It was the last game of the 2016 season and A-Rob was playing in the final exhibition game for his hometown Tampa Bay Rays.
He hit a walk-off homer off of Jose Abreu in the bottom of the 12th inning of Game 4 of the World Series to send the Rays to the World Baseball Classic in Florida.
The game was a big moment for A-ROB, who had never won a major league game in the majors.
But the season ended in a humiliating fashion.
He missed all of the playoffs, but ended up winning the batting title for the second time in three years, as he led the league in home runs (34) and slugging percentage (.821).
After the game, A-Rock sat down with Bleacher Sports to talk about the season and what’s next.
What was the most challenging part of the season for you?
When I got back, I was like, “Hey, what are you guys gonna do with this team?”
It was tough.
I had to rebuild the team from the ground up, but I think I did a good job of building it, and the organization has a lot of talent, and I’m not sure I did anything to deserve the loss.
What I have to do now is make sure I do the right things to get back to the playoffs and win the World Championship.
I’m looking forward to it.
What do you think is the most difficult part of your season?
Definitely the playoffs.
I think that’s what you always say when you get back, but it was a really tough, long year.
You’re going to have ups and downs in a season.
I wasn’t sure if I was going to get the opportunity to be a part of a World Series team.
I did, and it was really nice to be back with the organization and go to a World Championship and play with some good guys.
You never know what could happen, and that’s why you need to have a lot on your mind.
I was ready to get out there and play.
It was a very tough season, and a lot goes into the playoffs that’s hard to take away from the playoffs you have.
I really hope to get in the playoffs again, and hopefully make the World Team again, but right now I’m just focused on this season and I think everything else will take care of itself.
What’s your most memorable memory of the year?
I think it’s probably the last playoff game I ever played.
It’s been a tough year.
I got the call up from Tampa Bay and was just like, this is the greatest team I’ve ever played for.
I’ve been a Rays fan since the day I was born, and to get a chance to play for them in the World Tournament was just unbelievable.
And to go out there on a team that has such talent, that I can’t get enough of, and then to be in the finals, and not be able to win, that’s something that I’ll never forget.
What are your goals for this season?
My goals for next year are two-fold: I want to be able, and this team can, make the playoffs this year, and make the big club this year.
So we’ve got to do everything that we can to be successful.
What did you learn from the World Cup?
I had a lot to learn from it, but what I learned is the team is going to go through a lot, and they’re going through a bunch of different things.
But they’re all in sync with each other.
It wasn’t like they were just on their own.
It looked like we were playing at home, but we were in a huge city and a huge arena.
I just think that team is strong, and we’re going in the right direction.
How do you feel about being the final player in a World Cup lineup?
I was super happy to be part of that, and really excited to be with the team, and just try to get on the field as soon as I can.
I know it’s not the easiest thing to do, but you have to have confidence in your teammates and want to go up there and do your best.
You have to be ready to do whatever it takes.
What will you do to stay on top of the team?
I want them to know that I’m a big believer in them and they can count on me, so I’m going to do my best to get up there every day and try to help them get better.
What were your biggest goals for the season?
Winning a championship is big, but my biggest goal is to be here as long as they can, and be the best that I possibly can be.
What would you say are the biggest differences between the regular season and the World Championships?
I’m glad you asked that.
I don’t think that there are any big differences.
The World Series