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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Chase Headley money to spite Alex Rodriguez could have landed Cuban Yoan Moncada.

The Yankees fell $13 million short of signing 19 year old Cuban Yoan Moncada, a potential super star.

Yoan Moncada got $6.5 million more from the Red Sox than what the Yankees offered.  Because of the Allan Huber "Bud" Selig convoluted rules designed to thwart the Yankees after Selig brought George Steinbrenner back from his lifetime ban, which co-opted Steinbrenner from protesting, the Yankees would have had to pay an additional $6.5 million penalty to Selig's Major Baseball League (MBL), thus the Yankees stopped $13 million short of matching the Red Sox who also had to pay penalty money.

$13 milion.  That's a lot of money.  As a percent of the $50 million that the Yankees were willing to pay to Moncada plus the penalty money, the extra $13 million was 26% more.  But what are the Yankees doing these days with $13 million?

Months before Alex Rodriguez set foot in training camp the Yankees felt compelled to sign free agent third baseman Chase Headley for $56 million for four years, by far the most money committed by the Yankees since the end of the 2014 season.  That's $14 million for each of the next four seasons.  And why?  Purely to spite Rodriguez and possibly provoke Rodriguez into asking to be traded.  It obviously made much more sense for the Yankees to wait for Rodriguez to arrive in camp, which he did yesterday looking like $100 million, and see how he plays before looking for his replacement.  Why?  Because the Yankees foolishly signed Rodriguez to a new contract several years ago, which they now regret doing, and which commits the Yankees to pay Rodriguez at least $20 million for each of the next three seasons.

So for the next three seasons the Yankees are committed to paying at least $34 million for two players who both play third base.  But the Yankees would not spend an extra $13 million for Yoan Moncada.

Why do I think that the Headley signing was done to cause dismay for Rodriguez?  Because the Yankees were punishing Rodriguez even before the 2013 performance enhancing drug (PED) scandal broke.  Note the October 2012 dates of the following posts:

Yankees humiliate A-Rod. Now what?  Thursday, October 18, 2012

Why denigrate your product?  Alex Rodriguez is not an employee, he's the product.  Ticket takers are employees, not ball players.

Without getting too much into the soap opera aspect this reeks of GM Brian Cashman telling Yankee President Randy Levine and the male Steinbrenner kids: I told you so (concerning A-Rod's big contract).

The Yankees have inflicted all three humiliations mentioned here previously, none of which were inflicted on Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle or Willie Mays:
- benching
- dropped in the batting order
- pinch hit for.

Alex Rodriguez pinch hit for: worse than benching.  Thursday, October 11, 2012

For another team to take damaged goods and a huge contract the Yankees would have to pay maybe 75% of that contract to have Alex Rodriguez reach these milestones with another team:
- 2,000 runs
- 2,000 RBI
- 3,000 Hits
- 700 home runs.

Is that good business?

Whatever his faults, real or imagined, Rodriguez plays and practices hard with an unmatched diligence.  And he's endured his public humiliation with grace and dignity.
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Alex Rodriguez pinch hit for: worse than benching.  Thursday, October 11, 2012

Alex Rodriguez was replaced in the ninth inning of last night's Major Baseball League (MBL) first round tournament game at Yankee Stadium against Baltimore by his manager Joe Girardi...

I think being lifted in a clutch spot like that is much more humiliating than being benched outright as Yankee manager Billy Martin did to Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson in game five of the division series in Kansas City in 1977...

In the final losing game of the first round in 2006 Yankee manager Joe Torre dropped Rodriguez to 8th in the batting order...

People talk big when they are not the ones making the decisions.  Handling a fading super star is extremely difficult and usually the manager does not humiliate the player.  They generally do not:

- bench
- drop in the batting order
- pinch hit...

Check these starting batting order positions for stars in their final seasons:

- Joe DiMaggio 1951 managed by Casey Stengel: 4th 108 games; 5th 5;
- Mickey Mantle 1968 managed by Ralph Houk: 2nd 8; 3rd 122;
- Willie Mays 1973 manged on the Mets by Yogi Berra: 1st 21; 3rd 35; 5th 1...

There was plenty on the line but neither Stengel nor Berra humiliated his aging star despite the fact that neither had a long or close relationship with the star.

The easiest for a manager is to bench the aging super star.  There's always the pretext that the star needs rest.  Next, though difficult, is to drop him in the batting order and even that is seldom done.  By far the most difficult because it is the most humiliating for the star is to pinch hit for him, especially in a big spot.

Joe Girardi did the most difficult thing last night.
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Alex Rodriguez broke his hand ... three months ago! (2012)  Friday, October 19, 2012

Alex Rodriguez suffered a broken hand Tuesday, July 24, 2012 at Safeco Field in Seattle.  Felix Hernandez hit Rodriguez with a pitched ball in the eighth inning.  Rodriguez did not play again until September 3 in Tampa.  After returning his strike out rate increased dramatically...

So how come hardly anyone even mentioned this much less emphasized it in explaining why Rodriguez was striking out so much in the Major Baseball League (MBL) tournament?  In particular Yankee general manager Brian Cashman simply tried to justify the Yankee position in benching Rodriguez against Detroit by stating that the increase in strike outs stretched back into the regular season.  Yeah, all the way back to September 3 and after Rodriguez suffered a BROKEN HAND!

What the heck?  Do people hate Rodriguez so much that they would ignore a BROKEN HAND?  It appears that they would rather jump to the conclusion that Rodriguez was choking ... again.
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