Friday, March 6, 2015

0 comments What A-Rod Has Done Wrong Today: He Prevented the Yankees From Signing Free Agents

It's not hard for the media to find things that A-Rod has done wrong. They simply exaggerate something small or turn a good thing A-Rod has done into a bad thing. So what A-Rod has done wrong today is he signed a contract that allows him to earn $61 million over the next three years and this is singlehandedly prevented the Yankees from signing Yoan Moncada. His contract is the only bloated contract on the Yankees roster, so it's definitely his fault the Yankees lost Moncada to the Red Sox. Look at the Yankees payroll. See A-Rod at the top as the fourth-highest paid player on the team? Not only can't he earn his keep like Mark Teixeira does, but his contract is causing the Yankees to lose free agents. By existing, A-Rod is hurting the chances the Yankees have of competing. I'll let Joel Sherman explain better than I can.

Early Monday, the Yankees found out Yoan Moncada wasn’t coming to their minor league complex and Alex Rodriguez was.

I know the Yankees were probably hoping he wouldn't, but were they under the impression that A-Rod just wouldn't show up to spring trainig at all?

This was a symbolic crossroads moment for the organization. A 19-year-old they wanted got away — to the Red Sox — and a 39-year-old they wished would go away came back.

But it's not a crossroads because the Yankees still have a ton of resources and Moncada is an unproven entity who could very well be Jose Abreu or could very well just not be Jose Abreu while being overpaid.

Ultimately, the Yankees refused to invest $63 million to inject more talent into their farm system.

Perhaps that is because they never were able to make the $61 million they owe Rodriguez go away.

The Yankees lost out on Moncada because they wouldn't give him $9 million more to match the offer the Red Sox made. I'm sure that $9 million wasn't spent because A-Rod is owed $61 million and not because A-Rod is only the fourth-highest paid player on the roster during the 2015 season. The Yankees still owe Teixeira $45 million, owe C.C. Sabathia $73 million, $133 million to Masahiro Tanaka, $131 million (or $110 million if they don't pick up his club option in 2022) to Jacoby Ellsbury, and $68 million to a 31 year old catcher (Brian McCann). It's totally A-Rod's fault that the Yankees couldn't spend an extra $9 million to bid on Moncada. It's not like there are other bloated contracts on the roster. Yes, "perhaps" it is A-Rod's fault that Moncada isn't a Yankee. The team that gave Chris Capuano, Garrett Jones and Stephen Drew $15 million for next year couldn't find $9 million to spend on Moncada. It's not possible that "perhaps" the Yankees just didn't want to up their bid. It has to be A-Rod's fault they lost out on Moncada.

The albatross contracts of A-Rod, CC Sabathia and Mark Teixeira have two or three more years to run, and until they expire, the Yanks are drawing firmer financial lines in the sand rather than following their long-held policy of “Get ’em at any price.”

True, but the title of this column is "On Day 1, Yankees find new reason to shun A-Rod." If it's about A-Rod, it leads.

So the Yankees were willing to offer Moncada $25 million with an indication they would go to $27 million. Thanks to a 100 percent penalty tax for exceeding the international signing pool, that $27 million sum would have actually cost the Yankees $54 million, and the Red Sox’s winning bid of $31.5 million will cost them $63 million.
For the difference of $9 million, the Yanks allowed the Red Sox to deepen what already is perceived as a far superior feeder system.

This is typical stupid, nonsensical sportswriting from a New York sportswriter. Joel Sherman seems to believe the Yankees are only competing with the Red Sox for the AL East or World Series title, so any move the Red Sox make must immediately be matched by the Yankees. Because the working assumption is that every big move the Red Sox make is a really, really smart move that will propel them to the top of the division. If the Red Sox get a deal with Gatorade, then the Yankees must spend more to get a deal with Powerade. This is how the brain dead New York sports media works. Beating the Red Sox at whatever game the New York media decides must be played is all that really matters.

After more than a year away, Rodriguez spent his first day back on Yankees soil treated with — at best — distance. The Yanks say that is because they weren’t expecting him. But they had several hours to audible into a more helpful posture to Rodriguez and never did.

They were probably still enraged that A-Rod showed up to camp early AND singlehandedly prevented them from signing Moncada by refusing to allow the organization to spend $9 million more to match the Red Sox bid. A-Rod now apparently controls the purse strings of the Yankees front office. Who knew?

Maybe it is because they still are issuing tough love for all the bile and lawsuits Rodriguez hurled at them last year, and because of his refusal to have a Yankee Stadium press conference before pitchers and catchers reported this year.

Yes, the tough love the Yankees are giving A-Rod from all the bile he's hurled at them. I forgot, was it A-Rod who was trying to take $61 million from the Yankees organization or was it the Yankees organization who worked hard to make sure they didn't have to pay $61 million to A-Rod? It seems Joel Sherman has forgotten too. I guarantee you if the "New York Post" was trying to take money from Joel Sherman's pocket, even for reasons that were Sherman's fault, he wouldn't consider the "Post" to be the victim. Again, logic goes out the window when A-Rod is involved.

