The Shallow Pockets of a Rich Man

Alex Rodriguez seemed to round the bases a little quicker than usual this past season. He received a second chance at baseball, forgiven by a fan-base for his wrongdoing, and even embraced by the national media. However positive and lifting these events may have been to Alex, they cannot fully explain why there was an extra “spring in his step”. One explanation for this “lighter Rodriguez” may do in part to the depth of his pockets. That’s right; the shallowness of his pants, which are much lighter than were to be expected.

Now I’m not saying that Rodriguez is a poor man by any means, but Rodriguez had the “privilege” of not being weighed down by a $6 million bonus he was due this past season. Rodriguez was due $6 million dollars for up to 5 milestone hits that he performed in his career with the Yankees, and the team was to receive any and all licensing rights for media and product purposes. The language was laid out explicitly in his contract, however despite this grand gesture by the Yankees (to gift an already rich man), the team decided that they would not be paying Alex any of these bonuses if he did reach a milestone this season.

How is this possible? Wasn’t it written into his contract? Well, the New York Yankees General Manager, Brain Cashman, stated, “We have the right, but not the obligation to do something, and that’s it.” Cashman said. “We’re going to honor our responsibilities of the contract. So there is no dispute, from our perspective.” According to the Yankees, this contract could not properly be fulfilled due to impracticable reasons. There was an unforeseeable event, which took place after the time of signing the contract, which caused the Yankees to not receive their portion of the benefit from the contract.

When Alex Rodriguez was suspended from baseball for a year (for violating the substance abuse policy), his market value plummeted. His value not only plummeted in regards to his on the field contributions, but his value as an “entity” plummeted. The Yankees expected a mutual-benefit from Alex, which was that his milestone achievements would draw media coverage, create memorabilia, and above all else, generate attendance records like never before. These benefits to the Yankees were an even trade-off for the $6 million bonus being paid to Rodriguez. After the year suspension. Rodriguez had to fight to stay in the line-up, and the media, nor the fans, were lining up to cover so much as a hit from Rodriguez. The Yankees saw how their side of the contract was tragically affected, and moved to rescind that provision of Alex’s contract.

Luckily for the Yankees, Rodriguez decided to go away softly into the New York night. Rather than bring the issue to court, the parties reached an agreement that the proceeds, which should have been given directly to Alex for his milestones, would instead be donated to various charities. Although Rodriguez may have had lighter pockets this season, he was given something far more meaningful. He was given a new life in baseball, and was able to help out the community at the same time. Perhaps he has learned his lesson so that the next time he signs a contract, which would give him a bonus worth more than some players whole contracts, he will think twice before taking a banned substance.


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