The 42-year-old former baseball pro opens up about rehabilitating his image and his foray into broadcasting in a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter
, and also talks about dating J Lo. Rodriguez says he and his superstar girlfriend have plenty in common, which is why the two are so suited for one another.
"We both appreciate where we are in our lives," he notes. "We appreciate being parents, and we're so similar; we're both kind of workaholics."
Lopez FaceTimes Rodriguez during the interview, and the athlete also says they binge-watch TV together. The two appear to be a normal couple, though, of course, Lopez's star power can't be ignored. Rodriguez recalls their first official outing together
-- the Met Gala -- in May.
"There was a great deal of paparazzi," he recalls. "They were telling me to get the hell out of the way so they could get a good shot of Jennifer."
Rodriguez reflects on his scandal-plagued baseball career in the interview, and gets candid about dealing with his not exactly likable image at the time. The father of two takes full responsibility.
"It starts with being accountable," he shares. "When people can see that you're genuine, that's when they pay attention. You have to own your sh**."
He calls 2014 -- when he was hit with the longest suspension in baseball history for using performance-enhancing drugs -- the year he hit rock bottom.
"There were nights in Miami when I was close to tapping out," he admits.
Rodriguez says he was able to bounce back when baseball was taken away from him by seeing a psychoanalyst, keeping a journal and spending time with his daughters, 12-year-old Natasha and 9-year-old Ella. He also released a handwritten apology letter to fans.
"It's probably too soon for me to say this, but maybe in 10 years I'll be able to say that the ''14 sabbatical' was one of the best things that happened in my life," he now reflects. "I'll say this: That year off I just had to f**king change and stop being a jerk."
These days, it appears things couldn't be going any better for Rodriguez. He and Lopez recently celebrated their birthdays together with an epic bash
, and their families are also getting along well. On Sunday, Lopez shared a heartwarming picture
of Rodriguez cuddling with his daughters as well as her own kids -- 9-year-old twins Max and Emme -- whom she shares with her ex-husband, Marc Anthony.