Sunday, January 25, 2015
Posted by el duque at 7:00 AM
Your former star slugger, with whom you are contractually and surgically joined at the hip for three more years, calls to ask for a meeting - to break the ice, clear the air, bury the hatchet, blow off steam, bite the bullet and get back to square one. It's a good thing, right? He'll bring the 12-pack of Saranac, you'll furnish the Colorado sour diesel, and Hal will unveil his magic mushrooms. By 2 p.m. you'll be playing naked Twister, and by 5 o'clock, you'll be best of friends again.
If reports are to be believed, the Yankee front office is saying no. They won't meet with A-Rod. No talking to the enemy.
Beyond this being childish, it conjures up a common view that the Yankees will dump A-Rod first chance they get. They will use any excuse to void his contract, waive his butt or embarrass him. They can bench him. They can send him to Scranton. They can rip him via some toady Gammonite. They'll be cheered by at least half the fan base, if not the majority. There are ways to punish A-Rod for his true crime of stealing the Steinbrenners' hard-inherited money. But I ask one question:
Does this seem smart?
Full disclosure: I think the Yankees will suck this year. In fact, I see one ridiculously long shot that could save the 2015 team: A-Rod returning to a semblance of his old self. Mind you, I don't expect it to happen. But if A-Rod hits, we will be light years ahead of the alternative DH: Chris Young. God help us there. Considering the rotation, unless the Yankees find hitting, the 2015 season could evolve into baseball's version of the New York Knicks.
Right now, we are not just standing on the brink of a third straight season of missing the playoffs. We are looking out at deep, black precipice of ugliness.
So the front office is saying no to a meeting? I dunno. Maybe it's a psychological ploy to keep A-Rod on edge. Maybe they'll meet in Tampa next month, shake hands and form a united front. But something tells me otherwise. And no matter what he has done, the Yankees can only blame themselves for giving him that outlandish 10-year-deal. If the team is now trying to shame him, it should beware: Because every future free agent player in the game will take notice.
No talking to the enemy? Do we go into the season at odds with the one guy we need to hit?
Does this seem smart?