I’m no expert in economics, but I do recall one of the more simple concepts that should be used more in management decision-making. The concept is “sunk cost” and it’s what the Yankees need to consider when ultimately making the move to release Alex Rodriguez. And to do it as soon as possible. That would likely be at the end of the season, however, I would prefer it to happen today (before Game 5 of the ALDS, which would frankly give New York a better shot of winning and making it to the ALCS).
I know, I know, this sounds pretty drastic. After all, the guy should be making a run at breaking the all-time homerun record, is a certain Hall of Famer, and most daunting, there’s that larger than life (in years and dollar amount) contract approved by the late Boss, George Steinbrenner, that should keep A-Rod in pinstripes for another five years.
This final point of contractual obligation, or giant whiff-sounding albatross sabotaging the Bombers’ chances at winning another World Series, is the most problematic detail keeping the anti-clutch and Yankees together. However, this is where New York needs to use a basic economic principle and simply cut its losses.
Logic needs to come into play, but often doesn’t. Say you bought Knicks tickets months in advance for the last week of the season, spending $500 for a great night with your son who has never seen a game in person at the Garden. But, in the preceding months, your son’s beloved team crashes and burns, is completely out of playoff contention, in fact their two best players are injured and out for the rest of the season and they fired the head coach during the All-Star break. Okay, that’s not good. But, guess what else? You’re son, who has been practicing since his little fingers could stretch out over the black and white keys, has his first recital where he has a solo playing Chopin. Wow, so you know where he’s going to be that night, and you’re a good dad, so it looks like the Knicks game is not an option.
But what about the $500 you put out for the tickets?
This is where rational decision-making ought to come in. Ideally, at this point you can sell the tickets, but who wants to fork over anything to see a team going nowhere at the end of the season? Lo and behold you have no-takers, you even try Craigslist – nope.
But if you don’t go to the game, you’ve wasted $500.
And that’s the mistake some people would make. You see, you’ve already wasted $500, you’re not going to get it back, not by going to the game, and most certainly not by missing your son’s performance on the stage.
A-Rod, unfortunately, has become the product that is not worth the money. That’s $114 million left to pay through 2017. What’s worse he’s become so much of a detriment to the team, it would seem more worthwhile to buy him out and send him packing.
Maybe if the Yankees are lucky they can get another team to pick up at least a portion of the A-Rod contract (i.e. get a taker on Craigslist), but that’s not very likely. Again, who wants to pay top price for a product that stalls when you need it most?
It’s not just the contract that’s hurting the Yankees, it’s not only untimely strikeouts at key moments – it’s a whole other level of disaster. As a Yankee fan, it has been several years in the playoffs where we groan when he walks up to the plate in a situation that calls for a clutch performance. It’s not that he hasn’t ever come through with a big hit, it’s far worse, it’s that we know that it’s now an automatic strikeout. The opposition has known it for years as well. As perplexing as it sounds and appears, on the field, in the batter’s box, Alex Rodriguez is not only not helping the Yankees, but he is undoubtedly hurting the team.
Every Yankee fan was hoping there would be a different turnout in the eighth inning Thursday night as A-Rod stepped to the plate. With runners at second and third with just one out and game tied 1-1, Yankees fans hoped that it would be different. A day after being pinch hit for by the truly clutch Raul Ibanez, we hoped that he would get it right. We just needed a fly ball, maybe a slow chopper to score the run – anything! Just make contact! Please!
Inexplicably, Joe Girardi would then pinch hit Ibanez for Jayson Nix in the ninth, when Nix was the only guy on the Yankees (aside from Jeter) who was driving the ball Thursday night. He had ripped a double and hard single and almost broke the game open with a shot to left field – caught acrobatically by Nate McLouth. So when Ed Nunez replaced Ibanez to play shortstop in the field, Girardi essentially removed his two hottest bats from a game that was destined to go extra innings.
Later, with two outs in the 13th and down by one run, Girardi would pull A-Rod for Eric Chavez. A day late and a dollar short.
If he had pinch hit for Rodriguez in the eighth, the Yankees would likely be gearing up for Game 1 against Detroit instead of bringing CC Sabathia back for a deciding Game 5 tonight.
President of OneEighty Media, Inc., John Krol serves as Director of Accounts and lead communications consultant for this full-service marketing, communications and advertising firm. John’s extensive experience in journalism, broadcasting, public relations, government relations, SEM, community outreach and marketing provides a unique perspective for businesses looking to re-energize and diversify their marketing efforts.