A-Rod to nowhere: Alex Rodriguez breaks down in tears as he retires from baseball after controversial 22-year career and will play his final game Friday

  • The Yankees player, 41, announced his retirement from baseball Sunday
  • Rodriguez will play his final game Friday when Yankees take on Tampa Bay 
  • He began weeping as he said he would leave the game and team he loves
  • Rodriguez will remain at the Yankees as a 'special adviser and instructor'
  • In 2007 he said that he wanted to spend his career with the Yankees 
  • His time there had both record-breaking peaks and controversial troughs 
  • Most infamously, he was suspended in 2013 after doping allegations  

Yankees player Alex Rodriguez broke down in tears as he announced that he was retiring from baseball Sunday and will play his final game Friday in an emotional press conference speech.

The 41-year-old designated hitter has been on the team since 2004, but he will end his career this week when the Yankees take on Tampa Bay.

Rodriguez, whose retirement come after a troubled 2016, will take on a 'special adviser and instructor' role with the club, the Yankees announced Sunday.

Tearful: Yankees designated hitter Alex Rodriguez broke down in tears Friday as he announced his retirement from baseball 

Adviser: Rodriguez told press that he would remain with the Yankees as a 'special adviser and instructor' for the team, but that seemed like cold comfort for the player

Adviser: Rodriguez told press that he would remain with the Yankees as a 'special adviser and instructor' for the team, but that seemed like cold comfort for the player

'This is a tough day. I love this game and I love this team and today I say goodbye to both,' Rodriguez told press Sunday, shortly before breaking down into tears. 

'This is also a proud day,' he added. 'I was 18 when I broke into the big leagues. I never thought I could play for 22 years. At 18, I just wanted to make the team.

'Saying goodbye may be the hardest part of the job, but that’s what I’m doing today.'

The player - who still has $27million left on his headline-making ten-year, $275million 2007 contract -  added that he didn't want to leave the team but was 'at peace' with owner Hal Steinbrenner's decision.

'A-Rod' will play his final game Friday, against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium.

'I want to thank the Steinbrenner family for giving me this opportunity and making me part of this team,' Rodriguez said, 'and giving me an opportunity to stay involved and mentor the next generation of Yankees.'

Steinbrenner said he was pleased that Rodriguez would remain with the Yankees.

'Alex has already proven to be a willing and effective mentor to many players who have come through our clubhouse,' he explained. 

'And I am confident that this next phase of his baseball life will bring out the best in Alex and the next generation of Yankees.'   

Highs and lows: Rodriguez's career wasn't without controversy, but he managed to break records, including being the youngest player, at 32 years and eight days, to hit 500 home runs

Highs and lows: Rodriguez's career wasn't without controversy, but he managed to break records, including being the youngest player, at 32 years and eight days, to hit 500 home runs

Rodriguez was traded to the Yankees by the Texas Rangers in 2004, despite them signing him up for a massive $252million contract just three years earlier.

However, he more than proved his worth to the Yankees in those early years, winning the MvP award in 2005 and 2007, and telling the press that he hoped to spend his entire career there. 

In 2007 he also became the youngest-ever player - at 32 years and eight days - to hit 500 home runs.

But those early days were followed by struggles. 

The headline-making $275million contract he signed in 2007 proved to be a major financial drain on the team.

His home runs stalled at 696 - under the 700 he was hoping for. 

Welling up: Rodriguez struggled to contain his emotions as he said goodbye to the team that he loved

Welling up: Rodriguez struggled to contain his emotions as he said goodbye to the team that he loved

And in 2013, he was one of 13 players suspended for receiving human growth hormone (HGH) from anti-aging clinic Biogenesis of America.

Rodriguez was banned from August 8, 2014, to the end of the 2014 season, robbing him of 211 regular season games plus post-season games.

Despite a second wind last year, in which he clocked 33 home runs and 86 runs in 151 games, 2016 saw him sliding back again.

He had an average of just .132 by April 23, and though he managed a dramatic recovery on May 1, he was sent to the sidelines with a strained hamstring.

The Yankees flourished while he was away, winning 16-8, and on his return Rodriguez found himself sidelined in favor of younger players.

Crying game: Rodriguez had a second wind last year but increasingly found himself sidelined in favor of younger prospects in 2016

Crying game: Rodriguez had a second wind last year but increasingly found himself sidelined in favor of younger prospects in 2016

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