Alex Rodriguez has posted a video pleading with players and owners alike to "step up to the plate together" in order to get baseball back in these unprecedented times. He did this with a straight face, but by no means do viewers have to keep one while watching.
Here's his pitch:
“It is the people’s comfort food and people are starving. And I just don’t want to see this great game, people fighting, billionaires fighting with millionaires. This has nothing to do with the past. This has nothing to do with the strike. This is actually when the owners and players are aligned and we want the same thing. We want to save baseball. We want to play baseball.
“Players want to play. Fans want to watch. And at the end of the day, if you don’t play today, you don’t win tomorrow, because hopefully we don’t have another situation like this. This is like beyond anything we’ve ever seen before. I just urge the players and owners to think collectively. If there’s $100 in the pie, like the NBA, players take $50, owners take $50. And we give it to the fans. We thank the fans of baseball.”
It's a nice sentiment. It is. And yet, one wonders if there exists a more ridiculous person to make this plea. No player has ever more epitomized maximizing their value and striving toward the biggest payday possible than Rodriguez. It was his prerogative to make $545 million during his career and he did.
No matter which side of the labor vs. management battle you fall on, there should be some middle ground in identifying this video as being little more than an empty audition tape for a guy who really wants to own a baseball team.
Also, not for nothing: it must have been extremely easy for New York Yankees brass to negotiate salaries 10 years ago. Between A-Rod and Mark Teixiera, Brian Cashman was dealing with some rather magnanimous fellows, based on their recent comments about players sacrificing for the greater good.
More pressing than the blatant absurdity of the content, though, is the cinematography. I mean, what the hell is going on here?
There are shades of Paul Thomas Anderson's tracking shot in Boogie Nights as A-Rod delivers his monologue without making eye contact. Who is he speaking to? Another person? His laptop? A boardroom full of people? We're left to wonder.
This is all presumably taking place in his home office while observing social distancing rules, meaning there's a very small circle of people who could have served as the camera operator. One of them is very famous!
While all this combines to create a challenging bit of performance art to be studied, it likely won't have much impact on the actual discussion and decision-making going on as MLB tries to find its way back to action.