By Michael Manduley, CNN
Baseball great Alex Rodriguez is opening up about mistakes in his personal and professional life, and how they are shaping his growing business empire.
In an interview on CNN and HBO Max’s “Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace?”, Rodriguez said the performance-enhancing drug scandal that marred his legacy was “the most embarrassing moment of my career.”
“The hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in my life was face my daughters Natasha and Ella and tell them this is the mistake that Daddy made,” he told host Chris Wallace
Rodriguez said that because of the stringent culture of professional baseball, he was denied a happy ending to his otherwise legendary baseball career.
“I understood my mistake, and I’ve taken full responsibility for it,” he added.
Changes to professional baseball
The 14-time Major League Baseball all-star said he was “bullish” about the future of baseball despite warning signs that viewers are less motivated to watch games.
Rodriguez, who just last week was passed by Albert Pujols on the MLB’s home run list, says if he were MLB commissioner he would “open the floodgates,” and give fans more access to America’s pastime.
“We have to be proactive, meaning I would put cameras on guys,” he told Wallace. “The players that are driving to the park, I want to see them at home.”
Rodriguez wanted coverage to expand so that fans have insight into the clubhouses, batting cages and bullpens.
The World Series winner also advocated for Major League Baseball to plant its flag on America’s Independence Day, much like the National Football League does with Thanksgiving.
“If you look at July 4, it’s a wide-open day. There’s no football, there’s no basketball, there’s no soccer,” he said, noting that the MLB should make the Fourth of July “all about baseball.”
“Every game, we’re going to wire (put a microphone on) these guys and we’re going to have interviews, and everybody is at home watching baseball at a barbecue with their families.”
A-Rod’s transition into business
Another change that Rodriguez wanted to make to baseball included increasing financial literacy education for players — like teaching them about capital markets, investments and the importance of balancing a checkbook.
“I read something where it was over 50% of athletes were going bankrupt after their playing days,” Rodriguez said. “That’s a tragedy.”
In his post-playing career, Rodriguez has turned his own focus to business. He told Wallace his investment firm, A-Rod Corp, is a “mini-Berkshire Hathaway” — referring to the multinational conglomerate owned by billionaire Warren Buffett, who Rodriguez considers a mentor.
A-Rod Corp is an investment firm that houses his vast real estate holdings, as well as private equity and venture capital investments.
“If you were to put value in our enterprise, it’s probably somewhere between 1 billion and 2 billion,” Rodriguez told Chris Wallace.
His relationship with Jennifer Lopez
The former shortstop also discussed his break-up with pop icon Jennifer Lopez. Lopez married actor Ben Affleck in July 2022 after she and Rodriguez ended their multi-year relationship the year prior.
“With Jennifer, look, it was a good experience. And I wish her and the children — who are smart, and beautiful and wonderful — I wish them the very best,” Rodriguez said.
Telling CNN’s Chris Wallace that, despite his multiple high-profile relationships, he now feels that his previous relationships and the impact of his 2014 suspension from the MLB have made him “husband material” in the future.
“I think I’m going to make a wonderful partner or husband and father post-suspension because of the lessons learned of my biggest mistakes.”
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CNN’s Lori Crim contributed to this story