The A-Rod game never stops

Gardner & Ajax just keep on hittin'
Girardi following in the footsteps of Mel Hall

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.

Gardner & Ajax just keep on hittin'
Girardi following in the footsteps of Mel Hall
  • JRVJ

    You know, I’ve been duking it out over at BTF with some A-Rod sycophants/supporters, who refuse to understand why Yankee fans and management are so ticked off.

    Boras throwing Mariano under the bus is EXACTLY what I’ve been bitching about: B/R have been stupidly burning bridges WHICH THEY DON’T NEED TO BURN.

    Every time B/R burn another bridge, I am more convinced that there is no snowball’s chance in hell that A-Rod ever plays for the Yankees again (plus, there hipocrisy becomes more apparent).

    A-Rod is clearly one of the greatest players any of us will ever see. As a human being, however, he is probably the greatest athlete I’ve ever seen at getting peple to positively hate his guts, while not really doing anything ilegal or malicious (I mean, the guy hasn’t killed anyone or done drugs or is a pedophile or anything).

    • Jersey

      …that we know of. (I kid! I kid!!)

      Great post, Ben.

  • Alex

    anyone else think it would be funny if the dodgers and angles don’t pony up the cash for arod, so the yanks sign him for exactly what they were going to offer before, minus the $30 million texas was going to pay? That way, the yanks break even, texas comes out ahead, arod is out $27 million, and boras is out $3 million.

    • Ben K.

      Part of me is expecting that to happen. The other part of me doesn’t believe Boras would have triggered the opt-out clause if he didn’t think something better was out there. It’s hard to believe that some other team though will pay A-Rod $30 mil a year through his age 40 season as the Yanks were pretty much willing to do with their contract extension offer.

      But considering that A-Rod didn’t even hear out the Yanks on the extension, I find it hard to believe he’ll be back in the Bronx.

      • mg

        I agree. I think Boras most likely has a deal in place with another team and is simply letting enough time pass and pretending to court the Yankees to prevent a tampering investigation. I think it’s a loosing strategy though, as every time he opens his mouth he pisses off the Yankees more and gives them more reason to find grounds to push for a tampering investigation. I can’t tell you how much I hope this blows up in Boras’ (and A-Hole’s) face. This was A-rod’s chance to show that he actually wanted to be a Yankee and he proved to me he doesn’t want to be a part of who we are.

  • stuart

    enough of arod.. he is a phony cancer.. borass would say anything to increase there extortion 1 $..

  • Ron

    “I wouldn’t necessarily turn his .314/.422/.645/56/156 line away”

    Glad you’re not running the Yankees. If Cashman even takes Boras’s call at this point, he (and the Yankees) lose total credibility.

    While I certainly have no inside information, it seems to me that the Yanks were torn on A-Rod; on the one hand, there is the monster (regular season) numbers, and on the other hand, while he doesn’t appear to be a clubhouse cancer, it always has to be about Alex. Given that, I believe the Yankee brass agreed to offer him a reasonable contract, and if he rejected it, then move on (much like they did with Torre). It seems that they just want to make a fresh start, with Girardi (not Mattingly), the young pitchers, and no Alex.

    While it will be impossible to replace his numbers, who says you have to? They led the league in runs scored, and where did it get them? They can score 100 less runs in 2008, and still be better if the young pitchers develop as anticipated.

    I applaud the Yankees stance. Sometime, you just have to move on.

    • The Scout


      I think you are exactly right. The Yankees’ position on A-Rod from the first has been intentionally ambiguous. Yes, if he wanted to return on their (generous) terms, they would take him back; if he left, they would not be disappointed.

      Given Boras’s track record, the odds of concluding a deal were small unless A-Rod desperately wanted to play for the Yankees. He did not.

      The only small surprise to them was that A-Rod/Boras opted out so early. That was a ploy by Boras to avoid having to turn down a specific offer that would keep A-Rod the highest paid player in the game — in short, Boras hoped to make A-Rod look a little less greedy and money-centered. It didn’t work. Every time Boras opens his mouth now, he simply puts his foot deeper into it.

    • Travis G.

      dont forget too, that was his line just this year, best his year ever! he’s unlikely to repeat it.

      • Travis G.

        especially on the wrong side of 30.

  • brxbmrs

    Lets face it, Boras will say anything to benefit his clients AND Boras rarely makes a mistake – only time I can think his bluff was called is with Milwood who he wanted 5 years 75 mil, but ended up taking one year 7 – However he got him another 60 mil the following year – in short, Boras is amazing.

