There has been a great deal of anger over the announcement by Scott Boras last night that his client, Alex Rodriguez, would be opting out of his contract with the Yankees and exercising his right to become a free agent. Peter Gammons ripped into the pair on the air last night, his frustration with the distraction caused by the announcement verbalized in an attack on Rodriguez himself. My guess is many Sox fans (and baseball fans in general) felt it was an affront to the game, and they might be right, to an extent. But personally I just kind of laughed at the announcement. The great thing is that, in truth, A-Rod ISN’T bigger than the World Series. He never will be. Nobody will be. That’s been proven by both the focus on the Sox today and the sheer minutes of coverage they received on the sports networks, in national newspapers, across the internet, etc. A-Rod was a footnote last night. ESPN.com had the A-Rod story as a simple sidebar, almost like a NASCAR Busch series event. And it is, truly, a pretty big story. So in the end, even as a Sox fan, I wasn’t really offended. It was a revelatory move, in a lot of ways (just look at how many Yankee fans have shifted their views, justifiably), and for that maybe we should thank Boras and Rodriguez. Nobody has to feel obliged to defend him, other than as a ballplayer. Maybe that will liberate him, in some ways.
We should be heartened by today’s news, it shows that the World Series always wins out as the story. Last night and today tradition held, no matter how hard Boras and A-Rod tried to subvert that tradition. Just another October failure for A-Rod, I suppose.