BASEBALL CRIME AND PUNISHMENT
on dealing with Alex Rodriguez
Late October 28 and early October 29, 2007. The World Series of Baseball. The night should have belonged only to the fans of the Colorado Rockies, Boston Red Sox, and Major League Baseball. But towards the end of game four, shameless, scoop-incensed sports reporters took the bait thrown out by Alex Rodriguez and agent Scott Boras. Broadcasters play-by-play of the World Series was interrupted with the announcement that Rodriguez would exercise his free agency option. And for the time it took for the announcement, regardless how brief, Rodriguez and Boras commandeered attention away from the only thing that mattered in the world of baseball at that moment: the World Series.
Rodriguez had 10-days after the end of the World Series to announce his intentions regarding free agency, yet chose to let the cat out of the bag early. And Boras couldn't pass up the opportunity for huge coverage of the decision and started dialing the phone while game four was being played. They both smelled money, cast common decency and respect out the window, and called upon their fawning messengers in the media to carry the word. Both of these shameless, self-centered, attention whore bastards should be dealt with accordingly, and I've got some ideas.
One warning: I'm crazy. But there's a method to my madness, so stay with me here. Trust me on this: it will be worth the ride. And I'll grant you that were all MLB teams to divise in concert what I'm about to present, it might just reek of conspiracy. To any lily white amongst the readership: wake up. A player and his agent often conspire against team management. Perhaps you've heard the polished-up version of the word conspire, aka "negotiations." Now on with the show.
All MLB team owners and management get together, along with other professional sports franchises and organizations, and contractually agree to leave Rodriguez to flounder in the breeze for the next 10-years. That's right: nobody signs the bitch. NOBODY! Not as a player, coach, umpire or hot dog vender. Let Rodriguez try to sell his self-proclaimed good looks to Nike without an MLB contract. By the time 10-years pass, he'll be too fat to do much in baseball other than ump or coach.
The chances of that scenario ever happening are about the same as for the Steinbrenner clan apologizing to Joe Torre for spitting in his face, so we now move on to a back-up plan.
Note that Rodriguez already has the most lucrative contract in the history of MLB. With his move to free agency, it's obvious that this isn't enough - you know, cost-of-living adjustments and all. How's a guy suppose to stretch out a paltry $23,000,000 over a year's time with gas prices hitting $3 a gallon? Sheesh! Is there really any wonder why non-Yankee fans hold Alex Rodriguez in such abject contempt? And there's already rumbling that this ultimate greedhead is looking for more like 30-million a year and a 10-year contract. What you been smoking, Alex? I know that MLB tests for steroids, but apparently not crack or hallucinogens.
That said, if Rodriguez wants the ultimate sweet deal, lets give him what he wants.
Here's the plan, insane as it may seem. It's never going to happen, but there's no harm in dreaming and swimming in the warmth of imagining Rodriguez languishing in a tailor-made sentence - imprisoned by his own design and greed. I mean what the Hell? There's Fantasy Baseball and Fantasy-other sports, right? So what's wrong with Fantasy Contract Negotiations? Here we go:
One MLB team is designated to be the team to sign Rodriguez. All teams will be required to contribute their fair share of the contract price on a sliding scale based on ability to pay. It's important to realize unlike a normal contract, all teams will benefit from this contract. It's all for the common good of the individual teams, the MLB collective of teams, and professional sports as a whole.
First and foremost is to pry agent and pimp Scott Boras's face out of Rodriguez's ass. That's going to require a couple of full-size crowbars for plenty of leverage, a Taser and quite possibly a ball peen hammer. As is said in certain circles, "whatever it takes." Boras is then to be gagged or otherwise muted and suspended off the floor by securely affixing him to the wall with duct tape. Or dock spikes. Take your pick. Once Boras has been so neutralized, he's left there to rot. Close the door, lock it, and walk away. Lets see if any of the stable of players he represents comes to his rescue. My money is on "none."
