Monday, October 29, 2007

An Open Letter to Alex Rodriguez

To Alex Rodriguez--

Hi. Like legions of Yankees fans everywhere, I found last night exceptionally painful to bear.

However, I'm not angry.

I'm disappointed.

I had thought that maybe this year you really did want to win, that maybe you weren't lying when you said that you wanted to stay, that you wanted to play in New York. That you would settle for a World Series.

I see that it is not the case.

I see now that you will do only as Scott Boras tells you, and I must say that as long as you keep that up, and keep playing only for the money, your legacy will be just as tarnished as others whose names are not worth mentioning.

Manyt of whom we call the greatest icons, such as Don Mattingly or Ray Borque or Cal Ripken, Jr played nearly their entire time for one team, even during some of their team's darkest days. You can't fault Borque for going to Colorado to win a Stanley Cup--20 years with one team is no small legacy.

What is your legacy with the Yankees? In the four years you were here, we had the greatest choke in baseball postseason history, and then failed to make it out of the first round. The Yankees were not Jeter's team, even though Jeter was the captain. Sure, in 2007 there were spots of promise, but on the whole they are not four years we will remember fondly.

My gut tells me, a few years from now, we'll consider the events of last night and today as the real turning point for the Yankees, the beginning of the return to greatness.

The Yankees of '96-'01 knew it well.

No player is bigger than this team.

No player is bigger than this game.

When you come to this conclusion and start to play accordingly, you might again find me as one of your supporters.

Until then,


(I have a prospective letter for Joe Girardi but will not post it until the news has been made official, that he has accepted the job).


  1. Best line: No player is bigger than the game.

    That's why we don't announce our big news during the World Series. During the FINAL INNINGS of the FINAL GAME of the world series!

    Even though it was the hated Red Sox that won, you have to just scratch your head and wonder what the hell was he doing announcing it THEN?

    Hey, who cares! We got Joba, Ian, Phil!

  2. Sorry, Becca I've got a long one to reel off.....

    Who Mourns for Adonis?

    I'll miss A-Rod's bat, and his glove, and his work with the young Yankees, especially Melky. We'll be okay without him, though. Joe Crede, Adrian Beltre, Mike Lowell, all could man third base for us [unless Boston puts A-Rod at short AND keeps Lowell at third]. Bronson Sardinha plays a little third, too, and Wilson Betemit...well, I WANT to like WilliBet, but he needs to give up that switch-hitting idea and tighten up his swing.

    How do we replace A-Rod's bat? Offset it with better pitching, for one. More Duncan at first? Matsui more DH with Damon in left? If those two can remain healthy, and as Cano and Melky progress, the power shortfall will be erased. Especially if Abreu and Giambi get hot.

    Here's a thought which just occurred to me: A-Rod revealed himself to be [in his mind], bigger than the team, bigger than baseball. He opted out. While the Yankees waited to announce anything on a new manager, A-Rod came right out and opted out, upstaging the Yanks and the World Series at one fell swoop.

    He was acclimatized to NY, he was slowly getting past the non-clutch post-season knock, he carried the team on his back and we made the playoffs, without him we would have seen a silent October. A plaque, a monument maybe, status as a True Yankee. All this and more was Alex's for the taking. He had to upstage the team and the game.

    Perhaps he'll find a few more ducats; perhaps the Yankees will remain true to their word, and A-Rod will find the money less than he had imagined. I would laugh at the delicious irony; not to spite Alex, for I hold for him no ill will. The irony of it all, if he gives up all I have mentioned, for less money, less prestige, less lasting fame.

    Now he has truly become shown as a mercenary, a wandering bat in search of no home, no connection, no ring, even. Only cold money, a poor companion on lonely winter nights when lacking the solace of affection or even affiliation really. He had the world; it was his oyster, but it was not enough. Ozymandias wept; Alex sold his soul. It will not fetch enough to fill the emptiness within him.

  3. Charles--never apologize for speaking your mind!

    There is nothing more sacred to me than freedom of thought and speech!

    That was extremely well written and I agree with at least 90% of it, if not all of it.

    No one is bigger than the game. One of the reasons I love Jeter so much: he never acts like he is bigger than the game.

    The Yankees of '98 didn't have one starting all star, and they were the best team of the 20th century.

    You know what would impress me?

    If a SuperStar athlete decided to, I dunno, donate his entire paycheck for a year to charity?

    That would be cool.

  4. Thank you, my friend. Heartfelt. Disappointed, as you are, but not hurt or angry. I actually feel a bit detached, somehow. It's good to connect with other friends and Yankee fans and share the feelings, thoughts and speculation. Thank you :-)

  5. Read what I wrote about A-Bum back on 16 October.

    your letter is perfect!

  6. OK I just found this and it is just what I was looking for. Some good stuff on the Yankees.

    Wierdly, I am more interested and engaged now that the season's over and we have JG in the driver's seat. I really enjoyed his comments on YES and I figured he might well get it. And enjoyed watching the journalists squirm a bit as Mattingly's star fell.

    Here is a long shot supposition. That A-Rod does not go. I know no one will agree and I do NOT know whereof I speak.


    Could this happen?

    Both sides of this could admit they were wrong:

    Yank Brass because they realize that there is other high-paid deadwood to consider moving out and because AR is excellent with younger players and that is also where the future lies -- with more than just pitchers. Brass reconsiders.

    AR and his agent because the shape of the team may turn out to be most appealing. A ring in view. All AR and agent need to do is find the already standing Yankee offer reasonable and hear some nice noises that none of us will ever be party to -- and the divorce will be called off to everyone's satisfaction.

    How wierd is that?

  7. Stephen--Yep, it's still a possibility, but given Hank Steinbrenner's comment, where he basically said "if you don't want to be here, we don't want you here", as well as the team and fan reaction, I highly, highly doubt A-Rod would be back.

    I don't blame you for being interested more now--we are at the beginning, not the end of a new era!

    I mean, Girardi is back. Peña is back. Rumor is Paulie might be back.

    The news today seems unbelievably good when you consider our biggest rival just won the World Series!

  8. You know, I honestly wish nobody would pick up A-Rod's contract. Wouldn't that be sweet? But, alas, what team with a billion dollars will pass him up?

    I can't believe they decided to announce this stuff during the last game of the world series. For us all to hear. Well, A-Rod, you've done it now. What Yankee fan will ever want you back?

    Time to move on to the National League. Less time to get booed in NY.

  9. It would be amazing if after this he didn't get signed, if MLB as a whole said ENOUGH.

    Or if they said, okay, you can make $300 million but you gotta give 1/4th that to AIDS relief or cancer curing or hell, even literacy charities....