Yankees General Manager, Brian Cashman, added a new word to the baseball vocabulary when he explained Joe Girardi had lost “connectivity” with his players. Laugh out loud if you want, but no one has more respect among the core of young Yankees than Alex Rodriguez and for that alone, he’s a perfect choice as the team’s next manager.
When the Yankees arrived for Spring Training last season, the most anticipated event was the arrival of Alex Rodriguez as a Guest Instructor for five or six days. His job was simple, just mentor and teach the Baby Bombers about what’s entailed in being a successful major league ballplayer.[
Also invited was Nick Swisher, who never had a day in a major league uniform he didn’t exalt in and Goose Gossage, who arrived in camp with an ax to grind. In contrast, Rodriguez embraced his role and immediately blended in with former teammates and the new crop of talent.
Unbeknownst at the time regarding the significance of the how he viewed his role, Rodriguez said:
Now tell me, is that not a mirror image of what Brian Cashman was talking about when he said he was looking for a media-savvy guy who has “connectivity” with players in today’s age of baseball.
Remember something; it’s not what you or I think about Alex Rodriguez. Instead, the only thing that matters is what players think of him. And in that regard, Alex Rodriguez, despite all of his shortcomings as a person, which he readily admits to, by the way, has always been the go-to guy in the Yankees clubhouse.
Nothing Alex Rodriguez ever “did” occurred on the playing field or in a clubhouse. And for ballplayers who are only interested in winning games, that counts for everything, and all else is superfluous to the goals they are striving for.
And whether you believe him or not, Alex Rodriguez may have had an epiphany one day when he realized:
So, there you have it. Do the Yankees want to hire a jerk as their next manager? A move like that by the Yankees would be fodder for talk and discussion throughout the winter, and rightly so. But the logic of doing so is overwhelming when you put aside A-Rod The Jerk.
For as long as it holds, it would mean stories in (ugh) Vanity Fair about the romance between Jennifer Lopez and A-Rod, plus the endless cuts to her when YES cameras panned to her in the stands “supporting her beau.” But none of that has anything to do with winning baseball and the “connectivity” Alex Rodriguez will be having with the 25 men in the clubhouse before, during, and after each game the Yankees play.
Brian Cashman was very explicit in saying he wants and need to take the Yankees in a new direction. The best answer to his search to achieve is staring at him in the face.
The trouble is, and here’s the kicker, is if Cashman turns to A-Rod, how much of the spotlight is he surrendering? Because by now, Cashman’s ego is the size of a watermelon and not a grape. He has earned it, but still, Alex Rodriguez is a more significant name in baseball than Brian Cashman.
So, on the one hand, Cashman portrays himself as a man who fired Joe Girardi in the best interests (okay fine) of the organization, but on the proverbial other hands, how far is Cashman willing to go in choosing the right man for the organization in 2018?
Alex Rodriguez meets all of the criteria Cashman indicated with the exception of being an analytics centered manager. Phooey on that. Alex Rodriduez has another idea about “baseball algorithyms (see here in between the “fluff”):
Everything begins and ends with the 25 players who inhabit the Yankees clubhouse at any given time. And that job belongs in the hands of Alex Rodriguez.
Make the move you dared to make, Brian.