Must Click Link: The Randy Levine-Alex Rodriguez emails

Holiday Mailbag: Dean Anna
Monday Night Open Thread

This is too great. Steve Fishman of NY Mag published some email exchanges between Randy Levine and Alex Rodriguez late last week as part of their big A-Rod feature. Apparently Levine, who is unwilling to fully type out “you” and “are,” frequently emailed Alex after games to offer words of encouragement, stuff like that. Oh, and he also once said Robinson Cano “needs some steroids fast!” He really said that. (Mike Puma says Levine claims it was a “bad joke.”)

The whole MLB/Yankees vs. A-Rod spectacle is pretty much everything I hoped it would be. It’s completely chaotic and both sides look like total buffoons. I can’t believe a team president said his best player “needs some steroids fast!” in an email to another player. That’s hilarious.

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Holiday Mailbag: Dean Anna
Monday Night Open Thread
  • Jorge Steinbrenner

    But what does Macho Man “Randy Levine” think?

    • Macho Man “Randy Levine”

      Too hot to handle and too cold to hold.

    • Tisha

      Levine is a joke. Why he is still the team president is a mystery. And besides that wig of his is one of the worst pieces of garbage going.

  • Jorge Steinbrenner

    Randy Levine is a major league idiot.

    Any grown man who can’t spell out simple words while emailing should have all electronic devices removed from them. U understand? R U OK? LOL SMH?

    Alex Rodriguez emails like he talks, which is under the assumption that anything he says could be used against him in a court of law.

    Except for 8/5, in which Alex actually echoes one of the great RAB memes of all time.

    I can’t believe two men who make more money than my entire family tree will ever see actually communicate like this. Fuck me.

    • vicki

      8/3, you mean? as in, george would be spinning in his grave. the rod might have a point in this case.

    • Mike

      But your a Steinbrenner?

  • The Great Gonzo

    There is no way this is real, right? My Sarcas-O-Meter is flying off the goddam handle.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      I thought they were fake too, but Levine commented on them to the NY Post, so…

  • RetroRob

    …and maybe A-Rod did supply him with some of those steroids “fast!”

  • TWTR

    Randy the ‘Roider.

  • Now Batting

    A-Rod actually comes off looking pretty good in those emails.

    • Slugger27

      why?

      its the same generic “my focus is on my rehab and helping the yankees win” stance he has in every interview for years.

      • Now Batting

        Exactly. These were intended as private emails. Makes him come off as more genuine.

        • pat

          Agreed. Or Arod is smart and knew not to trust Levine. Wonder if Levine was actually fishing for some dirt when he mentioned roids and Cano. Maybe he was hoping Arod would admit to something so they could use it to void his contract.

    • Bman

      How so? By accusing the Yankees? Notice how he never once tells his boss “I did not take any banned substance”. Not once. You would think if his name was going through the mud and his boss found out, he’d try to deny it to defend himself? Not try to blame someone for it?

      • vicki

        “I’m dealing with the backlash of all these ugly rumors and false stories.”

  • Kevster

    Any chance they’d fire Levine. Or is that just wishful thinking?

    • Mr. Roth

      The dude probably has so much dirt on the organization that they’d be afraid to fire him.

    • RetroRob

      Anything is possible if things get nasty enough, but I doubt it. Remember, Levine is an attorney. There is nothing in those notes that would get him in trouble, and indeed could be used by him to show he had a great relationship with A-Rod that only soured after the Miami Times article and the legal teams showed up. Looking at these, I suspect they were put in as evidence by one side, although I’m not sure which side!

      Also, regarding Levine, as I’ve noted in the past, he has made the Steinbrenners hundreds of millions of dollars. They like him.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        It is interesting that Levine went from the internet idiot shorthand to full sentences once things got litigous.

        I’d wager to say that, when he was making the Robbie/steroids joke, this becoming public didn’t even dawn of him. That’s a pretty dumb gaffe for an attorney to make.

        • RetroRob

          Yes, that’s what I meant when I said the earlier notes could show he had a good relationship with A-Rod. The steroid reference is a slip, but again, he is not thinking things like this will be public and also shows he wasn’t taking it seriously in 2011 or 2012.

          • Jorge Steinbrenner

            We do a lot of talking on here about what front offices should or shouldn’t do and usually talk out of our ass…..but, goddamn, shouldn’t a guy with an actual law degree know better here?

            It’s not just the athletes who think they walk on water sometimes.

            • RetroRob

              You would think, although considering what I do for a living, I regularly see emails from the most senior of executives which could get them in trouble in they were ever required as evidence. Now is most cases, if not all, they are innocent, with the writer letting down his or her guard, and could be explained if required, yet there is always risk.

