career with Seattle, Texas, and the New York Yankees. He amassed the 13th best offensive WAR rating in the history of the game. All the players with higher WAR numbers are in the Hall of Fame except Barry Bonds.
After a strong 2015 in which Rodriguez returned to form with his best season since 2010, his 2016 campaign was a disaster. After a DL stint, he spent his time mostly pinch hitting before playing his final game in the big leagues on August 12th. Rodriguez finished the season with the worst batting average of career after appearing in 65 games.
With the addition of Rodriguez in this multi-year deal, Fox Sports can continue to build the brand of their baseball coverage much like they have done in the NFL. Fox has been covering MLB since 1996, and has covered every World Series since 2000.