A recent mention of Alex Rodriguez attracted numerous reactions, both digitally and privately. It seems that there are many New York Yankees‘ fans that are much angrier than I about his lack of appreciable production in relation to his salary.
The thought of how his money could be better spent to help the Yankees has made some fans furious. Some have even implied that he simply doesn’t care. They suggest that he is content sitting out or sitting on the bench. All is well, they say, as long as his checks keep coming in.
It actually gets even uglier than that. Some fans compared Rodriguez to an insect sapping the Yankees. Others have suggested that the only difference between him and street vagrants is that, in the vagrants’ case, society has caused them to become bums. Perhaps the strongest anti-Rodriguez comments expressed a desire for him to take a permanent vacation to a very warm place far beneath the earth.
Well, here is my take on the situation. Please don’t consider my reaction as a defense, because it is not. Let’s put emotions aside and look at this logically.
If we truly love the Yankees, then we cheer for the uniform, not the man wearing it. That is how we can pull for Kevin Youkilis after despising him for so many years when he was in Boston.
Does it really make sense that someone might hang around just for the money? Sure, there is still plenty on the table for Rodriguez. But what does the lottery matter when you have already won power ball?
If he wanted to make excuses, he could duck out now and blame the end of his career on an injury. He wouldn’t have to live with the ridicule of being one of the highest paid part time players in the history of major league baseball.
No, I think Rodriguez believes he has a big surprise for us. I even think he believes he still has a shot at the home run record. Will he launch homers like rockets, as he once did? Probably not. But he may have a few big hits left to help the Yankees in the post-season. While this wouldn’t erase the memory of the many times he has felt the collar tighten around his neck, it could diminish it.
Plus, any contributions he has now would come after the questions of performance enhancement, staking his claim to legitimacy. So, if you are really a Yankee fan, and you are one of those who strongly dislikes Rodriguez, don’t forget your allegiance to the uniform.