It won’t be easy, but it’s time for the Yankees to move on. Thank you for 2009, and for being a good teammate on the field, and for that magical season where you hit a home run what felt like every single day so you could opt out and then cost the Yankees the worst contract in sports history.
When it comes to Alex Rodriguez, you take the good with the bad. I took multiple years of him being the last out in the playoffs with his super-human 2009 postseason run.
The problem now is that there is very little good left.
This is not to say Alex Rodriguez is a bad person or to get into a discussion about the fact A-Rod was never accused of major crimes. He never was caught driving under the influence, sexually assaulting anyone, involved in a murder, or anything else where other athletes may or may not have been involved and escape reputation or nearly as much criticism and vitriol as he does. This isn’t a war on morals. It would just be a good idea for the Yankees’ organization to decide Alex Rodriguez is invisible from this point forward.
If Brian Cashman, Randy Levine and Hal Steinbrenner were smart they would pretend that whether they are able to void A-Rod’s contract or not, the third baseman has no impact on the team outside of his $114 million dollar price tag. It sounds crazy to ignore all that cash, but New York will never fully function without accepting the fact their $189 million dollar self imposed cap is really more like 159 million and moving on.
Stop assuming he is going to revert back to his “old” form. We no longer know what Rodriguez’s “old” form is. Derek Jeter will eventually be too old and retire, it could come as soon as 2014. Mariano Rivera is likely gone this year, Ichiro Suzuki is gone next year, Andy Pettite could be gone this year and I doubt Kevin Youkilis is anything more than a place holder. The Yankees have a lot of old players on the roster but only one hangs over their head the next five years.
Rodriguez can no longer be trusted. Maybe he did nothing wrong and his name was mentioned 15 times by fluke or as part of bigger lies, but it doesn’t matter, the fact is he could barely be counted on to stay on the field because of his health anyway. It used to be you tolerate all the other baggage because when healthy, he is a force, but now evidence of his elite production is a foreign concept, he still can’t stay healthy, his drama isn’t worth it and the Yankees would be wise to find a long-term solution at third base. If A-Rod is on this team the next five years, let it be in a bench role or just pay him not to play. Let him DH unless it blocks a prospect from getting at bats.
If he’s healthy, not suspended, and not an issue, let him play from time to time only if he’s productive and by no means let him get near any tarnished home run records where he might cost the Yankees’ more money. If he doesn’t like it, he can void his own contract and break those records somewhere else since he’s such a big history fan.
I am likely one of the biggest A-Rod apologists out there. I think he too often gets the short end of the stick, his dirty laundry hung out to dry too often. That’s why I’m not mad as a fan over this. In fact, it’s almost relieving.
It’s nice to know this has the attention of the front office and they seem to finally be fed up. I can’t hold what he did or didn’t do against him, but this should be the proper wake up call to inform the Yankees they no longer should build around or consider Alex Rodriguez.
If he truly went back to using PED’s he certainly was no longer considering the Yankees.
Regardless, just like A-Rod opted out of New York to cash in, it’s time the Yankees decided to cash out.