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Thursday, December 18, 2003
A-Rod: I'll only go Boston with union approval.
NEW YORK (AP) -- Alex Rodriguez is willing to go to the Red Sox only if Boston restructures his contract in a manner that gains approval from the players' association.

Boston and Texas said Wednesday they settled on all the players involved in the trade. And the Red Sox and A-Rod agreed to restructure the shortstop's record $252 million contract, Rangers owner Tom Hicks said.

But in a rare move, the union intervened and rejected the agreement, drawing criticism from both teams.

Commissioner Bud Selig set a 5 p.m. Thursday deadline for the trade to be completed. He might also go against the union and approve the restructuring, likely forcing the matter to arbitration.

Joe Sheehan: "To say that it's a perfectly natural thing to want to give up $40 million for a better work environment seems like as much a disconnect from reality as comparing ballplayers' compensation to that of schoolteachers. If the people in this can convince Alex Rodriguez that it's in his best interests to leave that on the table, than I think he needs to get better advice. [And stop taking advice from people in a can. -Ed.] There's a reason why Tom Hicks and John Henry have the net worths that they do, and I'd imagine that both would laugh you out of the room if you ever suggested that there were touchy-feely reasons for leaving forty million bucks on the table. Why they get to be businessmen, while Alex Rodriguez gets held to a different standard, passes understanding." (Baseball Prospectus)

Fox reduces Dodgers to ruins.
While the public mandate given [GM Dan] Evans was to improve the team while staying under last year's self-imposed salary cap, sources believe Fox higher-ups made it clear they will not approve any major multiyear free-agent signing.

That explains why Evans has been so focused on Nomar Garciaparra and Magglio Ordonez, whose contracts expire after the 2004 season, rather than free agents Miguel Tejada and Vladimir Guerrero. An investment in Nomar or Magglio doesn't tie-up any long-term money.

Having just dispensed with a pitcher with a ludicrous seven-year contract, there's some common sense in this approach. But the Dodgers aren't a small-market team with a low-watt owner. Fox is a media giant that could spend money as furiously as the Yankees and Red Sox if they chose.
(Long Beach Press-Telegram)

Jon Weisman: "The fury of the Dodger fans will be intense if the team does not add a single power hitter this offseason, prospects be damned. But if the 2005 budget is going to be cut, there is no best-case scenario aside from the Dodgers actually winning the World Series next year. Unless he conjures some Billy Beane or Billy Beane-like magic, McCourt will have smothered the means to improve the team beyond next season." (Dodger Thoughts)

Gibson and Alexander. Dan McLaughlin compares Bob to Grover Cleveland. (The Baseball Crank)

10,000th Clutch Hit. Congratulations to Sean Forman and the rest of the Baseball Primer staff, and kudos to all the posters who make Clutch Hits the best place to discuss baseball on the net. Also, a belated thank-you to Sean for plugging Baseball News Blog in Clutch Hit #34. (Baseball Primer)

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