    Logically, its impossible not to want A-Rod’s production and what his assualt on the record books will bring. Also, he plays every second as hard as he can, is amazingly durable and without arguement is the best player in the game.

    Now, here’s where my fandom comes in:

    Other teams seem to win without him and just like with Torre, I’d be ok with him being elsewhere as the team becomes less about larger than life personalities and more about developing some great young players (hopefully).

    I’m up in the air on A-rod – if the Yanks resign him, great, if they don’t, I’ll keep my fingers crossed that we get a real 1st baseman who can hit and a good option at 3rd.

    Need to do something with the pitching – I just don’t know what yet – as great as Santana is, 900+ innings the last 4 years and a slightly down 07, has me concerned.

    • mg

      Yep, we hit as well as the ’98 team this year. The difference is all in the pitching. If we step up that side of our game we’ll be ok with or without Alex. He makes it a lil easier putting up those numbers from one roster spot, but the pitching is what will win it or loose it for us. This years team ERA was much much higher than it was in ’98 and that is the difference between the teams in black and white. With Pettitte sounding like he’ll return (and isn’t the difference between Pettitte and A-Rod just night and day?) and IPK, Joba and Phil ready to give us complete or nearly complete seasons, we’re going to be improved on that front. I like our odds, if not for ’08, certainly for ’09.

    • Jamal G.

      It also blew up in his face when he tried to bluff the Red Sox by saying he had a team out there who was willing to give Johnny Damon a 6 year pact, as we all know it was BS and the Yanks signed him to a 4-year deal.

      • brxbmrs

        Good one Jamal on Damon. But, the reality is Boras got Damon 12 mil more than the Sox were willing to pay – and it doesn’t seem anyone but the Sox and Yanks were interested in that kind of $.

        Boras’s job ! is getting the most $ for his clients, I think he’s batting 1.000, don’t like it, but can’t argue with his success.

  • brxbmrs

    Yep mg, unfortunately A-Rod is not as easy to like as Andy – I don’t blame A-Rod for anything – opting out, soft October’s, his wife’s choice in sportswear, but I will say I’m tired of him – as great as the #’s are.

  • Steve S

    This whole Boras thing is weird. I can only think of two things, one he is trying to do damage control after the reaction to the poor timing of the announcement or he didnt think the Yankees would hold firm on this non-bidding stance. The Yankees best bet would be to hold firm and make both of them him look foolish if thats the case. I honestly believed that he had a bigger offer ready to go but the more this develops it appears he doesn’t. Otherwise he wouldn’t be on every radio show trying to mollify what he did and get the fans to pressure the Yankees into getting back into this. While I almost like Scott Boras, it would be amazing to see this develop into Arod getting a smaller $ value in his next contract. That would be so damaging to Boras and his rep, that he may lose a large client base. I almost think that if doesnt sign with someone by mid November, then this whole thing may blow up in both of their faces. It cant be a prolonged matter because the more time teams think about this, the more they will realize what kind of a financial commitment this is when the Yankees dont even want to spend that kind of money. Not to mention the fact, Boras just pissed off the richest team in baseball. If there is one team that can stare him down, its the New York Yankees. And from Mike Lupica’s article about Cashman, it appears that he has irked Cashman and the Steinbrenners by the way he handled this. Its not good when you take the biggest wallet out of your clients market.

    I dont think there should be any hard feelings about Arod leaving. Regardless of what anyone says he wasnt treated fairly in this town, by the manager, by the fans, by the media, and even by some of his teammates. I would have hoped that his ego would have prevented him from letting all of this get to him and he would have stayed just to spite everyone and prove what he can be, regardless of the so called “spotlight”. But it seems like he wants to get out. All that being said, all those who kept on saying that he wasnt a true Yankee, they cant sit here now and cast dispersions on the guy because he didnt show any loyalty to them in this scenario.

  • Mike R.

    Ok. Here’s the deal.

    You have a hot girlfriend…like really hot…Jessica Biel hot. One day she breaks up with you via text message. Something like “I M 2 hot 4 U. We R done. C U l8er”. You call her to make things right, but she doesn’t take your calls. You e-mail to no response. She blocks you from messenger. It’s through. You’re heartbroken, but looking to move on, and all of a sudden Wham!. You recieve a call from her best friend saying. “She didn’t want to break up to end the relationship, she just wants to see what else is out there. You can still call her and go out with her once in a while, you just won’t have sex.”

    The only reason a woman would do that is to make someone jealous. She’d be using you!

