Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Dude, You Are So Money, You Don't Even Know How Money You Are
2007-11-15 17:28
by Alex Belth

The details still need to be worked out, but it looks as if Alex Rodriguez is coming back to the Yankees, to the tune of 10 years, $275 million. Here is the outline of the deal, and the first look into how it all went down.

The story was released tonight shortly after the Barry Bonds indictment story had a good hour of the newscyle headlines. Many Yankee fans that I spoke with today were unhappy to hear that Rodriguez was coming back, even if some of them softened their stance after learning that Rodriguez approached the Yankees without his agent, Scott Boras. I assume even more will stop worrying and learn to love the bomb when he's knocking in 40 dingers a year. Still, my initial feeling was that Rodriguez will have to be part of a World Series winner or approach Barry Bonds' home run record before he is ever truly embraced by the baseball public, let alone Yankee fans.

Only Bonds and Boras getting flogged could possibly make Rodriguez look okay in comparison, and guess what? It happened. Now, Boras takes a massive "L" and Bonds is really in the soup. Rodriguez? He's only about to sign the biggest contract in baseball history...for the second time. How you like me now, indeed.

I don't think Rodriguez is that bad--he's just a bit of a fink that's all. He's like the kid you knew when you were growing up, where'd you's say, "Mattingly hit .340 last year," and he'd go, "No, he hit .343." If you gave a buck to a Salvation Army guy on the street, he'd go to the ATM and give the guy a twenty, is how a friend put it. He tries to be a goody-goody. It's a different kind of arrogance than Bonds. (I don't think he has the stones to be like Bonds.)

He's already a Hall of Famer six ways to Sunday, and he's only 32. He always hustles. I'm eager to keep watching him play for the Yanks. So he's not perfect, he's got two left feet when it comes to handling things. He's like a manicured, movie-star/jock version of Michael Scott--he always says the wrong thing. He's not as funny, but he's often just as painful. And like Scott, he just wants to be loved. In a strange way, I find his A-Rodness endearing, even if it is annoying. So, he's meshugenah? Since when doesn't that play in New York?

Comments (69)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-11-15 18:14:38
1.   vockins
Tell all the Yankee fans not happy about ARod coming back how they'd like it if he was playing third for the Angels or SS for the Red Sox and watch them change their tune real quick.

I don't share an apartment with the guy and I don't commute to work with him (unfortunately). I just have to watch him hit baseballs and catch baseballs. He does that pretty decent. I'm thrilled.

2007-11-15 18:16:31
2.   liam
i just think the timing could have been better , as lowell loses some serious negotiating leverage. oh well.. ive gone back and forth on loving and hating this guy. do people really think hes worth a 10 year deal? i would have hoped for a 7 with lots of player club option type of contract.. but i guess we'll see how it plays out. i work in risk, and 10 years is a huge risk.
2007-11-15 18:18:20
3.   liam
i was talking about it yesterday, and now fox has it with dayn perry. the yankees right now are trying to bring last years team back together, and thats not a WS winning team, esp with so much unproven pitching. so far all thats changed (if we sign rivera), is that we changed coaches and got worse in the rotation/bullpen. what do you think is coming next?
2007-11-15 18:19:57
4.   VinceMig
He was the best option all along. I think his "cancer" effect is a bit overrated. The Yankees need pitching. If Hughes, Chamberlain, and Kennedy work out and all the talk of clubhouse cancer will go away.
2007-11-15 18:22:46
5.   cult of basebaal
from the article:

Steinbrenner said he thinks that had Rodriguez tested the free-agent market, he would have gotten a more lucrative contract and cited the interest of the Los Angeles Dodgers, led by new manager Joe Torre, and perhaps other teams.

"There are a few cynics who say, 'Well he really couldn't get this there,'" Steinbrenner said. "Trust me, he would have gotten probably more. He is making a sacrifice to be a Yankee, there's no question. ... He showed what was really in his heart and what he really wanted."

Now that he's staying with the Yankees, will A-Rod get a Yankeeography on YES?

