"Holy Toledo!"

October 30, 2007

A Misguided A-Bomb From A-Rod

Filed under: Baseball — Bill @ 2:02 pm

Sunday night’s ill-timed announcement by Alex Rodriguez, through his agent Scott Boras thoroughly demonstrated what is in store for the team that chooses to sign him.  Standard protocol for teams (or players) wanting to announce managerial moves, trades, free agency, etc. is to wait until after the World Series so that the contestants can enjoy their “day in the sun” as a result of making it all the way to the game’s Fall Classic.  It is an unwritten rule done out of respect.

A-Rod, who has yet to participate in a World Series interestingly enough, chose to make his big announcement during game #4 of the World Series.  You could argue that it was the agent who did this, not Alex, but that argument really doesn’t fly.  Last I heard the agent works for the ballplayer, not the other way around.  The news itself was not that surprising, A-Rod has chosen to void his contract with the Yankees and become a free agent.

Alex & agent Boras took the news to the media before officially informing the Yankees, and chose to capitalize on the fact that entire baseball world was gathered together watching game #4 in Colorado.  Instant splash, national TV coverage, a media bonanza, effective but so typically selfish & rude.  For the record Boras claims he sent the Yankees a text message via cell phone (I wonder if it included a smiley face?).

The clause in Rodriguez’s contract allowed him 10 days after the completion of the World Series to void the deal thus making him a free agent.  The classy move would have been to wait until Monday or Tuesday to announce his future plans, but class and Boras don’t belong in the same sentence.  Don’t forget for one minute that A-Rod had to approve Boras’s tactless actions which makes him just as responsible.

A-Rod has been overly concerned about his tarnished image, and has demonstrated far too much emotion about the manner in which he was treated by the NY fans.  Ironic isn’t it that such a thin skinned image conscience guy would give his detractors so much ammunition?

As if stealing the limelight away from the Red Sox glorious achievement wasn’t bad enough, he went on to claim his reasons for voiding the contract was in part due to “concerns about his closer & his catcher.”  A very telling statement about one player who apparently thinks he owns the team.

We all know this is about A-Rod wanting out of his personal hell that is New York, escaping not only the wrath of the fans & the media, but also escaping the pressure which he seems to have so much difficulty handling.  Get ready West Coast, there is an A-Rod headed your way.

Alex is walking away from the last three years of a deal that would have paid him a guaranteed $72 million ($24 million per season).  Obviously Boras thinks he can get more than that from some other team, but by choosing to void the contract they eliminated the team with the most money to spend from the process.

What do you get if your team ponies up the desired $300 million for A-Rod?

There is little doubt that whoever signs him will get a physically gifted ballplayer, but with his big production comes a big price.  Ask any SF Giants fan what Barry Bonds’ contract cost their team.  Not only do you have a severely impacted budget in which to fill out a winning roster, you also gain a thin skinned whiner who has serious confidence issues in big games.

If you don’t care about winning you can get a player certain to fill the seats with fannies as he chases down Bonds’ all-time HR record.  A nice feature if you are into that sort of thing, or you happen to own the team (are you listening Peter Magowan?).  Perhaps San Francisco is a perfect fit for an A-Rod by the Bay.

I do respect the abilities of Alex Rodriguez, but he sure seems to be much more concerned about his image, the way he is treated, and his fat checkbook than he is about winning a championship.  When is the last time you heard somebody say they were leaving the Yankees so they could have a shot at winning a ring?

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