Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Sunday, March 31, 2013

NYT: Hitched to an Aging Star: Anatomy of a Deal

Rodriguez, the Yankees’ standout third baseman, had created a public uproar and infuriated team officials by opting out of his contract, the richest in the history of baseball at the time, seemingly to pursue options with other teams.

“I told him he had to take responsibility and make it right,” Rivera said last week at spring training, recalling how he admonished his teammate in the fall of 2007 and urged him to reconcile with the Yankees. “He had to call them.”

Riding the highway to the danger zone.

Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: March 31, 2013 at 09:34 AM | 23 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: alex rodriguez, schadenfreude, yankees

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. gehrig97 Posted: March 31, 2013 at 11:05 AM (#4400108)
I guess this is a decent recap for those who don't know the history... but nothing new here. Here's the executive summary: Big, bad deal for the Yanks, who hope A-Rod gets better (or gets much worse, health-wise)
   2. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 31, 2013 at 11:06 AM (#4400110)
You have to see the print edition of this article to fully appreciate its visual impact at a million breakfast tables all across New York and elsewhere. It takes up the 2 (out of 5) middle columns of the top 60% of the entire front page of the A section, topped by a large sepia-background studio portrait of A-Rod with a bat on his shoulder that looks as if it had been taken prior to his premature burial, minus only the obligatory formaldehyde. Add the equally funereal headline of Hitched to an Aging Star: Anatomy of a Deal, and Doubts, and it amounts to one hell of a Gray Lady kickoff to the Yankees' upcoming season. It's got to be the gloomiest opening day broadsheet spread since the day that Fenway Park and Navin Field were greeted by news of the sinking of the Titanic.
   3. bobm Posted: March 31, 2013 at 11:15 AM (#4400115)
[2] http://www.nytimes.com/images/2013/03/31/nytfrontpage/scan.jpg
   4. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 31, 2013 at 11:21 AM (#4400118)
http://www.nytimes.com/images/2013/03/31/nytfrontpage/scan.jpg

Now just mentally fold the paper so that you can picture it as it appears on a newsstand, with only the top half of the page showing. That gives you an even better idea of how much the article dominates the front page.
   5. NattyBoh Posted: March 31, 2013 at 11:36 AM (#4400126)
Yeah, it really stands out. First thing I saw when I got the paper from the yard this morning.
   6. valuearbitrageur Posted: March 31, 2013 at 11:41 AM (#4400128)
It was all Rivers fault.
   7. Ray (RDP) Posted: March 31, 2013 at 01:32 PM (#4400161)
Nothing new here. And even with ARod's 22 million dollar salary, (a) he is likely to contribute going forward once his rehab is finished, and (b) as to ARod's salary being a massive impediment to fielding a team under $189 million, even with his $22 million salary they still have $166 million to work with, which really ought to be enough.

The Rivera stuff is just more of the same silliness: adult men -- writers, fans -- gushing over a legend they created in their own minds. The article describes Rivera as having "admonished" ARod in a "stern telephone call" that got ARod to call the Yankees, thereby setting in motion the reconciliation of the two parties that led to the new contract. But the idea that Rivera had anything to do with a $300 million negotiation is pure fanboyism, as is the notion that Rivera should be praised for a deal that is looking very bad.
   8. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: March 31, 2013 at 01:52 PM (#4400170)
The reason it rings false to me is that if anybody other than my father talked to me like that, I'd tell him to #### right off, as would most adults. It's possible that A-Rod is in that small minority of people so totally insecure that he allows colleagues and friends to treat him like a child, but somehow I doubt it.
   9. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 31, 2013 at 02:37 PM (#4400191)
That Rivera story may or may not be true, but there are certainly cases where ballplayer friends have influenced free agents in their signing decisions that went beyond simply going for the biggest contract number. Like, er, the LeBron-Bosh-Wade parlay in South Beach. The idea that every player is necessarily nothing more than a human calculator who never lets other factors influence him is a gross overgeneralization.
   10. asinwreck Posted: March 31, 2013 at 03:04 PM (#4400210)
I like the juxtaposition of the photo with the OSHA story.
   11. Depressoteric feels Royally blue these days Posted: March 31, 2013 at 03:12 PM (#4400217)
The reason it rings false to me is that if anybody other than my father talked to me like that, I'd tell him to #### right off, as would most adults. It's possible that A-Rod is in that small minority of people so totally insecure that he allows colleagues and friends to treat him like a child, but somehow I doubt it.
Really? I don't doubt it at all, at least as relates to A-Rod. Everything we've ever learned about him suggests that he IS precisely that insecure, alternating cockiness with a sad, frankly sympathetic "hey guys we're friends aren't we, huh? HUH?" approach. I also have no doubt that Mariano Rivera's reputation inside the Yankees clubhouse is roughly the same as that of Moses' among the Exodus-era Israelites: when He Speaks, You Best Pay Attention.

