A-Rod and the art of opting out   

Updated: November 1, 2007, 3:20 PM ET

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Off Base

Has everyone finally gotten over their anger that Alex Rodriguez chose to announce he was opting out of his contract with the Yankees during the final game of the World Series? Good. Because Off-Base has had it up to here with stories and arguments about the timing of A-Rod's announcement. Get a grip people. It's over and done with. It's time to move on and talk about something else.

Like when A-Rod will opt out of his next contract.

Off-Base takes a look at the possible scenarios depending on what team A-Rod eventually signs with this winter ...

CUBS, NOV. 27, 2007:

The Cubs today signed free agent Alex Rodriguez to a 10-year, $300 million contract -- the richest in baseball history -- and then finally put an end to months of speculation over their new owner when the third baseman/shortstop used the new money to buy the team. He becomes the first active player in baseball history to own the team for which he plays.

Rodriguez said his first move as owner would be to give himself a raise. ...

MARINERS, NOV. 2, 2008:

Alex Rodriguez announced during the player introductions and the national anthem before Game 1 of the World Series that he is opting out of his 10-year, $300 million contract with the Mariners after just one season. Rodriguez hit 52 home runs with 148 RBIs and is expected to win his fourth MVP award but the return to his original team ended disappointingly when the Mariners finished last in the American League West.

The poor finish was due in some part to Seattle management's decision to balance the budget by playing with a 15-man roster.

"Our roster size could have worked out if Jeff Weaver had just given us more innings," general manager Bill Bavasi said. "But it's hard on a bullpen when half of your two-man rotation never gets past the fifth inning." ...

ANGELS, OCT. 24, 2009:

Alex Rodriguez stunned the baseball world this evening when he chose to opt-out of his record 10-year, $300 million contract while batting with an 0-2 count, two out, the bases loaded and the Angels trailing 3-1 in the seventh inning of Game 3 of the World Series.

"While I have until 10 days after the World Series ends to make a decision there still really was no way I could make an informed decision to stay by that date," Rodriguez said. "I clearly needed more information as to whether I struck out in that at-bat, whether the Angels were going to win the World Series and whether the fans would view me as a hero or a goat. I loved my time in Anaheim of Los Angeles but there really was no choice but to opt-out before Brandon Webb threw me a nasty slider at the knees on the outside corner." ...

METS, SEPT. 11, 2011:

Speaking before an estimated crowd of 100,000 somber citizens at Ground Zero, Alex Rodriguez used the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks to announce that he is opting out of his 10-year, $300 million contract with the Mets.

"While I technically have until after the World Series ends to make a decision there really was no way I could wait until then," Rodriguez said while waving an American flag. "This is a new world we live in since 9/11 and we must be pro-active rather than reactive. I simply couldn't afford to wait and then see Atlanta or Philadelphia acquire Albert Pujols or Matt Holliday. Had I not chosen to opt out now, the terrorists would win." ...

RANGERS, DEC. 5, 2012:

Adding to his reputation as the shrewdest general manager in baseball, Oakland general manager Billy Beane stunned his rivals by trading for Alex Rodriguez on the opening day of the winter meetings.

Rodriguez's current 10-year, $300 million contract is the largest in baseball history but thanks to Beane's keen negotiating skills, Oakland will only pay $2.3 million for Rodriguez, with Texas Rangers owner Tom Hicks picking up the rest of the tab in exchange for Mark Kotsay, Travis Buck and Justin Duchscherer. ...

RED SOX, JULY 30, 2013:

The Red Sox boosted their pennant hopes by paying $51 million for the exclusive right to have Alex Rodriguez opt out of his current 10-year, $300 million contract with the team.

General manager and Boston mayor Theo Epstein used the occasion to once again insist that the Red Sox are nothing like the Yankees, despite their $280 million payroll, their $100 average ticket prices, their annual postseason appearances, their utter domination of the media, their roles in the movies "Fever Pitch 2: Sweet Caroline, Touching Me, Touching Youk," "Fever Pitch 3: Dreadlocks Nation," and "Fever Pitch 4: The Curse of the White Pearl" and the team's recent announcement that it will further expand revenue by levying a 32.5 percent income tax on all citizens of Red Sox Nation. ...

CLEVELAND, DEC. 8, 2021:

The city of Cleveland ended one of the longest droughts in sports history tonight when 46-year-old pinch-hitter Alex Rodriguez, aka Mr. December, singled home the winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning in the 11th and deciding game of the World Series.

Overjoyed by their first World Series championship in 73 years and their first professional title in any sport in more than half a century, Cleveland fans spilled out of Halliburton-Wal-Mart Field to celebrate in the 85-degree mid-December weather, the city's coolest in recent years.

Los Angeles Dodgers of San Bernardino starter Jamie Moyer took the loss ...

YANKEES, MAY 14, 2024:

Alex Rodriguez announced he is opting out of retirement today to sign with the Yankees for the highest contract in baseball history.

Desperate to end their 24-year world championship drought and reach the postseason for the first time since Joe Torre managed the team, the Yankees will pay the 48-year-old home run king a pro-rated $50 million for playing a limited schedule the rest of the season. In order to avoid any family conflicts, Rodriguez will not play in any road games, nor on any national, state or religious holidays, nor after sundown, nor in any stadium selling pork concession products or meat on Friday. He further will not play in any game until an hour after eating, nor in any game should it go into extra innings. He will neither play, nor even show up at the stadium, on days in which he is scheduled to be honored by Hank Aaron.

The Yankees did, however, gain one key contract clause. A-Rod won't play in the month of October, either.


It's never easy facing Boston's lineup while it grinds out pitch after pitch after pitch until the clock sweeps well past midnight and the Red Sox bats explode when the opposing team's bullpen falls asleep. And Colorado's Ryan Speier learned that the hard way in Game 1 last week when he faced three batters and not only walked them, he also walked in all three inherited runners. His line:

0 IP, 0 H 0 R 0 ER, 3 BB, 0 K

Then again, he was hardly alone on the Rockies staff, which posted a 7.68 ERA.


Top Ten Colorado Rockies' Excuses:

10."Even we've never heard of most of our players"

9. "Didn't want Game 5 to preempt 'House' "

8. "Relax, there's still a lot of baseball to be played"

7. "The curse of the Bambino?"

6. "At that altitude, the beer really knocks you on your ass"

5. "No No. 5 -- writer preparing to go on strike"

4. "Turns out our 'flaxseed oil' really was flaxseed oil"

3. "O.J. stole the equipment!"

2. "Manager distracted by Joe Torre walking around with his resume"

1. "Forget us -- someone want to explain the Jets?"

-- David Letterman

Jim Caple is a senior writer for ESPN.com. He can be reached here. His Web site is jimcaple.net, with more installments of "24 College Avenue." His new book with Steve Buckley, "The Best Boston Sports Arguments: The 100 Most Controversial, Debatable Questions for Die-Hard Boston Fans," is on sale now.



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