When everything has settled down and we look back, we will know that 2009 is the year that Alexander Emmanuel Rodriguez finally earned his stripes — pinstripes, that is.

A-Rod had such a tumultuous start to 2009 with the steroid confession, hip surgery, and his divorce finally becoming official.

While Hideki Matsui may have been the MVP of the World Series, A-Rod was the MVP of the entire playoffs. He hit .365/.500/.808 over 68 plate appearances with six home runs and 18 RBIs.

Benjamin Kabak at River Ave. Blues illustrates what changed about A-Rod this year and why he is finally raising the World Series Trophy over his head for the first time ever.

While A-Rod will never be one of my favorites and I won’t consider him the greatest Yankee ever, I definitely respect all he has accomplished.