Alex Rodriguez will be back with the Yankees in 2008. Man, that is one of the most painful things I’ve had to say in awhile. But it’s true, not super official yet, but true.
When A-Rod left, I can honestly say I felt like one—if not
the—luckiest, most thankful Yankees fan ever; it’s like a Yankee genie came to me and granted me my biggest wish. That’s all because I don’t like Alex, he’s one of the most annoying people I’ve ever seen, but he wasn’t always like that, and, looking back, I kind of don’t blame him.
Before he went to the Yankees, A-Rod wasn’t the stuck-up prick he is now; he was actually a pretty OK guy. He loved the press, kept a low profile, participated in the team more, seemed to enjoy himself at ballgames, he even loved to take advice, but after he moved to
New York, he kind of had to grow a thicker skin.
It’s no news that when Rodriguez first got to NY, he was treated like a god. All Yankees fans, myself included, were happy beyond words to have the most complete player in the Major Leagues with us, until he started to choke. A-Rod’s first year with the Yankees bombed, he hit nothing, batted in squat, and averaged nada, but he did excel at making errors.
Yankees fans were ruthless, even when he did get back on track, so he had to adjust. He started being ruthless back, he started being more arrogant, he didn’t want to talk to the press at times, he acted conceited when interviewed; he wasn’t the fun-loving, most amazing player he used to be. Now that he really is almost as good a player as he was (he’ll never have the great defense he had back with
Texas, or back at shortstop, your pick), we have a different image of him. Think about it, you don’t think of Alex Rodriguez as you used to, don’t you?
After the 2007 season, A-Rod said he wouldn’t make a choice about staying or not in
New York until Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera’s future was certain, but he opted out, before anything happened. The Yanks said all along that if he did that, they would not go after him. He left the Yankees and started saying he wouldn’t sign for less than US$30 million a year, then he went up to 35, like there was anyone truly interested. The Angels wanted him, sure, but not for that much. Since nobody was willing to pay the price (seriously, who is worth US$35 million a year for playing ballgames, it’s not like he’s putting his life on the line to hit a baseball), A-Rod decided to call the Yankees up himself to negotiate. Of course, they’re not dumb enough as to give in, so he’s settling for US$27.5 million (US$275 million over ten years), like it’s hard.
The fact is, A-Rod wanted to be with the Yankees in 2008, he was just playing hard to get, that’s what I think. He said many times that he wanted to end his career in pinstripes and I’m pretty sure he never changed his mind. Why, then, would he have called the Yanks and agreed to negotiate without Scott Boras, his agent, and settle for over US$7 million less than he wanted? He overestimated himself, period.
So, the deal’s not officially official yet, but it will be, over the next few days.