"Well, we'll see," Steinbrenner said, chuckling.

awww ... hank's a big softy after all, just like his old man ...

2007-11-15 18:24:17
6.   cult of basebaal
3 ummm, citing dayn perry to back up your argument won't cut much bait around here ... and nice tautological argument too, the team didn't win the world series, therefore the team couldn't win the world series ... ummm, ok
2007-11-15 18:27:01
7.   liam
6 im not citing dayn perry, im just making sure that no one accuses me of ripping off an idea that i had on my own. good answer to my question man, keep up the good work.
2007-11-15 18:29:06
8.   cult of basebaal
in any case, the offense isn't the issue, as you deduced ... not signing a-rod would have been a real problem ... now, if anything, we have a better offense than last year ... and quite frankly, i think we will have better pitching ... if, that is, pettite returns .. as for the bullpen ... i want to see cashman go after ron mahay to give us a decent lefty (and of course nail down mo's return) ... but i actually think we've got the raw materials for a very good pen next year ... we've got some really good arms that are in line to help next year ... we've still got question marks ... but the FA season has only been open for 2 weeks, there are parts out there that will help ...
2007-11-15 18:31:32
9.   JL25and3
3 Last year the season started with the likes of Carl Pavano and Kei Igawa in the rotation. I'll take inexperience over that any day.
2007-11-15 18:32:23
10.   weeping for brunnhilde
"He's like the kid you knew when you were growing up, where'd you's say, "Mattingly hit .340 last year," and he'd go, "No, he hit .343.""

Ha ha hahah a!

I was exactly that kid. I was such a stat-head in my youth, I could have told you probably the precise averages of about half the league or more in any given year.

All that strat-o-matic, microleague, etc.

I meant no finkitude by it, though, just wanted the record straight. :)

In any event, I made my peace with Alex during last season, so I'm happy to have him back.

I love every aspect of his game except the fact that he really does seem to dread the Big Spot. But he really does hustle, really wants to win, plays his ass off, plays a mean, but mean fucking third-base and has uncanny instincts running around the bags.

Yeah, yeah, he hits the ball a long way too.

This certainly improves our chances to be competitive next season, eh?

Happy trails to the fat kid; I'm so glad we didn't have to go down that past. Better to stick with the monster you know.

Oh, and a word of advice to Alex: DON'T FORGET ABOUT YOUR HEADPHONES!

2007-11-15 18:32:59
11.   JL25and3
0 even more will get over it and learn to love the bomb

Great reference, Alex. (Even though the nitpicker in me says it should be "stop worrying..."

2007-11-15 18:39:39
12.   RIYank
Oh, great, there's Weeping going, "No, it was .343," and now JL25and3 chimes in with "No, it should be 'stop worrying...'"

The jernt is lousy with A-Rods!

I don't love the guy. But it sure did suck when we figured we'd just lost the best player in baseball and how the f* were we going to replace him?

2007-11-15 18:39:57
13.   rufuswashere
The analogy has been made before, I'll make it again -- it seems even more apt now that he's likely to finish his career in NY:

Ted Williams: Boston
Alex Rodriguez: New York

Both the most talented players of their time, both reviled by the press in their home town. I bet Arod's legacy in NYC will be as golden as Williams', who became loved here in Boston after his retirement.

Let's hope it's true only for achievement at the plate, not for # of WS titles.

2007-11-15 18:44:54
14.   RIYank
Wow, that SI article has juicy bits.
Imagine having John Mallory and Gerald Cardinale as your factotums!
2007-11-15 18:47:01
15.   weeping for brunnhilde
13 Heh heh heh. :)

"Whew" indeed.

Actually, that's basically how I feel. Not joyous or psyched or anything, just relieved.

Big problem solved.

2007-11-15 18:47:54
16.   JL25and3
12 Detail-obsessed types with nothing better to do posting on the web? That's unpossible!

Nevertheless, you got me.

2007-11-15 18:48:17
17.   weeping for brunnhilde
Now, if we could just convince Derek to switch places with him, for the good of the team.

Come on, Captain, do the right thing.

