Has Buster Olney Lost his mind?

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

15 Responses

  1. Al-Kendall

    This is a ridiculous idea! A-Rod may love baseball, and may even have a good understanding of it, but his arrogant personality is not going to work well as a manager, and I very much doubt he has the skills to understand when to use RP and PH, as well as the patience required to deal with the conceited players of this era. Let him prove his abilities in MiLB before anyone dares bring on the circus to put him into an MLB dugout as manager!

    Miami already tried Guillen, who (in hindsight) should have been fired after his Castro comments for conduct detrimental to the team. Presuming he would even consider again a contract under Loria, I would very much prefer Lowell as the Marlins manager. There are plenty of other coaches and managers more deserving than A-Rod to be considered, so I trust this was simply a flier to see how much Miami loves the idea. Personally, I despise it and hope no Commissioner would ever approve such folly.

    • kikojones

      There are plenty of other coaches and managers more deserving than A-Rod
      to be considered…Personally, I despise it and hope no Commissioner
      would ever approve such folly.

      Yeah, well, Marlins fans deserve a MUCH better owner than Loria. Oh, if only deserving made it so…Why would an MLB commissioner disapprove of A-Rod managing Miami? That would be active discrimination. Then again, the used car salesman from Milwaukee went after McCourt but let slide his buddy Wilpon, so…you might have something there.

      • Al-Kendall

        Why is a commissioner able to discriminate against Rose and not A-Rod? Both have been cheaters, and as such do not belong as coaches in a dugout.

      • kikojones

        Rose was given a lifetime suspension from baseball. A-Rod was suspended for a year. See the difference?
        Rose bet on the outcome of games, win or lose, while in a position of having direct control over them, to win money. A-Rod ingested substances to be a more productive player and win games and accolades (and money, too). See the difference?

        Btw, I’m all for Rose being inducted in Cooperstown…after he dies. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be a lifetime ban.

        And last time I checked Mark McGwire and Manny Ramirez are coaches for MLB teams. (Big Mac for the Dodgers; Manny in the minors for the Cubs.)

      • Al-Kendall

        Do you see A-Rod’s cheating as a little white lie? How does it differ from what Armstrong did for cycling?

      • kikojones

        I don’t follow cycling and won’t talk about things I’m not versed in, so I’m going to exempt myself from any Armstrong discussion.
        A-Rod broke the rules and paid heavily for it both monetarily and in playing time, let alone his legacy and reputation. His penalty? Forfeiting a year’s pay and a season of playing time. He did his time and paid for his rule breaking. Rose’s penalty is a LIFETIME ban from baseball. Last time I checked, he’s still alive. After he dies, it’s a different ballgame. In the meantime…

      • Al-Kendall

        It is precisely due to his legacy and reputation that he shouldn’t be hired into an MLB bullpen unless he first pays his dues in MiLB. Curiously, both Armstrong and A-Rod never actually tested positive, but got snagged by investigations of past cheating practices.

        For the Marlins, it would be better if A-Rod became the owner than if he became the manager, but I presume Loria is not yet planning to sell.

      • kikojones

        It is precisely due to his legacy and reputation that he shouldn’t be
        hired into an MLB bullpen unless he first pays his dues in MiLB.

        One thing has nothing to do with the other. Some guys can manage based on their MLB experience, others need to pay dues. Those who rave about his baseball savvy say A-Rod belongs in the first group.

        So, what about McGwire and Manny? Why should they be involved in coaching and not A-Rod?

      • Al-Kendall

        I’m not so happy about Manny, but McGwire did at least admit his transgressions. I believe both are bad examples and do not really belong in MLB dugouts. In any case, neither is being touted as a possible MLB manager.

      • kikojones

        A-Rod admitted his, too.
        Manny is coaching in AAA and is a batting consultant for the Cubs. That’s a step away from managing somewhere. And if the owners of the Cubs are the conservative folks they’re alleged to be, and OK’d this, then Loria or someone like him would hire Manny to manage in a heartbeat.

      • Al-Kendall

        A-Rod apologized, but never directly admitted his PED use. And, although Loria is infamously impetuous, I would hope the current FO will have the good sense to find a better manager.

      • kikojones

        Again, he did admit to it, and if they hired the current manager, well, ANYTHING is possible with the Marlins.

    • Joshua Sadlock

      The thought cross my mind, but that’s at least two years away, as I’m sure the Yankees won’t pay Rodriguez to go play and manage for the Marlins.


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