ARod’s ‘marketable milestones’ take away his rights

The Yankees brass has made its intentions known without having to show it off on their high-def scoreboard.

When Alex Rodriguez hits home run No. 660 to tie Willie Mays for fourth all-time, their celebration will be tame. No red carpet. No champagne bottles. No commercials or special t-shirts. No, he will not get the “DJ3K” treatment.

Several outlets have reported how the Yankees are going to fight back against Arod’s special contract where he is supposed to receive what can be an extra $30 million for his milestone home runs – $6 million for each. Just don’t call them milestones. Seems the Yankees aren’t interested in that.

However, the New York Post story left me a bit baffled. According to their very special sources with knowledge of the situation, ARod would sign over his image rights and associated branding for $6 million a home run.

Really? Why? Continue reading ARod’s ‘marketable milestones’ take away his rights

The expectations of ARod in 2015

Alex Rodriguez crushed one Wednesday, home run number 656 of his career. Rodriguez sits fifth all-time for career home runs and needs four more to tie Willie Mays.

Two home runs already from Rodriguez might be more than many were expecting from the slugger. Over the last five years, Rodriguez has had multiple hip surgeries and faced a lengthy suspension as his play followed a downward track.

But through nine games this season, Rodriguez is hitting .286 with a .394 on-base percentage and .571 slugging. Beyond his home runs he has seven RBI and five walks, along with 12 strikeouts.

Adjust some of those numbers for a full 162-game season and we have 36 home runs and 126 RBI – essentially matching his last good, healthy season in 2010.

However, the reality is we don’t know what we are going to get from Rodriguez this year. Signs point in a positive direction if you’re a Yankees fan, but the optimism comes with a warning label.

Rodriguez is going to be 40 in July. The list of players age 39 and older who have been successful is a much shorter one than those before it. But there are a few notables who have been impressive in their age-39 season – including two players Rodriguez is chasing on the all-time home run list.

In 2004, Barry Bonds smashed 40 home runs and slugged .812. He also had an impressive on-base percentage of .609.

In 1974, Hank Aaron smashed 40 home runs.

Rodriguez, however, has been given something that could help him continue a successful career – science (and not the pharmaceutical kind). Even though Rodriguez was suspended for all of last season because of his role in the BioGenesis scandal, Rodriguez had to rehab and regain strength in his hip. That time away may have been a hidden blessing for him.

Rodriguez suffered a hip impingement, which doesn’t allow the ball and socket joint to rotate smoothly. It’s not a problem caused by PEDs, but instead one that occurs in the developmental phase. Imagine swinging a bat thousands of times, and the strain and torque that is placed on the hips – the joint could not develop properly. Often the signs aren’t noticeable until much later, and even then misdiagnosis is common.

Research shows the body begins to adjust to alleviate the discomfort in the hips when there is an impingement, causing pain in other areas while also throwing off mechanics.

Rodriguez’s diminished production from 2011 to 2013, where he seemed lost at the plate, could very well be a symptom of the hip impingement.

Yet, surgery that shaved the head of the ball joint down to give his hip better movement could be exactly what he needed – not steroids.

Is Rodriguez going to hit 36 home runs and drive in 125 runs? Maybe. Maybe not. Only time will tell. Either way, Rodriguez has shown one thing over the first 10 days of the season – he can still hit a ball, and hit it far.
Continue reading The expectations of ARod in 2015

Do the Yankees have a run in them?

This has been a frustrating Yankee season, to say the least. The combination of injuries and austerity has sucked some of the fun out of following my favorite team. Losing is part of the game. But it isn’t exactly engaging to know that your team is losing because of a poor combination of frailty and management stinginess. That’s why these past few weeks have been such a breath of fresh air. Suddenly Yankee fans are getting a taste of the team they could have had. Hate him or really hate him, Alex Rodriguez can still hit, certainly better than guys Continue reading Do the Yankees have a run in them?

What awaits Alex Rodriguez?