    I hope the Yankees stand firm and do not allow the “Hot Girl” to use them in this.

    • zack

      Its a good analogy, I suppose, but you are all insane. If A-Rod resigns with the Yankees, its not going to be a loss of credibility. Its not going to be all of a sudden, “but you negotiated with A-Rod…” People bluff all the time, when that bluff is no longer convenient in business terms, you just sort of move on. Cashman will still have credibility with every other player because, well, he’s the GM of the Yankees…

      But thats really besides the point, if A-Rod does come back, you can bet your ass that its because Cashman has let him back. And you can bet your ass that it will be a very good thing. Signing or not signing A-Rod doesn’t impact anything else on the team. Its not like if the sign A-Rod Posada can’t be brought back etc.

      Sure, the Yankees might look a little silly eventually resigning A-Rod, but A-Rod will look a lot sillier. And this is an isolated incident. How many other players have opt out clauses?

  • Rob

    No way in hell A-Rod is interested in returning to the Yankees. And no way they’re interested in him (see Today’s post for Hank again on the subject). It’s done. Finished. Over. Dead. Drowned. Buried. Hanged. Castrated. You get the point.

    Boras keeps talking because he wants to find some way to get the Yankees involved, even if it’s just speculation. It absolutely helps and doesn’t hurt.

    Problem is, no one is buying it, except the most irrational Yankee fans. Despite what some keep looking for, there is absolutely no chance A-Rod returns. He had a chance, if he was genuinely interested, and he wasn’t. The money didn’t matter because he could have driven up the starting point for other teams by leading on the Yankees. Instead, it was escape from NY and Boras timed the announcement for maximum exposure.

    PeteAbe has it right today. Boras will use teams, and teams will use Boras. The former to drive up the price, and the latter for teams to stay relevant in the Hot Stove. Nothing beats publicity than rumors of who’s dating who. The worst is that this process is just beginning. It’s the winter of A-Rod (again).

  • Count Zero

    First of all, I don’t really believe Alex has ever been a “clubhouse cancer.” Is he a distraction? Yes. But that’s more the media’s doing (and the fans’) than it is his. All indications are that he practices and plays the game hard, cheers on his teammates, and looks to win every day. End of that.


    1) I have to believe Boras has a better offer — he just doesn’t make mistakes like that…ever. He has to be driving the price up for the real contenders. Right?

    2) On the other hand, he is looking particularly apologetic this week.

    3) zack’s point about “credibility” is a good one.

    4) On Monday, I was in the “Alex Rodriguez is dead to me” camp. I think 99% of Yankee fans were in that camp with me. But, I actually find myself wavering today. And I suspect that the number in camp has dropped from 99% to about 70% in just four days.

    Which is an incredible testament to just how good Boras is at his job. Thank god he won’t be coming by my house to sell me a vacuum cleaner…

    • Ron

      “And I suspect that the number in camp has dropped from 99% to about 70% in just four days.”

      I don’t know who you’re talking to, but thank God the only voice that matters, that of Hammerin’ Hank, isn’t wavering.

      NY Post

      Edited by RAB for design purposes only.

  • usty

    I was firmly in the A-Rod can rot camp Monday. Now after looking at the prospect of Wilson Betemit playing 3b or getting involved in overpaying Mike Lowell battling Boston for him possibly tying ourselves to an extra year to beat them out…I’m in the…”i really wish there was no public line in the sand about negotiating” camp.

    Forgetting history, if A-Rod, was a free agent and the Yankees had a hole at 3b in the 2007 offseason, you think they wouldn’t make a move on him?

    Is it sad I actually daydreamed about the “Fire Boras when the Yanks don’t make an offer, says I’m sorry to the Yankees fans and comes back in 2008” scenario, the other day?

  • stepheneliot

    Hey, A-Rod sees two psychiatrists or he did at one point and maybe three by now because of all the flack he’s receiving. Maybe it’s about love, maybe about greed, maybe about both for him. It may even turn out that he’s playing Othello to Boras’ Iago. It may also be that Boras knew where the money was showing and, if so, the Yankess should press tampering charges all the way to the courts because nobody goes from something to nothing unless one is a complete schmuck. So let A & B go down the yellow-brick road looking for a pot of gold, let the Yankees sign Mo et al. and let the team plan to do the best they can in building a winning record on’08. A number of teams recently have made the Series without having superstar players on the bench. So can the Yankees by being just plain smart ,lucky and prideful over the months that come before it’s time to play ball.

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