              • vicki

                stupid is epidemic.

    • TWTR

      None. He makes them money, or at least that is how it appears to be, and his background is in politics, so they know he is what he is, and they like it.

      • kevster

        My whole things with that man is that it appears to me at least, that he has far too much say in the baseball operations of the team. I do not like that the President of the Yankees who is in charge of business mind you, throws his weight around to sign players and actively talk about baseball strategy. He’s an attorney and a politician, he is apprently a good one, but he should NOT be involved in baseball strategy, as he neither qualified nor responsible for it. He keeps that crap up and I could see Cashman going the way of Epstein because of Larry Lucchino a few years back. Except Lucchino actually is a baseball guy. The Steinbrenners give him far too long a leash imo. But, because he makes them money and because he is very pushy, it appears that Hal is afraid of him and backs down. Not good PR and it makes the Steinbrenners look weak.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      Probably wishful thinking.

      However, if this got much uglier, much more litigous, and there was some sort of “but you knew about Biogenesis all along!” coming from ARod, I wonder what those few words could lead to.

  • RetroRob

    Interesting that in the very final note, Levine no longer uses the quick shorthand we often see in his earlier texts. Much more serious and legal in tone. Of course, that all makes sense. His use of “r” and “u” is a bit telling. He clearly is being informal and a playful, even with the steroid references. That all chanced in 2013!

    I find the note from A-Rod challenging the Yankees and Levine, accusing them of meeting with his cousin and offering a bounty the most interesting of the lot. I suspect one of A-Rod’s lawyers asked him to send it and reviewed it prior.

  • Chris

    I love how the Yankees try to act so stiff and “professional” and run themselves like a corporation, despite the fact that people watch sports to get away from that stuff, but whatever… and then this kind of stuff comes out every once in awhile. In Yankeeland, Levine can say that one of his players needs steroids fast, but for the love of God make sure nobody has facial hair…

    • Greg C

      I’ve seen people here argue that clean-shaven pasty faces are the ultimate sign of professionalism. What do I know? I’m just sitting here, making big bucks to run things for big clients, and I haven’t shaved or trimmed anything in a week.

      • vicki

        all well and good. and i personally find indifference to personal grooming to be sexy and masculine. but the mass coordinating of giant mouth-muffs is unmanly and undignified.

  • http://www.twitter.com/_swarlesbarkley Mark Teixeira – Ghostbuster (formerly Drew)

    Why would Randy even joke about that with Alex? That is like making fun of an alcoholic that got busted for DWI in the past. Just over the top dumb.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      It’s just incredibly stupid to do that over email.

      • Nick Social

        I disagree.

        It was a benign joke in a private email.

  • Darren

    If George was alive, he’d be rolling over in his grave at these.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      Nah. He’d be saying worse through his reps to the papers.

    • TCMiller30

      If George was alive, he wouldn’t have a grave.

      • Kevin G.

        He’d probably be trying to claw his way out of his coffin.

      • Brew crew

        Laughed for minutes. Still laughing actually

      • BK2ATL

        Touche!!!

      • pat

        That’s the joke…

    • Kenny

      Can’t exactly mix “If _____ was alive” and “_____ is rolling over in his grave”.

      • Darren

        You can if you’re joking! :)

        You can also do the other version which is,

        “Thank the lord George isn’t alive to see this or he’d be rolling around in his grave.”

        But it doesn’t have the same panache.

        Off topic, and not to get all field of dreams cheese and shit, but goddamn am I in the mood to have a catch.

  • James A

    Levine is a joke, the whole front office is a mess. I didn’t think Jonah Keri’s book on the Rays was excellent, but one thing it made very clear was how large a part of their success it has been to have ownership, management, stadium operations, scouting, etc. completely on sync. The Yankees can win in spite of the cast of characters we have running the ship because there is such a built in financial advantage, but as long as the decision makers we currently have stay in power there are going to be a lot of bumps in the road and embarrassing leaks like this.

    • TWTR

      It does seem that way, yet Hal is able to advance the idea that he is this great businessman, which is kind of funny. But if he continues spend with abandon, then whatever.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      You have a funny way of defining “success.”

      • James A

        success being going from one of the worst organizations in baseball to a perennial contender that churns out quality prospects, makes smart decisions and overachieves compared to pretty much every other team in a similar financial situation. not sure how calling the rays a success is controversial

        • Jorge Steinbrenner

          Where has that gotten them?

