Nov 19, 2007

Rieber sums it up well

From Newsday -

For 10 years. The A-Rod Yankees.

Forget that Hank Steinbrenner is the new Boss or Joe Girardi is the manager or Derek Jeter is the captain (and how happy does Jeter have to be with the idea of looking to his right every day and seeing A-Rod's mug?).

The Yankees will be A-Rod's team, for better or worse. We say worse. If the Yankees were ever planning to get away from the star system – wasn't that the plan for about five minutes? – that's over now. It'll be all A-Rod, all the time, and how has that worked out so far?

Can A-Rod live up to the contract? Will fickle Yankees fans boo every strikeout and cheer ever home run? Will he ever have a sleepover with Jeter again? Will he hit in the postseason? Will he shout "Ha!" at an opposing third baseman? Will he be able to remain faithful to his wife? Will C-Rod wear any more tops with obscene messages on them to the Stadium?

And these are just the questions we know about now. Only a striking soap opera writer would be able to plot out what new distractions A-Rod might bring to the Yankees over the next 10 years. But make no mistake – it will happen. Wins and losses will take a back seat to the A-Rod circus. Championships are out, TV ratings are in.

Like Pamela Anderson remarrying Tommy Lee, A-Rod re-upping with the Yankees is a bad idea, especially once it seemed the divorce was final. The Yankees were moving on, they told us. No chance, Hank Steinbrenner said. We're looking for a third baseman, Brian Cashman said with no hint of deceit in his blue eyes.

Then A-Rod reached out, and that guy from Goldman Sachs reached out, and just like that the Yankees were falling over themselves to guarantee 10 years to someone who wouldn't take their calls and quit on them through the evil Scott Boras in a failed effort to start the bidding at $350 million.

Why offer 10 years to a 32-year-old player, even one in such amazing physical shape it makes Boras drool with dollar-signed delight? It would make sense to offer him, say, five or six or even seven years because then you get the bounce from the Bonds pursuit. But 10? Who exactly are the Yankees bidding against? Offer him seven years, tell him to prove his love for New York by "settling" for it, and cut him off like the phony he is when he changes his tune and starts shopping that contract around.

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