Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Quit Your Alex Rodriguez Pity Party


Ever since it was announced that Alex Rodriguez would be released this Friday, and become a special adviser rather than player, I've seen more and more people throwing pity parties for the guy.

The only pity I feel for ARod is that he may not get more chances to hit home run #700. As silly as round numbers are (you mean to tell me hitting 699 home runs is that much worse than 700?), it is a major milestone. So yes... it stinks that Alex may not get that chance.

I also agree that he did a ton for the Yankees, including leading the team to the World Series championship in 2009. Furthermore, Rodriguez has done so much in terms of helping develop youngster. I'll never forget those things, and will praise him for such until my last breathe.

But that doesn't overshadow all the negative things that Alex has brought to the table.

Since 2009 Alex has made $238 million from the Yankees (this includes money owed through next season). According to Fangraphs Dollar Value, he's been worth $109.5 million in that time. That's not a small difference. In fact, very few players will ever make $128.5 million in their careers, but that's just the difference between what Alex has been paid and what he's given back in terms of play. I'm sure ARod has made the Yankees more money than through his play, such as merchandise sales and other appearances, but no way has he made up that $128.5 million.

There were many instances of bad press, such as the silly pictures from his Sports Illustrated article some years back. And I shouldn't even have to bring up his PED history.

Even on the field there were things like slapping the ball out of Bronson Arroyo's glove during the playoffs, or yelling "ha" at a Blue Jays' player trying to field a pop fly while Alex was rounding the bases. Yeah, some people like that stuff as they see it as trying harder to win, but I see it as bush league crap. Look at it this way... do other players not want to win as bad simply because they don't try and pull that stuff?

I understand that Alex, like so many other athletes, does not want to stop playing. I was upset when I could no longer play baseball after high school, which is absolutely nothing compared to when a professional athlete like ARod has to give it up. So I can only try and imagine how he feels right now.

"Oh, yeah."

But the fact of the matter is that the way things have gone down, Alex is not actually done with playing. Sure, chances are low that we'll ever see him in a MLB batter's box again, but you never know if another team is desperate enough to bring him aboard. Perhaps not even for his play, but for his name and persona to help increase things like ticket sales and merchandise revenue.

And let's go back to the fact that ARod is going to get all the money due to him.

I was excited by the news at first, because it sounded like all that money would be wiped from the team's payroll. But alas... it's not. The Yankees will still have Alex's $27.5 million taxed by the league (remember, Luxury Tax is based off of the contracts average annual value, not the actual amount paid to a player in a given year).

Not that I would have expected the team to sign a player for that much money, anyway. But with another $27.5 million off the payroll, and the Luxury Tax threshold likely going up, there was a good chance the Yankees would get under the new threshold a year earlier than planned.

In essence, the only downside for Alex is that he won't be playing in Major League Baseball. He's still getting all his money, and he's still able to play should another team be interested.

On the other hand, the only thing the Yankees are getting out off all this is another spot on their roster.

Don't get me wrong, I love that another youngster will get a chance. But don't act all "woe is me" for ARod, while looking at Hal and the Yankees organization as anything close to "bad guys" here.

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