Thursday, February 16, 2017

A-Rod as Yankee Manager? Oh, HELL, No!

Today, Andrew Marchand posted on ESPN.com, suggesting that Alex Rodriguez could be the manager of the New York Yankees.

No.

Just no.

In fact, in the immortal words of Maya Wilkes (played by Golden Brooks on Girlfriends), Oh, HELL, no!

Let me take Marchand's argument apart, piece by piece:

Alex Rodriguez has said he never wants to be a major league manager, but he has said a lot of things and then ended up doing them.

Good reason not to let him be Yankee manager: Changes his mind way too easily.

It's easy to imagine a plausible case for it.

Just because something is easy to do doesn't mean it should be done.

Let's start with the most important part of being hired -- the person doing the hiring has to like you a lot. Hal (Steinbrenner) loves him some A-Rod.

You don't hire a manager because you love him. That is a sure recipe for disaster. You hire a manager because he is competent and has a burning desire to win. A-Rod does not fit on the former, and the latter is highly doubtful.

Meanwhile, A-Rod owes his current rebuilt life to Steinbrenner. If Steinbrenner had just cut A-Rod after the Biogenesis scandal, there would have been no 33 homers in 2015, no redemption tour, no Fox TV gig. A-Rod probably would have remained a permanent PED pariah. So if Hal were to ask A-Rod to do anything in the future, A-Rod would be ungrateful -- never mind foolish -- not to consider it thoroughly.

A-Rod did not redeem himself. Not by a long shot. He is still a pariah. There is no team, other than the Yankees, who would consider hiring him, in any capacity. His other former teams, the Seattle Mariners and the Texas Rangers, wouldn't lift a finger to hire him. Nor would the team in his hometown, the Miami Marlins.

Seriously: Who would hire a known liar and a known fool?

Oh, that's right: Fox. You know: The people who still think Donald Trump knows what the hell he's doing. And let's not forget: The big thing people remember about A-Rod during the 2016 postseason is how he made his fellow Fox studio analyst look like a fool. Said analyst was Pete Rose. Who, should his ban ever get listed, also wouldn't get hired by any MLB team, with the possible exception of the Cincinnati Reds.


On Wednesday, I asked Steinbrenner for the criteria he uses to evaluate a manager. He gave three traits:
1. Working well with both young players and veterans
2. Smarts
3. The ability to handle New York
Check. Check. Check. Alexander Emmanuel Rodriguez meets all three marks.

On No. 1, Rodriguez loves to teach youngsters and, when it comes to veterans, he enjoys discussing the intricacies of the game. 
How well A-Rod works with young players and veterans is debatable. But it's worth noting: In his last 2 season with the Yankees, when Derek Jeter was not around to undermine any authority he might have had, and Mariano Rivera was also not around to be the guy, and neither CC Sabathia nor Mark Teixeira nor any other veteran was trying to be, when it was unquestionably A-Rod's team, the Yankees played in a grand total of one postseason game, and lost it. Partly because A-Rod went 0-for-4 with 2 strikeouts. Some example.

On No. 2, Rodriguez is very smart when it comes to baseball, a true student of the game. 

"Smarts"? Don't make me laugh. If he was smart, he wouldn't have put himself into position to get caught using PEDs a 2nd time. A 1st time, maybe, if he was desperate. But "a true student of the game"? He flunked out!

On No. 3, who has been through more and somehow, some way, made it out the other side in the Big Apple than A-Rod?

Since when can A-Rod handle New York? If Hal actually said that, he's clearly on a drug. If Marchand finds that credible, so is he. Whatever drug they're using, it's not enhancing their 
performances!

"Who has been through more?" Nobody. But A-Rod put himself through it. Yes, he made it out the other side, but he didn't come out smelling like a rose. Unless you mean like the aforementioned Pete Rose.

The players would love him. The fans -- if he won -- would love him. The media would love him. That's the Triple Crown.

