I meant to write this a few days ago, but oh well.
So Alex Rodriguez has exercised his contractual right and opted out of his employment with the New York Yankees. As a Yankees fan who has ignored the nay-saying of my bretheren over the past four years and defended Rodriguez despite his dramatic antics, I can say that I’m glad that I don’t have to put up with the burden of defending him anymore.
Yes, he led the league in drama. But he is one of (if not the) the greatest players of his time. And it was fun to watch him play for my team. But the way in which he went about getting out of his contract totally pisses me (and every other Yankees fan I’ve talked with) off.
Rodriguez spent a lot of time throughout the past four years telling anyone who would listen how much he loved New York (“I want to stay in New York, no matter what” “Derek has four world championships, and I want him to have ten.”) and wanted to finish his career there. However, in the contract given to him by the Rangers, he had ten days after the 2007 World Series to “opt out” of the deal. The Yankees publically said they wanted to extend his contract and asked his agent to have a meeting to discuss a deal which would pay him more money than any one person needs (and yes, they also said if he opted out, they wouldn’t attempt to sign him). But Rodriguez (and his agent, who apparently doesn’t follow the news) didn’t even respond to the meeting request and flat-out opted out (and now the agent is acting surprised that the Yankees don’t want to want any part of Rodriguez).
As a Yankee fan, I’m mostly ignoring the fact that something else was going in the world of baseball on Sunday night. Regardless, Rodriguez’ announcement detracted from one of the most important days in all of baseball, nevermind moved the spotlight away from teams and players who were still playing in late October. It was the only way for him to get press on the day of a World Series, because he’s proven he can’t perform when it matters to earn his way into a WS.
He did provide some great moments. But there was also a lot of frustration, particularly with his performance in the post season. And now the Yankees, who have more resources than any other team, have even more thanks to Rodriguez’ decision. Yes, it will be hard replacing him on the field. But I think they’re in a better position now that they don’t have so much tied up in him. The next New York Yankee third baseman won’t produce as much on the field as Rodriguez did, but he won’t be half the drama queen, either.
By the way, here’s a great article on Scott Boras’ (Rodriguez’ agent) little fantasy world.