Thursday, April 30, 2015
Posted by Alphonso at 12:47 PM
If you watched A-Rod yesterday, you can easily conclude that he is not going to hit any more home runs anywhere, anytime.
He reverted to the worst at-bats I have seen in years. Throw a pitch well off the plate, in the dirt, and he'll flail away. He looked like one of those movie stars who was given a couple of at-bats during a spring training game. Hopeless and out of place. You can't fake baseball.
So it is possible that the big moral dilemma (" to pay or not to pay if he hits 2 more home runs" ) will never come to pass. For those who are unclear on this subject:
Some years ago, the Yankees stupidly bid against themselves and lost, thereby re-signing A-Rod to the most outrageous contract of all humankind. One of the clever "perks" the Yankees envisioned for themselves was that when A-Rod approached, and then surpassed certain milestones, it would boost Yankee interest, sell more tickets, add viewers and listeners, and even produce more bobble-head doll exchanges and auctions. So, Brian Cashman cleverly built more financial incentives into A-Rod's ludicrous contract to insure his motivation and participation for achieving said milestones (e.g. player approval is required for bobblehead reproductions).
Flash forward; given the well publicized steroid issues with Mr. Rodriguez, and the resulting year-long suspension last season, some feel that the promotional value of A-Rod's next milestone ( surpassing Willie Mays in home runs ) has lost its edge. Has lost a certain panache. The marketing people at the stadium yesterday, for example, would not take my call when I made it clear I wished to discuss their view of the promotional value of A-Rod's next milestone and how they intended to honor it.
Some sportswriters claim that about 400 of A-Rod's home runs to date should not "count" ( due to steroids ) and, therefore, he is not approaching any meaningful milestone. So Hal ( " I am not cheap") Steinbrenner need not honor the Cashman contractual perk. In my view, any sports writer spending time on this subject is evidence of a really slow news period in sports. It is the baseball equivalent of "mock drafts" in the NFL, which have been going on since the Super Bowl ended.
Anyone with a brain disagrees with that stupid notion. The home runs are in the books. They are hard to hit even if you are stoked on Mounds bars. And multifarious records by A-Rod and others were built on steroids when, by the way, steroid use was legal.
So the real insight here, the basis for my entire rant, is that I saw A-Rod at the plate six times yesterday. And, were I sitting in Hal's ( "I'm not cheap") mansion right now, I would be counting the milestone money I won't have to pay ( $6 million I believe ).
A-Rod looks done and dusted.