Recent reports show former Alex Rodriguez is interested in buying the Mets. Here are three reasons why the MLB needs A-Rod to become an owner
Earlier this year, reports came out that Alex Rodriguez would have an interest in becoming an owner of the New York Mets. Well, just this week new reports surfaced confirming that A-Rod, along with fiancée Jennifer Lopez, was exploring ways to purchase one of the more interesting franchises in sports.
Now it won’t be as simple as A-Rod and J-Lo just opening the piggy bank and walking out of the store with a brand new toy. The Wilpons are set on a certain price which means the power couple will need help from outside sources to secure their prize. However, if they can succeed, Major League Baseball may be the biggest winners in this situation for three reasons.
What is the biggest issue facing baseball right now? And no don’t say COVID-19, smart guy. It’s popularity. Over the last few years, MLB has noticed their sport, regarded as the national pastime, is losing its popularity and grip over sports fans, especially the younger demographic. Football and basketball have jumped ahead due to multiple factors, including ownership. The NFL and NBA both have the luxury of having owners with personalities, whether it be Mark Cuban or Jerry Jones. This is where A-Rod comes into play.
Rodriguez was already one of the most well-known athletes, let alone baseball players during his career. His redemption arc in the public light has been something truly phenomenal. Going from PED-user/cheater to applauded baseball broadcaster and celebrity figure. Being engaged to Jennifer Lopez doesn’t hurt either.
Say what you want, but it’s kind of hard to hate this Alex Rodriguez. As an owner, he’ll bring intrigue and eyeballs. Everyone will want to see what type of owner he becomes. Will he be one that sits next to the dugout and is cheering and jeering much like Mark Cuban does at Dallas Mavericks games? Or will he sit and brood in a press box like Jerry Jones? Then come down to the locker room after each game/series and give the media quote after quote.
Also, how will he run the team? One would think that with the career he had, and the baseball knowledge in that brain, he wouldn’t just sit on the sidelines and let the front office just handle things. How hands-on would he be? Not to mention J-Lo would be an owner as well. Jenny from the block owning a baseball team in Queens. Her involvement with the team would increase the reach of the Mets and baseball as a whole.
There is no inner-city rivalry that compares to Yankees-Mets. The Subway Series has become one of the more well-known rivalries over the years and rightfully so. Two teams with great baseball history and great fanbases trying to co-exist in the same media market.
Although the Mets are regarded as the little brother, it’s a rivalry that has seen its fair share of exciting moments. In fact, the Mets have made a World Series appearance more recently than the Yankees. If A-Rod becomes the new owner of the Mets, the storylines write themselves. A former Yankee turned owner battling and competing against the team he won a World Series with as a player.
One of the major gripes against the Mets and their ownership over the past few years has been that they’re more concerned about grabbing headlines than grabbing pennants. Competing with the Yankees in the press rather than on the field. That most likely changes with A-Rod in control. It’s far-fetched to think a competitor the likes of Rodriguez would accept losing or being second in anything.
Luckily for him, he would be acquiring a team that is on the cusp of becoming a real contender. The Mets have a budding superstar in Pete Alonso and arguably the best pitching rotation in baseball. Yes, the Yankees are currently more equipped for a title run but that doesn’t mean Alex and little brother can’t give them a run for their money.
A-Rod vs. The Captain
The third reason baseball needs A-Rod in the owner’s chair is simple. Derek Jeter vs A-Rod. This time not on the field but in the owner’s box. During their playing days, Jeter and A-Rod were tied at the hip as two of baseball’s biggest stars.
Jeter is currently a co-owner of the Miami Marlins, a team that just so happens to play in the same division as the Mets. The NL East is quietly one of the better divisions in baseball with four of their teams finishing with a .500 record or better. The defending champion Washington Nationals also reside in the NL East.
It’s well known that Jeter and Rodriguez weren’t the best of friends together on the Yankees. However, there is no animosity between the two, at least publicly. This could bode for some healthy competition, especially if Jeter can help turn around a dysfunctional Marlins organization. What could trades be like between the two clubs? Does a championship as an owner catapult one’s legacy over the other? Jeter and A-Rod seem to be opposites in terms of public image, and one would have to think if that would be the case as owners as well.