MLB

Why Was Multi-Millionaire Alex Rodriguez Flipping Hamburgers?

The Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers set a World Series record in 2018 by taking 7 hours, 20 minutes to play Game 3. But Alex Rodriguez can brag about putting in a more grueling day of work after the Red Sox wrapped up the title two nights later.

The Red Sox beat the Dodgers in five games

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The 2018 Boston Red Sox cruised to their third straight American League East championship by winning a franchise-record 108 games, their first time reaching triple-digits since 1946. They then eliminated the New York Yankees in four games and the Houston Astros in five to advance to the World Series for the fourth time in 15 years.

The Los Angeles Dodgers had a more difficult road to their sixth straight trip to the postseason. Los Angeles got off to a 16-26 start before going 75-45 the rest of the way and then winning a one-game playoff over the Colorado Rockies for the National League West championship. The Dodgers beat the Atlanta Braves in four games in the divisional series and squeaked past the Milwaukee Brewers in seven games in the NL Championship Series.

The Red Sox prevailed in the World Series in five games over the Dodgers, with Steve Pearce hitting two of his three home runs in Game 5. The most noteworthy of the contests was Game 3 in Los Angeles in which the Dodgers won, 2-1, on a Max Muncy walk-off homer in the 18th inning. The game was the longest in World Series history in terms of innings and elapsed time.

A silly bet between celebrities

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Big sporting events are frequently accompanied by friendly wagers between mayors of the cities involved or the respective governors. The 2018 World Series saw a couple of celebrities get involved.

Singer and actor Mark Wahlberg was born in Boston, which understandably contributes to his passion for the Red Sox. When the team reached the World Series, Wahlberg made a bet with retired major-league star Alex Rodriguez.

A-Rod played the last 12 of his 21 seasons for the New York Yankees, Boston’s bitter rival for as long as anyone can remember.

The bet was relatively simple, although Wahlberg had a lot more on the line than A-Rod did. If Wahlberg lost, he would have to perform “Good Vibrations” at Yankees Stadium in nothing but his underwear. Meanwhile, a Red Sox triumph over the Dodgers would require A-Rod to work a shift at Wahlburgers, a family-run fast-food chain that was the subject of a reality television show that aired from 2014-19.

Alex Rodriguez pays up for losing the bet

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Alex Rodriguez racked up $475 million in salary and endorsements during his major-league career and has a net worth estimated at $350 million by CelebrityNetWorth.com. As such, he’s not someone you would expect to see working in a hamburger joint. But that’s precisely what he did one day in November 2018 to pay off his bet.

Paul Wahlberg was running the family restaurant near Fenway Park in Boston the day that A-Rod reported for duty. Mark Walhberg paid a visit to Ellen DeGeneres’ talk show to report on how Rodriguez did.

“He had to come to Wahlburgers and basically do whatever my brother Paul told him,” he said. “So, Paul basically started him cleaning bathroom floors. He was cooking on the grill, flipping burgers, making drinks.”

Wahlberg gave A-Rod high marks for his enthusiasm and how he dealt with customers.

 “He was doing it at our Fenway Park location and he really won over a lot of Red Sox fans, which is not an easy thing to do,” he said.