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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

E-5. A-Rod Chases Women Instead Of Title

E-5. SERIOUSLY. Alex Rodriguez focused on getting to know some "honey trap" women during Game One of the American League Championship Series. By doing so, "A-Rod" publicly disrespected the entire baseball community -- and many of us who simply believe in "old school" ethics in the workplace. But the real problem for the baseball club is that there was no apparent public rebuke. Sometimes, misbehavior can be so craven, so deliberate, so disrespectful, that the power of embarrassment, of humiliation, needs to be applied, if only to show to the rest of the team that their seriousness of purpose (that is, it's about winning) is recognized.

Alex Rodriguez showed beyond all doubt that he cares only about himself. The problem is that within an organization, such an approach passes on the burdens of responsibility to others, to teammates. While everyone else is rowing the oars -- hopefully, at "ramming speed" -- this one prima donna is out there preening for the cameras and thinking about extracurricular activities. What a jerk!

Now, how to fix this? As I write, the Yankees trail a best-of-seven series three games to none. Their chances of advancing to the World Series are slim (but doable). However, the bigger issue is, incredibly, their future with a 37-year-old Alex Rodriguez tied up for another five years, who has declining production, has become injury-prone (as befits an athlete of his age) and who must certainly be considered a clubhouse cancer.  How does the franchise deal with its franchise enfant terrible?

(One possibility: Perhaps A-Rod is misbehaving on purpose in order to force a trade in the offseason, the $125 million or so remaining on his contract notwithstanding.  Other players -- Manny Ramirez, for one -- have been reputed to have become clubhouse cancers in order to induce their clubs to trade them.)

What should the team do in the immediate future? The Yankees need a serious clubhouse enforcer to get in A-Rod's face. Literally. As in, making him eat that baseball.  To do something physical like what Lawrence Taylor might have done 25 years ago (heck, he'd do it now!). Like hockey players used to do all the time...a generation or two ago. Someone on the Yankees needs to publicly embarrass A-Rod, perhaps intentionally in front of the fans and certainly these "ladies," and going smashmouth on him would NOT have been inappropriate. Perhaps a public emasculation is needed to finally get Alex Rodriguez to at least make a full attempt towards improving his own personal production and helping the team win.

Eric Dixon is a New York corporate attorney who is not a Yankees fan.

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