When the New York Yankees and Alex Rodriguez held a press conference this morning, it was evident that they would come to a mutually beneficial agreement.
Whether you view it as real or fake, heartfelt or staged, Alex Rodriguez, for once, put ego aside and did what was best for the respective images of himself and the New York Yankees organization.
Let’s be dead honest here. Regardless of deteriorating skill, A-Rod essentially received no opportunity to prove himself over the past two months. Whether his power was diminished or not, he certainly had four home runs left in him.
Putting the 700 home run milestone aside, the 41-year-old came to a mutual release agreement and, additionally, came to terms on a deal which will place him in an advising role in 2017.
Say what you want. The substantial nature of the landmark cannot be ignored. Only three men — two of them without PEDs — have been physically able to achieve the feat for a reason. Only true baseball icons and freaks of nature have the natural ability to accomplish the unfathomable.
3,000 hits, 2,000 RBIs, and … 700 home runs?
When push comes to shove, Rodriguez will have a pretty darn tough time earning a place in Cooperstown. With the way the likes of Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, and Roger Clemens have been treated by the qualified writers of the BBWAA, it is hard to believe a man with two noted steroid hiccups will be admitted.
With that being said, the likelihood could have drastically increased with the additional endeavor.
To walk away from that for the best interest of a rebuilding franchise is quite the leap of faith.
Sure, he will be making his remaining $27 million. At the same time, he will be robbed of playing the game he evidently loves.
Alex Rodriguez lives and breathes major league baseball.
At the rate in which he has seen the field this year, and multiplying it over a 162-game schedule, he would be able to knock 24 homers. Do you think that is a guy ready to leave the game he desires to partake in?
Absolutely, positively not.
He thrives when receiving the opportunity to make adjustments, fix mechanics, and decipher pitching scouting reports. A guy with a baseball mind as enriched as his is not necessarily the prime candidate to come up short of a goal.
In fact, it is baffling that he is willing to accept merely one remaining game.
If the Yankees really wanted to grant him one last opportunity, they would let him give it a shot at Fenway Park this week. In a hitter-friendly ballpark, he would get 12 cracks at the very least, hopefully getting within one or two jacks of the mark.
Following the trip to bean town, they would give him one final Yankee Stadium set against the Rays.
Yes, the actual deal was mutually beneficial. However, there were certain flaws in the process and A-Rod, unfortunately, came up on the short end.
He put his own convictions, his legacy, and his drive for perfection to bed. While he claims that he is “at peace” with the ultimate result, his stomach must sink with each and every word. The man got robbed of an enormous pursuit.
Barring the unforeseen, he will leave baseball in a classy yet misunderstood way.
A once-in-a-lifetime talent will come away empty handed.