Hank Steinbrenner, Trump have high praise for A-Rod

ByMike Mazzeo via ESPN logo
Tuesday, July 7, 2015

NEW YORK -- Alex Rodriguez might have received an All-Star snub, but the man who signs his checks is beyond thrilled with Rodriguez's performance this season.

"I think it's one of the greatest comeback years any player has ever had," Yankees owner Hank Steinbrenner said Monday at his Hank's Yanks Golf Classic charity event at Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point in the Bronx. "It's an amazing year. The bad hips, all the other stuff, the more than a year off at his age. To come back and do what he's done is pretty amazing."

Rodriguez blew off reporters who asked him about the possibility of an All-Star selection before the official announcement was made by Major League Baseball.

Perhaps he already knew it wasn't happening.

Nevertheless, given that he missed all of the past season after being suspended for PEDs and is three weeks shy of his 40th birthday, A-Rod's 2015 campaign has been nothing short of remarkable. In 77 games, the veteran designated hitter is batting .284 with 16 home runs, 47 RBIs and a .902 on-base plus slugging percentage.

"As I've said all season, my No. 1 goal is helping the Yankees win a championship," he said in a statement. "I'm excited that we're in a good position to get there. Of course, it would have been an honor to represent the American League next week, but I'll have fun cheering on the guys who were put on the team and watching them protect home field."

Seattle Mariners DH Nelson Cruz was voted by the fans to start the game. A-Rod is a 14-time All-Star.

"We talked a lot about Alex Rodriguez," AL manager Ned Yost said, according to the Associated Press. "I just felt very strongly [that] if we could get another infielder or another outfielder out of that five-man vote, it would help us."

Donald Trump, who recently declared his presidential candidacy and has been in the news due to his controversial comments on immigrants, had kind words for A-Rod at the event. Trump told Rodriguez he has had a "helluva season" and to keep it up.

Only three years ago, Trump was on ESPN NewYork 98.7 FM calling for Rodriguez to be fired. Looks like A-Rod has won everyone over.

Rodriguez has been at odds with the Yankees in recent years. But only days ago, the two sides settled a dispute over the bonus for his 660th career home run. In the end, the Yankees donated $3.5 million to charity.

"That's typical of the Alex you don't know," Steinbrenner said.

As for his team, Steinbrenner said: "We've been up and down. We need to be more consistent. By the end of the season, we need to up our winning percentage."

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