Monday, February 9, 2009

And Right Back to A-Rod

My brother has done a great job covering the A-Rod news this weekend, as I was largely collecting myself after hearing the story. There are several things that as a Yankee fan I need to consider. Joel Sherman has already pointed out that the Yankees were free from A-Rod prior to last season, but then decided to sign him to a monster contract with incentives based on homeruns hit, even after they said they would not negotiate with him. But we really cannot fault the Yankees for this. His 2007 season was amazing by any standard, and he seemed to even thrive under pressure, which had been his biggest weakness. There was no better player to play third base for the New York Yankees at the time. With this new revelation however, this decision comes into question. It shouldn't. The question the Yankees and A-Rod need to answer is what they will do next. Many writers have given their opinion, and they largely say the same thing: he should come clean. But to me, it's a moot point. Coming clean after being caught is not as honorable as we make it out to be. It is however the wise choice. The Yankees gave A-Rod a large contract, and now have to feel cheated. The homerun clauses look very bad right now as well. The idea was that if A-Rod would go on a homerun chase, the media coverage and fan support for the last all-natural hope in baseball would be amazing and the Yankees would profit. Of course, if the Yankees profit, then the player should profit, and thus the $30 million in incentives for breaking the homerun record were added. How's that fan support and media coverage going to look now?

I agree with Reggie Jackson, and oddly enough, Curt Schilling when they say that the other 103 names should be made public as well. At this point, I'd rather know who used, then to always have that lingering question about every player in that era. Let's not forget that 1,198 players were tested that year, and 104 of them tested positive. That means there were 1094 players tested who were clean, and its not fair for all of them to be under suspicion, baseless as it may be, for steroid use. In fact, release all 1,198 test results. Let the fans see what was done.

Now some people are upset with Sports Illustrated for breaking this story, and some are upset with them for not revealing the other 103 names. This is unfounded. SI found out about A-Rod from several sources, and I'm willing to bet those sources did not reveal all 103 names to them. Basically, Sports Illustrated isn't sitting on all 104 names. They only had one, and they had this one because it was likely the most recognizable name on the list. Why would the source bother to name the dozens upon dozens of small time players that no one remembers who are likely on that list? If you had the list of 104 players and you saw a name as big as Alex Rodriguez, would you even bother to wade through the Tommy McThompson's and Fred Ferguson's that likely comprise 75% of that list?
This is going to be tough on us Yankee fans, because let's face it, we're stuck with him. We have 9 more years on this contract, and no other team will want to pay this kind of money after these revelations. Even if the Yankees pick up half his contract, they will still have trouble moving him. He's tainted and now the Yankees, and we the fans, have to find out how to cope with A-Rod for the next 9 years. Unless Cashman had the foresight to include a steroid clause in the contract that allows the Yankees to drop him, I don't see how we can get rid of him. But have no doubt about it, I want to get rid of him. All these years, we put up with the headache that was A-Rod because of the natural talent he was. Now that that's gone, were just left with the headache.


Unknown said...

brilliant final paragraph.

In a perfect world, being able to unload his contract, you'd be able to get 2 bullpen arms, a third baseman, an outfielder, and a backup catcher. And have about $10m left per year.

Fernando Alejandro said...

That would be nice. If a team is willing to take his entire contract, I'd settle for a couple minor league players.

What sucks about this is that the only teams that could afford him, won't now. I would love to do an A-Rod for Figgans trade with the Angels, but no they're not going to touch Alex now.

Anonymous said...

Did you really think he was all-natural? I was never sure.

As for all the names being released, all 104 had an expectation of privacy and anoymity, so I think as much as it can the other names should not be released. However, players who know they were clean could sign waivers to have their results made public.

Alex is just our cross to carry (and carry and carry and carry). He does owe many an apology. Maybe, he can take a year off and work with refugees or something.

Unknown said...

F.A., that would be hilarious.. the generation's greatest superstar being traded for some guy named Chone.