Yankees Attitude Towards A-Rod Bad Money

by Nik Swartz | Posted on Wednesday, January 28th, 2015
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Alex Rodriguez

Alex Rodriguez with Yankees GM Brian Cashman

When the New York Yankees made the decision to keep Alex Rodriguez as a member of the team heading into the 2015 season, as well as the foreseeable future, they knew everything he did to himself, as well the organization. They also knew that with Rodriguez they have a player who comes with a ton of baggage and an enormous amount of media attention; so why are they adding fuel to the fire?

It’s already a very uncomfortable situation for the team; it’s also a very uncomfortable situation for the players on the team, so why make it worse?

The Yankees are gearing up to head into the 2015 season without a true leader, they are heading into the 2015 season with more questions than answers and they are heading into the 2015 season with a team that will be hard pressed to make the playoffs, so getting into another media war with A-Rod makes absolutely no sense.

Rodriguez has already met with new MLB commissioner Rob Manfred, trying to save face with the league, and it’s not like anyone really buys into this new humble A-Rod, but Yankees brass should have at least taken a few minutes to hear what he had to say. By declining Rodriguez’s request, the Yankees organization is helping stroke a fire they can’t put out.

In addition to turning down Rodriguez’s request for a face-to-face, the team has also been trying to find loop holes to get out of the home run bonuses in his contract.

Obviously, when the contract was put together the Yankees were thinking Rodriguez’s run for the home run record would attract a lot of positive media attention, which would also attract positive media attention to the team. Now, with everything that Rodriguez has done, no one really takes any of his stats seriously, so the only attention Rodriguez will get as he runs up the home run ladder will be negative.

It is understandable the Yankees organization doesn’t want to pay Rodriguez for something that no longer will benefit them, and it would seem if they could find a way they would not pay him anything. Unfortunately they have to pay him. The Yankees agreed to this ridiculous contract and now the teams’ on going quest to find any and all outs to not pay him is hurting more than getting the money back could help.

The Yankees and Rodriguez are stuck in a marriage that neither really wants, but both have to find a way to coexist because there is no other team that wants Rodriguez and the $61 million he is owed over the next three seasons. (The $61 million doesn’t include the $6 million Rodriguez gets when he moves up the all-time home run leader board.)

There are some who think the Yankees are doing everything in their power to make life with the team as uncomfortable for Rodriguez as possible; what do the Yankees gain for this childish tactic?

Rodriguez may be a fool, but he is not foolish enough to walk away from all the guaranteed money the Yankees owe him.

It is known and very obvious that Rodriguez, even though he acts like he a confident man, has a very low self-esteem, and the Yankees’ plan seems to be to attack that low self-esteem in some attempt to get him to snap or make a mistake they can use to legally rid themselves of Rodriguez for good. The big problem with this approach, well one of the many big problems with this approach, is how does this benefit the 2015 Yankees?

The Yankees need all hands on deck this season and they need every player to pitch in to even have a chance at making a run at the postseason. Even if Rodriguez isn’t the man, or even a quarter of the man he once was, any Rodriguez is better than no Rodriguez.

It seems hard for the Yankees to look past all the embarrassment he has caused the organization, and that’s totally understandable, but Brian Cashman and Hal Steinbrenner need to find a way to coexist with this man for the next three seasons because he isn’t going anywhere. Making him feel uncomfortable and hated only makes this uncomfortable situation worse.

No one is saying they need to hug it out, or be buddies, but the recent mental game the team has been playing with Rodriguez hurts the Yankees.

The Yankees have been preaching team. The GM and owner have said they are doing all they can to get the team back to the postseason. It is counterproductive to humiliate any player on the roster, regardless of what he did. If he is on the opening day roster, which Rodriguez will be, the team needs to find a middle ground.

Rather than humiliating Rodriguez, and giving him every reason to quit on the team, the Yankees need to put more time into figuring out a way to milk the last drop of production left in Rodriguez’s tank.

