Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The Curse of A-Hole

I had a lengthy discussion with a good friend of mine, (despite the fact he avidly supports the Evil Empire, he's a damned good guy). The topic was A-Rod, he of the 25 million dollar salary, inhuman talent, and 10 cent psyche. As a member of Red Sox Nation, I know we could have had A-Hole at one time. Yet the truth is that A-Rod is not a winner. Don't believe me? The proof, my friends, is in the pudding. (What the hell does that mean, anyway?) Let's look at the teams A-Hole has played for. He started his career with the Seattle Mariners. Look at the difference between the team's record his last season there and the first season without him.

Seattle Mariners
2000 Season 91-71
2001 116-46

Wow! Shed an A-hole, win 25 more games. That must be a fluke, right? Let's look at his career in Texas, when he signed that 252 million dollar contract. I mean, for that money, he must be a world changer, the ultimate difference maker.

2003 Season 71-91 - A-Hole's last season in Texas.
2004 Season 89-73

Well, things improved, the team only won 18 extra games after cleaning their A-Hole. Well, surely things couldn't continue that way, not with the evil empire. Their arrogance should make the A-Hole right at home.

2004 Season 101-61 (Last season before A-Hole_
2005 Season 95-67 (First with him)

So the facts are this. Every time he leaves a team, they get better. When he joins a team, they lose wins... As a Sox fan, I hope he remains with the Yankees.

Oh, by the way, the Yankees also haven't been to the World Series since 2003. The year prior to A-Holes arrival.

(Oh, and I don't need anyone pointing out these statistics are correlational, not causal. I took statistics and research methodology also. The point is that in professional sports, only 2 things matter. Winning and cash. A-Hole receives more of the latter than any player, ever. He offers less return on the investment on the former.


Da Old Man said...

You are really reaching here now. Baseball is probably the least team oriented sport. Ok, not counting dominos, darts, poker, and competitive eating.
That said, look at some of the teams with the worst "chemistry" in modern baseball times. The Oakland A's of the early 70's (World Champs 72,73,74) and the Yankees of the late 70's (World Champs '77 and '78.) Both teams had fights in the clubhouse, and personalities that were at best, abrasive.
Can you say Reggie Jackson? Total jerk off the field. Anybody else remember the "Straw that Stirs the Drink" quote?"
A-Rod hurt the Rangers because by signing him to such an excesive contract, they didn't have the cash to field a good team. Not exactly his fault. When was the last time you turned down a huge raise? When did anyone?
Also, 2001 was when Ichiro came on the scene. Griffey and Johnson also left. I guess those future Hall of Famers were held back by A-Rod. When the government needs a new spin doctor, I'll give them your name.
In the meantime, please don't teach any stats courses.
Don't let your hatred of one of the greatest players in history cloud your view and distort your vision. Just because he didn't sign with your beloved Red Sox, you shouldn't feel like the jilted boyfriend.
Now calm down, and enjoy the game.

savvy said...

I'm not the jilted boyfriend. Free from the curse of A-hole, the Sox went on to win their first World Series in 86 years, during A-Hole's first season in NY... Hooray, Red Stripe, Hooray Beer!


Woody said...

Dude, isn't the goal of everyone to have the least return on investment and not the best return on investment? Shouldn't you try to make as much $$ as you can, and the more you make, the more expensive you are the the less your return is. I'd rather be the $25MM guy with the most expensive cost per win than the $750K guy who is a bargain. Poor schlep.

Go ask the 2000 Seattle Mariners if they would have traded 10 of their 116 wins to have A-Rod in that post season. The Yankees have not won since A-Rod joined because Cashman can't get good pitching. Not because of A-Rod.

Nikolai94 said...

Dude, Gay-Rod is driving the van of death. Better make him ride shotgun, actually. He'd screw-up a group suicide effort. I wish death upon him 1 million times, and I'm a Yankees fan!

savvy said...

Woody, I'm not sure I understand your point. I was speaking from the P.O.V. of the team/ownership. If I can pay a player 1 million/yearly and he gives me 40 home runs, 125 RBI's, and a .320 batting avg. and I am paying another player 15 million yearly for the same stats, I am far more pleased with the return I am receiving on the first player. I think that we both may be inadequately expressing our points. Are you viewing it through the players perspective?

Da Old Man said...

Formula for championships has always been good pitching and decent hitting. It has never been great hitting and hope for the best from the pitchers. Throughout history, the best hitting teams did not win championships unless they had good pitching to go along with it. As Casey Stengal used to say, "You can look it up."

Da Old Man said...

Nikolai, don't call yourself a fan.
Fans support a team even when they are losing.

By the way, check the paper today. Yankees are in second place, just 1.5 games behind. Not exactly in their death throes.

Woody said...

What I am saying is, in sports, things like return on investment don't matter. Especially for the Yankees and the Red Sox and other big market teams. Performance matters. So I don't care if the payroll is $50MM or $200MM - I want wins and rings. I don't care who takes my money if I'm willing to pay it - George, A-Rod, Jeter, or someone else. It's not going in my pocket so I don't care. Do you feel better having a team full of great ROI guys who come up short or low ROI guys who win? So evaluate on performance only.

A-Rod was in an slump, like players have (remember Jeter three years ago...) But last year he was the MVP. I don't care if you agree with it or not, he was the MVP. He had a bad series against the Angels, but I blame Randy Johnson for that series loss much more than ARod. The year before, he led the team against the Twins and we had Boston on the ropes and 'Mo didn't put it away. That's life. So A-Rod does not get an A or a B, he gets a C. It's too early to tell. But you can't expect him to be Superman, no matter what he is paid.

Woody said...


Comments like that make me want to put you in the van. It has gotten to the point, that A-Rod could find a cure for lung cancer and people would bitch that a) he didn't do it earlier and b) he didn't cure AIDs as well. It's ridiculous.

Da Old Man said...

Woody, you summed it up perfectly.

The Kansas City Royals and the Pirates probably have the greatest return on investment of any team in the majors. $ per win is awesome. I'm sure that's what their fans think while they are watching another loss.

"We may suck, but we suck at a great price."

Which fans want their team to be the coupon clippers of baseball?

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