Alex Rodriguez is now a New York Yankee, $250 million contract and all.
I guess it’s a match made in money heaven: A player who made more money last season than the entire Tampa Bay Devil Rays and a team that thinks the salary cap is a new style of headwear.
It didn’t work out in Texas because the Rangers didn’t have the money to pay A-Rod’s salary and field a competitive team.
Rodriguez has been quoted many times saying he “just wants to win.” So now he’s a Yankee, a team that will win, but also has no problems paying his salary.
If Rodriguez was really interested in winning, he would’ve found a way to make that deal happen, even if it meant making less money.
But this issue is much bigger than A-Rod. This trade is a slap in the face to everything the league tried to accomplish when it instituted its luxury tax, which was meant to bridge the gap between the small and big market teams.
But last year, the discrepancy between the league’s top payroll (Yankees) and its bottom one (Devil Rays) was around $150 million.
Guess that luxury tax thing didn’t help after all. So, is baseball to blame for not having the grapefruits to stand up to the player’s union and insist on a hard salary cap, similar to the NFL’s?
Or is the player’s union to blame for allowing salaries to get out of hand to the point where players like Arizona shortstop Tony Womack, who has 30 homers and 310 RBI in 10 seasons, makes $6 million a year? Maybe it’s both sides.
The sad part of all this is that Rodriguez gets to keep his crazy salary, while playing for the best team in baseball history.
The sadder part is, the richest team in baseball just got a whole lot richer. Disgustingly, they did it by the rules, which says a lot about baseball’s salary structure. The Yankees will always be one of the best teams in the league because they will always have the money to be.
Rodriguez can save all the “I just want to win” nonsense, because any idiot knows that if a team is dedicating more than 30 percent of its total payroll to one player that team can’t be successful.
The bottom line is that Rodriguez is greedy, plain and simple. And now he’s with the greediest team in baseball: a match made in money heaven.
Kevin Fair is a junior newspaper journalism student from Fort Lauderdale. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org