Sunday, April 5, 2015

0 comments What A-Rod Has Done Wrong Today: He Didn't Sharpen His Thespian Abilities

Alex Rodriguez had a pretty good spring training by the way. He actually managed to hit a few home runs and hasn't caused the ruckus that the New York media has wanted him to cause. They wanted a circus surrounding A-Rod where a few of his teammates would back stab him and they could write all about it with glee. It hasn't happened. Of course, as I have detailed, this means the New York media has had to work extra hard (which they are against...the New York media prefers easy-to-write stories based on controversy, the longer the controversy lasts the better) to come up with things that A-Rod has done wrong. Today, Bob Raissman uses a video re-enactment of "The Sandlot" to point out that A-Rod is no longer in the Yankees' marketing plans. It's always something negative about A-Rod, even if Raissman has to streeeeeeeeeeetch to get there. A-Rod's name gets pageviews and turning anything surrounding or not surrounding A-Rod into a negative has become a sport.

Anyone else wondering why Alex Rodriguez did not perform in the Yankees’recent video re-enactment of the Babe Ruth scene from the 1993 movie “The Sandlot?”

No, I absolutely did not care nor was I wondering why Alex Rodriguez was not in that video re-enactment. In fact, I was going through my list of priorities on the day I saw that video and this is how the things I cared about were prioritized.

1. Shit I have to do, don't have to do, may not do, and anything else I may be thinking of doing or worrying about during the day that I will never get through unless there is 1,023,150 hours in a day.

2. Why wasn't A-Rod in that video re-enactment of the Babe Ruth scene from the 1993 movie "The Sandlot"?

Well as Jack Woltz, the big-shot studio boss in “The Godfather,” might say: “You don’t understand. A-Rod never gets that movie. That part is perfect for him.”

Great use of a quote from "The Godfather," which is a movie about a family that leads a life of crime and the youngest son tries through three movies to get the family out of the life of crime. There is an obvious parallel here to the Yankees, where A-Rod is leading the team down a life of crime through PED use and it's up to the younger guys, the same ones who appears in this video, to get the Yankees out of this PED spiral. And obviously, Bob Raissman thinks things around the Yankees would get better if A-Rod would just get shot or die in a garden.

An appearance by Rodriguez in the video would be tantamount to Yankees brass giving him their true stamp of approval and officially welcoming him back into the fold as a member in good standing.

So A-Rod not appearing in the video isn't because he chose not to appear or it just couldn't be fit into his schedule, but it was a metaphorical and literal move by the Yankees to distance themselves from A-Rod.

And you know if A-Rod HAD appeared in the video then Bob Raissman would write an article that went along the lines of, "The attempted A-Rod redemption tour continues with the video he made with the rest of his Yankees teammates. He's doing his best to make the public think he's not a liar and a cheat, but he'll never erase the stain of his past deeds."

In fact, I think Bob Raissman is mad A-Rod wasn't in the video, because it was a perfectly good opportunity missed to rip A-Rod for trying to be light-hearted.

It would also further soften Rodriguez’s tainted image, placing him smack in the middle of a singular group of players the organization has left to market.

Exactly. The Yankees do not want Rodriguez to be acknowledged as part of the team, so the role he would have had in the video went to another player the Yankees liked. The Yankees are pulling some strings for the purposes of pulling A-Rod from a silly video. I'm sure that's a realistic line of thought. 

Seriously, as cute and fun as this video is, it shows the direction and lengths Bombers brass must go to sell players like CC Sabathia, Didi Gregorius, Dellin Betances, Jacoby Ellsbury, Brian McCann and Brett Gardner.

Oh yeah, because what Yankees fan has ever heard of no-name players like Jacoby Ellsbury, CC Sabathia, Brian McCann and Brett Gardner? Who are these guys? It's not like three of these guys were expensive free agents the team signed and received a ton of press for signing or anything like that. Without Derek Jeter on the team, half of these Yankees players need name tags. That's the line Bob Raissman is selling here.

We are a long way from the Joe Torre years. The Yankees were once a mixture of the Core Four, high-priced superstar free agents and other assorted homegrown heroes.

Total contract value for four of these players? $472 million. Oh yeah, I remember the days when the Yankees had high-priced superstar free agents on the roster. Why doesn't that happen anymore? Dellin Betances is a homegrown player for the Yankees. But yeah, in all serious the Yankees of 2015 aren't the same team that they fielded in the late 90's and early 2000's. This doesn't mean Yankees fans don't know who Ellsbury, Sabathia, McCann, Gardner, Gregorius, and Betances are of course.

Ticket sales and TV ratings were not a problem.

But now the Yankees are struggling financially and the Yankees were only 3rd in the majors in attendance last year. They are struggling and nothing proves this better than A-Rod not appearing in a re-enactment video from a movie. By the way, Bob Raissman may be going insane.

The reality now is the Yankees are a team in transition. The glitz is gone. See, it’s doubtful any current players are going to be seen, like Derek Jeter was, in national TV commercials providing huge exposure for him and the team.

Players like Derek Jeter only come along once in a decade or two, so it's not surprising the Yankees don't have a current player who can immediately fill the national TV spot void that Jeter had. You know what other team doesn't have a player who appears in national TV commercials? The San Francisco Giants. That probably explains why they are a team in transition and were only 4th in attendance last season.

