Commentary

When people write, A-Rod has all the answers

Updated: November 14, 2007, 11:02 AM ET
By Gene Wojciechowski | ESPN.com

Hi, Everybody!

Thanks for "surfing" to AROD.com, the official Web site of me, Alex Rodriguez. It's been a hectic time for myself, my super great wife Cynthia, my super great daughter Natasha, and my super great agent Mr. Scott Boras, or, as he likes to be called, "Arch-fiend" or "Hider of the Light."

So let's "check out" my "Ask Alex" mailbag. Wow, it's really full of questions from you super great fans!

Alex Rodriguez
AP Photo/Kathy WillensAlex Rodriguez is looking out for his next team.

    A-Rod, you're my favorite player, but I'm so confused. I thought you said you were 100 percent committed to being a New York Yankee. But now you're a free agent. What gives?

    Hank, The Bronx

Well, first of all, I think kids are the future of this fantastic country. I just wanted to say that. As far as the other thing, well, it sounds like you were a victim of some bad newspaper reporting. I never use the phrase, "100 percent." One of the New York tabloids probably twisted my quotes around. That happens a lot to me.


    I just read your Oct. 11, 2006, journal entry on AROD.com. You said: "I am 100 percent committed to being a Yankee now and in the future. I don't want to play anywhere else. I never have (and never will) run away from the responsibility I have to this team. I believe I am part of the solution to winning a championship here. I want to finish my career in New York."

    What part of the 100 percent committed am I missing?

    Hank, The Bronx

Wow, Hank, you really did your research. I'm going to have to talk to the master about leaving that on there.

Bottom line: I'm a human being, just like you. Well, not exactly like you. I'm probably taller, much more handsome, and make more in one at-bat against the Royals than you do in a year. Yes, I said I was committed to being a Yankee. Out of fairness to you guys -- the greatest fans in the world -- I shouldn't have been so definitive. But it was a one-time thing, a very rare moment when I let my love for those Yankee pinstripes overwhelm me.


    I downloaded what you said to Mike and The Mad Dog this past spring on WFAN. Just in case you can't click on the link I attached, here's your exact quote: "You're asking me what my sincere feeling is. I want to 100 percent stay in New York. Period. That's it. I don't know how many ways I can say it."

    So are you a total fraud, or did you forget about your sincere feelings? Go Yankees!

    Hank, The Bronx

Those are some pretty super impressive computer skills, downloading and all. So congratulations on that.

To answer your question, I am absolutely sincere about wanting to stay in New York. In fact, I was just telling Omar Minaya that very thing as he peeled the skin off fresh Moroccan grapes and fed them to me individually on a gold sorbet spoon.


    I've got the newspaper clippings from when you signed with the Seattle Mariners. You told the media, "I'm 100 percent baseball player, and hopefully someday I'll help the team win a World Series."

    How'd that work out?

    Hank, The Bronx

How many "Ask Alex" e-mails did you send, big fella? Apparently a super lot. But you're right, it didn't work out there. It wasn't my fault. The outfield fences were too far away.


    When you signed your landmark $252 million contract in 2001 with the Texas Rangers, you said at the press conference, "I'm embarrassed to talk about it because I don't know if Michael Jordan or Bill Gates or Alexander the Great is worth this type of money. But that's what Mr. Hicks decided to pay me. Now it's time to pay him back and win a few championships."

    How'd that work out?

    Hank, The Bronx

Those were some dark days. The important thing is that I made a lot of cash and got the hell out of there after the 2003 season.


    Alex, isn't Googling fun? I just found this quote of yours from December 2000: "Hopefully, when I'm done, people will just remember me as a Ranger."

    Hank, The Bronx

Ranger ... Mariner ... Yankee ... whoever pays me what I demand -- same thing.


    For once in your life be honest. It's about the money, isn't it?

    Hank, The Bronx

You again, huh?

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Mr. Arch-Fiend and me have this debate all the time. I say it's about winning championships, mostly because it sounds good during TV interviews and I can give them my Phil Mickelson "earnest" look. But Mr. Boras says it's about deception, manipulation and bleeding every possible dollar and concession out of a franchise. He always tells me, "Alex, when will you finally understand that you can't deposit a World Series ring into an offshore account?"

And I don't have to tell you how the latest federal tax codes make it harder for a working man to hold on to his paycheck.


    I've heard you talk about the importance of honoring the legacies of the game's great players. But when it came time to accept the Hank Aaron Award a few weeks ago at the World Series, you said you had a scheduling conflict. How could you stiff Aaron?

    Hank, The Bronx

I meant no disrespect, but let's face it, I make a lot of scratch and have a very busy schedule. Somebody had to let the cable guy in that day.


    You once said in a 1997 Baseball America interview that you saw a World Series championship in your future. "I want that very bad," you said. "I would trade everything about my year for what [Derek Jeter] had."

    OK, if you're really serious about winning a championship, then why not sign with the Red Sox for less money?

    Hank, The Bronx

Because that wouldn't be fair to the other super great teams like the Los Angeles Angels of the greater Anaheim/Fullerton area, or the Los Angeles Dodgers, or the New York Mets, or some "mystery" teams that Mr. Boras invents to create false demand.


    Joe Torre dropped you to eighth in the batting order during Game 4 the 2006 ALDS. Now that he's the new manager of the Dodgers, how could you possibly play for him again?

    Hank, The Bronx

Joe is a great manager, and if he thought batting the future career MLB home run leader in the godforsaken eighth spot gave us the best chance to win that series, then I'm all for it. Anyway, for $350 million, I'll clean out whale blowholes at Sea World.


    During the 2007 season you were seen by a New York tabloid entering your Toronto hotel with a stripper. And last month you upstaged the World Series when Boras said you were opting out of your Yankees contract. Should general managers be concerned about your character?

    Hank, The Bronx

First of all, Hank, this is getting a little creepy. Second, I pride myself in being a role model for the youth of the world. Is it my fault she wanted to borrow the Gideon's Bible from my hotel room?


    Why should anyone believe a word you say? Remember what you told your Web site in early 2006 about eventually hoisting a World Series trophy over your head? In case you've forgotten ... "I have dreamt of that day since I first played the game of baseball, and I want the fans to know that this is my goal -- we'll bring a World Series championship back to the Bronx yet. This is my commitment to myself, the team, and you."

    Hank, The Bronx

The Bronx ... L.A. ... Flushing -- same thing.


    You seem to try so hard to make everybody like you. And yet, it sounds as if the Yankees are almost relieved you're not coming back. Your take?

    Hank, The Bronx

Well, they gave me no choice, especially after word leaked about their lowball offer of between $125 million-$150 million for five years. I mean, c'mon. Next thing you know they would have bumped my traveling pedicurist from the team charter.


    You once told the St. Louis Dispatch in May 2000, "I want to be with an organization that is committed to trying to win every year, that competes in the free-agent market."

    Can you think of an organization that competes more than the Yankees, the team you just left?

    Hank, The Bronx

What I meant to add is, "And pays me $350 million."


    Hey, A-Rod, you can kiss my *&% and go *%@#! yourself.

    Hank, The Bronx

Uh-oh, looks like someone's been shopping at the same T-shirt store as Cynthia. (LOL.)

Gene Wojciechowski is the senior national columnist for ESPN.com. You can contact him at gene.wojciechowski@espn3.com. He co-authored Jerome Bettis' autobiography, "The Bus: My Life In and Out of a Helmet," which is available now.

Gene Wojciechowski | email

Columnist / College Football reporter

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