Wednesday, November 14, 2007

A-Yank or A-con?

The rumours are swirling full speed now. Yankees radio broadcaster John Sterling is reporting that the Rodriguez deal is 101% done on New York’s WFAN. Is this a ploy by Scott Boras to get the Yankees to bite? If it is, he has done the Yankees a huge favour. Now the Yankees can say they went the extra mile to keep the hard-hitting third baseman in good faith. Unfortunately, they were duped by the villainous Boras and the greedy, duplicitous A-Rod.

Boras may get the offer to shop around he wants but it may have accomplished the impossible--make his client look worse than he already appears. The thing is, Rodriguez can still salvage the situation but he has to act quickly. His claims of wanting to stay in New York will have more credibility if he acts quickly before time passes where he could field other offers. If he waits too long, it will be easy to say that the money wasn’t out there, he was deep-sixed by his own avarice and has now come crawling back.

If he gives a discount to compensate for the lost Texas subsidy while still receiving a generous contract, A-Rod can say that he didn’t fully understand Boras’s strategy but trusted his agent. When he saw things comes apart, he felt he had to take the initiative to set things right so he can do what he has stated the last couple of years--finish his career in the Bronx.

Should this drag out too long, the Yankees are going to become suspicious and back off while pulling any offers from the table loudly and publicly so Boras cannot shop them around. The thing is, I mentioned once before that I think often Rodriguez speaks his heart but allows Boras to change his thinking to take a different course of action. This ‘say one thing and do another’ has become an A-Rod hallmark. If this is the case, then maybe Rodriguez is initiating this and taking control of his own destiny.

I felt from the get-go that Boras was overreaching. Yes, baseball’s revenues can support the numbers he is suggesting but is unable to make his case why his client deserves the proposed deal. The opt out stunt struck me as Boras overestimating his leverage and marketability of Rodriguez. Boras believes in his own financial omniscience and thought he could demonstrate A-Rod’s blinding star power could match the World Series headline for headline. He was right but for all the wrong reasons. They did get the bold print and it was overwhelmingly negative.

For some reason, Boras thought (or thinks) that not returning the Yankees phone calls, keeping Rodriguez from talking to the Yankees, opting out before the club could even make an offer and then trying to upstage the Boston Red Sox’s moment of triumph wouldn’t affect A-Rod’s desirability to two of baseball’s biggest spenders.

Again, that’s arrogance; while Boras knows a lot about baseball’s finances he seemed to not see that Rodriguez’s image was already in a bear market and his handling of the opt out put it into free fall. He seemed to think that the third baseman’s phenomenal 2007 built up enough goodwill capital in the game that he could get away with it. It’s entirely possible that the agent made a critical blunder, communing only with like-minded people so much that he never bothered to see what the prevailing opinion outside his self-made cocoon was.

However if this is a Scott Boras tactic to goose up the bidding, he may well get close to his $300 million target for Rodriguez but at what cost to his client? Once his bat starts to decline with the team who signs him, he will not be able to escape the loathing until he retires. He will be a wealthy man on a 162 game road trip.

Best Regards



Bill B. said...

The Yankees and Red Sox are the only feasible locations for A-Rod given his salary demands.

Still, he'll be worth it...

On a side note, is it me, or is it peculiarly fascinating that, in a country full of anti-socialist/pro-capitalist sentiment, you hear so much whining about salaries and the need for a cap in baseball?

By the way, John, I just put up a blog on the Phillies and Lidge, Romero, and others.

John Brattain said...

Cool ... I'm on my way.

Best Regards