Wednesday, November 14, 2007

A-Rod and his millions

It is pretty easy to pick on public figures, and as a preacher, I try not to pick such low lying fruit very often. Most of these celebrities don't know God, so it should not be surprising when they act in ungodly or insane ways.

The A-rod story, however, has been hard to avoid. Alex Rodriquez signed a $250 million dollar contract with my Texas Rangers. He was traded a few years later to the New York Yankes because of disgruntlement. And worst of all, the Rangers subsided his contract. They paid the Yankees $7 million per year for a player that they no longer had. I cannot think of many things in the sports world more horrible than subsidizing the evil empire!

A-Rod had a clause in his contract that let him opt out after seven years. He chose to do this, which thankfully let the Rangers off the hook for the subsidy they owed the Yankees. I loved that part of it. But he opted out for--get this--more money. His agent, Scott Boras, who is rightfully villified, told the Yankees that they had to put up $350 MILLION DOLLARS!! just to get an opportunity to come to the negotiating table. Boras announced A-rod's opting out of his contract during the World Series, seeking to upstage the game. Definitely bad taste.

I am one that understands wanting to feel respected. And even if a guy is making milliions, if he is doing the same job but someone is making three times as much, well, all things being considered, you might start to wonder if you were really valued. I know it is hard to imagine feeling this way, since most of us will never come close to making anything near that of a professional baseball player. But for people in third world countries, they probably don't understand how anyone living in America could feel slighted. This is why salary with these guys is often more about feeling respected than it is money.

But A-rod was already the highest paid player in baseball--by far!--when he opted out. Despite having the respect that comes from being the highest paid player in the game, he still wanted more. And much, much more. All I can say at this point is, when you make the most of any one around by far, and you are demanding more, this is greed. Pure and simple.

It seems, however, that now A-rod is having a change of heart. He now wants to come back with the Yankees, who had written him off. Without the subsidy, and after his demands, they didn't want him. But now he is indicating that he is willing to take a pay cut. See the story.

It seems that A-Rod didn't like the fallout from his public negotiations. Maybe he does care whether or not people think he is a totally greedy dude. Or maybe the other teams took a look at him and said, we don't want this guy on our team, and he wasn't going to get his payday. I hope it was a change of heart.