Because you could put A-Rod’s 661st home run on your bookshelf

February 26, 2015

Because, let’s face it, its worth will be questionable.

One of the things I loved about the old Street & Smith baseball annuals was the list of upcoming milestones that were within reach for current ballplayers. You could see, for example, that this guy was 22 home runs away from 500, or that guy was 80 shy of 1,500 RBI.

When the NY Yankees re-signed Alex Rodriguez, they include bonuses for reaching milestone records. Jon Heyman’s Yankees confident they can avoid paying A-Rod milestone bonuses on the CBS Sports website addresses the issue.

The binding agreement previously has been believed to necessitate payment by the Yankees assuming he hit the homers in major-league games, and the homers he has hit for the Yankees are indeed in the record book as legitimate homers, so he may still prevail. It’s also pretty clear in the agreement what constitutes a milestone by virtue of the examples of Mays, Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron and Barry Bonds. The deal called for A-Rod to have the chance to make $6 million each for tying Mays’ 660 homers, Ruth’s 714, Aaron’s 755 and Bonds’ 762, and finally by passing Bonds.

Ruth, Aaron, and Bonds are probably out of reach, but A-Rod is only six away from Mays as we start the season. Even if he only plays part-time, it is most likely he can get seven home runs. Unless the team pulls a Charles Comiskey on him and benches him as he gets close…

So now the Yankees are getting on their high horse and saying, “uh-uh, we don’t want to pay, because you didn’t get there fair and square.”

What nonsense. They didn’t seem to mind when he was helping them reaching the postseason in eight of his 11 seasons. Unless they really believe he was “clean” in each of them. But now that Jeter is gone and Rivera is gone and the team is no longer a lock to make it to the playoffs, they want to pull out a morals clause?

Note the word “legitimate,” in Heyman’s article. Assuming is an accurate record of statistics, would the records reflected there be considered “legitimate?” How would one differentiate “legitimate” from “non-legitimate” anyway? Also, they Yankees are the ones who will decide what constitutes a milestone? Could they possibly say passing 660 home runs doesn’t count?

You made your bed, Yankees.

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