It will be hard for A-Rod to match his 2007 season, when he hit .314 with 54 homers and 156 RBIs.
Just days after agreeing to a gargantuan contract after his gargantuan season that should result in his being named MVP Monday, Alex Rodriguez said Saturday he has "some unfinished business in New York."
Presumably, he's not talking about simply signing the 10-year, $275 million contract he and the Yankees negotiated late in the week.
Rodriguez, in his first public comments since he and the Yankees reunited, told MLB.com - the Web site for Major League Baseball - that he and his wife, Cynthia, finally feel like New Yorkers and New York "is a place we want to be a long time.
"I love New York," Rodriguez said. "My family has felt very comfortable in New York. The last four years have been sometimes rocky, sometimes amazing, but after knocking our heads into the wall for three years, we felt we figured it out.
"I have some unfinished business in New York."
The 32-year-old Rodriguez, who hit .314 with 54 home runs and 156 RBI this year, spoke at a youth baseball clinic he conducted at the Southwest Miami Boys and Girls Club, where he grew up playing baseball.
Rodriguez had been mum since a statement last week acknowledging that he had reached out to the Steinbrenner brothers to rekindle talks to keep him in pinstripes. The Yankees had been saying for months that they would not negotiate with Rodriguez if he opted out of his previous contract and Rodriguez's agent, Scott Boras, triggered the clause during Game4 of the World Series, seemingly ending the marriage between A-Rod and the Yanks.
Insiders say Rodriguez was stunned by the backlash in the baseball industry against both him and Boras. He ultimately followed advice from billionaire investor Warren Buffett to contact the Yankees himself. Rodriguez, through intermediaries from Goldman Sachs, which owns part of the YES Network, got word to the Yankees that he wanted to stay and went to Tampa last Wednesday with Cynthia to meet the Steinbrenner brothers and other Yankee officials.
The sides are still discussing contract language, specifically about how A-Rod and the Yankees will deal with money generated by Rodriguez's likely pursuit of Barry Bonds' all-time home run record. Rodriguez has 518 homers; Bonds has 762.
Rodriguez said he felt it was important to speak to Hank and Hal Steinbrenner face to face because "it's the best way you can do things.
"I felt sometimes the messages can be mixed up and you may be getting information that is not 100% accurate," Rodriguez said. "I took it upon myself."
Rodriguez didn't shed much further light on his tumultuous offseason, but, he promised, the full story will be told "when the time is right and I have a proper forum....It's important for my fans, for the New York Yankee fans, to realize exactly what happened from A to Z."
Asked how much image concerned him, Rodriguez replied, "You're talking to the wrong guy. I probably don't have the greatest image in the world and that's OK."
If he completes his "unfinished business," he'll never have to worry about image - at least in New York - again.