Yeah. If he won. Huge if. Or, to put it another way: Joe Girardi has won a World Series, but only 1, and has blown at least 1 other Pennant, and at least 1 other American League Division Series, and at least 1 other AL Wild Card game, and at least 2 AL Eastern Division titles. Is he loved by the fans? No, he is not. Joe Torre won 6 Pennants and 4 World Series, but by 2007, 4 years without a Pennant, lots of people (perhaps not a majority) were ready to let him go.

And the media? Sure, they would love him -- as a meal ticket. You think the New York media of the 1970s and '80s loved the copy that George Steinbrenner and Billy Martin gave them? You bet your sweet bippy, they did. You think they actually liked George and Billy, liked dealing with them face-to-face? Oh, HELL, no! As a result, they chewed The Boss and the Brat up and spit them out.

And they actually were tough. A-Rod is the least tough player I've ever seen in a Yankee uniform, and that includes Ed Whitson. Hell, that includes Billy Crystal.

You know how the baseball media are. They love every team but the Yankees. And the guy who has embarrassed the Yankees more than anybody else, as the manager? They would presume him guilty of any charge of wrongdoing, from his players taking PEDs to any other form of cheating to headhunting.

Can you imagine if A-Rod were the manager, and one of his players threw at heads like Pedro Martinez? They'd demand A-Rod's head. Can you imagine if one of his players made a Chase Utley slide? They'd crucify A-Rod, and make him watch as they burned his offending player at the stake. Can you imagine if one of his players did a David Ortiz homer-watch, or a Jose Bautista bat-flip? It would be the worst crime since Hillary Clinton wrote an e-mail, and they'd blame A-Rod first and the player second.

He would be presumed guilty until proven innocent, and even then, they wouldn't let him off the hook.

A-Rod as Yankee manager? It would be the ultimate distraction, and the players would suffer as a result.

Much of Rodriguez's success and failure as a player was a result of his endless desire to be the best. It was draining and led to some inexplicably stupid decisions. But there is a reason Rodriguez is so good as a TV analyst. Talking about baseball is when A-Rod sounds the most, well, normal. He is a different sort of cat, but when he is discussing baseball, A-Rod speaks like someone with a Ph.D.

The only reason A-Rod is good as a TV analyst is if you're deluded. Or on, as I said earlier, a drug that is not enhancing anything. Yes, he's better than Rose. But he's he's not as good as Harold Reynolds. He's not as good as John Kruk. He's not as good as Steve Lyons. Hell, he's not even as good as Cal Ripken, who's more wooden than a bat.

His public-relations comeback is already legendary. Becoming the Yankees' manager would be the topper.

No. It would be the bottomer. It would be the cherry on a vomit sundae.

No. Just no. Oh, HELL, no!

*

Days until the New Jersey Devils next play a local rival: 2. By a quirk in the schedule, the New York Islanders, a team they usually play several times a season, don't show up on the slate until this Saturday night, at the Prudential Center. The next game against the New York Rangers is on Saturday, February 25, at the Prudential Center. The next game against the Philadelphia Flyers is on Thursday, March 16, at the Prudential Center.

Days until The Arsenal play again: 4, Monday afternoon at 2:55 (7:55 in the evening, their time), away to 5th division Surrey club Sutton United, in the 5th Round of the FA Cup. They played away to Bayern Munich in the 1st leg of the UEFA Champions League Round of 16, nd were level, 1-1, with a precious away goal, early in the 2nd half, when centreback Laurent Koscielny had to leave the game with an injury, and his replacement, Gabriel Armando de Abreu, known as Gabriel Paulista or simply Gabriel, played his usual horrible game against one of the top 5 teams in the world, and it was 5-1 to Bayern. And with Chelsea running away with the Premier League, it now looks like the FA Cup is the only available trophy for Arsenal. And manager Arsène Wenger's contract runs out at the end of this season, and the clamor of the idiots that he be gone has never been louder. Funny, but what he's done since 2005, or even since his last trip to the Champions League Semifinal in 2009, would have been considered a stunning success for most previous Arsenal managers.

