The former New York Yankee, who retired from the game in 2016, played himself in a sketch about a fake TV sports show panel discussion about which professional sport is the hardest to play and the hardest on its players.
Rodriguez represented Major League Baseball while Barkley, also playing himself, represented the NBA. Finally, Kenan Thompson rounded out the panel, playing a fake former football star named D.C. Timmons.
As the three debated which sport was the most physically taxing, it became more and more apparent that Thompson’s footballer wasn’t all there in the head – namely due to the number of concussions he suffered over the course of only nine games.
From calling everyone else on the panel by the name Greg, to randomly blanking out and trying to order food from an imaginary drive-thru window, the sketch managed to tackle the very real problem of how damaging the NFL can be on those who play in the league while remaining an absurd and surreal comic tone.
For his part, Rodriguez’s surprise SNL debut didn’t give the baseball icon anything to really sink his teeth into, comically speaking. But the ever-smiling slugger was clearly having a good time trying not to break out laughing.