Now to get downright medievil-serious with Rodriguez. To wit:
- NO AGENT. We're dealing with you, not Scott Boras or any other of those blood sucking leeches. Besides which, Boras hasn't been heard from in weeks, oddly enough ... heh. However, you may have a lawyer advise you, but NOT represent you. No exceptions. It's time to be a big boy, Alex. Got it? Good! Now stop pouting. Big boys don't pout.
- CONTRACT PERIOD IS 10-YEARS. No back door. No early release. No trades. No free agent clause. There are only two possible outs to this contract: fulfill the complete 10-year commitment or death. The choice is yours. However, if you die before the completion of the contract period, the checks stop. Your heirs and heiresses are not going to cash in on your death on OUR dime. And by the way, neither is that stripper, whore or HJ-BJ artist in Toronto. Yes, Alex: we remember the blonde bimbo.
- NO ENDORSEMENT GIGS. You are going to be paid more than enough to render any income from such lame whoredom a pittance.
- NO ATTENDING CELEBRITY GIGS. None. Nada. Zero. We are buying you. You're OUR bitch - not the other way around. Comprende?
- MONEY? Oh yeah. Almost forgot. We're willing to pay you one-million dollars. Per week. That's right: 52-million per year. Have we got your attention now? Alex? Alex ... ?
Once the greedheaded attention whore has regained consciousness and changed his soiled undergarments, give him The Pen. You know he's going to sign. Now comes the fun part:
You immediately send Rodriguez to the minors on a "rehab assignment" - for the duration of his contract. And the 10-year contract dictates that the earliest possible time Rodriguez would be able to win a World Series ring would be in 2019, at the ripe old age of 42. Sweet, huh? Or as would be said in Baahston, "What ah pissah!"
Now it's quite possible that even a 10-year sentence and banishment to the minors wouldn't inflict enough of a blow to the enormity of the Rodriguez ego. We've, ahem, got that base covered, too, and here's how:
My first inclination was to suggest that whenever Rodriguez was at bat, the first pitch was a mandatory head shot. Every. Single. At. Bat. First. Pitch. Period. Can you imagine the intimidation factor? This seemed like a great idea, however, after much thought and deliberation, I believe there's a better way - shameless embellishment or not. To wit:
Any pitcher that hits Rodriguez with a pitch is awarded a cash bonus after each game, however there will be absolutely NO bonus for pitches below 90 MPH or for glancing shots. We want DIRECT hits so as to instill as much fear, terror, and hopefully pain as inhumanely possible. In the event a single pitch qualifies for more than one bonus category, the HIGHER rate will be paid.
- $1,000 for hitting tendon-rich area
- $2,500 for hitting muscle mass
- $5,000 for bone mass, excluding head
- $7,500 for helmet protected head shots
- $10,000 for non-helmet protected head shots
- $15,000 for rendering Rodriguez unconscious
- $20,000 for fractured or broken bone(s)
This not only kicks the interest in baseball up more than a few notches, but also promotes the development of farm league pitchers who not only can throw serious heat, but also exhibit, and I hope you'll excuse the expression, dead nuts accuracy.
I suspect some of you are bemoaning the plight of non-pitchers, which is certainly a legitimate concern. However, I haven't forgotten about them. Trust me. The aforementioned bonuses will also be paid for direct hits when Rodriguez is on deck, running the bases, playing defense or even in the dugout. Once Rodriguez leaves the tunnel from the locker room and enters the playing area of the stadium, it's open season on A-Rod.
As it should be. He gets the money he wants. He gets the attention he craves. We get to witness the deflation of ego, destruction of spirit, a disintegrating career, and baseball all wrapped up in one action-packed event. Now THAT'S quality entertainment!
Now play ball!
N.B. The proposed contract(s) and portions thereof are still works in progress. If you have any ideas to add, feel free to email me at: alienjeff AT charter DOT net