24 plus 1 Fun: Mr Met in Purgatory
My attitude on the premo primadonna shifts every day. Today, perhaps prompted by this column (and this one too) in the NY Times, it occurs to me that the Spankees and Arod really deserve each other. Arod fills that void as the quintessential Yankee--the overpaid, mercenary, self-absorbed lout who wants special rules---left by Roider Clemens, if in fact Clemens is really retiring. That is probably where he should be playing; that way everything that is wrong about baseball can be kept together in a neat package for future historians to puzzle over.
Arod seems to have himself in a pickle: he has screwed up his last two power plays, the one that landed him on a last-place Texas team, and the one that won him no Championships or friends in New York. His agent won't accept less than way too much, even though technically no team should accept without reflection that they should pay more for an older and aging Arod. And, if you are on Arod's side, you still have to admit that this next decision might be his last chance at redeeming his reputation. If he is so reputation conscious, then why does he do the things he does?
Conventional wisdom is that Arod pulled his World Series stunt because he has poor judgement. This position is backed by much evidence--going to Texas, the Jeter interview, slapping the ball, carousing with a stripper who is not his wife, yelling during the pop up--from Arod history. A fascinating alternative theory, focusing on both sides' bargaining strategies, as to why Arod did what he did is presented here by Jeffrey Gordon.
In bargaining lingo, [the announcement] is a credible signal of his desire to remain a Yankee because it is costly. In other words, to show his Yankees preference, Rodriguez was forced to appear classless by disturbing the sanctity of the Series and by stepping on Boston’s triumph. That’s a cost.
If Arod is spiritually and scientifically bound to end up back in the Bronx, then there will be a lot of fence mending to do. Arod and his agent are not doing so well in the court of public opinion, or angry mob of public opinion. The New York media is going bat-shit on Yay-Rod. Here is some Joel Sherman (as in "sure, man") rhetoric, complete with awkward mixed metaphors, to give you a taste:
And make no mistake - buyer beware - that during the past seven years, A-Rod did become a 24-plus-one player even without the merchandising tent or office space. If you sign Alex Rodriguez, you are signing a human black hole, your entire organization will be sucked into his orbit. Every story will be seen through the prism of A-Rod. If you give him the money, you must be prepared not just for his overwhelming talent, but to have your team revolve around his outsized neediness and greediness. In fact, merely signing Rodriguez to another record deal will only further his sense of entitlement.
To Sherman, this all vindicates then Met GM Steve Phillips' slandering of Arod. It's a world full of assholes is all I can say, take your pick. There are also some dickwads out there if you take a look at who's "available" on the starting pitching list: God's buddy Curt Shill-ing, Kenny !*#$ Rogers, Clemens.
What does all this mean for the Mets? Well, today at least, it means I am leaning towards "Nay Rod" and away from "Yay Rod." The bottom line for me is sustainable watchability. I want a team that I can root for happily over a number of years even more than I want a World Series victory. "Becoming the Yankees" to most fans means "buying a championship" but to me, it is much more. I just don't know if I can truly love a team with Arod on it, especially if it means that WrightReyes' Mets careers are affected. Tomorrow I may be swept back up in the kind of offense lust that makes me forget my principles. Sometimes doing things right (or Wright as the case may be) is the only thing we have in this world.
Labels: nay rod