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Wednesday, January 16, 2013
The A-Rod Story: Do stars sell?

By Andrew Marchand

It is surgery day for Alex Rodriguez and no matter what anyone says, the Yankees have no idea what the future holds for him. A-Rod has at least as good a chance of being totally ineffective as being a regular starter over the final five seasons of his nearly $300 million contract.

This brings us to the Boston Red Sox and Terry Francona's new book. In an excerpt in Sports Illustrated, Francona writes that the Red Sox went for stars like Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford in the winter of 2010 because there were consultants who wanted to goose NESN's ratings:

"They told us we didn't have any marketable players, that we needed some sizzle," [Theo] Epstein is quoted as saying. "We need some sexy guys. Talk about the tail wagging the dog. This is like an absurdist comedy. We'd become too big. It was the farthest thing removed from what we set out to be."


So here is the thing: Do you want stars on your team or do you simply care about winning? I think the Yankee brand is built on the championships, but, at the prices they charge, it does need to be a spectacle as well. As the story goes, Goldman Sachs was very influential over the Yankees' decision to sign A-Rod. The company supposedly thought it would be great for YES, in which Goldman Sachs was a big investor at the time.

A-Rod was supposed to be chasing Barry Bonds to preserve the cleanliness of the home run record. Instead, A-Rod got nabbed for PEDs and his admission took away much of his iconic appeal.

So is it important to you to see the biggest names in the game in pinstripes ... or does nothing matter but the final score?

QUESTION: Do you want to see big names or just a lot of wins?