Monday, July 16, 2007

ARod Redux, With a Side of Scotty

Note - as a card-carrying nerd, I always find the nickname that's been hung on Alex Rodriguez to be mildly amusing. Arod, for those who do not wander deep in the nerdly forests as I, is the name of the horse given to Legolas by the Riders of Rohan in the Lord of the Rings. And so, the noble but expendable steed Aron goes trotting off all over Middle Earth at the bidding of his magical master. Occasionally, he is burdened by a second passenger, a dwarf who, while named Gimli, bears a suspicious resemblance to Joe Torre - that is, if Joe wore chain mail and carried a battle axe. Then again, the way things are going these days, he might.

Watching the latest round of ARod drama play out is deeply unpleasant on a number of levels. For one thing, it takes away from the enjoyment of watching the guy have what could be one of the monster seasons of all time. But nobody's talking about the homers or the RBIs or the defense; they're talking opt-out and $40M/year and everything except baseball. Come on, people, you crucified him enough for on-field stuff last year, why not put a little attention where attention is due this year.

Then, there's the Scott Boras factor. Watching Boras angle for top dollar for his clients is a lot like watching your creepy middle-aged uncle who insists on making out with his 21 year old dental hygienist girlfriend at family gatherings, just to reinforce to all and sundry how virile he is (hair on back notwithstanding). We get it, Scott. You want to get Alex a lot of money. You want to get you a lot of money. And you want everyone to know you're the agentest agent of them all. Fine. Whatever. But as a fan, I can hope that this focus on the contract blows up in your face, that nobody's going to be quite as interested in the ARod circus because they won't be able to dig through the mischegas to get to ARod the ballplayer. Here's hoping that the owners learn that they can trust Boras's pronouncements as far as they can spit a wildebeest, and that his tactic of using creative assessments of the truth to get owners to bid against themselves doesn't work this time. It's not that I particularly don't want Rodriguez to get his money - on that account, I don't care one way or the other. It's that I want Boras' negotiating tactics to fail, utterly and spectacularly, so I don't have to endure endless news cycles discussing them any more.

And that 9-game neutral site World Series idea? Dreadful.
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