Friday, March 6, 2009

ALEXANDER THE GRATE

AT LEAST the New York Yankees should be used to getting held to ransom.

No one comes cheap to the Yankees, least of all Alexander Emmanuel Rodriguez.

The Steinbrenner family met the ransom demands set by Scott Boras in December, 2007, when they agreed to pay his biggest client $275 million over a ten-year period.

As the saying goes, act in haste, repent at leisure. Has anything good happened to the Bronx Bombers since then?

Come to think of it, has anything good happened to the Yanks since Rodriguez joined them from the Texas Rangers on February 15, 2004?

The most-fabled franchise in baseball has not won a World Championship since 2000 and last year, they couldn’t even finish in the first two in their division.

True, A-Rod has been voted the American League MVP in two of the last four seasons.

But isn’t that just symptomatic of the fact that it’s no longer about the power, the pride or the pinstripes. It’s all about A-Rod.

The Yanks go out and spend $423.5 on three players during the winter. But what have we read about CC Sabathia, AJ Burnett and Mark Teixeira?

As usual, it's all about A-Rod

Next to nothing, thanks to the never-ending soap that goes under a variety of names such as A-Rod, A-Roid or A-Fraud, but rarely Alexander the Great.

First it was his strained relationship with the skipper, Derek Jeter. Then it was the separation from his wife, Cynthia, and his supposed liaison with Madonna.

This year, it has been the steroids scandal, the lies, the public apology. Now it’s the cyst and the labrum tear in his right hip. An injury, by the way, that the club has apparently known about for nearly ten months.

The Yankees are hoping he can play through the pain. If he can’t, it looks like they will have to rely on journeyman professional Cody Ransom, who is 33 years of age yet has had only 183 at bats in Major League Baseball.

Perhaps it would be better for both the team and the fans if A-Rod went and had the surgery now.

That way we could enjoy the opening of the new stadium and embrace our new players without having to listen to the daily health bulletin on our third baseman.

Every time he opens his mouth, he puts his foot in it, prompting one of the Yankees’ beat reporters to suggest he would better served declining all interviews.

Not much chance of that happening. A-Rod, quiet clearly, loves being the center of attention. Why else would he invite his cousin – the same cousin who injected him with performance-enhancing drugs – to spring training. No one could be that na├»ve or stupid, could they?

Hank Steinbrenner, part-owner and senior vice president of the Yankees, says that despite it all, he’s still glad A-Rod is part of the organization; that he has no regrets about signing him to a new, long-term deal when the club could have cut him loose.

Today, I wonder just how many Yankees fans feel the same way?

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