2007-11-15 18:51:28
18.   Alex Belth
Lol. I have to change that..."Stop worrying..." It's not so much that A rod would correct you, it'd be the way he sounded doing it.
2007-11-15 18:55:29
19.   Mattpat11
Anyone that doesn't want A-Rod the talent back is insane.

I can understand be weary about the personality, but just root for the front of the uniform.

2007-11-15 18:57:51
20.   ms october
11 Ha - we'll 'stop worrying'

15 Yeah that's basically how I feel too. And agree with your assessment in 10 but would amend it slightly - to me he doesn't so much dread the big spot as it is another example where he is trying too hard (to be the "hero", to be liked, to be the best). It's cliche, but people's best characteristics are also their worst - Arod tries too hard - that's why he's one of the best baseball players of his generation, but it also leads to a lot of his problems.

14 Yeah, I wish Goldman Sachs would broker something for me - but I liked the story yesterday on Yahoo that said it was the Modell's guy better.

2007-11-15 18:58:11
21.   RIYank
Tomorrow morning I'm going to listen to all the RSN callers to sports talk radio announce with perfect sincerity and self-deception that actually, they're glad the Red Sox didn't get A-Rod. I'll be grinning ear to ear.

Maybe Boston could grab Nicky Punto. That would be awesome.

2007-11-15 18:59:23
22.   mehmattski
You know what you are, Alex? You're like a big bear, with... claws, and, and fangs... and big fuckin teeth on ya! And the Yankees are like this little bunny, they're just kinda cowering in the corner... just kinda... you know.... you got these... CLAWS, man, and you're staring at these claws and thinking to yourself, and with these claws you're thinking: "How am I supposed kill this bunny? How am I supposed to kill this bunny?"

And you're pokin at it, and pokin at it, but you're not hurting it. You're just kinda, batting around the bunny, ya know? And the Bunny's scared, Alex, scared of you, shivering, cause of the claws and the fangs.

You've got these fucking claws and fucking fangs, man! And you're looking at your claws and you're looking at your fangs and and you're thinking to yourself, you don't know what to do! "I don't know how to kill the bunny!" With this you don't know how to kill the bunny! You know, man?

You're like a bear, Alex.

2007-11-15 19:03:15
23.   RIYank
You're not fucking with me, mehmattski?
2007-11-15 19:03:52
24.   mikeplugh
Agree 100% on A-Rod Alex. He's not the most likeable guy, mainly because he comes off as a phony. But, as I posted at COH, any of the great players (Yankees) in history, with their personal peccadilloes, would have found themselves in the media circus in exactly the same volume that A-Rod does today had they played in the climate of journalism that permeates the tabloid/ESPN world that is 2007. Dimaggio for his combative and protectionist personality. Ruth for his syphilis, drinking, binge-eating life of excess. Mantle for his alcoholism.

A-Rod will look much better in his later days, as he starts to fade into the night. People will get some perspective on the player, and forget the flaws of the man. It's part of the great Yankee tradition of flawed and interesting characters who have done great things in our uniform. I'm ready to embrace him and watch him win 2-3 more MVP awards in pinstripes....and hopefully multiple titles.

2007-11-15 19:05:32
25.   RIYank
20 When you call it 'brokering' it doesn't sound quite so cool. I was thinking of them as running errands. Jogging up and down stairs, taking the subway across town bringing messages, A-Rod sitting on a chaise lounge with his shades on, not looking up as Mallory, huffing and puffing, blurts out the latest move from Hank Stein.
2007-11-15 19:06:09
26.   Sarasota
I'm glad A Rod's back. He's an exciting player and he should stay in pinstripes. Having said that, the amount of money the NY Yankees are dishing out to several players, not just A Rod, is obscene. When does baseball step in and get this under control??
2007-11-15 19:07:40
27.   mehmattski
23 I don't want you to be the guy in the PG-13 movie, the guy everyone's really hoping makes it happen....
2007-11-15 19:08:02
28.   Sarasota
PS........Goldman Sachs being involved really puts things in a different perspective. Even if they just mediated.
2007-11-15 19:09:50
29.   OldYanksFan
I think with his future in NY secure for 10 years, the stability for her wife and daughter, ARod will relax more and will be fearsome. This really closes a chapter for him. Just think, he was negotiating for more money IF HE BREAKS THE ALL TIME HR RECORD!


