Dear Party Committee: A-Rod’s retiring in 585 days
Perhaps feeling inspired by Cuban glasnost, Alex Rodriguez announced Tuesday the 2017 Major League Baseball season would be his last (N.B.: we’re about to start the 2016 season). Coincidentally, 2017 is also the last season a MLB franchise is contractually obligated to pay him a dollar for showing up to play baseball. Finally, the long, national nightmare that is A-Rod will be over … in two years.
Not that I’m counting.
Because Rodriguez is more calculated than a NASA shuttle launch, I started wondering why he felt the need to tell us now. Is he hoping by giving the world enough time, we’ll all get together and throw him a party? What do you bring to an A-Rod retirement party? A juicer filled with kale, vodka, Rogaine, testosterone and Primobolan? At least I know who to put on the play list.
Did he announce it now so people would clear their calendars? Can you imagine the responses on the Evite?
Joe Torre: “Sorry Al, the kid’s got a thing. Maybe I’ll swing by on my way home if you’re still awake.”
Joe Girardi: “Please remove me from this list.”
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred: “Thank you for the invitation. My lawyers have advised me to pass.”
Derek Jeter: “Go f*!# yourself.”
Pete Rose: “I’ll be there!”
Is his retirement such a big deal that teams will feel compelled to give him TWO going away gifts? In Boston, might Jason Varitek and Bronson Arroyo present A-Rod with the gloves he slapped in 2004? In Oakland, Dallas Braden could give Rod a piece of the mound he disrespected in 2010. In Toronto, a centaur? (Seriously, I could do this for hours.)
Aww, who are we kidding: we all know A-Rod will just show up during the pregame for Game 1 of the 2017 World Series to throw out the first pitch, whether he’s scheduled to or not (NB: probably not). Rod has a knack for finding the big stage, even when his team is nowhere near it.
At 42 years old with two bad hips, a history of drug use and poisoning clubhouses, does A-Rod think he’ll have a ton of suitors once his contract is up with the Yankees? “Hey guys: I know you’re excited about the 2017 free agent class, but I need you all to know now — I won’t be a part of it. Sorry if this messes up your plans, Mr. Loria. Thanks.”
Hey, we’ve got over 500 days to celebrate. Until then, there will be plenty of time to contemplate his legacy and warm up to the “softer, gentler” A-Rod. No need to start now.