A-Rod Hits A Bomb Over Yanks Ownership
Over this last weekend Yankee fans were treated to yet another ‘quasi’ milestone moment by fan favorite Alex Rodriguez. The Yankee DH crushed an opposite field homerun against former Cy Young winner and MVP Justin Verlander for the 3000th hit of his career. The historic hit comes just weeks after Rodriguez passed legendary Willie Mays for fourth on baseball’s all-time home run list.
When A-Rod signed his contract in December 2007, along with the $275 million over 10 years, the deal also included a bonus of $6 million for each milestone home run hit. For each hit Alex would give the Yankees full marketing and branding rights for promoting related merchandise. The Yankees, however, feel that the career statistics Rodriguez has accumulated are tainted due to his previous use with PEDs, deeming these home runs as unmarketable.
When the Yankees decided not to pay Rodriguez the seven-figure bonus after his record breaking 660th homer on May 1st, the Players’ Association was given 45 days to file a formal grievance against the Yankees. This put Rodriguez in the uncomfortable position of having to decide whether to fight for the bonus money clearly in his contract, or not accept it, and concede that these hits are in fact “tainted.”
Many different options have been discussed, such as Alex not accept the money and donate it to charity. However, the way Rodriguez has played and acted lately, public perception of him has shifted to a more positive light, at least for Yankee fans. Player’s union president Tony Clark has also acknowledged his baseball rebirth. “I’m pleased,” Clark said. “We’re pleased that he’s on the field playing, and that the dialogue is focused on what’s happening between the lines.”
As the deadline approached and passed on June 15 the players’ association and MLB agreed to table the deadline for A-Rod to file this grievance against his team. Some are predicting the legal proceeding between both sides will take place in the offseason. This is good news for Yankee fans that hope that 40-year-old Alex Rodriguez continues to carry his team without any in-house distractions. The players association has expressed full support for Rodriguez whenever the matter should be picked up.