Everyone can probably agree that the plight of Alex Rodriguez is a fairly tired subject at this point. However the ongoing saga of the Yankees vs. A-Rod is actually going be pretty fun, if only because it’s going to be exceedingly petty and stupid.
Take yesterday. A-Rod hit his first home run of the spring. We can quibble how important a Spring Training home run might be, but since it’s A-Rod and it’s his first round tripper since 2013 it’s worth acknowledging … unless you’re running the Yankees Twitter account, according to the Daily News:
"A look back at the Yankees’ account shows that aside from his name being mentioned in the starting lineup, A-Rod hasn’t been cited in any tweet all spring, even when he had a hit in his first at-bat since 2013. Are the Yankees trying to pretend A-Rod isn’t part of the team? That doesn’t appear to be the case. As it turns out, the Yankees don’t even control the account. “It was very much an unintended error,” a team spokesman said. “Alex is and will be treated like every other Yankees player.” According to a source, there was no directive from the team to omit A-Rod from the Twitter account, which is run by MLB Advanced Media, the league’s digital arm. Unlike many clubs, the Yankees do not have in-house employees running their social media accounts."
Whatever the explanation, it’s hilarious the Yankees account didn’t (and hasn’t) mentioned A-Rod this Spring considering the deluge of reporters who’ve tracked his every move since February. Unintended or not, the Yankees are treating A-Rod like George Costanza at Play Now Sports after it was discovered he lied about being handicapped. Everyone in the front office hates Rodriguez (like Costanza), but there’s nothing they can do about it since he has a contract.
The real fun is going to come in the regular season when Rodriguez approaches Willie Mays on the all-time home run list. His contract includes a $6 million bonus for passing Mays (660), who is fourth on the list. A-Rod is six away and its only a matter of time before he gets to Mays. In the winter the team made rumblings about voiding that part of the contract, which didn’t hold up.
Since the Yankees love to trumpet each and every bit of their history — i.e. retiring every player from the 1990s/2000s number, etc. — it’s going to be fun to see them actively try to play down whatever accomplishments A-Rod puts up over the remaining three seasons of his contract. Even better is that all these petty things like the Twitter account are only going to help A-Rod in the court of public opinion.
It’s also worth pointing out A-Rod’s off to a nice start this spring, going 5-for-11 at the plate with a .818 slugging percentage. Lo and behold he might actually help the Yankees this year if he’s able to remain healthy. Fans, as is their wont, are going to cheer for a player so long as he helps the team win games regardless of his past indiscretions.
And even if you have no dog in the fight, it’s much easier to root for A-Rod in this compared to Yankees’ management.
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