A-Rod and Randy

Not many sports fans would frequent the pages of NY Mag in order to find the latest news on happenings in the world of the Yankees front office. Many major signings, promotions, demotions, injuries – I think you get the point – go
un-noted by the publication and I don’t think anyone is surprised by that; it’s not really their forte.

However once in a blue moon an event so ridiculous comes to fruition that even those with modest, if not non-existent, ties to sports need to publish “news”. Such is the case with a slew of email exchanges between Yankees President, Randy Levine, and perennial whipping boy and Yankee “slugger” – some childhood nickname I assume – Alex Rodriguez. Most of the exchanges are ego-boosting shots by Randy in order to encourage Alex to “step up” and to let him know how awe-stuck he, Randy Levine, is of the one-time best player in baseball.

Here are a few of my favorites:

May 17, 2011 
Rodriguez hits two home runs, leading the team to a win over Tampa Bay.

Levine: Way to go, welcome back … enjoy start of a roll.
Rodriguez: Yessir!! Our team needs me to hit and lead us.
Levine: U are the man. I told u that for years. U can and will do it.

May 21, 2012
The Yanks are shut out by the Royals.

Levine: My friend, I have always believed that in difficult times there r two ways to go. The easy way, which is to make excuses, be defensive, or blame others and shut it down. The better way is to take the challenge, get mad, get determined, and shut everyone up and perform to greater levels. I believe in u. I believe u will hit those levels. It has been a tough year in injuries, tough losses, underperformance, but we need a leader, that is you. Take the lead, get these guys going, put a chip on your shoulder. When u succeed it will be Yankees lore. There is nothing more powerful than that. I am here to support u. Tell us what u need.
Rodriguez: You are 100% correct. This is no time for blame or excuses. Is time for me to be a leader and rally the troops. I feel if I perform at a high level, put a chip on my shoulder and lead the way, then my mates will follow my lead. Is not how you start, but how you finish. Let’s get it going tonight. Thanks for the support and stay in touch.

September 22, 2012
Rodriguez gets two key hits in a fourteen-inning victory that keeps the Yankees in first place. The chip on the shoulder the two have spoken about has become a nickname: Chip.

Levine: Way to go best win of year. U had walkoff mesa nerves. U stepped up do it tomorrow. Chip. Proud of u.
Rodriguez: Huge win. … Very nervous. Need to win tomorrow. Chip
Levine: That’s what leaders do.

Clearly these excerpts are just bantering between a man who helped to broker the mega deal that the Yankees gave to A-Rod that has been, and will continue to be, the most debated and controversial contract in baseball history.

Between the simple pat on the back emails and the consistent pep-talks where he calls A-Rod the leader – we all know how much A-Rod wanted that to be true despite the challenges of getting over on a New York crowd that is in love with Jeter and Mariano – Levine makes some off-mark comments about Robinson Cano and steroids that probably don’t bode to well considering A-Rods long history with P.E.D.s

July 30, 2012
Rodriguez is out with an injury, having fractured his hand five days earlier when hit by a pitch. Levine makes a reference to performance-enhancing drugs that he later refers to as a “bad joke.”

Levine: How r u feeing since u left Robby [Cano] under 200, he needs some steroids fast!

August 21, 2012
With A-Rod still out, Levine again makes a possibly comic drug reference.

Levine: Hey, what’s up with Robby. This guy must not be using the liquid. U didn’t tell me what did Chris and Steve say your ETA is. Don’t rush it unless u r right. We need you. Nova looks like he may need a breather. What do u see.

Of course it could be some kind of weird inside joke that A-Rod desperately wanted to be a part of, but it’s probably something much more serious than that, especially given A-Rod’s ties to the Biogenesis mishaps and being accused as a ringleader for former Yankee players who tested positive.

Levine has been known to say some pretty dumb things and these is no different. Just weeks ago when Cano signed with the Mariners he slammed the former 2b and then went on to make remarks about signing Mike Trout which then, of course, sparked an investigation by the MLB into what those comments actually made. With the giant black eye A-Rod has put on the game of baseball I’m sure these emails won’t do him any favors during the current arbitration hearings on the suspension that was handed down to him. Maybe Randy should think about what he puts in writing before just spewing off poison that really at the end of the day doesn’t do anything for anyone.

Read the full write up here on NYMag.com.

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