New Yorkers' love-hate relationship with A-Rod nears finale

NEW YORK (AP) Alex Rodriguez's tempestuous relationship with New York Yankees fans comes to an end Friday when he plays his last game in pinstripes.

He was born in New York and hit 351 home runs for the Yankees, but A-Rod's big-money contracts and off-field antics made him a less-than-beloved character for some in the city.

Fans say he will equally be remembered for a season-long suspension for using performance-enhancing drugs and frequent appearances in the tabloids for episodes involving late-night poker games, his divorce and reputed interludes with Madonna, movie stars and a stripper.

One public relations expert says even after A-Rod tried to make amends, he never completely connected with fans.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide—from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Andy Staples, Grant Wahl, and more—delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.