          It’s a good model, and it’s made them better than the “Tanyon Sturtze is our Opening Day starter” version of the Rays which preceded all this, but they haven’t won a championship and have been in the same grind the Yankees have during the same period, which included 2009.

        • RetroRob

          It’s not an either-or situation. They are doing an excellent job (meaning the Rays) over the past few years, forced to by the situation they are in. This does not mean the Yankees are a failure.

          • TWTR

            No, but it does mean that they aren’t maximizing their ability to put the best team possible on the field, which is all I care about.

            • MIYANK

              May I point out that, in the opinion of any owner who actually demands strong profits and growth trends, the Rays are doing things poorly?

              • vicki

                that’s baseball in a football state, i’m afraid.

                incidentally, as reported earlier this year, rays were 30th in value but 19th in profits.

              • TWTR

                May I point out that it’s not clear that any baseball business model would be successful in Tampa Bay, especially with that stadium, however, it’s inarguable that they are excelling at actual baseball decisions.

                So imagine if the Yankees could somehow combine that skillset with their market advantages, then this quote may have actually turned out to accurately reflect the Yankees’ reality:

                “We have the most money, no secret about that. If we combine that with the best decision-making process on a consistent basis, God help the rest of baseball,” said Brian Cashman to Bryan Hoch when he signed his new three-year contract following the 2005 season. Yes, the 2005 season. That’s almost seven years ago and what has happened since then?

                link

                • Nick Social

                  CASHMAN FAILED!!!

    • Mike

      We have more championships than the Rays.

      • Nick Social

        Yeah, but we didn’t do it in a small-market, on a budget equivalent to whatever your average 4H club runs on… also, not nearly enough dirty uniforms or funky facial hair.

  • JGYank

    Can this organization ever stay out of the headlines? And someone keep Levine away from a computer. Why would he email Arod in the first place? Let’s see how they address this…

  • Denver – Ralph

    Aside from, the general issue of Levine having the communication skills of a 12 year old texting, the bigger issue to me is that he is sending emails to players after games and even specifially asking about players. For example he asked Arod if he thinks Nova needs a breather on August 21st.

    Levine is not the GM or the Owner (even with the GM I am not sure how often these emails happen) I want the players to play and everything else to go through the manager.

    Does this happen in other organziations not named the Mariners?

    • BK2ATL

      You would think that an exec would ask that question about Nova to Cashman or Girardi….And the couple of Robbie references to steroids????? Really?

      I guess we know how Cano’s name got tossed into and remained the Biogenesis accusations. Co-signs, oops bad jokes, from the freaking Yankees’ president….

  • JGYank

    No wonder why Cano felt disrespected. Makes you wonder what emails Levine has been sending to other players… Can he be suspended too?

    • Nick Social

      I’m going to go out on a limb and say that Robbie felt disrespected by the fact that we didn’t trip over ourselves to sign him to a silly contract, and that whatever Randy Levine sent via private email had ZERO impact on his self-esteem/decision making process.

  • BK2ATL

    The definition of dysfunctional management gotta have Randy Levine somewhere up there.

    I’d be interested to see how this verdict plays out. A-Rod looks better and better vs. both MLB and the Yankees, the more that details come out. Glad he has the money to fight back and expose the hypocrisy, without pulling his teammates into it. Apparently, that’s been what MLB and now Yankees’ mgmt appear to have been doing all along. “Bad joke” or not…

    No matter which side you believe, there’s some pretty shady shit that went down in this. Stolen evidence, evidence-tampering/personal health records, MLB leaks. This is precedent-setting time.

    It wouldn’t shock me that the suspension gets reduced to 50 games (even without a positive drug test) + 50 more for conduct detrimental (total 100 games), and both sides just move on.

    No matter what, whatever credibility that the MLBPA really had with players, will be weakened by this. While not defending the rights of an accused player, they also allowed MLB and Selig off the hook.

  • Kenny

    Still confused as to whether these are real or not.

  • Steinbrenner’s Ghost

    No one in MLB (least of all Selig) had any problems with PEDs until McGwire made an ass of himself in front of a LIVE televised Congressional hearing.

    • Nick Social

      Yeah, well they’ve been pretty clear since that hearing that steroids are a big no-no and that if you are caught using them, you will be facing a suspension.

  • vicki

    a lot of this was funny, but some was really sad. i heard (or projected) anguish in “Can u please stop!!”

    bad choices, wasted potential, self-sabotage, desolation. some of us, we hurt for a-rod because we hurt for ourselves.

    • dkidd

      agree completely

      a-rod and levine are human beings. tragedy is inevitable, as was figured out eons ago but somehow forgotten (or repressed)

    • Betty Lizard

      Well said.

