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Alex Rodriguez could be like the man he called his “North Star.” He could be in an owner’s box, like George Steinbrenner once ruled.
Rodriguez could have been the Mets’ boss. He, J.Lo and their contingent would have owned the back page, the airwaves and — something Steinbrenner would have surely mastered — social media.
Even without the Mets’ ownership, A-Rod maintains Boss-like skills to end up in the middle of everything.
So for opening night, Met fans, there A-Rod will be, front and center on ESPN.
There will be no Gary, Ron or Keith for the opener in Washington. No SNY.
Thursday night is a Bristol exclusive telecast, which will mean … here comes, A-Rod.
“It is not strange at all,” Rodriguez said over a media Zoom to promote the festivities when asked about calling the game of the team he nearly owned. “We gave it a great run.”
Then, Rodriguez did that thing he does when he combines all of his Shark Tanking, lunches with Warren Buffett types and baseball to give you some buzz words.
Since Steve Cohen did not have to deal with last year’s pandemic shortened season, he is coming in “hot,” with “dry powder.”
“I think in today’s environment $100 million will play like $200 or $300 [million],” A-Rod said.
This theory is not as suspect as the one in which A-Rod said even leads are always better than odd ones, but, nonetheless, Francisco Lindor has tested the A-Rod inflation principle.
Rodriguez, now 45, and the Mets have always been star-crossed lovers, ever since the Wilpons, with Steve Phillips as the spokesman, put the first dent in A-Rod’s image when Phillps dubbed Rodriguez a “24-plus-one” player, ending the Mets’ pursuit of him as a free agent in 2000.
(I was the Mets’ beat writer for The Post at the time. The pronouncement was so outlandish and unexpected that when I called the associate sports editor then, Dick Klayman, he didn’t believe me.)
After being deprived of A-Rod versus Derek Jeter — which would have been Willie, Mickey and the Duke great — Rodriguez has always been a Mets’ sideshow. Now, we almost had Boss-Rod.
“We had what I think is the greatest boss of all time in George Steinbrenner,” Rodriguez said. “Seeing the things that he did. He never cut corners.”
So would he have been like him?
“It is hard to say anyone could be like George,” Rodriguez said. “There is only one of a kind, right? He is a legend for a reason. He certainly would’ve been a North Star for me. Everything came from Mr. Steinbrenner came from the point of view of what is best for the fans. He’s started every sentence, ‘What is best for Yankee fans …’ that would’ve been my approach.”
On opening night, most Mets fans would probably think that Gary, Keith and Ron would be best. Instead A-Rod will be in the middle of it and, if I were a betting man, I would put my money he trends on Twitter as opposed to Cohen.
“Some people may like your work,” Rodriguez said. “Some people may love it. Some people may not like it. When you do the national game, you are not the common voice that they are used to listening to.
“One of the greatest guys that I’ve ever seen in my 25 years is Joe Buck, and I think he is the greatest, and he gets a hard time. It is just a business that you are not going to have everyone’s thumbs up.”
A-Rod and Matt Vasgersian, now in their fourth season together, will likely talk about his pursuit.
“I wouldn’t avoid it, but I don’t think that is the story,” Rodriguez said.
A-Rod is always the story.
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