Wednesday, June 24, 2015

5 comments What A-Rod Has Done Wrong Today: He Hates Charities and Won't Create Controversy on Demand

It's been a long, tough summer for New York writers who were waiting to jump on the many mistakes A-Rod would make over the 2015 season. He really hasn't made many at all. He's hitting the baseball well and adapting to his job as the Yankees' designated hitter. He's caused no problems that I know of, and if he wasn't hated due to his cheating, the fact he's playing so well at an advanced age for a professional athlete would be celebrated. But that's not how it is. No one likes A-Rod, especially when there is no reason not to like A-Rod. When A-Rod doesn't give New York sportswriters a reason to dislike him, that's more annoying than anything else. So Bill Madden does what he can to drum up some controversy by pointing out that A-Rod will not drum up any controversy to respond to the Yankees' offer of donating $6 million to the charity of A-Rod's choice.

Why won't A-Rod say anything or respond publicly to the offer? Doesn't A-Rod realize it's more exciting for him to publicly reject this offer rather than privately reject the offer? Doesn't A-Rod realize the Yankees promising him $6 million if he met a milestone is the exact same thing as the Yankees giving $6 million to the charity of A-Rod's choice? If I promise you $10,000 to run a package from Philadelphia to Japan, but don't like the fact it took longer than I wanted it to, so I say I will give the $10,000 to your favorite charity instead, wouldn't that just please you? You are getting $10,000 to give to your favorite charity. That's better than having the money for yourself.

Can A-Rod not be satisfied? He was promised $6 million and the Yankees don't want to pay it to him. Why can't he just accept the Yankees giving this money to a charity? Does A-Rod hate charities that much? If A-Rod doesn't hate charities and hates the Yankees for not giving him $6 million, why can't he say it publicly so Bill Madden can write a story about A-Rod's quotes on this topic?

I like the "new" A-Rod. He's hitting the ball and he's not really saying much. He's letting this whole grievance of $6 million play out behind the scenes and not commenting. Of course, the New York media finds this unacceptable, so they have to find something wrong with A-Rod's approach to take the high ground.

In his ever-percolating home run milestone grievance with the Yankees — which was expected to come to a head Saturday but was pushed back until Monday — Alex Rodriguez’s silence is deafening.


A face-saving olive branch from the Yankees has been out there for a while, but A-Rod, on the advice of his attorneys and handlers, is having none of it. 

I always throw this disclaimer in here it seems, but I'm not an A-Rod apologist. I really try not to be. The way the New York media frames anything that concerns A-Rod forces me to call them on their bullshit. Let's be clear here...the Yankees signed a contract saying they would give A-Rod $6 million when he passed Willie Mays on the all-time home run list. The Yankees don't like that A-Rod got busted for using steroids, which is their right to be horrified by this. A-Rod still wants the $6 million that was in the contract he signed for passing Willie Mays on the all-time home run list, which is his right as a person who signed the contract.

Bill Madden is framing this discussion in such an anti-Rodriguez way though. Look at the language he is using.

"A face-saving olive branch from the Yankees..." like the Yankees are the ones trying to make peace in this situation when the grievance Rodriguez has is that the Yankees won't give him the money promised in his contract. The Yankees are not living up to a contract they signed, but they get credit for offering the olive branch?

"but A-Rod, on the advice of his attorneys and handlers..." like A-Rod has no control over the decision. He's totally and completely at fault on his own for using PED's, but when it comes to anything else he's just a puppet on a string. It's silly to believe A-Rod isn't anything but 100% culpable for his errors, but when it comes to making decisions about $6 million, all of a sudden A-Rod can't make his own decisions.

" having none of it" like the Yankees aren't trying to violate a contract they signed with A-Rod, as if he is a villain forcing them to pay money they didn't contractually agree to pay him. Bill Madden is framing this like he himself wouldn't go after $6 million in this situation. It's ridiculous the way Madden writes about this situation.

Sunday marked the 45-day deadline for A-Rod to file a grievance against the Yankees for their refusal to recognize his tying Willie Mays on the all-time home run list as a milestone, which under a separate marketing deal from his contract would have required them to pay him a $6 million bonus.

That day came and went with no agreement and no grievance filed.

