So two interesting A-Rod stories today, courtesy of the Daily News. Let’s just jump right in.
The first comes courtesy of John Harper who tries to spin some Scott Boras comments as to create the sense that Boras is blaming Mariano Rivera for A-Rod’s postseason vilification. What did Boras say? Nothing too flattering:
“The brilliant Mariano Rivera, probably the only flaw he’s made in a historic career over the postseason, if he got those three outs (in the ninth inning of Game 4), Alex would have been in the World Series and he would have been held to have a great postseason.”
In his column, Harper harps on the fact that Boras is trying to blame Rivera for A-Rod’s postseason failures. Up through game 4 of the ALCS, Rodriguez had been hitting the tar out of the ball. After game 4, he, along with every other Yankee, simply stopped hitting the ball. Had the series ended in four games, A-Rod would have probably taken home ALCS MVP honors.
Now, while I can understand what Harper is trying to do here, Scott Boras is simply stating something we all know. Had Rivera gotten those three outs in the 9th, the Yankees would have made it to the World Series against a fairly weak opponent, and A-Rod would have been one of the heroes. As much as I loathe myself for defending Boras, I don’t think he’s blaming Rivera for A-Rod’s struggles, as Harper thinks he is.
But let’s hold that thought.
Article number two comes to us courtesy of Mark Feinsand. Despite opting out and despite the Yanks’ vehement and very public stance that they are through with Mr. Rodriguez, A-Rod still claims he wants to return to the Yanks. The relevant part:
The Yankees have made it clear that they have no plans to bid on Rodriguez when free agency gets underway, but a source with knowledge of the situation said Rodriguez is hoping that the Bombers reconsider their stance.
“Alex wants the Yankees to be a part of this, because the opt-out was not done with the intention of saying goodbye to the Yankees,” said the source. “Alex wants to see what his market value is, but that doesn’t mean he necessarily wants to leave the Yankees.”
Now, I have two reactions to this. First, if A-Rod is serious about returning to the Yankees – and despite my disgust with A-Rod, I wouldn’t necessarily turn his .314/.422/.645/56/156 line away – if he’s serious about New York, he ought to tell his agent to shut up. In fact, if he’s 100 percent serious about New York, the easiest way for him to patch things up would be to simply fire Scott Boras. A-Rod could then say that he received bad advice, sign with the Yanks for a somewhat reasonable amount and let bygones be bygones. That’s not happening, but I can dream.
My second reaction is one of suspicion. Feinsand’s source, who sure does sound like Scott Boras, claims that A-Rod wants the Yankees to “be a part of this” (in old New York). Of course, A-Rod’s agent wants the Yanks – baseball’s richest team – to be a part of the bidding process; it helps drive up the price. Without the Yanks, Boras loses a lot of leverage.
So right now, A-Rod’s team sure is sending mixed signals. On the one hand, his agent is trying to blame the Yanks’ beloved closer. On the other, some unknown source is trying to claim A-Rod wants to stay.
No matter. Unless A-Rod’s willing to do some major penance for the way he has handled himself the last few weeks, to hell with him.