I was just thinking to say that if A-Rod didn't opt out and took a deal from the Yankees that wasn't a blockbuster instead of opting out and going for the bug bucks, I would make a New Year's Resolution to wipe the slate clean, see that as a big step forward for him, and cut the guy some slack. You know, I'd try to see his awkward statements as fun a la Gary Sheffield instead of just annoying. Well, no need to bother.
A-Rod went for the big bucks and he'll get them. If he lands on the right team -- Boston, the Mets (I know, they say they're not interested), LA, the Giants, the Cubs? -- he might also get to play in the post-season. Well, we know Seattle and Texas were glad to see the last of him. (Seattle won, what, 116 games the year after he left?). Will we miss him?
My apologies to those who think we will, but to me this is an excellent sign for the future. A-Rod represents classic George Steinbrenner -- the biggest fattest names with the biggest fattest paychecks (though Steinbrenner usually didn't sign them until they were well past their prime). I won't miss A-Rod and I won't miss Giambi (god, if only that cheater would go) or Sheffield or Randy Johnson or Roger Clemens (headhunter) or the other hired guns of the last eight seasons that have kept us from developing a real team. Dear Diary.... Good luck A-Rod.
You're gonna have a hell of a time picking a jersey for the (Fantasy League) Hall of Fame.
By the way, very bush league of A-Rod to announce this IN THE MIDDLE OF GAME FOUR OF THE WORLD SERIES. Just as lame as I've found him as a player and a person the entire time with the Yankees -- trying to knock the ball out of the first baseman's glove, that HA! moment when running the bases. Small things, but telling. Selig should be furious. Really classless.
Oh my God, I just read the end of the AP story. (I was so excited I couldn't wait to post.) Boras says A-Rod opted out now (at least ten days earlier than he has too) because he didn't know whether Andy, Jorge or Mo were coming back. What a ridiculous lie. That's a reason NOT to opt out until the last minute and see what the other guys are doing, not a reason to be the first to bail. Who does he think he's kidding? Again, it's an ABSURD LIE and typical for him. Classless, lame, weak and utterly without merit.
"He really didn't want to make any decisions until he knew what they were going," Boras told the AP. Uh, except HE DID MAKE A DECISION -- HE OPTED OUT. What an ass.
A-Rod after the Yankees clinched the post-season a few weeks ago:
"This feels like home," Rodriguez said after the champagne celebration. "It's hard to believe that I played for another two organizations. So much has happened to me here, adversity, some success, that I feel like anything but New York feels weird to me now. . . . I love New York."
A statement by Hank Steinbrenner I can support:
"It's clear he didn't want to be a Yankee," Hank Steinbrenner told the Daily News last night. "He doesn't understand the privilege of being a Yankee on a team where the owners are willing to pay $200 million to put a winning product on the field.
"I don't want anybody on my team that doesn't want to be a Yankee."
More info from Hank:
Steinbrenner said last night that both he and his brother, Hal, personally placed phone calls to Rodriguez expressing their desire to keep him in pinstripes, but neither call was returned by the third baseman.
Further, A-Rod specifically skipped winning the Hank Aaron award before the ball game because he didn't want to have to talk to the media. And then he turns around and embraces the media IN THE MIDDLE OF THE WORLD SERIES. So throw in disrespecting the memory of Hank Aaron to his faults.
Per the NYTimes in Denver:
In Denver, as the Red Sox celebrated their fresh World Series title on the field, a few hundred fans stood behind the third-base dugout and gave them some off-season advice. They shouted, “Don’t sign A-Rod.” Earlier, the fans had chanted the R-rated version of “A-Rod stinks.” Mike Lowell, Boston’s third baseman, can become a free agent, too, so the fans also chanted, "Give Lowell the money."