NEW YORK (AP) — Alex Rodriguez’s tempestuous relationship with New York Yankees fans comes to an end Friday when he plays his last game in pinstripes and he is making his exit without much of the adulation lavished on some hometown stars.

Despite 351 home runs for the Bombers, and just four short of 700 for a career, his big-money contracts and off-field antics made him a less-than-beloved character for some, even before his suspension for drug use.

“I can’t say I feel bad for him,” said John Wilmore of Huntington Station, New York. “He’s made millions and millions of dollars, He’s going to be very rich for the rest of his life, but there’s something compelling there. You know, why did you mess up so much? Why did you do the things you did? You probably didn’t need to do it to be great.”

A 14-time All-Star, A-Rod trails only Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755) and Babe Ruth (714) on the career home run list, and his tenure with the Yankees was as substantial and productive as some of the team’s most beloved players. He led the team to a World Series championship. He batted in more runs as a Yankee than Jorge Posada, Paul O’Neill, Tino Martinez or Roger Maris, all of whom have plaques in Yankee Stadium’s Monument Park.

But this superstar will equally be remembered by New Yorkers for his denials-admissions-denials and a season-long suspension for using performance-enhancing drugs, as well as frequent appearances in the tabloids involving late-night poker games, his divorce, and reputed interludes with Madonna, movie stars and a stripper.

“He did this to himself,” said New York City firefighter Jonathan Bush. “100 percent. He could have probably avoided this if he played the right way, or even semi-the right way; everybody knows athletes do certain things. It is what it is.”

Steve Rosenstock of Springfield, New Jersey, said Yankees fans always viewed A-Rod as the opposite of beloved shortstop Derek Jeter, who was treated to a season-long victory tour when he retired after the 2014 season.

“Most people see right through him. He’s fake, disingenuous,” Rosenstock said. “When A-Rod’s talking, you can’t trust anything he says. He’s a ‘me’ guy, but he pretends to be otherwise.”

David Chauvin, vice president and partner in the Zimmerman/Edelson public relations agency in Great Neck, New York, said it appears Rodriguez made genuine attempts since he returned from his suspension last year to make amends with fans, but said he never completely connected with them.

“People as a whole want to forgive, they’re willing to forgive, but they have to have an appreciation there’s true contrition,” he said. “I don’t think people ultimately have gotten that from A-Rod.”

He said A-Rod’s highly publicized big money contracts never sat well with fans, even in an era where many stars sign multi-million-dollar deals.

“New Yorkers have always had a blue-collar sensibility about their stars,” he said. “Thurman Munson, Don Mattingly, even back to Lou Gehrig, they all had an affinity from the working class, blue collar New Yorkers. A-Rod comes in and starts hanging around with Madonna. He was never able to make that connection.”

Rodriguez is still admired in Manhattan’s Washington Heights neighborhood, where he was born.

The walls of the El Nuevo Carnidad Restaurant are decorated with photos of Rodriguez from the two times he visited to provide food for kids in the neighborhood.

The restaurant’s manager, Johnny Crus, said Rodriguez should have been permitted to finish out the season, rather than being released by the Yankees this week.

“It was disrespectful,” he said. “The PEDs don’t change his impact. He is a grand athlete independent of the mistakes he made. People expected more of him because of how much he got paid.”

Owner Miguel Montas said a player like Rodriguez “comes around every 100 years.”

“He is one of the best players and that creates controversy because he is so focused on the game that he falls short in the social relations. In the game of baseball he has never been a loser, he was always a winner.”

Wilson Tavaras of the Dominican Republic was wearing a No. 13 jersey while waiting in line at a Yankee Stadium concession stand Sunday after it was announced that Friday would be Rodriguez’s last game.

“What can I say about him?” he said. “He’s done a lot for us. But it’s time for him to go.”