Follow Nik Swartz on Twitter @Sweetnesz13

 

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Nik Swartz
About the Author

Graduate of Penn State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communication and Psychology, currently a counselor in Philadelphia. I started writing professionally in 1999 as the Penn State beat writer for the Milton Standard/Lewisburg Daily Journal in Pa. I have worked at eight daily newspapers as a Sports Writer/Editor - covering all high school sports, the NFL, professional baseball and professional hockey. A few sites I've written and/or contributed articles for include Rant Sports, Bleacher Report, FanSided and Pro Football Spot. Follow Nik on Twitter @Sweetnesz13.

  • gene

    A year ago the sports writers were absolutely crucifying the guy because of his juicing and the various idiotic lawsuits he instituted… against the Yankees, the team doctor, the Player’s union, MLB, etc.(there may be others I can’t think of right now).
    Now, it seems the writers want to help him clean up his image and cheer him on to his next goal of tying Willie Mays for home runs. They fault the Yankees for attempting to cancel the bonus arrangement because, as such, it was a marketing arrangement with tie-ins for photos, bobbleheads, etc. Well, that can’t happen now because, no matter how many apologies he does and no matter how many dingers he hits(if any), it won’t be marketable because NOBODY will care… he is and always will be seen as a lying cheat.

    • Nik Swartz

      I can tell you this Gene, this writer has always crucified Rodriguez and has not stopped anytime recently. Actually I just wrote an article the other day about him that was not very flattering, but in this case I think he did nothing wrong. And in the article I did write about why the Yankees would not want to pay the $6 million per for each place he moves up the HR list: “Obviously, when the contract was put together the Yankees were thinking Rodriguez’s run for the home run record would attract a lot of positive media attention, which would also attract positive media attention to the team. Now, with everything that Rodriguez has done, no one really takes any of his stats seriously, so the only attention Rodriguez will get as he runs up the home run ladder will be negative.

      It is understandable the Yankees organization doesn’t want to pay Rodriguez for something that no longer will benefit them, and it would seem if they could find a way they would not pay him anything. Unfortunately they have to pay him. The Yankees agreed to this ridiculous contract and now the teams’ on going quest to find any and all outs to not pay him is hurting more than getting the money back could help.
      I also agree with you he is a lying cheater and I personally can’t stand the guy, but the Yankees agreed to this contract and even if they are doing all they can to get out of money owed to him, blasting and humiliating him in the media is counterproductive. It does not matter that he is a cheater, it does not matter anymore what he did in the past; he will be a member of the 2015 New York Yankees. Since he is part of the team it really makes the Yankees management look like children that they are putting all this out to the media and it also hurts this man they are paying all this money to. It is no secret Rodriguez is a self-centered guy, so if he feels like the Yankees don’t want him, chances are he will give less effort, which in turn hurts the team. I would expect the Yankees to take the high road. They are the ones saying, “We are going to treat him like any other player.” I am pretty sure none of the Yankees’ players would want management to humiliate them in the press. Bottom line, this article was not one sticking up for Rodriguez; it was not one from someone trying to clean up his image. It was also not written by someone who likes Rodriguez the man, but as long as he is on the Yankees I will cheer for him to do well.

  • David

    Would the Yankees sign Alex for $6 million to play this year if he was a free agent?

    Thinking it through… IF the Yankees have to pay $6 mil to Alex if he hits 6 HRs this year, they will basically be choosing to pay him $6 mil for playing. The $61 mil is gone and not part of the financial equation. So it doesn’t make financial sense to play him unless they think he will be worth $6 mil more than than someone they could promote from within. They also come out ahead if they cut Alex and sign someone better for up to $6 mil.

    SO in order to make the correct financial decision they need to know if they can get out of paying the $6 mil bonus, and they need to find out BEFORE he reaches it. This is why it makes sense for the Yankees to address the legal issues now and not wait til after he hits his 6th HR this year.







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