• Hank Stein Reacts To A-Rod’s Opt Out

    Posted by on October 29th, 2007 · Comments (9)

    HanktoARod.jpg

    From the Daily News:

    “It’s clear he didn’t want to be a Yankee,” Hank Steinbrenner told the Daily News last night. “He doesn’t understand the privilege of being a Yankee on a team where the owners are willing to pay $200 million to put a winning product on the field.

    “I don’t want anybody on my team that doesn’t want to be a Yankee.”

    The Yankees have said time and time again that they will not pursue Rodriguez as a free agent because of the money they would now no longer receive from the Rangers. Last night, Steinbrenner made it clear that his team had no intention of changing its tune on that stance.

    “We’re not going to back down,” Steinbrenner said. “It’s goodbye.”

    Boras cited the uncertainty over the status of pending free agents such as Mariano Rivera, Jorge Posada and Andy Pettitte as A-Rod’s biggest concern. As it turns out, all Rodriguez had to do was return a phone call if he wanted that information.

    Steinbrenner said last night that both he and his brother, Hal, personally placed phone calls to Rodriguez expressing their desire to keep him in pinstripes, but neither call was returned by the third baseman.

    “I’ll tell you this: the commitment from my family is ’78 through ’96,” Steinbrenner said of the team’s direction. “We will never go 18 years without a championship again. That’s our commitment.”

    From the New York Times:

    “It’s a shame,” Hank Steinbrenner, who is now running the Yankees, said late Sunday night. “But we are all in agreement: myself, my dad, my brother, all the baseball people. If you don’t want to be a Yankee and paid what you’re being paid, we don’t want you, that’s the bottom line. You’d be hard-pressed to argue that point. If you don’t understand the magnitude of being a Yankee and understand what that means, and being the highest-paid player in baseball, I think it’s pretty obvious.”

    “If we’re going to make you rich and we’re going to give you the privilege of being a Yankee,” he said, “you’ve got to show us you want to be here.”

    “It’s a shame, because he’s an all-right guy,” Steinbrenner said. “I hope he doesn’t have outside influences that are causing him to make a mistake.”

    Steinbrenner said Rodriguez had never responded to his telephone messages, but Rodriguez had been made aware of the offer the Yankees intended to make.

    “They’ve been told the starting point of a negotiation, which would have been more than he’s getting paid now, and we also called him personally and left messages trying to get him to come to Tampa to meet with us.”

    “Does he want to go into the Hall of Fame as a Yankee,” Steinbrenner said, “or a Toledo Mud Hen?”

    That last quote will go down as a classic.

    In his Yankees career, Alex Rodriguez averaged 43 HR and 128 RBI per season. I think the Yankees realized that production had value and they wanted to try and retain that value without getting into a bidding war over it. But, A-Rod and Boras have other plans.

    I believe that Alex’s spurning of the Yankees offer to talk, combined with the calculated timing of his announcement to opt out, have cemented the Yankees stance on not being willing to talk contract with A-Rod, post-opt-out.

    Yes, folks, the Alex Rodriguez Era in Yankees history is now over. It was two MVP years in four seasons mixed in with drama, here and there, and some noteworthy personal post-season failures – although it’s very debatable if the latter had any impact on the team’s recent October misfortunes (as A-Rod didn’t pitch for the Yankees).

    It will be interesting to see if the Yankees players have the same reaction, now, as the Texas Rangers players had when Alex left that team (to join New York).

    Comments on Hank Stein Reacts To A-Rod’s Opt Out

    1. rbj
      October 29th, 2007 | 9:47 am

      That last Hank Steinbrenner quote is way out of line. There is absolutely no reason to drag the Toledo Mud Hens into this. The Mud Hens are a fun team to watch. Now, if he had said Indianapolis Indians, that would have been different.

      It’s an awful lot of production to make up, but the Yankees should not sit down with Boras.

    2. jonm
      October 29th, 2007 | 10:00 am

      I know that this will come off as sour grapes, but, despite his great production, all in all I would say that I wish that the A-Rod Yankee era had never happened. It seems like the Yankees since 2004 overall have generated more unhappiness for me that genuine moments of pleasure. How many truly joyful Yankee moments did A-Rod give us? I just don’t get much satisfaction in making the playoffs and then losing in the first round, but I could understand how others could value these events differently.

    3. JeremyM
      October 29th, 2007 | 10:11 am

      A-Rod is really getting ripped in the press for the timing of this announcement. Gammons ripped him for upstaging the Series and the cancer surviving Lester, Olney ripped him for trying to be bigger than the game, etc.

      I won’t lie, I enjoyed having him on the team although I got sick of defending him. But in retrospect, I wish he had never been a Yankee, he didn’t deserve it. Frankly, he doesn’t deserve to be part of any of the great franchises (LA, Boston, etc.), send him back to Texas.

    4. jonm
      October 29th, 2007 | 10:33 am

      Frankly, he doesn’t deserve to be part of any of the great franchises (LA, Boston, etc.), send him back to Texas.
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      You know, I think that you have a good point there. There’s just something really ugly about his character. I wouldn’t wish him on the Red Sox franchise, but it would be fun watching their fans twist in the wind dealing with the A-Rod story over the next few years.

    5. MJ
      October 29th, 2007 | 10:37 am

      Jonm: “How many truly joyful Yankee moments did A-Rod give us?”

      It’s all subjective. I know that he gave me plenty of great moments of baseball. His 3-homer game vs. Colon, his walk-off Grand Slam this past April, his walk-off homer against Cleveland a few weeks later, crushing Schilling’s fastball in Schill’s first appearance as closer…all of those were great moments for me.

      I’ll turn the question around: how many “truly joyful Yankee moments” have you gotten from the rest of the team since A-Rod joined the club? If you don’t like making it to October and then losing then the rest of the team’s been hurting you too.

      JeremyM: “But in retrospect, I wish he had never been a Yankee, he didn’t deserve it.”

      Why didn’t he deserve it? I love the Yanks but they’re just a team, like the other 29 out there. Why would one player deserve to be a Yankee more than any other player?

    6. Mrs. Peterson-Kekich
      October 29th, 2007 | 12:21 pm

      Here’s my fear:

      Boston keeps Lowell and also signs A Rod, moving him back to short. They then convince the Yankees, who are panicked, to take Manny off their hands.

      Give me comfort why this won’t happen.

    7. Pete
      October 29th, 2007 | 12:57 pm

      >> I know that this will come off as sour grapes, but, despite his great production, all in all I would say that I wish that the A-Rod Yankee era had never happened. >>

      ::hops in time machine, advises Aaron Boone to play a round of golf instead of his weekly basketball game::

    8. jonm
      October 29th, 2007 | 12:59 pm

      I’ll turn the question around: how many “truly joyful Yankee moments” have you gotten from the rest of the team since A-Rod joined the club? If you don’t like making it to October and then losing then the rest of the team’s been hurting you too.
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      Fair question. Very few. The individual accomplishments that I most enjoy seem to come from homegrown players and a certain few non-hired gun types. (I loved watching Joba and Hughes this year, I loved the “Paul O’Neill chant in 2001, I loved watching Cano and Melky play well). On the other hand, I didn’t really care about David Wells perfect game.

      But, by and large, I care only about the team. The teams since the 2003 WS have been very disappointing to me. I don’t think that they would have been more disappointing without ARod. I may be weird, but I would much rather lose a close pennant race than lose in the ALDS.

    9. Raf
      October 29th, 2007 | 3:47 pm

      so long, and thanks for all the fish

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