2007-11-15 19:12:30
30.   Just fair
Stay Healthy Alex, and keep your yap quiet if you can. Let your wife's t-shirts do the talking while you begin your quest for 600, and more importantly your first WS trophy. I was glad to learn through this big mess about A-Rod's web site. Now I know I can e-mail him to see if he's interested in helping me out with my debt. HA.
2007-11-15 19:20:51
31.   Mattpat11
30 Interesting note: I have absolutely zero recollection of Bonds 600th homerun. None. I don't remember the chase to it, I don't remember the hit itself, the pitcher, the ballpark, anything. It all runs together for me.

Maybe there is something to doing it naturally and letting it them come at a normal pace.

2007-11-15 19:22:30
32.   mehmattski
31 The normal pace precedent being set by three guys who you never saw play?
2007-11-15 19:23:32
33.   ms october
25 Oh - by brokering I meant all that too. The best part was probably when Mallory ran up the stairs of the train to Hank's fancy apartment and had to bum a smoke off him.
2007-11-15 19:25:39
34.   Mattpat11
32 Or Barry's career up until a certain point.
2007-11-15 19:26:02
35.   Just fair
I wonder if Bonds will see A-Rod's 600th homer in a Federal Pen, a nice cushy resort prison, or simply skate. Who needs soap opera? Things since the midge game have been ludicrous.
2007-11-15 19:40:30
36.   Chyll Will
I don't know whether to be ecstatic or ludicrous...

24 I suspect the press back then would think there was something wrong with him for NOT having something wrong with him, compared to the others anyway.

2007-11-15 19:43:24
37.   Chyll Will
35 Jinx! And a special shout-out to extra sensory perception!!
2007-11-15 19:45:36
38.   rsmith51
The worst part of this is that I thought I would never have to hear "An A-bomb by A-Rod" again.

I wanted Alex to move on to another team, but I always liked the guy. I think that some Yankee fans are terribly annoying and am surprised he wants to deal with them.

If I was the Yanks, I would offer 10/253. Is somebody going to top that?

2007-11-15 19:47:03
39.   weeping for brunnhilde
20 Agreed. I think that's a better way to put it. He certainly doesn't shrink or become passive, you're right. Rather, he does indeed try too hard.
2007-11-15 19:48:09
40.   weeping for brunnhilde
22 ha ha hah aha ha hah a!!


2007-11-15 19:52:14
41.   weeping for brunnhilde
38 Speaking of which, has anyone called Suzyn for reaction?


2007-11-15 19:53:21
42.   weeping for brunnhilde
20 Maybe what I should have said was that I dread Alex in a big spot.


2007-11-15 19:58:10
43.   bartap74
The ARod news is great, but I'm also very glad that it's now even more unlikely that the Yankees sign Bonds*. I think Bonds* would be the only player I simply could not root for, even if he was in a Yankee uniform.
2007-11-15 20:07:21
44.   mehmattski
43 How did you do asterisks* without everything coming up bold?
2007-11-15 20:10:05
45.   marc
I've never wavered from thinking A-Rod is both one of the greatest players ever AND a great person. The NY fans including many on this board are something else entirely. It took about three seconds to go from tepid acceptance of A-Rod to absurd hate and trashing by many. After the Torre firing fiasco and the continued asinine comments from the basically "A-Rod is dead to me" current bunch of clueless and downright nasty management, someone seems to finally gave them the clue that the penalty for not winning the WS, something these days that involves a massive amount of luck, shouldn't involve imploding the team and risking the massive money machine they have with the Yankees. And as far as Boras is concerned I fail to see how he's a loser. Whether A-Rod did some of this on his own or not doesn't the agent's contract give the same percentage to Boras? In fact I couldn't completely dismiss if this whole thing with A-Rod approaching the Yankees without Boras wasn't planned by Boras working with A-Rod. They got everything if this goes through. $275M is probably about as high you can do these days, with A-Rod approaching the Yankees he looks like someone who is anxious to play on the team regardless of the dollar amount, and any bad taste about the WS announcement timing will probably be forgotten by the time the ink is dry on a new contract.

