There's been some talk, you know, about what the Yankees should do.
In a vacuum, this is the easiest decision in the history of professional sports: Just release the guy. Today. This minute. Draw up whatever papers need to be drawn up, sign them, get them notarized, and send them on a fast boat to Miami. Like the ones in Miami Vice. Last week, Paul Lukas recommended that when it comes to Chief Wahoo, the Cleveland baseball team should just rip the damn Band-Aid off.
Forget Wahoo. THIS is a Band-Aid that needs to be ripped off. The math is wildly imprecise, yet tremendously simple. Forget about the money the Yankees still owe Alex Rodriguez. It's gone. Have you forgotten it? You should, because it's gone.
Now, add up all the times when Brian Cashman has to answer yet another noisome question about A-Rod, and all the times Randy Levine is reminded about those silly e-mail exchanges, and all the meetings between dozens of various sundry Yankees employees high and low, and all the questions that Rodriguez's manager and teammates will be asked. Add up all of these things, and imagine that they will begin TODAY and won't end -- or rather, won't slow down, since they'll never actually end as long as anyone involved still walks the earth -- until Alex Rodriguez is no longer associated with the New York Yankees.
Contractually, Alex Rodriguez is slated for association with the New York Yankees for four more years.
Go ahead and add everything up. I'll wait.
Got it? Roughly? Now compare the cost to the Yankees in organizational capital, all that stuff above plus a bunch of things I haven't imagined but you can, to the actual value on the actual baseball field that Alex Rodriguez might bring to the Yankees when he's 39, 40, 41, 42 years old.
See, I told you it was easy.
Except if it were that easy in the real world, the Yankees would already have done it. They haven't already done it because a) they owe Rodriguez $60 million million after 2014, and it's difficult to eat $60 million; and b) there are, no doubt, luxury-tax implications. These days, there are always luxury-tax implications. The Yankees, I suspect, continue to hope that they'll get some relief after 2014, just as they've now gotten a great deal of relief in 2014. Maybe Rodriguez will just quit, which seems unlikely. Maybe they can trade him to a team that's willing to pay some fraction of his post-2014 salaries, which seems unlikely. Maybe Odin, Allah, and the Flying Spaghetti Monster will finally team up and just make this whole thing go away. Which, yes, does seem unlikely. But you put together enough unlikelies and you can imagine a likely. Or a semi-likely. Which might keep hope alive.
It's not likely enough. The Yankees don't need this shit. They should cut him loose today. He can go play for the Long Island Ducks this year, and maybe he'll get a shot with the Rays in 2015. Hey, maybe he hits a walk-off homer against the Yankees in 2015 or '16. What's more likely is that he can't get a job, just as Barry Bonds couldn't get a job after the Giants cut him loose. But maybe he does get a job, and maybe he actually helps somebody for a season or two. He might even help the Yankees a little bit, if they give him that chance.
It's not worth it. The math is simple. Yesterday. Today. Tomorrow. Infinity tomorrows.