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A lot going on, so how about some bulletpoints:

A-Rod- So A-Rod has officially opted out. Shocking.

In one sense, though, I was a bit surprised. No, not that game four of the World Series became all about Scott Boras. That’s not that strange. What is strange is that A-Rod didn’t give the Yankees the full time window to get a deal done. I’ve said it before: the most logical place for Alex Rodriguez to play is the Bronx, at least based on some simple economic theory. The Yankees have the most cash to spend, and the most potential revenue coming back. It makes almost too much sense for the highest paid (and perhaps best) player in the league to work in that environment.

So where’s he going? Darren Rovell has some interesting ideas, and so does Nate Silver. The California teams seem pretty logical, as would either Chicago team if they can find the cash somewhere (assuming A-Rod can still play short, which I would bet he can).

- In response to yesterday’s piece about the playoffs, a couple readers brought up the soccer league format used overseas. For those unfamiliar, there are several hierarchical divisions with free entry on the very bottom. By being amongst the top teams in one division, you move up the next season. Likewise, you move down if you are at the bottom of your division. There is no salary cap, luxury tax, or revenue sharing (from what I know). At the end of the season, the team with the most points (essentially the best record) wins the championship.

Sounds pretty fair and capitalistic, doesn’t it? Absolutely, and that’s the problem. Sports leagues are not like other businesses. For the league to maximize revenues, every team must have a chance of winning. These soccer leagues face two key competitive problems: the richest teams almost always win the championship, and the lower-tiered teams never have a shot, even a month or two into the season. These are perceived problems in American sports (particularly baseball), but unjustly.

As I wrote already, Major League Baseball is doing a great job in maximizing its earning potential, despite the system’s randomness. And when it’s all said and done, fans are eating it up, at least for the time being.

- I was honestly very surprised that Joe Girardi got the Yankees job. Not that I think it’ll make all that much of a difference, but Girardi was prone to over-managing in Florida. That’s not going to work with the Yankees, and I figured that would have turned Brian Cashman off.

On an even scarier note, he’s once again been handed a rotation with three incredibly valuable young starters. Needless to say, it hasn’t been pretty for the last group he was in charge of.

- If Joe Torre really does end up with the Dodgers, I don’t understand it from either end. I wonder what the terms will be, assuming this is all true.

- Chris Antonetti is perfect for the St. Louis Cardinals, and vice versa. If the world makes sense, they will dominate the National League Central for the foreseeable future.

- Speaking of which, Ed Wade is off to one hell of a start.

- While we can still make free agent predictions, I’m going to put Barry Bonds in one of two places: Anaheim if there are a number of bidders, or Oakland if the price plummets.

Feedback? Write a comment, or e-mail the author at shawn(AT)squawkingbaseball.com

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  1. on October 31st at 04:33 pm
    jon said:

    I posted my analysis of the ARod opt out here: http://arodanalysis.wordpress.com/

    I agree that’s it’s bizarre from a financial standpoint - the only logical explanantion is that it’s NOT about the money for ARod.

    While I guess that’s a relief, it’s unfortunate that he lied about his reason for opting out.

    Also does a new team want to take on someone who treated his old team with such disrespect - refusing to even talk to them while they were offering a multi-hundred million dollar deal, while at the same time maintaining he was interested in playing there?

    ARod’s going to end up with a 8 year, $25M deal.

  2. on October 31st at 10:27 pm
    melissa said:

    John Mozeliak, Jocketty’s former right hand man has been named the new Cardinals’ GM. It would appear from this move that DeWitt intends on being the guy that runs the organization along with his v-p of amateur scouting and player development, Jeff Luhnow. Luhnow actually replaced Mozeliak, who held the position before him. Luhnow was installed by DeWitt and rumored to have been one of the major reasons Jocketty left. The Cardinals minor leagues aren’t particularly strong right now and DeWitt has been hesitant to spend big money on free agents, even with increased revenue from a new stadium. The Cardinals may just get worse before they get better.
    With regard to A-Rod he seems to illustrate the fact that money is not always the key motivating factor when it comes to a player’s decisions. He obviously didn’t want to stay in New York regardless of how much they would pay him, proof of that would be his failure to negotiate with them. He may have tired of hearing, “They are paying him $25 million a year and they still haven’t won a World Series.” Of course he probably only walked away from all of the potential money the Yankees can pay him because of the $250 million dollar deal he has already banked. A-Rod may have felt he was at the point of diminishing returns with the Yankees in that whatever additional money they could offer it was not worth the criticism he took for the failures of the organization.