I decided to wait for the Alex Rodriguez-to-Miami fervor to wane before commenting. Partially because I was laughing too hard at the lunacy of such a trade, and partially because Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria has been known to meddle and make mind-boggling deals (see John Buck, Heath Bell), and that notion was/is mortifying.
First of all, nothing beats a good rumor involving a player smack-dab in the middle of a championship series … who happens to play for a team in the media center of the world … who happens to wear pinstripes … who happens to be a favorite postseason whipping boy … who happens to be a narcissist named A-Rod.
Wad all that up into a ball and you have blog fodder for a week. Until it peters out … and the next rumor surfaces, which could occur before you finish reading this post.
The rumor mill, especially in New York, does wonders for newspaper sales and website hits, but it’s often so baseless it’s ludicrous, yet very few headlines screamed “A-Rod to Marlins rumor stunningly laughable.”
What I found most entertaining about this “story” was nary a talking head mentioned how horrible a fit it would be for Miami and for A-Rod; they were more concerned about jockeying for position in the “breaking news” race.
When it was first mentioned in a baseball blog by the formerly relevant Keith Olbermann, it was positioned as a conversation between Loria and Yankees president Randy Levine. And upon further unraveling, the conversation transpired when the Yankees played the Marlins in a preseason series that unofficially opened Marlins Park. Not very current. But given how awful A-Rod has been, it’s understandable the revelation would gain momentum.
Yes, A-Rod has seen his numbers decline with injuries over the past few seasons. And, yes, A-Rod has been Mr. Mocktober in most of his postseason appearances. And, yes, A-Rod deserved to be benched because he had been slumping. And, yes, A-Rod‘s a tool for trying to pick-up chicks in the middle of a playoff game.
But, hey, that’s what we’ve come to expect from A-Rod.
What you see is what you get – a man whose value is nowhere near his skillset today. He was worth it at one time, and he leveraged that elite status into a contract someone else was willing to pay. And for that, A-Rod should be congratulated for making the most of his opportunity, while the Yankees should be chided for offering a deal no aging and declining player could live up to – except maybe a juiced up Barry Bonds.
So, why the heck would the Miami Marlins want A-Rod beyond trying to sell tickets to the first series of the 2013 season? Fickle Marlins fans would be over the novelty by mid-April unless Miami was winning or A-Rod had a chance to break a record.
And speaking of record-breaking opportunities, why would A-Rod want to go to the National League, where he has absolutely no chance of milestone-setting achievements without a DH role to cushion his decline? A-Rod has 642 home runs, needing 121 more to pass Bonds on the all-time list. In his first seven years with the Yankees, A-Rod averaged 38 homers per year. The last two seasons, his injury-riddled pace dropped to 17. Giving him the benefit of the doubt by saying he’ll average 20 per year moving forward, that means A-Rod needs another six seasons to set the record. Ain’t gonna happen as a position player in the NL folks, especially when you factor that his contract runs out in five years.
He needs to be on a team where he can contribute as a DH, and the Marlins aren’t that team.
While it makes no sense, the media was all over the story as a win-win. As a Marlins fan, I was more interested about the “Annihilator of Leads,” Heath Bell, going to the Yankees. One can only dream. Fortunately, the Marlins were able to pawn off Bell and a most of his salary to the Arizona Diamondbacks for a prospect who may help them down the road vs. strangle them with a bad salary.
Now that I’ve made my point, I understand Loria may do the unthinkable and find a way to bring A-Rod to South Florida anyway. The hot stove season is still a few weeks away, and the thought of another debacle in Miami looms.