A-Rod goes to New York Yanks

Philip Consuegra

Pay-Rod, Pay-Rod, Pay-Rod. It’s all anybody can talk about these days. He’s the best player in baseball, no one can doubt that. He’s the youngest player to hit 40 homeruns or more in six straight seasons. He’s a fixture on the American League all-star team, and he should be. I’ll break it down for you. Alex Rodriguez is, all around, the best player in baseball.

So now he’s wearing pinstripes, traded from the Texas Rangers to the New York Yankees straight up for Alfonzo Soriano. There are positives from both ends, with the Rangers getting more financial breathing room, and the Yankees – well, that’s a given. The arms race between the BoSox and Yanks has taken a new course, with the Yankees taking from Texas what was Boston’s a month ago.

So let’s break down the trade, bit by bit. Let’s see why A-Rod, the reigning MVP, the highest paid player in Major League Baseball, became a Bronx Bomber. Let’s see why the New York Yankees, and their owner George Steinbrenner are just plain bad for baseball. After all, there’s a lot of juice to be squeezed from this deal.

For starters, A-Rod went public with his misery in Texas this past off-season. “Trade me because I want to win,” he said. What A-Rod, and a lot of players in the MLB don’t realize, was the reason for Texas’ losing ways. What he didn’t – and still doesn’t – realize is that HE was the reason for Texas’ failures. His gluttonous and greedy contract was preventing the Rangers from going out and getting talent to surround him. In essence, the Texas Rangers weren’t hurting A-Rod, but he sure was hurting the Rangers. How’s that for the leader of a team, an MVP? Let me tell you, that’s the type of guy I want on my team.

All the Yankees’ fans out there love seeing this, saying how it’s great for baseball and exactly what the MLB needs. The BoSox fans claim that this is abhorrent, and how the Yankees are ruining baseball. Whether or not you’re a baseball fan, you’ve been hearing this all week. For me, I see positives here – but not for baseball.

Let’s be honest here, people. Baseball is not the most popular sport in America. Too many teams have no realistic chance of contending for the playoffs, ticket prices are unnecessarily high and the cost of a Coca-Cola and hot dog at a game is almost $8. On top of that, two or three teams in the league have all the top players. So how does that differ with America’s top sport?

Well, the most popular sport in America has a salary cap. The purpose of that salary cap is so that the teams in the league can legitimately say, “Wait ’til next year,” and be right. In the most popular sport in America, no one or two teams can possibly have a monopoly on players, and different teams make the Championship Game every year. In this particular sport, players make concessions for the good of the game, and the game is even more dangerous than baseball. There’s a reason why football, and the NFL, have taken over as America’s sport. It’s because fans know that as you enter every season, it could be anybody in the big game, thanks to a little thing called the salary cap.

But don’t even mention the thought of a salary cap to a Yankees fan. They’ll cringe. They’ll start telling you how a salary cap would ruin baseball, and is unnecessary. That seems fitting, because if there were a salary cap, they wouldn’t have two-thirds of their lineup. But all you Sox fans aren’t innocent, either. You, too, would be affected by the changes.

But as long as the MLB player’s union is in full force, Yankees’ fans will be happy. As long as we have greed and gluttony running our nation’s “pastime”, people like A-Rod and Manny Ramirez will always get their way. With this new acquisition of the Yankees, the sport has reached a new low.

But lo-and-behold, there are still many questions to be asked of the Bronx Bombers as the season begins. Will the two superstars – Jeter and Rodriguez – be able to co-exist with players who are known to be bellyachers (I’m talking about Lofton and Sheffield)? Will A-Rod be any good at third base? Will what is happening to the Lakers (injuries, personality conflicts) happen to the Yankees? Will the law of Karma set in on George Steinbrenner and the Yankees for their excessive spending and greed?

Pay-Rod, Pay-Rod, Pay-Rod. All the Yankees fans – enjoy him. Enjoy him hit .350, enjoy him hitting 50 homeruns. But when it’s all said and done, enjoy him take away the very fabric of our pastime, and the dignity of the game.