This means going in another direction to sell individual players to potential ticket buyers and viewers. Instead of just relying on the hard sell — only featuring pure baseball video, interviews, etc. — the producers of the “Sandlot” video showed these guys in a different light.

This video means about 1.56% of what Bob Raissman believes it means. And I like how Derek Jeter isn't even on the Yankee roster anymore, but everything still comes back to him at some point. Old habits for New York sportswriters die hard.

They are doing some acting, having a lot of fun, showing plenty of personality. The cast comes off as very likeable.

And that's why A-Rod wasn't in the video, because nobody in the Yankees organization finds him to be likeable he was not invited to be in the video. A-Rod's absence is conspicuous because Bob Raissman needs A-Rod's absence to be conspicuous. Everything means something when Raissman faces a deadline and can't think of anything else to write about.

None of this translates to what will go down on the field this season.

What? You mean because the Yankees did a team re-enactment of a scene from "The Sandlot" this doesn't mean anything for how they will perform on the field during the season? This is beyond shocking to me. I was under the impression team videos in spring training had a direct impact on a team's performance on the field during the season. Who can forget the Royals, another team with no marketable superstars who somehow managed to win enough baseball games last year to make an appearance in the World Series, and their team karaoke edition of "I Will Survive" last spring training? This performance was credited by Ned Yost as the very reason the Royals made the World Series. I guess Ned Yost was wrong.

What this video does translate to is it translates as a direct attempt by the Yankees to convince the public that Alex Rodriguez is not on the Yankee team and to indicate by A-Rod's lack of an appearance in the video that he is NOT a part of the team's marketing strategy. The Yankees want to get no-name players like Brian McCann, CC Sabathia, Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner at the forefront of the team's marketing in an effort to get the public to know their names. This wasn't just a team video, it was a direct attempt by the Yankees to shun A-Rod.

But this is about being proactive, trying to sell the team in different ways. Showing players out of their element is good business, smart marketing.

I bet the Yankees are glad they have Bob Raissman's approval. I know the team was nervous that Bob wouldn't think they used smart marketing, especially knowing he was on to them when he saw they left A-Rod out of the re-enactment video. Mark Texieira is also left out of the re-enactment video, so who knows what that means for Tex's future with the Yankees franchise? Masashiro Tanaka wasn't in the team video either, so I guess the Yankees aren't planning to market the team using him in any way. This team video featuring a re-enactment of a scene from "The Sandlot" is indicative of the Yankees ENTIRE marketing plan for the 2015 season.

After all, despite what serious seamheads, saber(metric) swallowers,

Bob immediately loses more credibility by writing "saber(metric) swallowers." Bob is hitting for the cycle right now though by creating issues where there isn't one, projecting issues on to the Yankees that may not exist involving Alex Rodriguez, participating in some Derek Jeter nostalgia on how life around the Yankees won't ever be the same again without him around until it is, and he manages to bash Sabermetrics. Very impressive.

and self-proclaimed guardians of the game swear, baseball is more show business than anything else. No different from a movie or a Broadway show.

This from a guy who found time to bitch about American announcers seeming to cheer for the United States during the World Cup. Baseball is show business, but soccer announcers have no right to try and help citizens of their country try to enjoy a soccer game by showing a slight bias towards one team. Who cares if nearly every country had announcers from their home country calling the games? Baseball is entertainment, but announcing soccer games is some serious shit. 

And of course, Raissman tells his readers that baseball is entertainment while breathlessly trying to create a drama out of Alex Rodriguez not being in a team video. The huge deal Raissman and his media friends have made out of every single move A-Rod has made over the past few months definitely shows their understanding that baseball is just entertainment. That's why there has been all this journalistic grandstanding about A-Rod evilness, because it's just a sport, so why are you so serious about everything you stupid stat heads who refuse to moral grandstand about A-Rod's existence in the baseball landscape?

The idea is to push the product. By taking this video route, the Yankees showed creativity. Still, it will be impossible to quantify if this cinematic masterpiece produces tangible results.

This is probably one of the most meaningless columns I have ever read. It rambles from "A-Rod isn't in the video so that means something," to a rough transition on how this is the Yankees' entire marketing strategy, and now Bob Raissman is playing the critic who is judging whether this marketing attempt to build around no-name players that also happen to not be no-names will work for the Yankees or not. Will the Yankees have terrible attendance like they did last season when they were only 3rd in the majors in attendance? If not, this video will have worked. If the Yankees attendance stays in the doldrums of 3rd place, then it will just prove the team should have not marketed itself around players the average Yankees fan has never heard of, which also happen to be some of the highest paid players on the Yankees team. But of course it all comes back around to...

Especially without A-Rod’s presence.

A-Rod. It always comes back to an invented issue involving Alex Rodriguez. The New York media has to be frustrated that A-Rod has hit well in spring training and doesn't seem to have created the distraction they wanted him to create. Trying to connect A-Rod's lack of involvement in a team video to any feelings his teammates have about him or writing a column about what A-Rod not being in the team video may or may not mean is an incredibly pointless exercise. But hey, I'm the one that takes sports too seriously because I sometimes use Sabermetrics. If only I could be more laid back and view sports as entertainment like Bob Raissman does.