February 28, 2014

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle:

A place to discuss the sports stories that aren't making news, share links that aren't quite front-page material, and diagram plays on your hand. Remember to count to five Mississippi before commenting in anger.

posted by huddle to general at 06:00 AM - 8 comments

"I believe people will come to the Ohio State-Michigan game even if you could take kids out of the student body [to play]. They're going to come to that game. I believe that. Same for the Duke-Carolina basketball game. I don't put that much value in an 18-, 19-year-old kid as being the guy who made Northwestern a good team. In my heart, I believe you can plug players in.''
Sounds a lot like, I don't know, every other labor force, then.

posted by Etrigan at 10:28 AM on February 28, 2014

With the way my dislike for A-Rod has grown in recent years, I am amazed at where he ranks in lifetime stats, and where he could have moved up to if he would have handled his issues and gotten on the field. He would have easily reached the 3,000 hit milestone (61 away); become only the third player in history to drive in over 2,000 runs (needing 31 RBI, leaving him behind only Aaron and Ruth); and with seven HRs passed Willie Mays to fourth spot behind Bonds, Aaron and Ruth.

Oh well. It's actually appropriate a douche like him be banished from the game before he reaches those grand plateaus.

posted by dyams at 12:44 PM on February 28, 2014

It's actually appropriate a douche like him be banished from the game before he reaches those grand plateaus.

With the millions of dollars remaining on his contract, even after this lost year, I think it might be a bit premature to assume he still doesn't reach those milestones (especially since his contract has bonus clauses for some of them).

posted by grum@work at 01:35 PM on February 28, 2014

Yeah, exactly- the Yankees would love to dump him, but even they can't engineer another threadbare excuse to keep him off the roster. If he only has to sit one year, I think he's very capable- and very willing- to come back and play at least that one more season where he should easily rack up 61 hits, 31 RBI, and 7 HR in maybe half a season, even at his new plateau. Heck, with A-Rod and his age, who knows if taking a year off of rest and lighter maintenance exercise helps his body heal up more than it has been able to in two decades, he comes back feeling a few years' younger.

One nitpick: there are three guys with 2000+ RBI already, Cap Anson being the third place RBI guy at 2075, and Bonds just shy at 1,996 (and Gehrig at 1,992). That nearness to similar milestones is another reason the almost-surely-illegal collusion that led to the railroading of Bonds was such a loss for the game and its history. Le sigh...

posted by hincandenza at 01:51 PM on February 28, 2014

but even they can't engineer another threadbare excuse to keep him off the roster

Maybe they just pay him and don't play him. Not picking sides in his dispute but his last year has amounted to the most insubordination to an employer in history. Why would the Yankees want to help him pad his stats? They've got nothing to gain with him in the lineup. Paying him to sit gives them a chance to start the rebuild now.

Which other team would give him an opportunity to play? Bonds was still a productive player at the time of his scandal - sans any of the accompanying ARod douche baggery - and nobody would go near him.

posted by cixelsyd at 02:24 PM on February 28, 2014

Actually, the Yankees almost certainly won't have the choice; most of these contracts- and the player's union, which would surely back even ARod on this- have clauses that would prevent a team from benching or sending him to AAA if he's healthy and producing at the plate (which for all the flack he gets, even in the current day he's a well above average player).

posted by hincandenza at 04:31 PM on February 28, 2014

If they chose to bench him, I'm pretty sure there's mutual clauses et al that let a player become a free agent- I'd be shocked if neither the most recent bargaining agreement nor ARods contract gave him an out of some kind if the Yankees did that; I seem to recall hearing about a former All-Star player exercise that right when he was benched by his team (maybe Mo Vaughn?). At worst, I'd imagine the rules say he'd be free to find another team to play for where the Yankees would be on the hook for the difference in pay for the new team.

They did the same thing to Bonds: he offered to play at league minimum and then donate that salary to local charities, and STILL had zero calls (hence collusion being suspected). ARod has already shown a willingness to sue where Bonds didn't, and I'd think if no team picked up a player of hia caliber, he'd sue MLB in a heartbeat.

No matter what, the Yankees have to pay ARod $60M for those last two years, so why not play him if he's at least mediocre?

posted by hincandenza at 04:48 PM on February 28, 2014

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