In his latest Instagram post, former New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez caps off a round of golf with a lucrative form of tampering. Rodriguez, clad in a neon green Minnesota Timberwolves golf shirt, introduces his four million-plus followers to his caddy Anthony Russo, a Penn State-based econ major with professional golf dreams of his own.
For his trouble, Rodriguez grants Russo a generous $500 tip. The first $300 comes for "the torture that (Rodriguez) put him through" in their round, another $100 for his love of the Yankees, and the final $100 arrives for "converting from a Knicks fan to a wolfpack ... Timberwolves, baby!"
Rodriguez, the hitter of 351 home runs in Yankee pinstripes (sixth-best in the team's storied history) during his 13-year stretch with the team (2004-16) has moved his sporting interests from the diamond to the hardwood: he and business partner Marc Lore reached a deal to purchase the Timberwolves franchise (as well as the WNBA's Minnesota Lynx) from Glen Taylor in April 2021. Valued at over $1.5 billion, the deal will make Rodriguez and Lore the principal owners of the franchise by 2023.
Time will tell if Rodriguez's investment pays off, as the Timberwolves franchise has been equally star-crossed as the Knicks'. Its 18-year playoff series victory drought is tied with Charlotte and Sacramento for the longest active streak in the NBA, though hope lingers for the team after they earned 46 wins en route to victory in the Western Conference's Play-In Tournament. Like the Knicks, the Timberwolves have already engaged in an eventful offseason, getting franchise face Karl-Anthony Towns back on a four-year, $224 million extension and trading for former Utah Jazz star Rudy Gobert.
The former Yankee is set to join one of Russo's other idols, longtime Yankees announcer Michael Kay, for ESPN's alternative "Kay-Rod" edition of their "Sunday Night Baseball" package. This week's edition features the St. Louis Cardinals and Philadelphia Phillies (7 p.m. ET, ESPN2).