A-Rod, famous foot-in-mouth practitioner, once more has his foot in his mouth
I like A-Rod! I really do! I sort of hated him at times when he played for my favorite team, but I think he's a good broadcaster and I'm happy that he's finding success and popularity in his second career act. But my God, recent events have shown that even with a different job, and even out of a uniform, he can't stop embarrassing himself via the spoken word.
A-Rod's going into this third season as part of ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball team, and on a conference call Thursday, when asked about the recent labor disputes, he spoke of how baseball could approach the structure and status of leagues like the NFL and NBA:
"The only way it's going to happen is if they get to the table and say the No. 1 goal, let's get from $10 to $15 billion and then we'll split the economics evenly...but that's the type of conversation instead of fighting and fighting against each other because there's too much competition out there right now."
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Now, I'm not even saying he's wrong. What I am saying is that it's hilarious for two reasons:
1. A-Rod made almost $450 million his career, making him the highest paid baseball player ever. Nobody has made more, and nobody has really come close. The only reason he was able to make that much money is because MLB doesn't have revenue sharing.
2. A-Rod, along with J-Lo, is now among those bidding for ownership of the New York Mets.
So if you're keeping track at home, that's half a billion dollars as a player, but when there's even a prospect of owning a team, he wants to burn that bridge behind him.
Tony Clark, players' union chief, put it best:
"Alex benefited as much as anybody from the battles this union fought against owners' repeated attempts to get a salary cap. Now that he is attempting to become an owner himself his perspective appears to be different. And that perspective does not reflect the best interests of the players."
A-Rod, realizing his foot was in his mouth, tried desperately to walk it back Friday morning on Twitter:
The "never mentioned the word salary cap" is funny on two levels. First, on the most immature level, it's actually two words. Second, more practically, there's no way to get to an NBA- or NFL-style revenue sharing system without a salary cap! That's a critical ingredient of that system!
A-Rod should just own it, and admit that from an ownership angle, he wants an end to the salary cap. It might even be the best path forward for the sport, although the union will never go for it without a fight. But he also has to accept that to rake it in at obscene levels as a player and then turn off the faucet when he becomes The Man...well, that's going to reek of hypocrisy. It's classic foot-in-mouth disease, especially the walk-it-back part, and nobody does it quite like A-Rod.