So not only is A-Rod a huge distraction, but he's also not filing a grievance at this point in an effort to get the situation resolved without ever having to file a grievance. Does it get more diabolical than a person quietly asserting what he believes to be his rights in a manner that is as non-confrontational and distracting as possible? What type of monster tries to see if an agreement can be worked out before filing a grievance? He thinks he's A-God, not merely A-Rod. 

Rodgriguez, when asked following Sunday’s win in Baltimore about a possible grievance, said: “That stuff will work itself out. I don’t know much about those kind of things.”

Oh sure, now Rodgriguez (spelling, Bill, spelling) claims to have NO KNOWLEDGE about what is going on, just like Bill Madden claims he has no knowledge of what's going on. Bill Madden knows that he was wrong when he said A-Rod's handlers were taking care of the situation and making him hold out for more money, but he can't admit that. Bill can't believe that A-Rod is pretending not to know what Bill Madden claims A-Rod doesn't know when it's obvious that Bill Madden doesn't know what A-Rod knows but A-Rod knows enough to know he's playing coy about what he does know. This is very, very clear. 

While the Yankees remain confident in their position that A-Rod’s admission to using steroids and his subsequent year-long suspension from baseball has made him and his accomplishments unmarketable, they suggested to the MLB Players Association months ago that the dispute possibly could be settled by the Yankees making a donation — less than the $6 million — to a charity of Rodriguez’s choice.

So to sum it up, the Yankees not only won't give A-Rod the $6 million he claims he's owed for passing Willie Mays on the all-time home run list, but they won't even give the charity of his choice the full $6 million instead of giving the money to A-Rod. The Yankees won't give A-Rod $6 million and have held out an olive branch of an offer to give a charity less than the $6 million A-Rod claims they owe him. But again, Rodriguez is the bad guy here, not the Yankees. 

“If you guys are so interested in my charities, I’ll be at the Boys and Girls Club on Tuesday,” said a smiling Rodriguez Sunday. 

Oh, you snide son of a bitch. Bill Madden would cut your throat if he could. Smiling while talking about the Boys and Girls Club, bragging about how involved you are.

“That’s a great organization and we welcome all you guys to come out and give the Boys and Girls Club some exposure.”

What a son of a bitch's son of a bitch. A-Rod knows the New York media has no intent on giving the Boys and Girls Club some exposure. That's not what they want to do at all, but he just HAS to be cocky about it and point out the New York media is only looking for controversy to stir up rather than having a genuine interest in a charity receiving the "less than $6 million" that was supposed to go to A-Rod. What kind of animal points out the media's fake concern that charities are receiving exposure? 

Rodriguez, however, has given no indication to the union or the Yankees that he has any intentions other than trying to make them pay him the full $6 million bonus and additional $6 million bonuses should he tie Babe Ruth (714), Hank Aaron (755) and Barry Bonds (762) on the all-time homer list.

He's given no intention he's willing to accept less than $6 million, but of course he's also not filed a grievance yet. So A-Rod also hasn't given an indication he isn't willing to work something out with the Yankees. But yeah, stay negative.

Rodriguez is apparently willing to once again go before the same baseball arbitrator, Fredric Horowitz, who found him guilty on all counts — but reduced his sentence — in his appeal of his 211-game suspension for doping in 2013, to force the payments.

All of a sudden it's A-Rod, and not his handlers, who is at the controls of this scheme again. It's hard for me to keep up with when A-Rod is and is not in control of this situation. And yes, A-Rod seems to be willing to go to this arbitrator, but as I often say when it comes to Peter King discussing contract negotiations, this is all a part of the negotiation so who knows what really A-Rod is willing to do? It could all be posturing.

If Rodriguez should prevail — and all the parties are said to privately have agreed not to hold Monday as a firm deadline for A-Rod to file his grievance since it won’t be heard anyway until after the season — the Yankees would also be required to pay an additional $3 million in luxury taxes.

Rodriguez is basically a cartoonish Bond villain at this point. Not only is he insisting the Yankees pay him the amount they contractually agreed to, but the fact the Yankees won't pay A-Rod $6 million is now costing the team $3 million more in luxury taxes. When will Rodriguez finally stop his continuous reign of evil? He's forcing the Yankees to spend more money, thereby hurting the team, by winning a grievance he hasn't filed yet in a hearing that hasn't occurred yet. If Rodriguez would just let the Yankees cheat him out of money, the Yankees could save even more money. But nooooooooooo, his selfishness knows no end.

