Last October, agent Scott Boras and slugger Alex Rodriguez made news when Boras announced that Rodriguez would be opting out of his contract. Boras was ridiculed for the timing of the announcement and Rodriguez was portrayed as just another greedy player wanting more money. The majority of Yankee fans could care less if Rodriguez returned as a Yankee or not. A large number of fans didn’t even want him back, due to his inability to perform in the clutch.
While most of the talk surrounding the opting out of the contract was over money, maybe Boras had another motive. Yes, Boras was seeking a 10 year $300 million contact…an amount the Yankees were unwilling to meet. But maybe Boras was just looking out for the mental health of his superstar client. It’s no secret that since Rodriguez has arrived in New York, he has had a tough time with both the media and fans. He desperately wants to be loved by all in New York, and unfortunately it has been a very bumpy ride.
At the time of the decision to opt out, Rodriguez was coming off a horrid playoff series against both the Detroit Tigers in 2006 and another bad series against the Indians in ’07. Despite an MVP season, Rodriguez has yet to earn the love he yearns for from New Yorkers.
Being a resident of New York, I understand how it must hurt to be under a microscope in such a ruthless city. If you didn’t know better, you would think A-Rod is some schlep. Let’s not forget he’s batting .308, with 32 homeruns and 92 RBI’s. Those numbers are very similar to the hated Kevin Youkilis, though Youk is one of the front-runners for the American League MVP.
While $275 million is a ton of money, 10 more years in New York may be more than A-Rod can handle. It is clear that A-Rod does not handle the booing very well, and the pressure Yankee fans put on him may be too much for the slugger to deal with. It doesn’t help that he’ll always be number 2 behind the beloved Derek Jeter.
Maybe just maybe, Boras was looking out for the future well-being of A-Rod and not his own wallet.