Call me an Alex Rodriguez apologist. While it may be true that he is unlikable, douchey, programmed, insincere, greedy, egomaniacal, insecure, overly self-conscious, jealous, creepy, not-a-guy-you’d-like-to-take-a-cross-country-drive-with-even-if-he-was-paying, he is nothing if not a damned good ball player. Bill James once said of Rickey Henderson, “If you could split him in two, you’d have two Hall of Famers.” When it’s all said and done, I do think that we’ll be talking about A-Rod in the same light. He’s that good.
But because of his seeming pretentiousness, his at-times lack of diamond graces (no, Alex. It’s probably not very sportsman-like to smack away a glove that’s about to tag you or to yell “Ha” at an infielder about to catch a pop-fly), and the reputation of not performing “when it counts”, he is a man whose image on paper and that in reality remains starkly juxtaposed. He’s a guy who puts up numbers that EVERYONE else dreams of having for their team, but many sound resolute in their desire to keep him away from their clubhouse.
So I wanted to do a little exercise here on Umpbump. If you were the owner of your favorite team, how much would you pay to have Alex Rodriguez (warts and all) on your team? For the sake of fun, pretend you don’t have to worry about position eligibility (as a Mets fan, not sure where we can use the guy with Reyes and Wright in reality, but we’re not concerned with these things). But you do need to account for your team’s payroll. What I’m looking for here is the following information:
- What’s your favorite team?
- How much would you pay him per year?
- How long would the contract be for?
To get things rolling, here’s my say. As a Mets fan, I have more financial flexibility than most. I don’t really believe that he’s unable to perform in playoff situations so I feel very comfortable giving him four years at $25 million per. If push came to shove, I’d go $30 million for five but I’d be pretty adamant that I will not guarantee six.
So let’s hear it, Umpbumpers. How much would you pay Alex Rodriguez to play for your team?