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Thunderstorm cuts Yankees' pregame ceremony for A-Rod short

NEW YORK -- Mother Nature put a damper onAlex Rodriguez's pregame ceremony.

He was always a lightning rod, after all.

Rodriguez's tribute before his final game with the New York Yankees on Friday night lasted just five minutes due to a massive thunder and lightning storm.

No. 13 came out of the dugout at 7:02 p.m. to a loud ovation. But by 7:07 p.m. he and his special guests were heading for cover -- along with the rest of the Yankee Stadium crowd.

The ceremony began with a short video tribute of his career highlights, as ominous dark clouds moved over the ballpark. Then A-Rod was joined on the field by his family, Reggie Jackson, Didi Gregorious, Starlin Castro, Hal Steinbrenner and Mariano Rivera, who received a raucous ovation himself.

A-Rod laughed while standing with his daughters by his side as thunder boomed in the background.Rodriguez received a framed jersey during the ceremony and a base signed by all of his teammates.

A massive media contingent surrounded the batting cage as Rodriguez took batting practice for the final time in his Yankees career, which began in 2004.

The Yankees will be releasing Rodriguez after Friday's game. He will then become a special advisor for the team starting in spring training, assuming he doesn't try to continue his baseball career elsewhere.

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