I have bitten my lip for four years, tried to hope for the best, cheered on A-Rod every time he came to the plate, groaned with him whenever he failed to come through or showed poor defense (like season two), got annoyed with fans who booed him (are they morons?), and was relieved when he played well. That's all you ever are with A-Rod: relieved when he plays well and worried when he doesn't; relaxing and enjoying the game has never been on the agenda.
But now Joe says A-Rod has behaved with class and humility. Please. A-Rod showed his true colors this post-season and behaved like a complete and total punk, making Yankees and baseball in general look like fools in the process.
1. A-Rod insisted all season long he wanted to be a Yankee for life.
2. A-Rod refused to answer phone calls from Cashman and Hank Steinbrenner.
3. A-Rod refused to answer any emails.
4. A-Rod refused to meet with the Yankees unless the numbers they were proposing BEGAN at $350 mil (something Boras has denied, but since he's mentioned $300 mil repeatedly, why wouldn't the Yankees pay a premium?).
4. B -- A-Rod dissed Hank Aaron and showed disdain for the sport and Aaron's legacy and race and again gave a specious claim that he couldn't accept the award because reporters would ask him questions about whether he would opt out and it would be a distraction.
5. Then A-Rod then opted out IN THE MIDDLE OF THE FINAL GAME OF THE WORLD SERIES, in a move calculated to get himself the maximum attention possible and announce to the world he was free of the Yankees. To his shock, this punk ass move backfired. he was pilloried by virtually every sports writer in the country (except our Jason, who poo-pooed my rage the night it happened.) It distracted from baseball's biggest momemt. It took away from a cancer survivor who was pitching the winning game. It took away from the Boston Red Sox, our hated but respected rivals, who have turned their team from a curse to a potential dynasty. If anyone, ANYONE had dared to make an announcement during the World Series, not to mention the final game when the Yankees were playing, we'd be screaming blue murder. If Bonds had announced his retirement or going with another team or Santana had re-upped or Giambi admitted to the public what he said in court -- that he'd used illegal drugs to cheat -- we would have been outraged and rightly so. This shows his complete and utter contempt for baseball and its history.
6. A-Rod lied about why he left the Yankees. A-Rod said he was worried Posada and Pettitte and Mo wouldn't come back. Bullshit. No one believed him and rightly so. Concern about who else might not come back is a reason to delay opting out as long as possible, not a reason to jump the gun. A-Rod's cynical use of Posada and Mo and Pettitte's negotiations is NOT going to endear him to them.
7. A-Rod sat back waiting for the offers and they didn't come. Boras was a good $50 mil to $100 mil off in his estimations about what A-Rod would command.
8. Poll after poll shows NY fans THRILLED A-Rod was gone. An ESPN poll shows 60% of fans around the country don't want A-Rod playing for their team at any price. ESPN is so shocked (haven't these people ever played fantasy baseball? Are they out of their minds?) that it held another poll to try and figure out why.
9. I believe two or three teams would have made a serious run at A-Rod but there was talk of collusion, thanks to idiotic comments by Bud Selig, who left it to a lackey to chastise A-Rd for that World Series stunt instead of coming down on him with righteous anger like he should. And a massive fine.
10. But A-Rod saw his image in the worst shape it's ever been (people were angrier about the World Series stunt than they were about A-Rod cheating on his wife with a stripper). A-Rod saw no team leaping past the offer the Yankees wanted to make him but weren't allowed. So after the Yankees yelled and screamed and insisted up and down that if A-Rod opted they would NOT negotiate with him, they are bidding against themselves to give him potentially $275 mil for ten years, the biggest deal in history. And A-Rod wants everyone to think this is a "discount." A discount would be to wait for another team to make a firm offer and then go play for the Yankees for less than that.
11. It's all about the money. A-Rod went to Texas for the money. He even went to Boston for the money. Huh? He was willing to take a $40 mil "pay cut" to go to Boston, lowering the overall value from $250 mil to $210 mil. But A-Rod saw he was playing in a vacuum. Except for his stats garnering end of season awards, his name meant nothing even to most baseball fans. No one saw him play. No one cared. His most meaningful games ended in July, at best. The long term value of A-Rod was NOT gaining value. You don't get Mr. Coffee commercials and national ad campaigns by playing in the backwaters of Texas for a last place team. A-Rod's potential move to Boston and actual move to the Yankees has GREATLY improved the long-term value of his name and his future earnings once his career is over.
12. And now what has A-Rod done? He's gone to the team that has offered him the most money with the highest profile possible, guaranteeing huge paychecks and a great post-baseball career with a lot more options than he had in Texas.
And he did it by behaving like a punk, lying to fans about his desire to stay in NYC, disrupting baseball's biggest moment with his grandstanding, lying about WHY he opted out, playing Hank Steinbrenner for a fool and grabbing the most money available to him. Say what you want about his abilities on the field. But in no way shape or form has A-Rod shown the slightest bit of class. He's behaved like a complete two-faced, lying weaselly punk who will say and do anything to avoid responsbility or blame for stupid actions on his part and charge for the cash even if it means playing on a team with players who don't want him and fans who have booed him repeatedly over four years in a town that has reveled in his personal woes and made his life hell. It makes no sense except by one standard: money.