Monday, October 29, 2007

I'm A Travelling Man

Scott Boras announced to the world last night that Arod will indeed be opting out of his contract with the Yankees. The Yankees, who were preparing a mega deal for Arod, were not even given the chance to present an offer to him. The fact that Boras chose to make the announcement on the same night that the Red Sox won the series (thereby hogging the press coverage), is typical of the agent who doesn't care about the game, he only cares about the money. And in the end, I guess that's what an agent is supposed to care about. The press is vilifying Boras and Arod for the timing of the announcement, but Boras knew that doing it last night would get maximum press coverage. Peter Gammons was doing actually doing commentary about Arod decision on the field, while the Red Sox celebrated in the background.

As I said in one of my previous emails regarding Arod, this decision wouldn't be made based on money. He may get more money from another team, but the difference really isn't going to be that substantial. His decision isn't based on the "uncertainty surrounding the team" as Boras put it. Or because he didn't know who the next manager would be, or because he thought the Yankees wouldn't put a quality product on the field next year. He just didn't want to play for the Yankees anymore. Plain and simple. It could have been because of his up and down relationship with the fans, the pressure that he felt to produce, the non stop coverage by the press, his frosty relationship with Derek Jeter, or the expectations that were placed upon him, but whatever the ultimate reason, it all adds up to the same thing.

Arod will pack his bags once again and hit the road and bring with him the promise of greatness. He will sit in another press conference and proclaim that this is his final destination, that he never wants to wear the uniform of another team and that he finally feels like he's home. He will say all the things that the press and fans in his next city will want to hear. The only issue I have with Arod is that I know the speech is already written. Perhaps Arod will end up in Chicago with Lou Pinella where he may be the answer to the long suffering Cubs. He may go the Angels, whose owner has long coveted Arod. He may even end up in Boston, who only have to carry Manny's $20 million contract for one more season. I really have no idea where he'll go, but someone is going to pay a lot of money for the right to watch Arod make an assault on the all time home run record.

I personally bear no ill will toward Arod. It's been a treat to watch one of the greatest players of all time on a day to day basis. He almost single-handedly kept the Yankees afloat for the first half of this season and his play down the stretch in '05 was the difference in the Yankees winning another divisional crown. I have spent a lot of time in this forum defending him from his numerous critics and I regret none of it. His four year stretch was the best individual performance that I've ever seen by a Yankee player (and I've been watching since the 70's). He showed up everyday and did his job well. That's about all you can ask from a player. I don't know what he was like on the bench or in the clubhouse, but when he had a bat in his hands, he was the best player in the game.

So as Arod leaves New York, I wish him good look in his search. I'm not sure what he's looking for, but apparently he didn't find it here. The fans in his new city are in for a treat. He is without a doubt, a once in a generation type of player. And maybe, if he's lucky, his next stop will provide him with something that money can't buy. It may provide him with a place he can call home and actually mean it.



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