A-Rod Should Get His Money

As you probably already know, Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez hit his 661st home run on Thursday night, passing Willie Mays for fourth all-time on the home run list.  However, the feat has now turned into a childish fight over whether A-Rod should get paid a $6 million bonus that was promised to him in 2007.  When he signed his contract then, it stated that he would be paid the bonus, as it is (or was then, anyway) a “marketing opportunity.” However, the Yankees’ organization does not plan to pay A-Rod the bonus because it is no longer a marketing opportunity, due to his repeated PED use and his hitting a good deal of good deal of those home runs while supposedly juiced.

First of all, I’ll tell you my opinion right now, straight up: I think he should get the money.  When an organization signs a player to a contract, it should at least have to fulfill the obligations of that contract.  If the player is forced to play out the contract for the team that signs him, the team should have to fulfill its end of the bargain as well. After all, this is an organization that is able to pay its players large sums of money to its players, especially those who are older and past their prime (Rodriguez is making $22 million this year, the product of the worst MLB contract of all time.)  They are far from financially constrained; they can give up $6 million for one of its players giving their organization publicity, good or bad.

Second, let me just say how ridiculous it is that a player’s organization is regarding an incredible accomplishment as nothing more than a “marketing opportunity.”  Sure, A-Rod cheated (a lot), but for a player to attain an accomplishment as impressive as this in pinstripes?  People will identify that moment forever with the Yankees. More that that, however, for Alex Rodriguez, at this point in his career, this achievement is one that will last a lifetime.  Can the same be said about “marketing opportunities?”  I don’t think so.  I look at this contract just like any other incentive-based deal: if the player reaches the milestone that is outlined in the contract, the team should just pay him the money.  It’s just like if there is a $1 million bonus for a pitcher to reach a certain number of strikeouts.  If the pitcher reaches that number, the team pays him, not for the “marketing opportunity”, but for the accomplishment attained.

Personally, I find this debate to be one of the stupider and more childish sports debates we’ve had in a long time.  It is also stupid and childish on the part of the Yankees to not pay him the money because of so-called “marketing opportunities.”  I wish that the organization would just do the right thing, fulfill its contractual obligations, and pay him his well-deserved money.  But that won’t happen; they won’t pay him voluntarily.

Long live “marketing opportunities.”

My MLB All-Star Game Ballot

The 2015 MLB All-Star Game is being held at Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati on July 14th of this year.  The game is an exhibition of the game’s best talent (and worst rules), while much of the controversy gets pointed toward who does and doesn’t get chosen to play.  I know this is a little early, as the voting closes on July 2nd, but I filled out a ballot for the game based on the first four months of this year.  There will probably be more than one of these, so expect the ballot to change.  Here goes:


1B: Miguel Cabrera, Tigers

2B: Jose Altuve, Astros

SS: Jed Lowrie, Astros

3B: Josh Donaldson, Blue Jays

C: Salvador Perez, Royals

DH: Nelson Cruz, Mariners

Outfielders: Mike Trout, Angels; Adam Jones, Orioles; Hanley Ramirez, Red Sox


1B: Adrian Gonzalez, Dodgers

2B: Dee Gordon, Marlins

SS: Zack Cozart, Reds

3B: Matt Carpenter, Cardinals

C: Buster Posey, Giants

Outfielders: Giancarlo Stanton, Marlins; Matt Kemp, Padres; Justin Upton, Padres

Fire away in the comments section!

Why the Atlanta Hawks Should be Very Concerned for the Rest of the Playoffs

Last night, the Atlanta Hawks finally dispatched of the eight seed Brooklyn Nets in the first round of this year’s NBA playoffs.  It was by far their best game of the series, as they shot 51% from the field and made 13 three pointers. However, they should be very concerned for their next-round series against the Wizards.  Here’s why.

First, the Wizards present the problem of size.  The front line of Nene and Marcin Gortat, with their physicality and rebounding ability, will force Al Horford and Paul Millsap to pack it in in the paint and have to box out and give full effort on the glass for 48 minutes, every game.  I just don’t know if they can continually handle the physicality if the series gets to and 6th and 7th game.  Also, the Wizards have shooters on the perimeter as well, in Bradley Beal and Paul Pierce.  They will test the defensive mettle of guards Kyle Korver and Jeff Teague.  It remains to be seen who DeMarre Carroll guards, but it will most likely be Paul Pierce.

The Hawks like to hang their hat on their offense, and, in particular, their movement, passing, and team play in general.  However, Washington tied for ninth in opponent points scored in the regular season and only gave up 96.3 points per game in their four-game sweep over the Raptors.  This, again, is mainly due to the Wizards’ size in the paint and perimeter defense.  This may very well force the Hawks to live and die by the three pointer, which may be an ineffective strategy, considering that they average nearly 32 threes a game and have made only 11 per game. for a 35.4%  While this is tied for 6th in the playoffs, take a guess who has the #1 three point percentage in the postseason. It’s the Wizards.

As for those who would be more worried about the Hawks’ matchup with the Bulls or Cavailers, that’s probably accurate. However, the Hawks should be far more worried about the Wizards in this series.  Don’t worry about the Bulls or Cavaliers yet, Hawks fans, because you may not get that far.  Take the Wizards seriously.