A-Rod spins into action

Updated: November 16, 2007, 1:25 PM ET
Imagine that Alex Rodriguez was running for president against Hillary Clinton and John McCain and Barack Obama, and then ask yourself this: How much would they have paid for the negative publicity he got over the last 18 days?

Ten million dollars? Twenty? Fifty million? Because for 18 days Rodriguez got hammered by everyone, everywhere. By our respected colleague Peter Gammons, who wondered forcefully whether this sort of gauche hubris explained why Rodriguez hadn't yet played in the World Series. A-Rod got hammered by print columnists, by Mike and Mike, by Mike and the Mad Dog, by Michael Kay in New York and Mike Felger in Boston and the Mad Dog in Lansing and Softy in Seattle. A-Rod got hammered from sea to shining sea, after word of his decision to opt out of his record-setting contract leaked out in the middle of Game 4 of the World Series -- an act that his agent, Scott Boras, first blamed on the Yankees, then blamed on a mistake and, then, probably cajoled by his All-Star client, finally blamed on himself, acknowledging what everybody in the game thought anyway.

A-Rod continued to get hammered last week, after word came out that Boras had demanded an initial offer of $350 million from the Yankees, and as the Players Association -- in a you-can't-make-this-up moment -- raised the question of whether there was collusion against a player whom the Yankees had been prepared to offer the highest salary in the history of sports. If Rodriguez had taken their call.