The Pendulum Swings

Dan asks:

“Now that A-rod is coming back to the Yankees on his hands and knees begging for his job back, I think another post is in order. Specifically, are all the Yankee fans who said “good riddance” the day after the World Series ended going to now welcome this guy back with open arms? Are they going to soften their stance and say, “well, if we can get him at way below the asking price, how can we not pull the trigger?” Are they going to say “Look at that! Apparently it was all Boras’s fault and A-Rod wasn’t who we thought he was!””

Or are they going to stick to their guns and continue to call him out on his BS….

My response is this, and I think am being pretty consistent, actually (possibly out of character for me…):

I have always, since his first free agency, and throughout his time as a Yankee, thought that A-Rod was a overly polished, media-savvy phony.  (Except for one time when I misjudged him, and realized my mistake shortly after – btw, notice how in March of this year I said, “there’s no question A-Rod’s going to exercise the opt-out in his contract. None.”  Oh, yeah!)

Does this change anything?  Not for me.  I still think he’s a phony, I still don’t take a thing he says publicly at face value, and I still want him playing third base and batting cleanup for my team.  He’s among the best hitters in baseball, in his prime.  He single-handedly carried the Yankees to the playoffs last year, and there’s no question the team is better with him than without him (and with a gaping hole in the lineup at 3B).

I think there’s no question the Yankees are doing the right thing.  Money is no object to the Yankees.  What does it matter if they overpay a little?  They were willing to give this money a month ago.  And now they’ve plugged a huge whole without giving up prospects to do it.  The only one who could replace A-Rod’s stats at 3B was A-Rod.

And given the way it went down, the Yankees save face, and come out with a little PR victory, that A-Rod came back to them.

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17 responses to “The Pendulum Swings

  1. Lawyer-Wearing-Yarmulka

    Passed the Bar Exam!!!

    And I’ll take A-Rod back. The guy’s a phony, but he’s still the best player in baseball.

  2. Noyam, I agree with you. The guy is a phony BS artist who is not a great or loyal guy but he’s a great baseball player and will definitely make the Yankees far better than without him. And I agree that they were smart to re-sign him. With that being said, there is something important as a fan about liking the players on your team. Obviously the goal is to win (which is why I said it was smart to resign him) but optimally it is best to win with good guys on your team. That is why the Yankee championship teams of the recent vintage were special – b/c they were great teams with likable players. Part of why I can’t watch more than one minute of a Knick game is b/c the team is a bunch of classless punks. I hated when the Rangers got Lindross for the same reason. He was obviously not a guy who cared about his team – it was all about him (contrast this to Messier whose entire focus was getting the NY Ranger franchise a cup and not putting himself above the team). The Ranger stick salute (as we have discussed) is the antithesis of this – it’s classy, shows fan appreciation and puts team above the individual. Anyway, if I were a Yankee fan I would have mixed feelings b/c A-Rod is a must sign but he’s also a jerk and noone likes jerks on their team.

  3. That now makes you Overworkedandunderpayed-Wearing-Yarmulka. From a guy who knows.

    Seriously, congratulations – it’s always a big relief.

  4. I’m in meetings today and can’t post. But I emailed extensively with Noyam and Moishe about this – Noyam, can you post some of my comments? Basically, the yanks are about to overpay. The rest of the league was chastened by the $252 million Texas contract – they were not about to go so high (and make the same mistake again).

  5. Adam, the Yanks don’t mind overpaying. Of course no one player is worth that kind of money but for a team that feels it needs to make the playoffs every year and win the WS every other year, you need to overpay. There would be 10 teams lining up to pay him that kind of money if they had the deep pockets the Yankees have. Such is MLB.

  6. I passed as well.

    Signing ARod for 27-28 million a year over 10 years is definitely worth it, considering how valuable his is to the Yanks and in general. It’s also good PR for both sides. It’s a no-brainer.

  7. Is everyone forgetting that $28 million is a lot of money? That is basically double what the Yankees were paying him last year. It’s 50% more than their next highest player, Jeter, is paid. It’s 40% more than the next highest player in Baseball. I’m not saying it isn’t a good thing to have A-Rod on your team, I’m just saying that $28 million is above market value.

  8. Given how quickly A-rod bent over for Hank and Hal, I’m willing to bet the Yankees could have made an offer of either fewer years or less per year. Could the money have been better spent elsewhere? Who knows, but it certainly would have left a big hole at third.

    Also, I know he’s a pretty young guy, but how effective is he really going to be toward the tail-end of this contract? I’m not predicting a Kevin Brown disaster or anything, but just curious what the expectations are for those final few years.

  9. L-W-Y and Nephtuli: Mazel Tov!

    Rob: but he’s also a jerk and noone likes jerks on their team. I don’t think he’s a jerk, per se just that he’s a media savvy phony. I have no idea what kind of teammate he is, and on the field, he plays hard every game and is always prepared. Personality and PR aside, that’s exactly the kind of player I want on my team.

    Adam: Your percentages are irrelevant (and a little off: Jeter makes $20m/season now, and Giambi, at $21m is the second-highest paid). Who cares how much money it is? As long as there is no salary cap, the Yankees aren’t contrained in how much they can spend. The “better spent elsewhere” concept doesn’t apply to Yankees and money. It does with roster flexibility and personnel, and A-Rod gives them both: 100% replacement value over the player they “lost” (which few others could do, maybe only Miguel Cabrera) without having to trade valuable pitching prospects to do it.

    Is everyone forgetting that $28 million is a lot of money? No, nobody’s forgetting. Nobody cares. It doesn’t matter.

    Dan: but how effective is he really going to be toward the tail-end of this contract? That also doesn’t matter. You need him now, this is how you get him. Considering that A-Rod started at 19, it’s very possible that his career arc isn’t steep, and he’ll still be a serviceable major leaguer (if not a $28m/year star) at the end of his contract.

  10. He definitely will not be as good at the end of his career, but A-Rod is selling that history will be made when he’s 42, even if he’s not much of a contributing player. Whatever, I guess that’s one theory of how to build a “winner” where “championships” are the only benchmarks of success!

  11. Also – before ppl start talking about I’m the only one who didn’t mention yet that he passed the bar… I passed…

  12. I think he’s selfish in that he doesn’t care about the Yankee organization/fans at all. By way of example, David Wright doesn’t only want to win a WS for himself, he also wants to win for NY and the city’s Met fans. I don’t know this as fact but it’s my perception of their respective attitudes. This makes A-Rod less likable from my vantage point.

  13. Congratulations to all those who passed – May you all make as much as A-Rod

  14. …. and if so share with your fellow bloggers.

  15. I think that the Red Sox are silly for not getting involved. Money/payroll is almost as (in)significant to them as it is to the Yankees and having A-Rod not wear a Yankees uniform for the next 10 years is to their obvious benefit both in terms of the wins he’d generate for them and the wins not being generated for the Yankees.

    Mike Lowell is a very good baseball player. He had a very good season and a very good post-season. But he ain’t A-Rod.

  16. It’s Monday morning. We need a new topic.

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