Alex Rodriguez for Lysol

A-Rod Helps To Shine Spotlight On Baseball's Crucial '26th Man'

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By Melanie VanDerveer on April 2, 2024 at 9:05 AM EDT
Updated on April 2, 2024 at 9:58 AM EDT

As baseball season heats up, Lysol wants to recognize the equipment managers – the people behind the scenes who keep players outfitted and ready for every game. To kick off this campaign, Lysol has teamed up with baseball legend Alex Rodriguez to celebrate the unsung heroes of MLB.

The brand recently released a fun video called “The Lost Bet” where Rodriguez finds himself back in the locker room, but this time, not as a player but rather as the equipment manager.  

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Alex Rodriguez Partnered With Lysol To Celebrate Some Unsung Heroes

Alex Rodriguez
Michael Simon

Rodriguez knows firsthand how important it is to get those stinky uniforms fresh and clean for the players. He was excited to join forces with Lysol to get the word out about the job of an equipment manager and how important it is to use the right product to clean uniforms.

“I think the idea of how they approached me was very cool and I got very excited about it. They came to me with the idea that Lysol wanted to celebrate equipment managers all over sports. These are some of the most unsung people in organizations,” he told The Blast exclusively.

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“They do a lot of the heavy lifting and you don’t get a lot of glory for that. In the process, what I learned was that Lysol Laundry Sanitizer kills 99.9% of odor-causing bacteria in laundry, which is fascinating to me because you know, we get pretty stinky in pinstripes. So it’s been a wonderful partnership and I’m excited to be celebrating these equipment managers who don’t often get the love they deserve.” 

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A-Rod Switches Places In 'The Lost Bet'

Rodriguez said that highlighting the “26th man in the clubhouse” is an awesome thing and he’s here for it.

“They usually don’t get mentioned unless someone’s not happy with something they’re doing. So the fact that we’re talking about, I call them the 26th man in the clubhouse, meaning they’re such an integral part of the team,” he said. 

“Their office is actually closer to the locker room than the manager, so they’re really almost part of the team. So having someone that is high energy and does great work actually helps wins and losses.” 

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A-Rod's Recently Had To Adjust To His Daughter Leaving Home For College

One thing no one really prepares you for as a parent is just how tough it is when your kids go off to college. Rodriguez now knows this firsthand after his daughter went to college. Six months later, they are both feeling better about the experience.

“It’s never easy. I know, being a dad and I’m very close with my girls, it’s really tough. But six months in, I’m feeling much better because my daughter is feeling more centered,” he said. “She knows her friends, where her local gym is, her local Starbucks, where all her classes are, so I think she’s doing much better so we feel better.”  

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The MLB legend shared a video on his Instagram page that pulls at the heartstrings of any parent who’s ever watched their child go off to college. He simply captioned the reel, “Hardest thing I’ve ever had to do…” and many shared in the comments that they fully understand that feeling.

One fan wrote, “Hardest part of parenting by far saying goodbye.” Another added, “True story!!! it's very emotional, but what an amazing experience to watch them spread their wings, fly, and grow into being their adult self. I've been through it twice!"

'The Deal' Podcast Talks About Everything From Sports To Music And More!

Alex Rodriguez

Rodriguez can now add podcast host to his resume. "The Deal," with cohost Jason Kelly, started in late February. 

“When sports, business, and culture collide, there’s often a deal to be made. Join Alex Rodriguez and Bloomberg correspondent Jason Kelly as they get the inside track from corporate titans, sports champions and game-changing entrepreneurs on investing, strategy, reinvention and the ones that got away," the description of the podcast on Apple’s website reads.

“We thought that the space of sports, media, and culture was one that was very intriguing," he said. "If you’re someone that likes any of these subjects - sports, music, entertainment, culture, I think you get incredible storytelling, some great lessons that you can take and apply to your job and your world."

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Predictions For This MLB Season

Alex Rodriguez
Michael Simon

As baseball season begins, Rodriguez shares the teams he plans to watch closely this year.

“I think there’s a lot of good teams. I think this is the golden age. We have so many young players. I think last year, baseball had a phenomenal year. The industry grew 12%,” he said.

“I think you have to watch the two teams in Texas, both the Rangers and the Astros, the Braves and the Dodgers, I think those are my top four teams to watch. It will be interesting how the Yankees and the Red Sox bounce back after a disappointing year last year. So those are kind of my six storylines I’m looking at.”

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