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Posnanski: The Rise and Fall of A-Rod


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Working for NBC now.

http://www.nbcsports.msnbc.com/id/50877666

Finally, Baird wrote his report. He graded Alex Rodriguez as a 70 player on the 20 to 80 scale. It was the highest grade Allard Baird would ever give a player, the highest grade he reasonably could give a player. I ranked him a Hall of Famer, Baird says. And you should understand that Baird wasn't saying that A-Rod might develop into a Hall of Famer after some years of development and coaching. No, Baird was saying that at that very moment in time, at age 17, Alex Rodriguez could step into to the Major Leagues and have a Hall of Fame career.

Yes, Baird would say he literally shook as he sent the report in.

That is how good Alex Rodriguez was when he was young.

Duquette is now Baltimore’s executive vice president of baseball operations, and it has been almost 20 years, but he still has this powerful memory of the first time he saw Rodriguez. He was GM of the Montreal Expos, and he remembers wandering around the minor league spring training fields in Lantana, Florida when he suddenly just stopped cold.

“Who,” he asked the guys with him, “Is that playing shortstop over there?”

He said this just seeing the young Alex Rodriguez field a ground ball. One ground ball. From two fields away.

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Really really good article.

I'm glad Pos started with the Money... or more specifically Scott Boras. In summary, I think Scott Boras was initially responsible for ruining A-Rod's career. Signing that contract put a 2 ton boulder on his back that he could never quite bear. One could also make a strong case for Boras ruining Teixeira's career as well... and probably a few others along the way. I bet Kyle Lohse isn't very happy with him right now...

It makes me wonder what would have happened if Alex had simply had a normal agent and signed for a reasonable amount with the Mets. The pressure would be greatly minimized. The temptation for PED's would have never have been so desperate. His playoff performances would have been seen as sympathetic until he won a WS. The fan's perceptions and expectations would have made it a different life for him.

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... In summary, I think Scott Boras was initially responsible for ruining A-Rod's career. Signing that contract put a 2 ton boulder on his back that he could never quite bear. One could also make a strong case for Boras ruining Teixeira's career as well... and probably a few others along the way. I bet Kyle Lohse isn't very happy with him right now....

All the more reason to totally revamp baseball's compensation system. Make all players direct employees of MLB. Have all teams contribute a percentage of their revenues into the MLB compensation fund. Pay all players according to a formula similar to that used to compute WAR, with bonuses for seniority, attendance, and team performance. Make all players "free agents" at the end of each season, able to play for any team that wants them.

Limit the ability to teams to dominate competition by penalizing them on team roster size for each increment above the average team payroll, where the payroll is computed as the sum of the base compensation (less bonuses) for all the players on the current team for the previous season (regardless of whether the player was on his current team then or not). Omitting the bonuses removes an incentive for teams to discriminate against veterans.

Unfortunately for agents, this would eliminate their jobs, except for negotiating commercial endorsements. Hurrah!

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Attributing monetary value to one single stat would disastrous IMO.

Firstly, once you set it you wouldn't be able to change it (Fangrahps and BR constantly tweak their versions of WAR).

Secondly, you would instantly have players seeking the "soft spots" in the formula and start playing for those quirks instead of simply playing to win the game. Example: Oh look, if I have a higher fly ball rate, I'll have a higher value. Therefore I'm going to become captain popup regardless of how it impacts my team.... or... If I throw more breaking pitches than fastballs, it looks better on my value. Therefore I'm going to throw a lot more breaking pitches even if I hang a few. It's worth the risk because fastballs just aren't worth throwing.

It would snowball so quickly that within 2 seasons the sport we know as baseball would cease to exist and players would be playing a new game... get the highest WAR.

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Many things contributed to A-Rod's downfall. Boras was certainly one of them. I also think his envy of Derek Jeter was another. His talent was certainly greater then Jeter's but from the start,Jeter got the championships,the fame and likeablity,something I think A-Rod wanted more then anything.

Him getting traded to the Yanks was the worst thing that could have happened for him. Aside from 09,the NY media has never liked A-Rod,nor have many of his teammates and as noted by Schilling and Braden,always end up comparing him to Jeter.

Jeter is the sibling who can do no wrong,A-Rod is the one who can't do anything right.

Having said all that,it was still his choice to do steroids and peds. As much as everything else factors in,at the end of the day A-Rod is the only one truly responsible for him never making it into the HOF.

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.

I had my own view of Rodriguez' downfall, as documented in post # 14 in this thread:

http://forum.orioleshangout.com/forums/showthread.php/130091-King-Felix-Sticking-with-the-M-s-7-years-175M

There are some similarities and some differences between this article and my post, but I think that we both essentially view his biggest mistake as his decision to leave Seattle in the first place after the 2000 season for the highest bidder, the last-place Texas Rangers. It's been pretty much been a vicious, spinning, downward cycle for him ever since, his 2009 World Series ring and his gaudy regular season statistics and awards notwithstanding.

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All the more reason to totally revamp baseball's compensation system. Make all players direct employees of MLB. Have all teams contribute a percentage of their revenues into the MLB compensation fund. Pay all players according to a formula similar to that used to compute WAR, with bonuses for seniority, attendance, and team performance. Make all players "free agents" at the end of each season, able to play for any team that wants them.

Limit the ability to teams to dominate competition by penalizing them on team roster size for each increment above the average team payroll, where the payroll is computed as the sum of the base compensation (less bonuses) for all the players on the current team for the previous season (regardless of whether the player was on his current team then or not). Omitting the bonuses removes an incentive for teams to discriminate against veterans.

Unfortunately for agents, this would eliminate their jobs, except for negotiating commercial endorsements. Hurrah!

I think I just vomited in my mouth a little after reading this.

Sent from my SPH-M950 using Tapatalk 2

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Joe Posnanski is a good sports writer. His range is very narrow, but also very deep. When he's in his comfort zone he can make you feel pretty much whatever he wants you to feel.

After reading this article I felt nothing about ARod.

Nothing about A-Fraud...

...or A-Hole...

...or A-Roid...whatever...

That's not Joe's fault.

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Until the steroids, a lot of the criticism was out of his control. This is America so if someone is willing to give you $250 million, you take it. Boras has his own set of issues but Rodriguez wasn't the reason the Rangers were so bad and when he got to New York he wasn't Jeter. I don't really give a crap either way since I never liked Rodriguez but it somewhat sad that an innocent 17 year old who loved the game and had some of the best skills ever, got chewed up and spit out by Boras and the New York media. However, it always will come back to the PED's. That's on him, 100%.

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Is there any sport that hates its stars more than baseball? This is a sport where the all time hits leader, all time home runs leader, and all time Cy Young award winner are prohibited from entering the Hall of Fame.

Baseball has the most corrupt history, whether it's gambling, fixing games or using steroids.

No other sport comes close.

That is why.

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Baseball is just more upfront about its past. Plenty of point shaving allegations in Basketball for instance.

Well, boxing is obviously the most corrupt. I forgot about that.

I don't know if baseball is as upfront as much as the corruption was just more documented. Being the most popular sport in America for 100 years doesnt help either.

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