David Schoenfield is one of my favorite baseball writers, but I saw this in his latest post and just can’t agree:
The more I think about the report out of Miami, the more I think we’ve seen the last of Alex Rodriguez in a major league uniform.
Schoenfield is not the only one to say this today. Several writers — many who should probably know better — have declared A-Rod’s career over today. And I simply do not see how we get from here to there via any reasonable path.
As I noted earlier today, the Yankees are not going to void A-Rod’s deal. If they try it won’t work so they probably won’t even try. That leaves A-Rod with five years and $114 million left on his contract. He’s not walking away from that.
What might happen? He may get suspended for 50 games, after which he would come back. He may — if the Yankees simply get totally disgusted and hysterical about things — get released. In which case 29 teams can have Alex Rodriguez’s services for the league minimum. Back to Schoenfield:
When he was on the field last year for the 122 games he played in the regular season, Rodriguez was still reasonably productive, hitting .272/.353/.430.
That, I think, is the alpha and omega here. It’s not anywhere close to being worth his contract, but it’s quite useful from someone making almost no money. He’s not some monumental flake like Manny Ramirez. If healthy, he even has some defensive value. Someone would take a chance on him. The only factor would be the strength of his hip, not his status as a media pariah.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter is not expected to retain his position with the club beyond the 2018 season, according to multiple reports from Jon Heyman of Fancred and Bob Nightengale of USA Today Sports. Nothing appears to be finalized just yet, however, and the Orioles have yet to address rumors of Showalter’s impending departure or news of a possible contract extension for general manager Dan Duquette.
Even so, it’s been a year of near-unprecedented disaster for the 62-year-old skipper, who helped lead the team to a 44-108 record prior to the outcome of Friday’s series opener against the Yankees. With the Orioles’ 108th loss — a 4-6 heartbreaker against the Blue Jays on Tuesday — they tied the 1937 St. Louis Browns for the second-most losses in a single season, eclipsed only by the 43-111 record of the 1939 Browns. As they have just 10 games remaining in the regular season, this year’s team has no chance of climbing out of last place in the AL East and may well finish with the worst record in the AL to boot.
While the Orioles’ missteps don’t bode well for Showalter’s future in Baltimore, he’s brought far more good than harm to the organization over the last eight and a half years. He assumed the managerial position from interim manager Juan Samuel in the middle of the team’s 2010 season and guided the club to five winning seasons and three postseason appearances in 2012, 2014, and 2016. Entering the 2018 season, his record sits at 666 wins and 677 losses, the winningest mark by any of the team’s skippers since Earl Weaver wrapped his 17-season run with the team in 1986. Whether the Orioles believe Showalter is capable of recovering from two consecutive losing seasons and returning the team to their former days of glory (and the occasional division title) remains to be seen, of course, though there’s plenty to recommend him as they prepare to advance a full-scale rebuild over the offseason.