Sports Outside the Beltway

Why I’m pissed about Arod’s new deal

Am I the only one upset about the home run record incentive Arod is about to get? He could earn an additional $30 million if he passes Barry Bonds’ career home run record. 1. passing Mays, Ruth, Aaron and Bonds isn’t enough of an incentive by itself?, 2. what’s to stop him for swinging for the fences all the time?

Why the Yanks are giving him this and 10-year deal I’ll never know. By passing those historic names on the home run list, Arod will become enshrined in baseball history (even moreso than now) while increasing his fame and financial/marketing clout. There will be plenty more money there for him that the Yanks should not feel a need to ‘share’ with Arod the extra (if there is any) money they’ll make from the home run chase.

The second part is even more frustrating. Here’s a scenario: tie game in the late innings, runner on 2nd, two outs, Arod up. The count goes full. He strikes out swinging at a slider in the dirt because he’s swinging for the fences, inning over. He doesn’t get any closer to his incentives by merely taking a walk or even hitting a game-winning single. The only way he does inch closer is by parking a ball into the seats, hence the overanxiety. We won’t know that’s the reason, but it will be a thorn in our mind, torturing us. Was he swinging for the fences? Was he unwilling to walk? Same thing with all the pop-ups, double-play grounders, two-strike swings, full count swings, etc. It really, really irks me. It’s like Hank, Brian and Arod are putting the productivity of one player above that of the team. If they’re going to give him $6 million for each home run record broken, why not the same for every title won (or why not $10 million for that)? And because of the ridiculous length of the deal, it’s a problem that’s going to bother the fans, managers, front office, and especially his teammates for the next decade. Honestly, I’d rather them just give him $305 million straight up than add in these stupid HR incentives. If Arod got booed for grounding into a double-play before, there’ll be even more reason to boo him now since we’ll have the suspicion that he’s swinging for the fences. If they just give him all the $305 million, at least there wouldn’t be any suspicions. Despite the extra $30 million, it’s preferable in my mind. Why is Yankee management giving in? Ugh…

- Here’s another example of how wildly Arod will be overpaid for the next decade (still hard to fathom the length). Projections are, of course, no sure indication of a player’s productivity, but they are worth at least a look when splurging on a record-setting deal.

He’s not projected to have a single year OPS of more than 1.000, and will bat under .270 the last half (five years) of the deal. If this projection is remotely close, it will be a debacle the likes of which will make Carl Pavano look like a bargain (well, almost).

Brian and Hank, back out now while you still can!

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