Not one significant Yankees official attended his first workout in a team facility since his suspension. Can you imagine another player owed the money Rodriguez is owed who would not draw Joe Girardi or a major league hitting coach or general manager Brian Cashman or head of personnel Billy Eppler?

And of course, the Yankees refusal to watch the guy who they owe $61 million to and is singlehandedly holding them back from signing free agents is a knock on A-Rod. Logic wouldn't indicate that perhaps it is a fault of the Yankees organization that they won't invest time into making sure a guy they are paying $61 million to will contribute to the team. The refusal to attend A-Rod's first workout shows what an asshole A-Rod is and isn't at all an indication of how the Yankees may bitch and moan about A-Rod's contract, but they aren't willing to help him succeed either.

And can you imagine any other player the Yankees would let fend for himself with 35 reporters without sending even one media relations employee over to help at such a delicate time?

No, but again, the immaturity of the Yankees organization is the fault of A-Rod. Hey, maybe the reason A-Rod wouldn't have a press conference at Yankee Stadium is because he knows the Yankees organization would let the reporters have a field day asking him questions that they can use to bash him and they don't have his best interests at heart? Joel Sherman doesn't think about this. He's not smart enough to think, "The Yankees have left A-Rod to fend for himself, rightly or wrongly, so maybe that's why he won't do exactly as they say when it comes to talking to the press." It's another fault of A-Rod that he won't do exactly as the Yankees wish of him, while knowing they don't at all have his best interests at heart. He shouldn't look out for himself. That's just selfish.

Instead, A-Rod leaned against a parking lot gate outside the minor league complex and, with cars whizzing by on Himes Avenue, answered questions for eight minutes.

Any credit given for answering the questions? No? Great. Let's get back to blaming him for the Yankees being outbid by the Red Sox for Moncada.

Monday, when the Yankees learned A-Rod was planning to work out at the minor league complex around 11 a.m., they intercepted to say he needed to take a physical first across the street at George M. Steinbrenner Field.
Rodriguez — in his current pose as good employee — did just that. He arrived at the minor league complex around 1 p.m. and worked out for about an hour. If you did not know it was Rodriguez, his batting practice was a veteran prepping for the season. Nothing special.

A-Rod is an asshole for not holding a press conference at Yankee Stadium, yet he gets mocked for doing exactly as the team wants him to do otherwise. It's hard to win if the media keeps moving the goalposts.

If you wanted to try to apply meaning, he did hit a half-dozen over the fence, but his fly balls did not have the backspin from his prime that seemed to turn baseballs into golf balls and give them extra distance. Is that because it is the third week of February and it is a normal progression? Or is it because he is in the late December of his career?

I don't know, Joel. It could be because he's 39 years old. Derek Jeter hit 4 home runs last year in 581 at-bats when he was 40 years old. It's almost like age catches up with players later in their career...except for those players who are using PED's. Which of course, if A-Rod did hit home runs with the normal backspin of his prime then Joel Sherman would suggest A-Rod was still using PED's. Again, it's hard to win if the media keeps moving the goalposts.

He said he was not on any illegal performance enhancers and — asked how he could justify tarnishing a game he claims to love — Rodriguez responded: “No mistake that I’ve made has any good answer. There’s no good answer. It’s unexplainable. I’ve dug a big hole for myself. I paid a price.”


Rodriguez has put on a fake face before to try to escape low moments. But we should think of him as the child in the team-player relationship, and the Yanks as the adult.

Okay, I can see that. A-Rod can sort of be a child. If the Yankees are the adult then they are the adult who tries to take money from the child and won't support the child when he is in need of support, while making a passive-aggressive attempt to ensure that child fails. That certainly sounds like an adult to me.

I understand the well-earned Yankees rage at this child, but now they should rise above it — remember they are the adults. A-Rod needs the organization’s assistance on the field and with media.

Yes, but the fact they won't provide this assistance shows they aren't the adult. Funny how the Yankees organization gets the benefit of the doubt from Sherman. Both sides can't be dipshits and in the wrong. Sides must be taken and Sherman has taken the Yankees' side.

At a crossroads moment, the Yankees decided not to spend $60 million-plus on Moncada. As for the $60 million-plus they already owe, the Yankees have to transition back to good cop and see if they can get the most out of this man-child.

Such a weak attempt to bring A-Rod's contract into the reason the Yankees didn't get Moncada. It certainly couldn't be the other contracts the Yankees have which prevented them from bidding $9 million more to match the Red Sox bid. Maybe the guy the Yankees are paying $15 million to this year who says his best years are behind him was part of the reason the Yankees wouldn't spend $9 million more on Moncada. The Yankees owe $30 million to a guy who can't stay healthy and admits he's not such a great player anymore. But that should be ignored in favor of trying to connect the Yankees missing out on Moncada to A-Rod's existence on the roster. There's definitely more correlation there.