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Monday, August 25, 2014

Alex Rodriguez, prodigal son, mentioned during a Yankee game. What does it mean?

Last week during the series between the Yankees and Houston Astros a multiple part question was displayed on the TV screen asking viewers to vote:

Who will replace Derek Jeter at shortstop next season:
1. Stephen Drew
2. Brendan Ryan
3. Alex Rodriguez
4. a player from another team.

Drew and Ryan are both with the Yankees now and both are good fielders.  But what shocked me was that A-Rod was mentioned.  The pariah!  The destroyer of worlds!  Consider that it's been 20 days since I asked this unanswered question:

When Derek Jeter passes Alex Rodriguez in Runs, will they stop the game and save the ball?  Tuesday, August 5, 2014

milestones that Bud Selig prevented Alex Rodriguez from reaching this season because Selig suspended Rodriguez for using performance enhancing drugs (PED):

Runs: 1,919 (2,000)
RBI: 1,969 (2,000)
Hits: 2,939 (3,000)
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Alex Rodriguez 1994 Calgary Cannons
by John Traub via Wikimedia Commons
It's unanswered because Jeter still has not scored the half dozen runs needed to pass A-Rod.  Jeter hasn't scored any runs.  In TWENTY days.  Derek, come on.  Jeter also hasn't had a walk off hit since 2007.  I created that post because I thought Jeter's passing Rodriguez in runs was imminent.

But the question was answered, in part, by the fact that A-Rod's name was included in something at all and, especially, in a question to which A-Rod would seem a very unlikely choice.

The most recent Yankee third baseman Chase Headley has OPS+ 99 with the Yankees.  Maybe Yankee management is actually considering:

1. Alex Rodriguez, even after missing all of 2013 and most of 2012 and at age 39, may still be better than an average player in 2015, especially at bat.

2. The Yankees must pay Rodriguez:
2015 $21,000,000
2016 $20,000,000
2017 $20,000,000

Also, "$30m in marketing bonuses for HR milestones from 660 HR to 763 HR".

Rodriguez cannot be traded without his permission and without the Yankees paying most of his salary to play for another team.

3. Maybe, just maybe, Yankee management is not so dumb as to pay Rodriguez to set three major milestones for another team, like Seattle, where Rodriguez started and where it makes perfect sense for the prodigal to return, if he does leave the Yankees.

Maybe, too, Yankee fans and baseball fans in general will be more open minded considering what has happened since Rodriguez was first suspended 211 games by Major Baseball League (MBL) commissioner Allan Huber "Bud" Selig in August 2013:

1. Selig announced that he would leave in January 2015, just in time to miss the return of Rodriguez.

2. We learned that the MBL doctor had given Rodriguez permission to use performance enhancing drugs (PED):

Bud Selig's doctor allowed Alex Rodriguez to use steroids. Is that enough mitigation to commute A-Rod's sentence?  Friday, July 4, 2014

3. There is now a commissioner-elect: Rob Manfred.  Unfortunately, he's the guy who did sleazy stuff for Selig to nail Rodriguez and beat the expensive lawyers hired by Rodriguez in his appeal.

4. Maybe the one season penalty will legitimize career milestones by Rodriguez: without PED he would have reached them anyway.  That seems reasonable, rather than the blathering we heard from some, especially so many in the self-righteous media, who wanted to ban all records set by PED users.  Oh wait, just batters.  No, just home run hitters.  The steroid zealots may finally be fading away.

5. Scoring and home run hitting are down.  Strike outs are up.  Boring!

6. Jeter will be gone in 2015.  Enter the anti-Jeter.  At least for the entertainment value.

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