Alex Rodriguez and the uniform with pinstripes
I understand why Alex wasn’t embraced by Yankee fans. For all of his talk about embracing the pinstripes, he spoke with the same somewhat robotic insincerity that’s been his public face for years, a mask that he grew into that free agent year. Everything he says runs through the self-censor loop, because he’s been so consistently and so harshly punished for verbal slips before, and then he’s criticisized for not being frank and open.
In any event: Alex isn’t having a good year, and it’s certainly not the year the Rangers and Yankees are paying him to have.
From my distant view, this all looks insane. There’s the Yankees broadcast crew, possibly prodded from outside (see rumors), hashing on him, ESPN has been frantically whipping the flames of this conflict as a former GM (who once tried to sign Alex, failed, and then attacked him) and now analyst attracts more and more attention by, over and over, whipping Alex for real but mostly perceived shortcomings. The Yankee fan base seems easily-led and almost irrational, spouting off about how he lacks the soul to play in New York, or the courage to face pressure, and so on, until you want to be sick.
I wonder if this makes future signings or trades that require consent harder. If I was a player, knowing that any bad month or week might be fanned into a wildfire of hatred, I wouldn’t want to play there, no matter how good the money was. It wouldn’t be worth it.
In any event, for a reasonably intelligent view on this, I recommend Steven Goldman’s Pinstriped Blog, on the Yes Network site.
Here, a first view on what was happening, and here, even better, at length answering emails from readers on the situation.
As for the Mariners, if the Yankees did call, offering one of the best players in baseball for pennies on the dollar, well, you take that deal.