Being that the half of the Yankee everyday roster is either old, on the disabled list or both, this appears to be the beginning of a down year for the team. That being said there's still a plethora of interesting stories around the Yankees. Besides, who wants to talk about winning at baseball anyway? sigh
Anyway, Robinson Cano, one of the few players on the team who is neither old nor infirm, is up for a huge payday after this season. And he's decided to change representation from Scott "Avenging Angel" Boras to a new agency called Roc Nation Sports fronted by Jay-Z.
This is an unusual move for several reasons. Primarily, clients don't typically leave an agent a year before free agency -- not an agent who is generally regarded as the best in baseball. Mr. Boras is known for extracting outrageous sums of money from baseball teams. Generally speaking, it happens the other way around. Clients leave their current representation and go to Mr. Boras to get their grand payday.
Now what does this mean for the Yankees? No one actually knows, despite rampant speculation and tea leaf reading that passes for sports reporting. In steps the New York Times:
But the Yankees do know that long before he formed his new sports agency, Jay-Z, who often wears a Yankee cap, played a significant role in persuading Alex Rodriguez, whom he considers a friend, to remain with the Yankees after Rodriguez opted out of his contract in 2007.Here's a Public Service Announcement for New York Times USA Today and all the rest: Despite the fact that Jay-Z "made the Yankee cap more famous than the Yankees did", he was not the most significant reason why Alex Rodriguez signed with the Yankees back in 2007. I don't care how friendly they supposedly are. There were 275 million reasons why A-Rod signed. No other team was within a country mile of that offer. This may come as a shock to reporters, but ultimately, players tend to sign for whichever team will pay them the most money. It's a Paper Chase. So this whole Jay-Z will persuade Cano to stay a Yankee just like he did A-Rod is nonsense. Cano may in fact be a Yankee for years to come -- or maybe he'll be a Los Angeles Dodger. But those decisions have more to do with money than anything else.
Rodriguez, who was represented by Boras at the time, listened closely to Jay-Z and signed a 10-year, $275 million deal with the Yankees two weeks later. Rodriguez later fired Boras, but he remains close to both Jay-Z and Cano, and it is possible he helped persuade his teammate to switch agents.
I know Jay-Z is worth half a billion dollars from his various business ventures including his music career, clothing line, restaurants, and sports teams. He's an impressive business figure for sure. But can we stop acting like he exerts some sort of Svengali-like control over athletes? Remember those reports about how Jay-Z was the key to bringing Lebron to NYC? How'd that Empire State of Mind work out for the Knicks and the Nets? Also everybody knows the real reason Lebron ended up in Miami is because of Young Jeezy. Or maybe I just made that up. Looks like there's a future for me in the news media.