      And now I want to go re-read Aeschylus.

  • Andrew

    I don’t blame Cano for wanting to leave this backwards franchise after playing so great for them and getting treated so poorly, this being another example of that. It’s also pretty disturbing that our team president, who is supposed to be an authority figure in the organization seems to be trying to become friends with the player who caused the downfall of the franchise and vents to him about all the Yankees problems. Levine needs to go. Terrible person

    • vicki
      • Steinbrenner’s Ghost

        Jay-Z is that you?

    • Nick Social

      Downfall of the franchise?

      That’s some melodramatic bullshit, my man.

      And if you believe that Robbie Cano left for any reason other than money, Rafael Palmeiro would like to point his finger at you and tell you all about how he’s never ever used steroids.

  • MIYANK

    “How r u feeing since u left Robby [Cano] under 200, he needs some steroids fast!”

    Does anyone have an idea what the reference to Cano and 200 means? Made late july, I wouldn’t seem to be a stat.

    • MIYANK

      Robby’s listed at 210 lbs; maybe to his weight?

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      “since u left Robby [Cano] under 200″

      I think that means Cano was hitting under .200 after A-Rod got hurt.

      • MIYANK

        Robby wasn’t hitting sub-.200 in July of ’12. R! you referring to a particular slump?

        • vicki

          it was five games (25-30 july)! robbie was 3-for-17.

          randy levine was trollin’.

          • Alkaline

            Randy Levine. Professional Troll. Perhaps he pays a visit to these boards from time to time.. ;)

      • MIYANK

        I think I get it. So, Arod was out for about 2 weeks and during that time Robby hit sub-.200

      • Kevin G.

        I was thinking 200 lbs.

    • vicki

      since alex went down with injury robbie has hit sub .200. there’s punctuation missing after “how r u feeling.” (it hurt me to type that, even in quotes.)

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        I understand the practical use of single letters for, say, texts on much older phones, writing too much in a tweet, etc. When that replaces the basic English language, though, I just don’t know quite what to say.

  • ClayDavis

    Levine makes my skin crawl. What is his actual purpose? Especially annoys me when for whatever reason he feels the need to talk to the media after acquisitions. You’re not the GM or own the team. Why should anyone care what you think?

    • vicki

      same role he filled for giuliani and reagan: henchman.

    • Bats

      Of course Levine needs to talk. Levine is involved in contractual of every deal the Yankees make. That also includes Lonn Trost.

      • The Big City of Dreams

        It would be better if they weren’t involved and just stick to the stadium and things of that nature.

  • Alkaline

    Reading those just actually made me sad.

  • Bats

    For the first time, I agree with Mike Axisa.

    • RetroRob

      IF this is the first time you’re agreeing with Mike, I have to wonder what the hell you’re doing here.

  • pft2

    The bigger story here is who leaked the emails. Who benefits?. Simply a Cano smear? I mean, the steroid talk could be just that, nothing more. OTOH, if you think teams don’t know which of their stars is using PED’s I have a bridge I want to sell, and Cano has bulked up a bit in recent years. Levine was the point man for the Yankees in the Arod deal so no surprise him and Arod sound close. Maybe someone wants Levine out the door, someone with access to company emails?

  • There’s the Door

    Embarrassing on a number of levels. NYY will be better off when both of these people are out of the picture.

  • Andrew

    FIre this unprofessional piece of shit immediately. Has WAY too much control over the franchise and absolutely no clue what he’s doing. Why does he seem to be trying to build such a close relationship with the player who has caused the downfall of the franchise. Obviously Cano wanted to lead after being treated like this by the Yankees.

    • John

      I agree, he should stick to the business and let baseball be run by the baseball people. But they will never fire him, because he makes the Steinbrenners too much money, has too many friends in high places in NY and seeminly has Hal in his back pocket. It’s all about TV ratings now anyway.

  • Holy Ghost

    A-Rod’s encouragement from Levine is quite interesting. Given that Levine played a key role in the Yanks extending A-Rod’s contract maybe he feels some sort of responsibility for A-Rod.

  • Bill

    Levine is the new organization target of the media. It used to be Hank, but after he was forced into the shadows the media found a new loud mouth to go after. Hal is too reserved, Cashman is too smart, Girardi is too poised. Levine is the perfect target because he’s loud and doesn’t think before he speaks (or emails).

    Hopefully with enough shots at Levine they’ll force him into the back room with Hank and bring in someone better suited to the position. Until then expect Levine to get a lot more attention from reporters than he deserves.

  • Alec

    - Your name is Lavine?
    – You call yourself a salesman, you son of a bitch?