Monday, March 09, 2015

Hopefully He's Not The Hero The Yankees Need, But The Pain In The Ass They Deserve

I'm sort of rooting for Alex Rodriguez to do well this year. Not really well, mind you, because that would help the Yankees, and I don't want that. But I'd be fine with him doing reasonably well, 15 -20 home runs, .340 on-base percentage, something like that. Good enough they might as well keep playing him, not good enough they have a good season.

I find this whole act Yankees' GM Brian Cashman's been putting on tiresome. He's doing everything he can to make Rodriguez feel unwelcome. Sure, he could just release him, but then they'd still have to pay the remainder of the contract, and they don't want to do that. It's the same way they're arguing they shouldn't have to pay him those bonuses he gets if he passes Willie Mays on the all-time home run list, because they had no idea when they agreed to that contract that he was on, gasp!, performance enhancing drugs.

Go ahead, pull the other one. I'd be more accepting of the idea they want to save money if they were just upfront about it. I think we're all used to teams trying to avoid paying any more than they absolutely have to. Look at all these billionaire owners who keep insisting the taxpayers need to cough up for new stadiums. But instead Cashman tries to wrap it up in this same tiresome faux-moralizing about PEDs that Bud Selig* and a host of dipshit sportswriters love to engage in, to give it some sheen of respectability. It's not about saving money, it's about setting a good example for the children, you see. Rodriguez is a nasty cheater, who duped the poor, well-meaning New York Yankees, and now he should go slink off under a bridge. Without his money. The Yankees are a monolithic sports entity that cares. I think I just made myself nauseous.

I've never quite understood the level of vitriol Rodriguez gets. He makes a lot of money, has come up small in some playoff series, and used performance enhancing drugs. Which are things you can say about any number of professional athletes, Roger Clemens for example. But I don't think even Clemens is as strongly disliked by as wide a group of people as Rodriguez. I think it was probably a mistake by the player's union not to more strongly contest Bud Selig suspending Rodriguez a year based on the testimony of a guy the league office paid to testify, without being able to actually prove what he gave A-Rod was a performance enhancing drug (because it was supposedly undetectable, andit sure as hell didn't show in his numbers). Apparently all the other players hate him so much they were OK with it. Rodriguez also seems fairly disingenuous, but it's always felt as though he wants to be liked, but has no idea how to be genuinely likeable. He does things he thinks people will approve of, but it backfires, probably because it's so obviously false. I really think that time he slapped the ball out of Bronson Arroyo's glove was him trying to make the sort of heady, competitive play Saint Jeter gets endlessly lauded for, and it just reinforced everyone's opinion of him as a total goober.

Rodriguez is never going to get a big standing ovation as he rides off into the sunset. Well, he might, but it'll be a mocking one. He probably doesn't deserve one, he's no martyr, a fair amount of this is self-inflicted. But I'd be fine if he has a season he can be happy with, if only because I find the people it'll piss off far more obnoxious than Alex Rodriguez.

* The one major downside to Selig no longer being commissioner is that it's just a matter of time until he gets elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Because pretty much all commissioners do, whether they're massive racists (Kennesaw Mountain Landis), or incompetent boobs who got pantsed in every labor negotiation they took part in (Bowie Kuhn, yet Marvin Miller's not in, despite being the labor leader who did the pantsing). The fact Selig's tried to rewrite history to portray himself as some great crusader, and ignore the nasty stuff like how he took part in a collusion scheme when he was an owner back in the '80s, will almost certainly not slow his induction at all.

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