The Alex Rodriguez apology tour continues. He met with the New York Yankees front office and apologized for the grief he has caused them. His most recent troubles linked to PED scandals cost him a suspension for the entirety of the 2014 season. This might be arguably the most important part of his apology tour and for a few reasons.
1. Show Me the Money
Rodriguez has to convince the front office that he is worth the $65 million that he is owed for the next three seasons. While all realistic expectations for a player going on 40 have him performing modestly and being a shell of his former self, even hoping for that much at this point seems far fetched. In Arod’s last season in 2013 he looked lost at the plate and struggled to get his bat around on fastballs. He was hampered with injuries upon his return from suspension in that season as well and only appeared in 44 games. He fell short of the explosive offense expectations as well and only finished with seven home runs and 19 runs batted in.
Could this meeting be strictly about the money? The Yankees already made it clear that they are disputing his home run marketing deal and maybe Rodriguez feels like he can get paid if he says sorry enough times.
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2. I Deserve a Starting Spot
There is also the possibility that Rodriguez feels like he can still win a starting spot. The Yankees went out and re-signed Chase Headley to lock down third base for the next four years. Also, they dealt David Phelps and Martin Prado to the Miami Marlins for Nathan Eovaldi and Garrett Jones. It was no secret that the front office wanted Jones as they continuously tested the waters on him throughout his career. The acquisition of a lefty, power-bat in the hitter friendly Yankee stadium provides match up problems for right handed pitchers and depth at first base to back up the often hurt Mark Teixeira.
In the wheeling-and-dealing they all but eliminated spots for Rodriguez to contribute every day. It looks like he will get lost in the shuffle of role players and become nothing more than an overpaid bench player. Despite Cashman declaring Rodriguez will not play at third base, Newsday’s Steven Marcus wrote an article that an unnamed source said:
"“‘Alex’s mind is that job’s not Headley’s, it’s Alex’s to lose,’ the source said. ‘That’s what he thinks. Alex is going into training camp thinking that he is the starting third baseman, that if there’s a competition, Headley’s got to win it from him. It doesn’t matter about the money, what they signed Headley for. This guy [Rodriguez] can play.'”"
3. Sincere Apology
There is also always the possibility that Rodriguez has reached the point of sincerity. He might know that his reputation has become “sad and tarnished” as Rob Manfred called it a few years ago. Here he is, a first ballot Hall of Famer with a tremendous track record and it is all ruined through continuous stumbles.
There might have been the realization that there is no one left to blame but himself. I mean who can honestly look at the details of his doping and to the extents that he went and not be disgusted. A-rod might have made his peace and know he owes it to the public, baseball, and the Yankees.
Every baseball fan knows Pete Rose and the sad story of his ban from baseball despite his accolades. We are slowly seeing people, one-by-one join Rose on the outside looking in.