For me, I don't have to think about following some miserable Dodger's game where I hate the lack of a designated hitter and I can remain a content Yankee's fan with enthusiasm.

2007-11-15 20:33:38
46.   Chyll Will
45 I don't believe (and I don't think I ever did, but I could be wrong) fans had anything to do with anything A-Rod did or has done. Fans are fans, no matter who they are or where they're from. Fans' emotions run very high for certain things (look at football in the midwest) and though some know better than most, I've learned to give most fans a pass as I've realized that we are not part of any process of contract negotiations.

I'm fairly certain many Texas Ranger fans were gasping for breath when Tom Hicks signed A-Rod to that idiotic-for-its-time contract, but what could they do? What should they do, it's not their money anyway. Fans can only react, and that's the same here. Let it pass, because when the countdown reaches zero and Opening Day is here, A-Rod's at third, 50k+ fans are sitting in the stands at Yankee Stadium and we're following the game thread as usual.

I don't particularly care at this point who did what in this whole asinine dance-a-thon, as long as they all start sipping some STFU and focus on next season and the seasons after that. Who won? The sports pages, that's who. The rich get richer across the board and I'm getting up for work early tomorrow morning. I could care less about all this, but that would require some nominal effort on my part, so instead I'll take a sip and go to bed. G'nite!

2007-11-15 20:39:03
47.   JL25and3
32 Hey, speak for yourself. I saw two of them play (though not all that often - wrong league).
2007-11-15 20:50:44
48.   JL25and3
18 Phew. Thanks for giving me an out, Alex.
2007-11-15 20:54:19
49.   mehmattski
47 I was speaking for myself. I'm a fan of the steroid generation and I plan on being just as crumudgeony about it in fifty years as elder fans are today about baseball in the 1950s.
2007-11-15 21:23:09
50.   Billy Martin was my idol when I was insane
Has anyone considered whether A-rod just didn't want to play for Torre, who humiliated him in the playoffs last year?
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-11-15 21:44:19
51.   3rd gen yankee fan
50 :::gasp!:::


2007-11-15 22:02:53
52.   nemecizer
I just read the Bonds indictment. It looks like the guy is cooked. Reading between the lines (and reading the underlined lines) I think the government probably has a clear case for perjury.

I think the dude might be going to jail. That might void his record. That means A-Rod would only have to break Hank Aaron's record to be the home run king.

What a weird turn of events for baseball today.


2007-11-15 22:04:54
53.   JeremyM
I don't think it will void his record, Rose went to jail (plus a prison without bars!) and he's still the "hit king" or whatever:)
2007-11-15 22:17:00
54.   Mattpat11
50 He opted out of the contract a week after Torre left the team.

So no. Not at all.

2007-11-15 22:30:31
55.   Billy Martin was my idol when I was insane
And what about the shameless timing of A-rod's return to the Yankees? Don't you think he should have let this moment belong to Barry Bonds?
2007-11-15 23:56:08
56.   joejoejoe
So many lovable characters in this story: ARod, Randy Levine, Scott Boras, Goldman Sachs.
2007-11-16 00:29:15
57.   Robert Fiore
I don't know if this made it into "Damn Yankees," but in "The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant" the Devil's plan for the baseball Faust was that after he won a World Series for his beloved Senators he would be immediately traded to the Yankees, and then be condemned to win championship after championship for his hated rivals. If you believed the theory that Rodriguez was some sort of a jinx, then you could see this chain of events as a bizarre reversal of that tale -- A-Rod's failure to deliver in the clutch costs the Yankees championship after championship for years to come. Boras as the Devil would of course be type casting.
2007-11-16 00:33:37
58.   brockdc
56 Or the waiting room for the fourth circle of hell.
2007-11-16 01:43:32
59.   Jimmy Clark
Glad he's back. He is too good of a player to let go and recent Yankee attempts to develop a third baseman (Eric Duncan Drew Henson) have failed. The post season slump has got to end..he is too good of a player to gor 6 for 61. It wouldn't hurt if some of his teammates can learn how to hit and pitch in October.
2007-11-16 03:13:51
60.   JL25and3
53 I've heard that suggested, but I don't know how you can void the record. You can't say he didn't hit all those homers, because he did. If you say he hit them but they don't count because he was cheating - then do you have to go back and void the Giants' victories, change the stats of all the opposing pitchers, give his MVPs to other guys? If he's not first in career HRs, does that mean Sosa, McGwire and Palmeiro aren't in the top 10? Do you take away homers from guys who used greenies or corked bats?

