Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Way to Go

There’s a proper way to do things. One of the major disagreements that Theo Epstein had a couple years ago with Larry Lucchino was that Epstein found Lucchino’s public feuds with the Yankees unseemly, unprofessional and completely counter-productive. Beat them on the field, but don’t get into pissing matches with them over El Duque or anything else. There’s no need for it, and it makes you look boorish. Do your job and let them do theirs. During his entire career as both player and manager, Joe Torre always conducted himself with the utmost respect for the game, his opponents and the uniform he wore. Torre never showed up the competition, and he was a role model for Terry Francona. The two of them developed a profound respect for each other, and when Torre resigned, Francona was late for a post-season press conference because he was busy watching his colleague’s words on television. There is a way to behave, and that includes showing respect for the game and your opponents.

As the Red Sox are doing their best to win the right way these days, not everyone gets that. Enter Hank Steinbrenner and Alex Rodriguez. Hank is the son of the Boss. Clearly, the apple does not fall far from the tree. When Torre determined that the contract “offer” he was given included not just a pay cut but performance incentives that shouldn’t be necessary for someone of his experience and track record, he walked away. That was, of course, his right. Rather than saying “We’re sorry that Joe Torre did not find our contract offer acceptable. We’d like to thank him for his extraordinary performance as Yankee manager, including his 10 AL East division championships, 6 American League pennants and 4 World Series titles. He always handled himself and his team the with the utmost professionalism, and exemplified the Yankee Way. We wish Joe the best, and we know he’ll be a tough act to follow”, Baby Bluster instead said the following

“Where was Joe's career in '95 when my dad hired him? My dad was crucified for hiring him. Let's not forget what my dad did in giving him that opportunity -- and the great team he was handed”.

What a colossal shmuck.

Then, there’s Alex Rodriguez. It should not have been a shock that ARod was going to opt out of his contract and walk away to seek even greener pastures. Seriously, his agent is Scott Boras. Let’s just make it easier and call the pair Borod. Did you really believe that Borod would do anything other than seek the greatest possible remuneration on the open market? If you honestly did, you don’t understand either of them. It’s not about rings, it’s about the greenbacks. No more, no less. They had every right (and tens of millions of reasons) to walk away, but to do it during the clinching game of the World Series represents unconscionable egomania and arrogance. The next day, MLB was pissed.

"There was no reason to make an announcement last night other than to try to put his selfish interests and that of one individual player above the overall good of the game. Last night and today belong to the Boston Red Sox, who should be celebrated for their achievement, and to the Colorado Rockies, who made such an unbelievable run to the World Series."

Correct. But selfish interests are all that matter to Borod, and all that have ever mattered. The timing of the announcement is further proof of the most damning sin of all: Alex Rodriguez doesn’t get it. He’s never been a team player, but worse than that, he doesn’t respect the game, nor does he even bother to pretend to anymore. He pissed all over the clinching game of the World Series because he felt that while he was standing above it, he might as well draw attention to himself. Mike Lupica of the New York Daily News put it best: ARod upstaged more World Series games than he actually played in. Alex Rodriguez is going to be elected to the Hall of Fame some day, but nobody should cheer for him. I wouldn’t want to be associated with the team who’s cap he wears. His next team is about to see up close what the Mariners, Rangers and Yankees know all too well: Not all statistics tell the complete story.


Anonymous said...

Great observation on the attitude change by the Red Sox about the Yankees. Now if Red Sox Nation would adopt it. Great comments on Joe. Yankees fans are not happy with the 3 Stooges -- George, Hank and Henry. If you want Arod, you can have him. Although one of the Globe columnists called him radioactive and he is...

Yankee fan.

Anonymous said...

Great post, and well said. If Theo & Co. sign ARod ... I'll be beyond pissed. He is NOTHING like a true Sox player and would never appreciate what makes wearing that uniform special.

And I loved Tek's sign at the parade today to resign Lowell. My greatest fears is that Lowell and ARod witch teams. THAT would be an unforgivable change in team chemistry and mkae me actually like the Red Sox less.