Granted that this the New York Times, so it's not exactly what we would consider a reliable or trustworthy source in terms of accuracy in reporting (especially w/r/t sports), but it's certainly a plausible scenario at least.
   12. valuearbitrageur Posted: March 31, 2013 at 04:44 PM (#4400263)
The reason it rings false to me is that if anybody other than my father talked to me like that, I'd tell him to #### right off, as would most adults. It's possible that A-Rod is in that small minority of people so totally insecure that he allows colleagues and friends to treat him like a child, but somehow I doubt it.


Interventions are difficult, because the subject is fighting an addiction that makes the addict much less willing to listen to well intentioned advice from people who care about them.

What's your excuse?

I've sat down more than a couple friends who seemed to be making big mistakes in their lives and asked them to reevaluate what they were doing and whether it was going down the road they wanted to take. Sometimes it's hard to hear, but to their credit they always recognize I'm asking because I care.

If A-Rod disagreed with Mariano, the proper response is thanks for thinking about me, but I'm fine. Telling a friend to #### off because he cares about you is the epitome of self centered childishness.

And the part of the article that rings false is blaming Boras for the opt-out. Not only is it unlikely that Boras exposes his firm to the liability of going Lone Ranger on a clients career decisions for them, but also A-Rods record of truth-telling is minimal at best, and it seems like just an attempt to save face.
   13. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: March 31, 2013 at 09:57 PM (#4400515)
Really? I don't doubt it at all, at least as relates to A-Rod. Everything we've ever learned about him suggests that he IS precisely that insecure, alternating cockiness with a sad, frankly sympathetic "hey guys we're friends aren't we, huh? HUH?" approach.


Is ARod the guy who pays people to put toothpaste on his toothbrush?

I'd forgotten he's 'only' owed 22m per on the rest of the deal. Could be worse, especially if ARod can still play a little, say 2 wins worth. It's a problem, though, because the Yanks overspent elsewhere, I imagine assuming during say, the 2008-2009 offseason, that they wouldn't be in the position five years later of getting payroll down to 189m.

If you're starting from scratch a 189m payroll is a nice problem to have, but then you probably don't start out by signing an ancient immobile SS to a big deal, a 1Bman leaving his prime to a huge deal, and so on. Thinking of the Yankees as being a 167m payroll team isn't accurate. They aren't starting from scratch, and have already handicapped themselves by doing a number of things a 167m payroll team would not do.

@12: yup. Boras isn't crazy. He's not going to unilaterally opt his client out of a deal against his client's wishes.
   14. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: March 31, 2013 at 10:32 PM (#4400551)
Big, bad deal for the Yanks


Not stipulated. Big, bad deal for most teams. But if they knew that all he would contribute for the money and the years is the 2009 postseason (ending in a championship), I think they'd do it again.
   15. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 31, 2013 at 10:37 PM (#4400557)
I'd forgotten he's 'only' owed 22m per on the rest of the deal. Could be worse, especially if ARod can still play a little, say 2 wins worth.

The problem is that 2 WAR a year might be acceptable in a tight race where every game is critical and there's no available replacement out there at the time, but 2 WAR that get the Yanks from 74-88 to 76-86 isn't quite the same thing. The only real question I can see is: Was 2009 worth it?
   16. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: March 31, 2013 at 10:43 PM (#4400563)
@14, 15: I don't see how we can conclude 2009 was worth it. We're not talking about the Mets or Royals, after all, teams that need a most rare alignment of stars to win a WS. The Yankees would be getting to the postseason every year without His Rodness, and they should be one of the favorites to win it every year once in the postseason.

On balance, if you take the 10 years of the deal, and take ARod's performance in reality while everything else is equal, the Yanks are probably winning more WS without him from 2008 through 2017 than with him.

edit: Hm. Well, it's close, anyway. Once we make 2009 a given, the Yankees surrendering a lot of their payroll edge by dropping to 189m by 2014 makes 'locking up' the 2009 WS in this thought experiment a significantly bigger deal.

The bigger question is, do I watch the next showing of The Walking Dead on AMC, or do I wait until 3am, when the next streaming, no commericals version comes out? Commercials break the mood of that particular show more than any other.

   17. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: March 31, 2013 at 10:49 PM (#4400567)
I think you're underrating him, Jack. In 2005 and 2007, he won the MVP. The Yankees were tangling with a good Red Sox team in that time and in that division; I won't play the "they wouldn't have made the playoffs without him" game, but an Alex Rodriguez-less Yankee team (with Placido Polanco at third?) in the mid-Aughts is very, very different.

edit:

If Jack can play the edit game, then so can I.

The Yankees should never, ever let a reigning MVP Yankee leave via FA. It's unfortunate that they couldn't drive a better deal.
   18. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 31, 2013 at 10:54 PM (#4400570)
On balance, if you take the 10 years of the deal, and take ARod's performance in reality while everything else is equal, the Yanks are probably winning more WS without him from 2008 through 2017 than with him.