I just don't see how it can work. MLB let this fiasco happen, they're kind of stuck with it now.

2007-11-16 04:40:14
61.   RIYank
I agree.
A record is, after all, a record of what actually happened. It records the hits, homers, etc. If you change the record of what Barry Bonds did, you make it inaccurate! Team RBI would no longer be the sum of the RBI of the players, the books would say that there were runs scored even though nobody scored them...

The record records what happened. It is for us the living, rather, to know and decide who cheated.

2007-11-16 05:06:30
62.   Simone
60 Exactly. MLB, the media and us the fans all played a role in the steroid era. I actually find the sports media's hypocrisy particularly galling. Too many of these people want to pretend that they didn't see and want to place the blame solely on the players. If the everyone didn't rally around McGwire and Sosa so blindly while ignoring Bond's real accomplishments, he may have never use steriods in the first place. No one gets pass. Everyone gets to live with some of the stain and that includes those records which aren't going any where. This is called facing the consequences for our role in this mess. It is what responsible adults do.

Bonds is the greatest player of our era, possibility ever and what has happened is a tragedy.

2007-11-16 05:23:59
63.   rbj
For all his "A-Rodness", at least he's a clean player (as far as we know). I'd like the all-time HR champ be a clean player. And a Yankee.

I just wonder, if Alex approaches 75 HR in a season, if the pitchers will pitch to him, to remove the taint from that record too.

The sad thing about Bonds is that he was already an all time great player before the steroids. 500 HR/500 SB would be an amazing stat on its own. Dumbass ego & arrogance.

2007-11-16 05:25:40
64.   nemecizer
You guys probably saw this, but Molina reupped with the Yanks for $4M/2 years. So our catcher/backup catcher question is set for next year.
2007-11-16 05:33:54
65.   Yankee Fan In Boston
poor barry.

64 great news. that makes me happy.

2007-11-16 05:39:32
66.   yankster
64 that IS great news! A tad steep for a BUC, but still satisfying. Wonder when Cash had the time to step out and take care of that with all the Arod/Lowell going around.

The one thing I HATE about this Arod deal is that it sounds like incentives are being built in that make him even LESS of a team player. Remember how clueless he looked at the plate when he was approaching 400 or whatever it was? Arod is certainly as vulnerable as anyone to getting tight.

Imagine a career of him tightly trying to hit dingers when a single wins it for the team. I hate incentivizing individual performance at the cost of team goals.

2007-11-16 05:48:37
67.   Knuckles
64 That is good news, though I'd also like to see if Cashman can maneuver Iannetta to the Bronx as Po's eventual replacement. Then Molina becomes a nice mid-season trading chip.

I read the Dayn Perry article and it made some good points but conveniently ignored the fact that the Yankees (had to) give 40 starts to a large group of scrubs/substandard SP's last year: Igawa, Clippard, DeSalvo, Rasner, Henn, Karstens, Pavano, Wright.

2007-11-16 06:42:01
68.   Rob Middletown CT
I too am glad Molina's back, though his performance last season as a Yank was a fluke. Generally speaking, he sucks. He just sucks less than Nieves.
2007-11-16 09:59:31
69.   weeping for brunnhilde
66 I had the same thought. Couldn't agree with you more.

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