Just for kicks and giggles, I plugged the words “Alex Rodriguez Yankees” into a Google search and in .36 seconds I was alerted that 10,529 stories existed with those keywords. It was a great way to see both the local and national landscape of headlines and angles of the next phase of this story that’s dominating the offseason, and also to see how the third baseman is being painted to the populace.
An interesting bit I found came from a newspaper in a city that has one professional sports team: Sacramento. The staff of the State Hornet compiled a list of possible destinations for A-Rod (nothing outside the obvious: the Cubs, Dodgers, Angels and Giants). Now when I say “interesting” I don’t necessarily mean “good.” There was no reporting involved; each writer presented a take on why A-Rod would “definitely” land with said team. One staffer, Alicia de la Garza, wrote about A-Rod going to the Angels and somehow forgot that he spent three years dwelling in the AL West basement with Texas before going to the Yankees.
“After playing seven years for the New York Yankees, third baseman Alex Rodriguez has opted out of his $252 million, 10-year contract. I need to take a timeout for a second.“
The timeout needed to be taken before that lead sentence was written. (I know I’m not perfect — my gaffe regarding the Girardi press conference last week was a bonehead move — but to make that basic of an error on the lead sentence of a story? It’s indicative of a lack of fact-checking in the industry.)
Anyway, spending the rest of this post to pick apart mistakes in other columns is not the goal here. What I found interesting was that Sacramento cared at all what happened to A-Rod.
Some other notes from the Land of the Obvious:
The Yankees need a third baseman.
A bidding war needs two teams. (Hundreds of stories had that theme. How does that happen?)
MLBPA No. 2 Gene Orza accused NY Times columnist Murray Chass of being an enabler of collusion based on his Wednesday column, which featured close to a third of the league’s GM’s speaking on the record regarding their interest — or lack thereof — in Alex Rodriguez.
As of 5 p.m. Saturday, the buzz has Joe Torre leaving open the possibility of Rodriguez becoming “LA-Rod.”
Brian Cashman Quote of the Week: "I understand why people are asking. I'd ask. For the most part, we're going to try to stay the course and build around our young pitching as we move forward. But talk is cheap. Actions speak louder than words, so let's see where I'm standing come February."
This is classic Cash. He maintained the same even keel two years ago regarding Bubba Crosby and the center field position, and then right before the New Year, Johnny Damon was signed. In other words, don't rule out the big splash. The reporters haven't. They just haven't set up the possibility of it like they have in years past.
From what I've read, viewed and heard, we’re no further along in the A-Rod proceedings. To follow up on Bruce Markusen’s Abbott and Costello theme from yesterday’s “Third Base Derby” post, “I Don’t Know” actually is the third baseman. What we do know, though, is that it will be difficult to search for information on the topic that we either didn’t already know or project as far back as six weeks ago, when midges changed the momentum of the Yankees-Indians series.
Here's to a week of attending to real important business with the Yankees, like negotiating with Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera. Those stories will come out from hiding in the next few days.