It would appear to be a difficult case for A-Rod to prove since there have been zero commercial/endorsement opportunities presented to either Rodriguez or the Yankees for his passing of Mays — or, for that matter, to Rodriguez for the 3,000-hit milestone he’s closing in on.

A player can be marketable even without getting commercial/endorsement opportunities. Go check out how much a signed A-Rod jersey bids for and see if he is still not marketable. 

(By contrast, Derek Jeter had numerous commercial/endorsement deals after he reached 3,000 hits.)

Jeter also had numerous commercial/endorsement deals before he reached 3,000 hits as well. And of course Derek Jeter is going to be mentioned at some point, as if nearly any professional athlete can live up to the image Jeter crafted for himself on the field and as an endorser. Simply because A-Rod isn't as marketable as Derek Jeter doesn't mean he isn't marketable. 

As one baseball official noted Sunday: “Alex can’t even make the case that he’s helped the Yankees this year with his comeback season as their attendance and TV ratings are both down.”

How do we know ratings and attendance wouldn't be further down if A-Rod wasn't playing? Perhaps ratings and attendance would have declined further if it weren't for Rodriguez. Plus, attendance and ratings are a sign that the Yankees team as a whole isn't as marketable as it once was and not a reflection simply on one player. 

It is believed the only reason the Yankees made any suggestion to settle with a charity donation was because of the enormous cost of litigating the case — 

It's also believed that a charity donation isn't what A-Rod thinks the contract he signed called for and a charity donation of less than $6 million isn't even the amount A-Rod was promised for passing Mays. But again, Bill Madden has to look at this issue from the point of view of the Yankees organization. 

Regardless, if it’s war he wants with them again, the Yankees are said to be confident they will win it and prepared to spend whatever it takes to make their case.

One minute Madden is decrying how the Yankees will have to spend $3 million more in luxury taxes if A-Rod wins and talks about how ratings and attendance are down, then he paints the Yankees as an organization with deep pockets who are fighting a moral war to avoid having to pay money they contractually agreed to pay. 

“I’m not going to get into that now. All that stuff is family business and will be handled privately,” said Rodriguez. 

Congratulations A-Rod, you are now causing a distraction by refusing to cause a distraction. Now the whole team is upset with you (they aren't) and this will probably if all goes well affect your play (it won't) so that the New York media can then state you were too concerned about lining your pockets when you needed to be worried about helping the Yankees win games. Not causing a distraction is a distraction. Bill Madden is horrified that you refuse to comment on the grievance you haven't filed yet, thereby creating controversy when he has to write this column about how you aren't creating controversy.


Chris said...

I generally don't like the NY media in general but with A-Rod it's over the top. The prevailing attitude is well Alex should be grateful we even let him be here at all, as if the Yankees have a choice since no one else in baseball is gonna take on that contract and the media circus that would surely follow, even if A-Rod has been invisible in terms of off the field stuff. Like you I always have to say I am not an A-Rod apologist by any means but it seems the Yankees and Alex are content with the relationship they currently have. But god help us all if the goes through a slump because this what A-Rod had done wrong today stuff will become far far worse.

Chris said...

Almost forgot, and maybe I am being naive, but surely if Girardi is putting Alex in the lineup and letting him do his job then obviously the olive branch of peace was at some point accepted by somebody be it the Yankees or A-Rod right?

Snarf said...

One thing they (NY writers) don't seem to grasp is that it's not even just about this $6M. If he accepts that they donate this money, then that gives them some precedent for the future milestones that they are tainted.

Snarf said...

Also, it sounds a lot like the Yankees are really more about avoiding luxury tax rather than any sort of moral point about the $6M itself.

Bengoodfella said...

Chris, I'm sadly cheering for A-Rod. I say sadly, because I feel like I shouldn't be cheering for him due to the fact he is a cheater and a liar. Everything is so over the top when he's being discussed. They are trying to handle this behind the scenes, but that's just not good enough apparently.

I think A-Rod being in the lineup is acceptance that A-Rod is one of their better hitters. They are using him for his hitting ability. Poor guy.

Snarf, that's interesting and I haven't looked at it that way. For example, if A-Rod loses this and the Yankees don't have to pay him $6 million directly could teams come after a player's salary if he gets caught using PED's? Maybe it's not that slippery of a slope, but it wouldn't stop teams from trying.