(Long Island, NY) Alex Rodriguez put himself in a no-win situation by becoming a New York Yankee. Even if he won a MVP award (which he did) or a World Series ring (which he hopes), he is always going to take a back seat to Derek Jeter. Recent walk-off homer included, the guy will continue to get booed by the majority of Yankee fans every time he makes an out.
When A-Rod was brokering his deal out of Texas, the Boston Red Sox seemed ready to acquire him. A perfect spot for him would have been Fenway. Remember that this was before the Sox exorcised the ghost of the Bambino and were still in search of that elusive World Championship. He could have been the toast of the town if he performed the same way he has in New York. He would have stayed at his natural shortstop position and not play in anyone’s shadow. Assuming the team would have won the 2004 title with Rodriguez, he would have become legend in Beantown.
When he ended up being dealt to the Bronx, he inadvertently put himself in an impossible situation. Regardless of whatever he does, Derek Jeter is the man and has the rings to prove it. Another ring with A-Rod on the squad? Big deal, would say the Yankee fans. He only won it because Jeter is here.
It’s almost as if the Yankee clubhouse is an old western town and both players are saying, ‘this town’s not big enough for both of us.’ They may say the right things when the cameras are rolling, but it doesn’t take a genius to see that they are not totally comfortable with each other.
The fans’ ire boils down to one thing with Rodriguez- his enormous contract. Prior to him signing the $252 million dollar free agent deal with the Texas Rangers, Kevin Garnett of the NBA Minnesota Timberwolves had the largest contract in sports. How much, you say? Half of A-Rod’s at a mere $126 million.
Doubling the richest contract in sports will have a lot of baggage. Expectations will be high (as they well should be) and patience will be short (as it should be). Rodriguez has kept a positive attitude through all the negativity. A few more big home runs such as the extra-inning shot against the Atlanta Braves and the two home run performance against the Mets will go a long way in keeping the jeers away.