“It’s hard. For the first time in 18 years, I don’t have my two girls with me at dinner,” Rodriguez, 48, told Us Weekly exclusively this month while promoting his partnership with OraPharma, adding that it still feels “crazy” to have a college-aged child. “The good news is I get to spend more time with [my 15-year-old], Ella. I guess there’s a silver lining everywhere.”
Rodriguez and Scurtis, 50, split in 2008 after six years of marriage, but the exes have perfected the art of coparenting. The retired MLB athlete told Us that he’s “proud” of where his relationship with Scurtis is now.
“I know how difficult it is. Breakups are never easy. Coparenting is never easy,” he continued, praising Scurtis for doing an “incredible job” as a mom. “But I got to tell you, of anything that I’ve accomplished, my partnership with Cynthia and raising our two beautiful girls is the thing that I’m by far the most proud of.”
While Rodriguez joked that he’s “never been more depressed” since Natasha moved to the University of Michigan campus, he reassured Us that she’s had a “fantastic” time at school so far.
He and girlfriend Jaclyn “Jac” Cordeiro dropped Natasha off at school late last month. Rodriguez is happy to “spend at lot of time” with his youngest daughter, but it’s definitely bittersweet for Ella to be separated from her sister.
“She has mixed emotions,” Rodriguez shared. “I think there’s part of her, of course, that misses her older sister. But I think there’s parts of her that I’ve seen her mature beautifully. She’s really excited about college, even though it’s three years away. And I think she’s enjoying kind of being the alpha woman in the house with my girlfriend, Jac, and her mom, Cynthia.”
The former New York Yankee said watching Natasha go to college has made Ella “prioritize and step up” certain aspects of her life, noting that she has matured “so much” between her freshman and sophomore years of high school.
He added: “She saw how important the move was for Natasha, and I think she’s ready for her chance.”
Apart from parenting, Rodriguez is putting his dental health at the forefront of his life by teaming up with OraPharma to help “fight gum disease and bring awareness to a very chronic misunderstood underdiagnosed disease.”
Rodriguez’s partnership with the brand came about after one of his own dentist visits.
“I go see him a couple of times a year, and he told me about this, and of course, I got very scared, very nervous. But the more you study about it, if you get ahold of it early and you talk to your local dentist, you can prevent a lot of major issues,” he explained. “Some studies have said that this disease increases risk for diabetes and heart disease. … Oral health is connected to all total body health, and it is important.”
Rodriguez said people should be aware of “bleeding gums” and “swollen gums when you brush your teeth.” However, he had neither symptom.
“Thank goodness that I did go see my dentist and [he] made me aware of this. … Once he talked me through it, I knew that it was something that you can manage and improve,” Rodriguez added. “For me, it’s going to see my dentist regularly, brushing my teeth [and] dental flossing. But I will say this, the earlier you know, the better. So, I’m very grateful that I found out when I found out.”
With reporting by Christina Garibaldi