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Saturday, December 15, 2012

ANOTHER MR. 3000

The Yankees are about the big draw, if we weren't, we wouldn't have ever started the trend of signing big players with big contracts to come play in New York. That big draw also brings big fans that root for big talent and the hope to win a big championship. Reggie Jackson, Is the perfect example. Years later there were names like Roger Clemens and then a guy named Alex Rodriguez. That's right... Alex.

It is my feeling that everything to do with Alex coming to New York had to do with breaking the home run record. The Yankees love "records."  It's my opinion... so just hear me out.
I've always believed that the Yankees would love to once again own the all-time home run record. Once Barry Bonds too the lead, it almost seemed tainted and the timing was right to get Alex to New York, who, in 2004 was the best in baseball. He was the guy with the most legit shot to break the record. The Yankees signed him, there were a lot of missed opportunities, chaos, baggage, PEDs admission and injury attached, and now, the Yankees are left with a broken down player and a lot of money to pay him. Now, if this played out the way the Yankees thought it would, Alex may have broken the record by now, or at least be close and Yankeeland would be rejoicing.  But it didn't happen that way.  I posed the question of if the Yankees had a "big picture" plan to have the all-time home run record return to the Bronx with Alex to my favorite Bergen record writer Pete Caldera. Here's what he said:

Pete Caldera: "Though there is a marketing angle linked to ARod's pursuit of the All-Time Home run record, I don't think ownership was also thinking in terms of a Yankee finally reclaiming what Ruth lost in 1974. Even with the opt-out fiasco, Rodriguez had the fortunate timing of coming off a monster season, with Hank Steinbrenner commanding the stage."
I even asked Marty Appel the former Yankees PR guy the same thing. Here's his answer:

Marty Appel: "It was a nice by-product of the process, but not critical.  Even if he does break the Bonds record, a lot of those homers came with Seattle and Texas anyway.  I wish the fans at home would ease up a little on him when he fails.  He's one of the greatest players in baseball history; we ought to appreciate that more.  We see the outs with men on base, and the old time greats - we only see their heroics.  Not every at bat was on television.  I know his body language sometimes suggests, "whatever," but he really seems to work very hard, and I admire his talent a lot."

Both interesting answers, both guys I respect tremendously... but I'm telling you... My theory is correct.

Now, they have another draw at Yankee stadium, and once again the Yankees should push it hard. Ichiro Suzuki is currently at 2606 hits and in what's in line with every money move they've ever made, it would benefit the Yanks have Ichiro Suzuki for 2 years, and maybe a third if needed and bank on him getting his hits in the hopes that he breaks 3000 hits as a New York Yankee.  That's more butts in the seats, more merchandise sold and more exposure for an already dominant team. Now, Ichiro is older these days, so 200 hits a season ain't going to be easy, but, it can be done, even if they end up signing him for a 1 year deal if the first 2 are successful. Trust me, this makes perfect sense. And yes, you're correct... the last time he hit 200 hits was in 2010. I believe it's possible, I never say never.

Suzuki is still a very talented baseball player. He was dying in Seattle so being in New York rejuvenated him. If anything, age hasn't slowed the man down and to be in New York with an achievement of 3000 hits one day is not only big... it's huge... and huge for the Yankees.


If I'm the Yankees, I make sure Ichiro gets a chance to break 3000 hits in pinstripes and I let him retire in New York, a Yankee for life. It's all about the Yankees any way and with Ichiro... He's kind of a sure thing, isn't he?

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