The NY Post is reporting that the long awaited Alex Rodriguez ban may be just days away. It is not surprising that a ban is coming. A-Rod has been implicated in the Biogenesis scandal. Baseball has been working hard to deliver bans to the players involved, even though they did not fail PED tests. A-Rod’s name is on the list so he finds himself in the cross-hairs. Continue reading What awaits Alex Rodriguez?

A-Rod’s “plea bargain” makes no sense from either side

Yesterday, Bill Madden and Teri Thompson the Daily News published a report that Alex Rodriguez and Major League Baseball were considering a plea bargain of sorts that would see A-Rod accept a 150 game suspension over his involvement in the Biogenesis scandal, in exchange for which MLB would not pursue a lifetime ban of the Yankees’ fragile third baseman. That’s quite the bombshell the be dropping on a Saturday night. Still, though the story is supposedly based on an account of information Anthony Boesch himself gave to MLB investigators, (A-Rod’s camp naturally denied it) there are more holes in this account than in the Yankees’ current lineup. In no particular order.

Continue reading A-Rod’s “plea bargain” makes no sense from either side

What will A-Rod and Jeter bring to the table?

This hasn’t been the most dominant Yankee season, but that’s what makes it interesting. This season may not end in October. The potential for the season to end in September is what makes it exciting. Fortunately there’s a lot to be happy about in Yankee-land right now. The team hasn’t been strong, but it remains within striking distance of a playoff berth. The Yankees also turned the corner on a five game losing streak and ran off six wins in a row before falling Sunday to the Orioles. Now, just in time for the All-Star break the Bombers are on the verge of getting back Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter. Five years ago that was a tantalizing prospect. Now that each player is near the end of his career, coming back from difficult injuries, how good can this be? Continue reading What will A-Rod and Jeter bring to the table?

Quick Hit: A-Rod Cleared To Start MiL Rehab Assignment

The Alex Rodriguez comeback trail took another important step forward today when the team announced he has been cleared to start his Minor League rehab assignment on July 1st.  The Daily News had the full story and comments from Cash on the situation, including the obligatory Biogenesis references, and it sounds like everything is progressing nicely for A-Rod.  He’s been running and fielding down in Tampa for a few weeks and started taking live batting practice last week, all without any reported pain or issues with his surgically-repaired hip.

Whether you’re an A-Rod supporter or A-Rod hater, there’s no denying that this is good news for the Yankees.  They’ve gotten a .246/.302/.337 batting line from their third baseman this season and are still incredibly weak and vulnerable against left-handed pitching.  A diminished A-Rod is still a significant upgrade over that type of production.  As with Michael Pineda, this rehab assignment will likely use all of the available 30 days.  Rodriguez hasn’t had any at-bats since last October and will need the reps, and the team will want to see how the hip and the rest of his body responds to playing regularly. Continue reading Quick Hit: A-Rod Cleared To Start MiL Rehab Assignment

Piecing it Together

For most of the offseason, I’ve lamented the losses of two key batters: Nick Swisher and Russell Martin. By no means are those players superstars, but they were perfect fits for the Yankee offense. Both Swisher ad Martin provided power and patience, cornerstones of the team’s offense for the last two decades. In their places, the Yankees will have players not known for their power or patience. Ichiro Suzuki and a combination of Chris Stewart and Francisco Cervelli (at least to start the year) will man right field and catcher. While Ichiro may have something left at the plate, the Continue reading Piecing it Together

Alex Rodriguez: The Great Witch Hunt

If you couldn’t tell, we’ve held off mentioning Alex Rodriguez‘ name over the last couple of days. Why you ask? There isn’t enough information to analyze it. This blog prides itself on analyzing hard data and credible news stories, and neither fall into the category of the recent PED news. With that said, this Rodriguez bubble has grown, and real MLB investigations are beginning, so perhaps it’s time that we step away from our usual statistical analysis. Over the last couple of days, an article came out naming a few athletes involved in a PED investigation, Rodriguez being the biggest name. The Continue reading Alex Rodriguez: The Great Witch Hunt