Tom Hicks regrets A-Rod contract

Updated: October 15, 2010, 10:03 AM ET
By Andrew Marchand | ESPNNewYork.com

ARLINGTON, Texas -- A decade after giving Alex Rodriguez his historic $252 million contract, former Texas Rangers owner Tom Hicks said it is one of his biggest regrets.

"I've done some smart things," Hicks told Dallas-CBS affiliate KTVT-TV Channel 11 when asked about Rodriguez now being a Yankee. "I've done some dumb things. That was one of the dumb things."

When reached on his cell phone by ESPNNewYork.com, Hicks said he was through talking about Rodriguez.

"I'm not going to comment on that," Hicks said.

In what would have been the final season of A-Rod's 10-year deal if he had not been traded, he was the center of attention on Thursday's ALCS media day. The Yankees open the best-of-seven series against the Rangers at 8 p.m. ET Friday at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

Derek Jeter, CC Sabathia and Mark Teixeira had their own tables at media day. But A-Rod drew the biggest crowd of media members.

"I have nothing but great memories about Mr. Hicks," Rodriguez said. "I always wish him well. My memories of him are very fond."

Rodriguez said he had a solid relationship with Hicks.

"I have a lot of respect for Mr. Hicks," Rodriguez said. "We were very close and I still cheer for him very hard."

The "were" in Rodriguez's statement was a result of how their relationship ended in 2004 and the words Hicks used after Rodriguez revealed he used performance-enhancing drugs as a member of the Rangers.

"This whole episode has caught me totally by surprise," Hicks said at the time. "I feel personally betrayed, I feel deceived by Alex."

Hicks said then he had no idea Rodriguez was using PEDs when he was a member of the Rangers. After being dealt from the Rangers, Rodriguez said he never would have signed with Texas if he knew he would be surrounded by kids.

Recently, Rodriguez's contract garnered attention when Hicks brought the team into bankruptcy before a group that included Nolan Ryan bought the team.

Rodriguez found himself the largest unsecured creditor. A-Rod's lawyer's filed an objection, looking for clarification as to how the Rangers would pay the nearly $25 million they still owe him in deferred payments, extending to 2025.

Hicks is currently in a fight with the owners of the Boston Red Sox as he is trying to keep control of the Liverpool Football Club. As he watches the Rangers one series away from the World Series, he said it is difficult, but he is still rooting for his old team.

After last year's playoff performance, Rodriguez said he is relaxed. He said after being embarrassed by last year's steroid outing -- which combined with his hip surgery brought renewed focus on just baseball -- he thinks he is much better received by players and fans.

In Texas, Rodriguez won an MVP award in his three years, but he said the pressure of his contract forced him to use PEDs for the first time.

On Thursday, a decade after he signed the contract, Rodriguez was back in Arlington. The center of attention once again, but $252 million later there are regrets.

Andrew Marchand is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com. ESPN New York's Wallace Matthews and ESPN Dallas' Richard Durrett contributed to this report.

Andrew Marchand is a senior writer for ESPNNewYork. He also regularly contributes to SportsCenter, Baseball Tonight, ESPNews, ESPN New York 98.7 FM and ESPN Radio. He joined ESPN in 2007 after nine years at the New York Post. Follow Andrew on Twitter »

ALSO SEE