Rough summer 2021 for Alex Rodriguez. First, he loses a long-term relationship at the hands of Boston fan Ben Affleck.
Then, at the MLB trade deadline, he’s forced to watch his Yankees legacy take a hit in order to accommodate someone he advocated against trading for.
You think Brian Cashman consulted A-Rod before the team finalized the trade for Joey Gallo with the Texas Rangers?
Not to discuss pieces or get his thoughts. No, no. Just to rub it in.
We understand the trepidation about dealing for Gallo. Yes, he does swing and miss. Yes, his prodigious power comes at a cost.
But … the more you think about it … the easier it is to bank on a move that gives the Yankees one of the greatest power threats from the left side in the game, a stark difference from Tuesday night, when they had no pop from that side whatsoever at a stadium perfectly built for it.
Rodriguez didn’t know how low the prospect cost would be when he made the following statements on Sunday Night Baseball against the Red Sox, but still, they’re written in ink. He called Gallo a “bad fit” and said he’d rather have Christian Yelich and Ramon Laureano, two extremely unavailable star players.
Yankees: Joey Gallo’s number is some Alex Rodriguez revenge.
OK, A-Rod. Noted. We see you, we hear you, we feel you. Bad fit. Dreadful fit. Fate worse than death.
Well, anyway … the Yankees got Gallo, Gallo wears Rodriguez’s old No. 13, and Gallo’s going to keep on wearing that number in pinstripes, the first time since the old third baseman was forced into retirement in 2016.
Bad fit? Not sure. Depends on his jersey sizing.
With all due respect to Rodriguez’s Yankees career, which includes two American League MVPs and a monstrous World Series run in 2009, his number was never going to be taken out of commission entirely. There were too many suspensions and too much controversy during his time in the Bronx, including knock-down, drag-out fights with the commissioner of baseball. Apparently not enough to keep him off ESPN, but more than enough to keep him out of Monument Park.
If Paul O’Neill’s No. 21 is going to remain “informally retired” and nothing more, then Rodriguez can’t even hope for that honor. Plus, the Yankees don’t want to make another preemptive mistake like they did with Reggie Jackson’s No. 44, only to watch Mr. October take a job with the Astros and rock an Altuve jersey. There was never any plan here for No. 13. It was just … awkward, more than anything, to keep it unused these past few seasons.
Gallo, a powerful superstar with wants and needs, was the perfect exception to make here. And who knows? Maybe it bursts an A-Rod-centric curse we never knew existed?