He’s the most complete hitter of his generation. Since his first full season in Major League Baseball, he has hit more home runs, driven in more runs, scored more runs and had more extra-base hits than any player in the game. He is the youngest player in the history of the sport to hit 500 home runs and he has done it without the aid of performance-enhancing drugs. Defensively, he was a Gold Glove shortstop in Seattle before selflessly giving up his position to a lesser defensive player and moving tothird base in New York. He is about to win his third American League Most Valuable Player award in the last five years.
So why does everyone hate him?
Maybe Alex Rodriguez is just too good for his own good. All the stats, all the money, the poster-boy good looks. Maybe it’s pure, unadulterated jealousy — we all wish we had everything that he has. Whatever the reason, A-Rod’s already tarnished reputation is taking more hits these days than President Bush in a liberal chat room, and if he’s at all interested in damage control, he has only one play to make:
He needs to fire Scott Boras.
In the age of evil sports agents driving wedges of hatred between athletes and franchises for the purposes of unimaginable personal greed, Boras is Satan incarnate. And the last thing one of baseball’s most hated players needs is to be represented by the most hateful agent in the business.
The timing of the announcement of A-Rod’s decision to opt out of his contract with the New York Yankees has been universally condemned, and rightfully so. A couple innings into Game 4 of the World Series, which would complete the Red Sox’s sweep of the Colorado Rockies, crowning Boston as world champions for the second time in four years, the A-Rod announcement completely upstaged the coronation. And who took the public hit for this disrespectful travesty? Rodgriguez did.
The fact that the entire affair was orchestrated by Boras means nothing to the critics; as long as A-Rod’s name is associated with something negative, he’s going to be the bad guy.
A-Rod’s loyalty to Boras is understandable, as he was the criminal who masterminded the $252 million robbery of the Texas Rangers, making Rodriguez the richest athlete in the history of team sports, but there has to come a time when the most dominating hitter since Ike Turner realizes that the guy who can get him the most money is not necessarily the guy who can best further his career.
Boras, a weasel of the highest order, has a remarkable way of making it appear as though his client is calling the shots, when it’s blatantly obvious that Rodriguez does whatever his leash-holder tells him to. A $350 million dollar starting point to even get to the bargaining table with the Yankees — A-Rod’s idea? Not a chance. This is all about Boras’ ego, and his desire to be the guy who negotiates the first $30 or $40 million per year deal in sports history, just as he orchestrated the ongoing $25-million-a-season agreement for A-Rod.
Rodriguez is in the prime of his career at age 32, and for the next several years he will be in full pursuit of Hank Aaron’s all-time home run record (I refuse to acknowledge the Sultan of Syringe). He’s going to embark on that chase in a new city (maybe even in the Sultan’s hometown as a Giant), which will give him an opportunity for a fresh start. He has a chance to repair his image and win legions of new fans so that he can actually enjoy his run toward baseball immortality, as he should.
Fire Scott Boras, Alex. It’ll be better for you, better for your new team, better for the fans and better for baseball. Fire the weasel now.
Sports personality Bob Frantz is a regular contributor to The Examiner. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.