Saturday, February 16, 2013

On This Day in History | 2004

[caption id="attachment_14870" align="aligncenter" width="604"]A-Rod strokes his 600th HR (Photo courtesy of Flickr) A-Rod strokes his 600th HR (Photo courtesy of Flickr)[/caption]

On this day 9 years ago the Yankees finalized a deal that brought Alex Rodriguez to New York for Alfonso Soriano and a player to be named later.  The framework of the deal included Texas agreeing to pay $67 million of the $179 million left on his contract, giving A-Rod roughly $16 million a year, or $14,403 per nine innings.

Has it really been 9 years?

During that span we have seen one of the greatest players of all-time (even if you don't like the guy you have to admit this) win two MVPs, destroy everyone in the 2009 postseason, and hit his 400th, 500th, and 600th career home runs. We have also seen him disappear in more than a few postseasons, admit to taking PEDs, date Madonna, and slap the ball out of Bronson Arroyo's glove. Has there ever been a more schizophrenic career in the history of baseball? (Don't say Milton Bradley because he may have actually been schizophrenic.)

There are two interesting subplots to this story that are often forgotten. The first is that the Yankees were not even in the market for a third baseman until Aaron Boone tore his ACL during a pickup basketball game in late January, an unfortunate injury that not only ended his season but violated his contract with the Yanks. All of sudden there was a hole to fill.

Secondly, Boston blew it. They had A-Rod locked up and I spent most of the '04 Christmas season petrified that A-Rod would end up with Sox and hit pop flies onto Lansdowne Street for the next ten years; but Boston couldn't get out of its own way. They nearly landed Rodriguez in December, but a proposed deal fell through that would have sent Manny Ramirez to Texas. Boston was golden until the Players' Association stymied their attempt to restructure Rodriguez's monster $252 million contract that apparently would have lowered its value by roughly $32 million. Ten months later the Sox didn't look so foolish as they wrapped up their World Series sweep, giving them their first title in 86 years, nevertheless, it's an interesting backdrop to one of the biggest trades in Yankee history.

What are your favorite/least favorite A-Rod moments? Share them in the comments section below.

20 comments:

  1. The only three things that have been factual and proven is, he lied about taking Drugs from 2000 to 2003, ran around on his wife (she was very well compensated for that) and disappeared in the post season!
    Taking drugs (which he didn't need) was the one thing that I can't understand nor will I ever forgive him for!

    Slapping the ball out of Bronson Arroyo‘s glove, what is so bad about that? Is it in the rule book? If it is, why do I and many others have scar's on our wrists from spikes?

    If it had been Madonna and any other player there wouldn't be a story at all, he makes good copy!

    As for A-Rod opting out of his contract, Boris and he had talked about it but Boris did it himself...did A-Rod tell him to do it...no one in the real know, has ever pointed out who did what etc., but, let us say he told him to do it, ok? How many players have lied about, why they went to a certain team? It was the money honey, nothing more or less! But have A-Rod do it and he is a selfish player.

    He was ridiculed by a few players and a manager for saying something unintelligible as he ran by a guy about to catch a fly ball, which he dropped. and another time for cutting across the back of the mound. Why, 1st one 1st...the guy was distracted and dropped the ball, A-Rod scored or was safe (I forgot which).
    2nd one last...cutting across the mound while the pitcher was about 6 feet in front of said mound.

    Each team and a few pun-dents that don't like A-Rod backed up the two players, right? What were they to do, they were all team-mates.

    Finaly...Find the things he was so rudely taken to task for in the rule book...they ain't there folks, and there are no unwritten rules anymore, there are only players that don't like the better players and are jealous of them for the money and the talent...they all wish, they had.

    Now, you fans that hate A-Rod, more power to you but, why do many, many of you give Manny a free pass when he quit on his team and was taking drugs along with it.
    A-Rod has had to put up with coming to the Yankees and right off the bat, was closed off from the team by none other than his own manager and another player and the click they had on the team.
    How many of you would put up with that, for any amount of money, me I would have taken each one and kicked some real humility into them.

    Bottom line, I don't like his cheating and lies but, his talent is (was) unparalleled by anyone in the last 60 years and as long as he is a Yankee, I will back his play. I don't have to like a player to want him to be a great player for my team! And I don't care for him at all!

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  2. The Arroyo play was boneheaded because he was out and Jeter, who had scored, had to go back to 3rd. It killed a potential rally. Since it's such a bizarre play I thought I'd throw it in.

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  3. old yankee, I don't think it's the cheating because players have been trying to get an edge since the beginning of baseball. Spitball, corked bats, pitching in front of the rubber, amphetamines, vitamin B12 shots and so on. There are many players that did those things to get an edge. I had a coach in the minors that told me he used to pitch in front of the rubber in the old days by putting dirt on the rubber to hide it, and he used to scuff the ball.

