Alex Rodriguez has never been a particular favorite among baseball fans. But with his peers, he’s always exacted respect as a teammate. So, what’s he up to?
Alex Rodriguez, as if he needed more enemies, has cultivated a new one, and it comes in the unlikeliest place – major league ballplayers.
Who would have guessed that Alex Rodriguez, the same person who earned more than a half-billion dollars as a player himself, should suddenly announce he favors a salary cap – the most severe form of blasphemy in the player union’s (MLBPA) vocabulary?
Quoted by the Associated Press, Rodriguez said, “The only way it’s going to happen is if they get to the table and say the No. 1 goal, let’s get from $10 to $15 billion, and then we’ll split the economics evenly”. Those words in italics at the end are code for salary cap (a discussion of which has to wait for another time).
Alex Rodriguez: A Man In It To Win It?
It doesn’t go unnoticed that his change of heart comes in the middle of A-Rod and Company’s bid to purchase the New York Mets. Nor is it a coincidence that his conglomerate is in second place and fighting an uphill battle against multi-billionaire Steve Cohen.
Of even more significance though, did it suddenly dawn on Alex Rodriguez that Major League Baseball’s team owners must approve the buyer before the sale is finalized? Yes, those same owners for whom “salary cap” is music to their ears, and sure to be strived for in a new collective bargaining agreement.
And yes, the same owners who will say yea or nay to Steve Cohen, who raises several red flags for his financial dealings while on his way to amassing a fortune.
In 2013, his firm, SAC Capital Advisors, pleaded guilty to multiple counts of insider trading and fraud before agreeing to pay $1.8 billion in fines for their malpractice. In the wake of that investigation, the world also learned of SAC’s toxic work culture amid reports of extremely disturbing workplace sexual harassment.
A-Rod Sees An Opening And Makes A Move
Then, could it also be that Alex Rodriguez, the athlete possessed with so much God-given talent that, in his first full year in the majors (1996), he won the AL Batting Title (.358) and made the All-Star team – at the age of 20 – is coming of age in a new field of endeavor and one that doesn’t come naturally for him.
So, Alex Rodriguez realizes that if you choose to play with the big boys, you’d better be ready to fight like the big boys, meaning you might have to step on some toes, even on those you once considered to be your friends and teammates, to make it to the top of the business world.
Moves like the one Rodriguez is making with his news splash supporting a salary cap do not, however, come without risk.
Undoubtedly, the folks over at ESPN and FOX can’t be pleased when they realize their highly paid star analyst may be blackballed by the players he is called upon to interview and chat with at the batting cage.
Or, maybe it’s that Alex Rogriguez is an idiot who believes that people need him more than he needs them, so let the bastards fire me if that’s what they want – I’ve got bigger fish to fry.
Alex Rodriguez: Does He Have It In Him To Be Steve Cohen
But I don’t think it’s that so much as it’s A-Rod’s realization that if this (the Mets) is something he wants, he’s going to need to take the gloves off and climb into the trenches where the likes of Steve Cohen lives and works every day.
Rodriguez can’t fight Cohen with money, he’ll lose no matter how many NFL and NBA stars he signs up. Or how many Hollywood stars are on the receiving end of phone calls that begin with, “Hi, this is Jennifer”. So, the battle has to be shifted to another arena.
Which makes all the sense in the world as to why Alex Rodriguez is courting the 29 MLB team owners who have the final say as to who the new owner is, no matter who the Wilpons decide to sell to.
Almost brilliant, you might say.
He Can’t Have It All Ways.
Except that today’s stories, twenty-four hours later, are looking like the heat in the kitchen is maybe a little too hot for A-Rod, and he is not quite ready to play with the big boys.
In a Tweet (of course), Rodriguez now says that “that he never mentioned the word salary cap and only wanted the players and owners to work together”. This, in response from players and teammates who raked him over the coals.
Alex, Which Road Will You Travel On – It Can’t Be Both
Okay, Alex, if you say so.
Alex Rodriguez is used to having it all. He needs to be loved and adored by everyone. But all he needs to do is look south (Derek Jeter’s Marlins) to learn what it means to own a team and to not only do what’s best for the team and its fans but the business as well.
It looked like Rodriguez was ready to travel down that road. Now, I’m not quite as sure.