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Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Is A-Rod signing the worst ever?

What do you think is the worst deal in sports history? Would you think it was the Mets trading Nolan Ryan for Jim Fregosi, or the Yankees signing Carl Pavano? In today's Newsday, sports columnist Wallace Matthews calls the Yankees' re-signing Alex Rodriguez the worst deal ever.

He writes, "Today, Alex Rodriguez has a cyst on his hip and a space between his ears. The cyst could be gone by tomorrow, but the space will be there the rest of his life." Ouch! Then Matthews goes on to criticize the Yanks signing him:

Think about it. Worst. Deal. Ever.

Worse than Andruw Jones to the Dodgers. Worse than Mo Vaughn to the Mets. Worse than Stephon Marbury to the Knicks or Brett Favre to the Jets.

It's not as if he is just an April to October headache. A-Rod is a year-round migraine.


Matthews also doesn't think A-Rod being on the team worked out very well for the previous five years:
In five seasons, A-Rod has hit 208 home runs with 616 RBIs for the Yankees. During the same period, the Yankees have gone 10-14 in the postseason, suffered the worst playoff collapse in history, haven't made it out of the first round since 2004, and missed October altogether last season.

They are getting worse with him, not better. Not to mention more expensive and more troublesome.


Whatever point Matthews might have in this column gets lost in his hyperbole. First off, the Yanks still have nine years to go with A-Rod. If they win a championship or two thanks to him being on the team, will it still be the worst signing ever? I don't think so.

Second, to blame A-Rod singlehandedly for the Yankees' playoff failures is ridiculous. While Alex hasn't exactly covered himself in glory in October, it wasn't his fault that Joe Torre sat like a statue during the bug game, or refused to bunt on Curt Schilling or steal on Tim Wakefield. It wasn't A-Rod's fault Kevin Brown and Javier Vazquez pitched so poorly in Game 7 of the 2004 ALCS.

And more importantly, A-Rod had two MVP years in those five seasons, something Matthews fails to note. Contrary to Matthews writing that the Yankees "are getting worse with him, not better," if Alex hadn't been on the team in 2005 and 2007, in those MVP years, the Yanks literally wouldn't have made the playoffs at all for those two seasons.

And finally, A-Rod sucking up all the attention might actually benefit the team. While the circus that surrounds Alex, thanks in no small part due to his inability to connect his mouth to his brain, may be a pain to deal with, it also means that everybody else on the Yanks pretty much gets a pass in the media as long as A-Rodis around to write about.

CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, and Mark Teixeira may have come with a $423.5 million price tag, but these high-priced players have been able to fly under the radar, thanks to Alex. Heck, Andy Pettitte went to Washington a few weeks ago to meet with federal prosecutors about Roger Clemens, and the story was barely noted.

Do I wish the Yanks were paying Alex less money? Of course. Do I wish he hadn't done steroids? Absolutely. Do I wish A-Rod would drink a nice steaming cup of shut the heck up? You betcha. But I think it's too soon to say it's the worst deal ever.

What is the worst deal in sports history? Leave us a comment!

3 comments:

Bronx Baseball Daily said...

Until Arod goes 4 consecutive years without doing anything I can't see how he could possibly worse than either Carl Pavano or Kei Igawa.

Symphony said...

Articles like that are why I have ZERO respect for sportswriters now. Before I just didn't care, now I loathe them.

Hyperbole is the killer of all good thoughts. People use it because they want to generate controversy and get attention (hits) but once they get it, the point is lost.

Are you going to be a writer or a TMZ contributor. You can't be both.

LadyBlue said...

Does Wallace Matthews ever write anything in a positive/happy tone? I'm being serious here. Is he Newsday's official Doom & Gloom sports journalist?
His articles are usually ridiculous, but the one today was just on a whole new level of stupidity. The A-Rod deal is the worst deal ever? Oh please. Talk to the hand Wally.

Pavano! Pavano! Pavano!