If it works, it works! Alex Rodriguez gave insight into the method that ensured his success while playing within the MLB.
During an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, the retired baseball player, 44, spoke with guest host Sebastian Maniscalco about the new safety regulations the MLB is enforcing amid the coronavirus pandemic. Rodriguez admitted that he would likely have difficulties adjusting since a new measure would prohibit the athletes from spitting or chewing of any kind.
“Of all the things that I would have the hardest adjustment with — as baseball players, we’re very superstitious — but not chewing gum while playing baseball, I would be awful,” he shared on Thursday, July 16. “I mean, that would be a real score breaker for me. I probably went through about 36 pieces of gum every game I played.”
The former New York Yankees player noted that chewing gum boosted his confidence while playing, adding, “I would take three or four pieces of gum, you can probably see it on YouTube, I would put it in, and I started chewing and it was like I just had an attitude or something. It was bogus, but it gave me a little bit more swag.”
Another major difference Rodriguez addressed was how fans won’t be in attendance for games. The New York native stated that baseball is “synonymous with the greatest fans in the world” and the “energy” that supporters bring ultimately helps the players.
“This’ll remind me and other players of a spring training game,” he explained on Thursday. “The sounds of baseball are magical — the sound of the ball going into the mitt, the sound of the crack of the wood. I mean, baseball is just the best.”
A-Rod’s MLB career began when he was drafted to play for the Seattle Mariners in 1993. He served as the Washington team’s shortstop from 1994 to 2000 before heading to the Texas Rangers for two years.
For most of his athletic career, Rodriguez played with the Yankees beginning in 2004. He went on to play 12 seasons with the New York-based team before announcing his retirement in 2016.
During his time with the Yankees, he faced a 211-game suspension for his involvement in a performance enhancement drug scandal. In 2017, he opened up about the repercussions his actions cost him.
“There’s so many frustrating things when you look back at that,” Rodriguez explained on Undeniable with Joe Buck. “No. 1, you have a guaranteed contract for hundreds of millions of dollars. Literally, you can sit on the couch and get fat. Right? How stupid can you be? … This thing cost me over $40 million. And it cost me my reputation, and it may have cost me the Hall of Fame and a number of other things.”