Days until the New York Red Bulls play again: 6, next Wednesday night, in the 1st leg of the CONCACAF Champions League Quarterfinal, home to the Vancouver Whitecaps. The 2nd leg will be on March 2. The winner will face the winner of the Quarterfinal between 2 Mexican teams: Mexico City-based Pumas de la UNAM, and Monterrey-area team Tigres UANL.

Days until the 2017 Major League Soccer season opens: 17on Sunday, March 5. The Red Bulls will visit expansion club Atlanta United, which will be playing their 1st competitive match ever, at Grant Field at Bobby Dodd Stadium, home of Georgia Tech. It will be their home field until Mercedes-Benz Stadium, where they will be tenants of the NFL's Falcons, opens in the Summer.

Days until the U.S. national soccer team plays again: 36, on Friday, March 24, home to Honduras, at Avaya Stadium in San Jose, in a CONCACAF Qualifying Match for the 2018 World Cup. It will be the team's 1st competitive match in the 2nd run as manager for Bruce Arena, now that Jurgen Klinsmann has finally, mercifully, been fired. 

Days until the Yankees' 2017 season opener: 45on Sunday, April 2, at 8:00 PM, away to the Tampa Bay Rays. A little over 6 weeks.

Days until the Yankees' 2017 home opener: 53, on Monday, April 10, at 1:00 PM, home to the Rays.

Days until the Red Bulls next play a "derby": 58, against D.C. United, on Saturday, April 15, at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey. They will next play the Philadelphia Union on Saturday, May 6, at Talen Energy Stadium in Chester, Pennsylvania. They will next play the New England Revolution on Saturday, May 27, at Red Bull Arena. And they will next play a Hudson River Derby against New York City FC on Saturday, June 24, at Red Bull Arena.

Days until the next Yankees-Red Sox series: 68on Tuesday, April 25, 2017, at 7:00 PM, at Fenway Park.

Days until the next North London Derby: 72on Saturday, April 29, 2017, at White Hart Lane. A little over 3 months. It could be moved to the next day, Sunday, April 30, to accommodate the TV networks. It is also possible that Arsenal could face Tottenham again sooner than that, through a pairing in the Quarterfinal, the Semifinal, or the Final of the FA Cup.

Days until Rutgers University plays football again: 198, on Saturday, September 2, 2017, home to the University of Washington. Under 7 months.

Days until East Brunswick High School plays football again: Unknown, as the 2017 schedule hasn't been released yet. If history is any guide, it will be on Friday night, September 15, which would be 211 days from now. 

Days until the next election for Governor of New Jersey: 264, on Tuesday, November 7, 2017. A little under 9 months.

Days until the next Rutgers-Penn State football game: 268, on Saturday, November 11, 2017, at Beaver Stadium in State College, Pennsylvania.

Days until the next East Brunswick-Old Bridge Thanksgiving game: 280, on Thursday morning, November 23, 2017, at 10:00. A little over 9 months, and thank God it's at home at Jay Doyle's grove, rather than at the purple shit pit on Route 9.

Days until the next World Cup kicks off in Russia: 483, on June 14, 2018. Under a year and a half, or a little under 16 months. Now that Klinsmann has been fired, our chances have improved, but did he already ruin them? Or will Trump ruin them? Maybe, with the tournament on his soil, Putin will tell Trump to tell Bruce Arena to tank the games. Maybe not. Or maybe just if we end up playing Russia.

Days until the next Congressional election: 628, on November 6, 2018. Under 2 years, or 22 months.

Days until the Baseball Hall of Fame vote is announced, electing Mariano Rivera: 692, on January 9, 2019. Under 2 years, or 23 months.

Days until the Baseball Hall of Fame vote is announced, electing Derek Jeter: 1,063, on January 8, 2020. Under 3 years, or 35 months.

Days until the next Summer Olympics begins in Tokyo, Japan: 1,254, on July 24, 2020. Under over 3 1/2 years, or a little over just 41 months.

Days until the next Presidential election: 1,356, on November 3, 2020. Under 4 years, or a little under 45 months.

Days until Liberation Day: 1,434, at noon on January 20, 2021. A little under 4 years, or a little over 47 months.

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