In the constant battle ESPN wages to generate the hot takiest of hot takes, Buster Olney may have won the war for the week with the following statement:
Eventually, Miami Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria will grow tired of the Dan Jennings experiment, of having a manager who hadn’t managed before last week . . . The next time Loria considers a change, assuming that conversation doesn’t take place until after the 2015 season, here’s a name he ought to seriously think about: Alex Rodriguez.
Olney is no stranger to out-of-left-field baseball thoughts, but when I first read his story this morning, I thought he had officially gone off into the deepest parts of Petco Park. But, being an open-minded sort of fellow, and a fan of Olney’s, I gave it some more thought.
Rodriguez, despite what you think of him and his storied steroid past, has an incredible baseball mind. That much has been evident since his debut with the Seattle Mariners way back in 1994 at the tender age of 18. Rodriguez has lived, eaten, and slept baseball his entire life. He has made the sport his life’s passion, and even though he has strayed from the straight and narrow in some regards, his love for the game has never wavered. Rodriguez is articulate and smart when talking about all facets of the game.
Rodriguez did not come back to the New York Yankees for the money. He’s made plenty of that over the course of his 21-year career — $378.3 million to be exact. No, Rodriguez is not continuing to play for the money, he’s playing because he cares deeply about the game of baseball and his place in its history. What better way to continue that legacy and perhaps rehab it by continuing to stay around the game as a manager?
Rodriguez has always shown an interest in young players, especially in his hometown of Miami, and he is a well-loved figure with the city’s significant Hispanic population. Miami may actually be the perfect city for Rodriguez to manage in. This is, after all, a city that has embraced the bad boy Miami Hurricanes for decades and has a bit of a lawless reputation. Of all the Major League cities out there, Miami is the city most likely to embrace her native son despite his smudged reputation.
It’s probably a pipe dream to envision Alex Rodriguez standing at the top step of the dugout in Marlins Park and celebrating every time Giancarlo Stanton gets close to smashing that god-awful home run sculpture in center with a blast of his own, but boy is it fun. Mark McGwire, Roger Clemens, and Barry Bonds have all worked their way back into the game, and there is no reason to think Rodriguez would not be able to stay around the game. That would be the ultimate nose-thumbing for Rodriguez towards Major League Baseball. Not only would he have come back successfully from their longest suspension ever, he would somehow have gained control of one of their teams. Buster Olney has stoked the speculation fires with his thoughts, now, we will have to wait another two years while Rodriguez plays out the final two years of his contract.
Follow Josh Sadlock on Twitter: @JoshSadlock