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  4. I didn't say it was a smart play at all. what I was addressing was the fact that fans jumped on him for it being an unwritten rule not to do that! If it ain't in the rule books, it ain't a rule! The umps ruled as they did but, as far as I know, there was nothing in the rule books about it. Unless it is one of those "In the umps discretion" rules.
    What was bizarre about the play? You have never seen it before? When a runner, runs over a 1st baseman not on the bag but, in the line of play...that's the same thing, Except the later play hurts more.

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  5. Heck, if one had been a fly on the wall of the locker rooms in any age of baseball, there would be a plethora of stores to be told about "THE EDGE" some players took.
    Just one reminder about the old days, more than half the players back in the day were, let's say, short on school'en! They saw others doing something and did it themselves, no one told them it was not right. In most of the players minds none of it was cheating it was, as you said; getting an edge because "everyone was doing it"! Not an excuse, just the way it was up to the 2000's. And to this day!
    There is a pitcher today that pitches in front of the rubber, I can't think of his name! All of those things are cheating but yet fans laugh about them.

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  6. Never seen it before. And it's so obvious it doesn't need to be in the rule book.

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  7. Dan..
    Obvious is not a rule, if it isn't in the rule book, it isn't a rule! It was stupid of him but, not against the rules and if the umps sent Jeter back to 3rd, they didn't go by the book of the baseball gods.

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  8. Attention:

    The Book of the Baseball Gods is now available at Barnes @ Noble... Store Number 02>13

    $19.99

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  9. It was totally blown out of proportion by the Red Sox but it's definitely illegal and in the Rule Book for Interference:

    According to Section 6.1 of the MLB Umpire Manual, "While contact may occur between a fielder and runner during a tag attempt, a runner is not allowed to use his hands or arms to commit an obviously malicious or unsportsmanlike act."

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  10. jimmy and fishjam, I like Monte with his slider, but he hasn't pitched at a high enough level to project him with Robertson or Kimbrel yet. This is tipical Yankee overhype. I saw him have a little trouble in the Arizona Fall league, I think it was the All Star game, not so sure he is going to be that dominate at this point. There is a big difference between A ball and the majors, or AAA for that matter, more than half of all good prospects don't do well in the majors.

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  11. It was on Nov.10th the game was on TV, Adams and Heathcott looked exellent. Monte looked tired, it could have been the extra pitching in the Fall league. Jimmy, I hope you are right with him, he could be in the majors by mid season.

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  12. That was the last game of a long season that he had dominated across 3 levels so he gets a pass. Once you prove yourself at AA and the Arizona League, there isn't much to prove left in the Minors. In many ways AA and the AFL are more challenging than AAA. AAA is filled with a lot of old veterans trying to hang-on, fringe players for MLB depth and a lot of 4A players that aren't quite good enough for the Majors.

    I'm not saying Montgomery is going to be a star in the Majors, just that he has little more to prove in the Minors and will be counted on next yr when the yanks will lose a lot of arms to FA.

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  13. Good look up Fish....I didnt know you bought oneof the early editions of the Book of the Baseball Gods or did Ken lend it to you?

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  14. Amazingly, a significant occurence was happening last season that most of the media missed. The American League Batting avg dropped to a 40 year low. (255)

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  15. fishjam, I agree Montgomery is ready for the big leagues and could be slotted into the 6th or 7th inning slot, I just think the jump to the majors is the hardest jump. Monte really hasn't pitched in AA that much either. I just wouldn't start comparing him to Robertson and Kimbrel.

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  16. Yup, batting numbers have been going down steadily since 2009 after drug testing began. In my mind it makes a perennial .300 hitter like Cano even more valuable

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  17. fishjam..
    Thank you for checking that for me, even though I hate being wrong!
    I still go by the word of the rules, when playing any sport, non sports are "Win is not an option it is a necessity"! unwritten rules are unwritten because they are not rules, they are made-up to cover a player making an a_s of himself...you know the trick, blam someone other than one self for a dumb play!

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  18. Everything in baseball as with the weather, runs in cycles!
    Look at the history of baseball, for a few years, the hitters were on top of the world, then the pitchers had the high ground!
    Unlike the weather, baseball has a reason for its cycles: Balls wrapped tighter=HRs, Mound high, more SO and lower BA, Umps having their own strike zone=mixed bag.
    Lower batting avg., I don't know if it can be blamed on the drug crackdown or not, there were many pitchers that were using also! Maybe and maybe not! I would lean-to the to the less drug s scenario, I guess!

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  19. This is very true Ken. In addition to drug testing, there has been more emphasis placed on defense recently. Teams are looking for more well-rounded players and see the value of a tremendous defensive player like Brett Gardner. LF used to be all about guys who could hit but has become a position where defense is valued. Better information has also led to better defensive positioning/shifts.
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  20. fishjam...
    Tex is a good example of the shift working well! From a .300 hitter to a .250 hitter! Just think, the Yanks had Yogi and Howard (catchers) play LF while the other was in the game as a catcher...both were defensive handy caps, for speed!

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