I cannot lie about this: There was a part of me that was really looking forward to the end of A-Rod’s Big Apple Circus. And, I’m still not sure that I want him to be the face of the Yankees franchise for the next decade. Hair-highlights, hookers, and screaming “Ha!” are not things that I like to see in Yankeeland.
Then again, it is about producing on the field, right? And, that’s something that A-Rod does well. Actually, anyone who knows anything about Babe Ruth can tell you that he was a nightmare to handle – but, the Yankees dealt with that because of his bat. And, say what you want about Alex, but, you cannot say that he dogs it on the field. The guy shows up to play, everyday, and he hustles on the field. Rodriguez is not in the Manny Ramirez class of headaches that you must suffer in exchange for a bat.
Of course, there’s the issue of A-Rod’s post-season failures. However, Alex is not the first baseball player with great talent to have a terrible spell in October. Plus, while Alex has not helped the Yankees in recent post-seasons, he’s not the reason why the Yankees have not advanced much in the playoffs since 2004.
The thing that does concern me the most now about Rodriguez coming back is the value and length of the contract that we’re hearing about. Most reports have it, at a minimum, around $275-280 million for 10 years. I would have preferred to see a deal around seven years. Thinking about paying a 39-40-41 year-old player $27 million a year, when it’s 2015- 2016- 2017, seems like a really bad deal. Then again, if above-average players are making $13 million a year today, maybe $27 million in 2015 won’t be as much money as it seems now?
In the end, Yankees fans, it really doesn’t matter if you’re upset that A-Rod is back or if you’re thrilled about it. And, it doesn’t matter if you think his contract is a great deal for the team or an albatross waiting to hatch out of its egg. The fact of the matter is that Alex is back, he’s going to be the highest paid player in the game and will have to deal with the attention that comes with that profile, and that’s the way that it’s probably going to be in Yankeeland for a long time.
“You have to dance with the girl that brought you” is an old expression. Now that Hank Steinbrenner and gang have brought Alex Rodriguez back to the Bronx, I’m going to borrow from that expression and offer “You have to live with the A-Rod that the Yankees bought you.” It’s up to you on how you want to spend that life – enjoy it, suffer through it, or just ignore it. When two of the three options are painless, that’s really not so bad.