After initially denying a meeting with their former third baseman/likely 2015 DH Alex Rodriguez, the New York Yankees are now trying to alienate him further by attempting to deny him any bonuses he might reach in the remainder of his contract. You see, A-Rod is slated to make a $6 million bonus if he can hit enough home runs to match Willie Mays’ current total, and A-Rod is only 6 homers behind Willie. So, in all likelihood, A-Rod will definitely hit more than six home runs in the 2015 if he makes the team. Now, the Yankees are saying they should not have to pay A-Rod these bonuses because he agreed to the contract under false pretenses (i.e. his PED usage, admitted or not).
Here’s the problem: this is only $6 million dollars. If it were a different team, that could be significant, but these are the Yankees and $6 million is pocket change. Heck, I have zero baseball skills and they would probably sign me to a one year/$6 million deal. To me, this is nothing but a grudge the Yanks are holding. Yes, A-Rod should not have sued the team doctor and yes, he should not have made bitter enemies with most people in the organization. However, it makes no sense to discourage a dude from hitting homers.
Now, as anyone who reads this blog knows, I am a fan of A-Rod the athlete. A-Rod the person seems like a turd burger with extra turd cheese, but I can’t help but admire his stats and the accomplishments he has had. Yeah, they are tainted but so are the accomplishments of Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, and so many other great athletes I grew up watching. However, in writing this, I’m not necessarily defending him. I am merely pointing out how stupid it is that the Yanks are going to let a grudge potentially harm their chances of winning.
As big of a Yankee fan as I am, I can’t help but feel embarrassed by the whole thing. This childish display is all sour grapes if you ask me. No one is particularly excited to see A-Rod come back, but I think most Yankee fans would agree with me in saying that I would rather have A-Rod on the team producing some much needed offense so we can win instead of ostracizing him and giving him reason not to play well. If he is so vindictive that he needs $6 million as an incentive to play well, give the man his money! I’d rather see the Yanks in the post-season with A-Rod than no October baseball again in 2015. It’s foolish to think that he will be the only reason the Yanks do well, but any run support he can provide will be great. He won’t play third, unless it’s as a back-up, but I’ll be happy to have his bat in the line-up (provided, of course, that he can still hit).
The Yankees are stuck with A-Rod for another three years and given the money they owe him, it’s ignorant to think that he will not be playing in some capacity. If they believe he can help the team win, he will play. Ignore him, let him do his thing, whatever. It was stupid to give A-Rod home run bonuses considering he was long suspected of PED use before he signed the 10-year deal, and now the Yanks have to deal with the ramifications. You can’t back out now just because he pisses you off. In 2009, when he came out about his PED use with the Rangers earlier in his career, you didn’t back out then. Oh, wait, he was actually a productive player in 2009! That’s right. He helped you win the 2009 World Series, so heaven forbid you back out of his home run bonuses then. Oops.
So, Yankees, just stop this childish behavior. Focus on winning, please. Keep A-Rod motivated to hit and reap the potential rewards. And if you really don’t want to pay him $6 million as motivation, I’ll gladly take that money and work in the dugout as a motivator, and by that I mean I will slap the player’s butts for encouragement. I think I’d be good at that.