Yeah, mathematically you're probably right, but that was still one hell of a postseason he put up---the best I've ever seen by a Yankee in my 51 years of watching them---even if it took them 6 years after A-Rod's arrival to finish the job. They obviously paid more than they had to for the new contract, but this isn't the first player who's ever taken a team to the cleaners. It just makes me wonder further what would've happened if Charlie Finley's proposal for universal free agency every year had been accepted and proposed by his fellow owners before the players realized what a crock it would've been for them.
   19. valuearbitrageur Posted: March 31, 2013 at 11:48 PM (#4400594)
The Yankees should never, ever let a reigning MVP Yankee leave via FA. It's unfortunate that they couldn't drive a better deal.


If they had just given him a 7 year $200M extension to prevent his opt-out, it works out the same for A-Rod but the Yankees get to keep $21M or so from the Rangers trade.
   20. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: March 31, 2013 at 11:58 PM (#4400598)
I don't remember the particulars, but my recollection of the "negotiations" were not a clear-headed assessment of what kind of player he might be when he ages and how they can pay him. It was like a half-drunk guy seeing an informercial at 3AM, deciding he can't live without the thing, and buying the product.
   21. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: April 01, 2013 at 12:39 AM (#4400614)
I think you're underrating him, Jack. In 2005 and 2007, he won the MVP. The Yankees were tangling with a good Red Sox team in that time and in that division; I won't play the "they wouldn't have made the playoffs without him" game, but an Alex Rodriguez-less Yankee team (with Placido Polanco at third?) in the mid-Aughts is very, very different.


Thought I was clear that I was only talking about the extension after the 2007 season.

edit:

If Jack can play the edit game, then so can I.


?

Color me baffled.

The Yankees should never, ever let a reigning MVP Yankee leave via FA. It's unfortunate that they couldn't drive a better deal.


They should if it means giving a 32 year old 10/300.

@18: why a crock? I can kinda see even more money flowing to the stars, but would the players, overall, do less well than they do now?
   22. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: April 01, 2013 at 01:02 AM (#4400618)
Yeah, I seem to remember everyone being a bit baffled by the way the negotiations were going. It seemed very, very weird to me that A-Rod at 32 would get a bigger contract than he did at 25, and yet it happened. Why? I dunno. It felt, very weirdly, as though the Yankees had something to prove. There was a brief identity crisis for a while there when they hadn't won a WS in several years and the Sox had won 2 and everything seemed upside-down and backwards.
   23. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: April 01, 2013 at 06:17 AM (#4400641)
@22: It seemed that way to me too, and I remember a fair amount of talk that the Yankees were ready to panick. They were an old team. Mussina had just put up an ERA north of 5 at 38. Clemens was 44. Pettitte wasn't getting any younger. Kei Igawa proved he was not a major leaguer. This was the team giving Doug Minky, Miguel Cairo, and a bunch of... guys plenty of starts at 1B. It looked like it could get very, very ugly in the Bronx, and if he was going to keep putting up 8 win seasons ARod could easily have been the difference between making and missing the postseason while the Yanks got it together.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
dirk
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogFull Count » Red Sox sign Koji Uehara to 2-year contract
(12 - 8:17am, Oct 31)
Last: Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site

NewsblogBoston.com: Youk Retires
(1 - 8:16am, Oct 31)
Last: Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site

NewsblogFielding Bible
(3 - 8:07am, Oct 31)
Last: Harveys Wallbangers

NewsblogNo, Alex Gordon wouldn't have scored an inside the park home run
(137 - 7:43am, Oct 31)
Last: Brian White

NewsblogAngell: The Best
(19 - 7:29am, Oct 31)
Last: Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip

NewsblogOT: Politics, October 2014: Sunshine, Baseball, and Etch A Sketch: How Politicians Use Analogies
(4786 - 7:22am, Oct 31)
Last: Bitter Mouse

NewsblogThe Players' Tribune: Jeter: The Clean Up
(3 - 6:56am, Oct 31)
Last: villageidiom

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread - October 2014
(631 - 6:39am, Oct 31)
Last: Norcan

Hall of MeritMost Meritorious Player: 1960 Discussion
(10 - 6:15am, Oct 31)
Last: AndrewJ

NewsblogSend Alex Gordon! | FiveThirtyEight
(83 - 4:02am, Oct 31)
Last: Maxwn

NewsblogNewest Hall of Fame Candidates Announced
(52 - 2:35am, Oct 31)
Last: Sunday silence

NewsblogOT: NBC.news: Valve isn’t making one gaming console, but multiple ‘Steam machines’
(1021 - 1:53am, Oct 31)
Last: The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott)

NewsblogJoe Maddon is to become Cubs manager, sources say
(108 - 1:49am, Oct 31)
Last: Sunday silence

NewsblogThings we learned from the 2014 playoffs
(11 - 12:17am, Oct 31)
Last: bobm

NewsblogMadison Bumgarner, World Series legend - McCovey Chronicles
(103 - 12:15am, Oct 31)
Last: SoSHially Unacceptable

Page rendered in 0.3966 seconds
53 querie(s) executed