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Weekend Updation - Alex Rodriguez

On Friday afternoon, ESPN.com's Buster Olney broke the news that Alex Rodriguez's position was either the Yankees offer a $350MM contract or he won't speak with them.  Saturday's New York Post confirmed it through "industry sources."  While seemingly outrageous on its face, Jeffrey N. Gordon, the Alfred W. Bressler Professor of Law at Columbia University Law School, offers a more benign explanation for all of ARod's actions since Game Four of the World Series.

In Sunday's New York Times, Professor Gordon explains that ARod did the only thing he could do in order to give the Yankees a way to back out of its stand of not negotiating a contract with him if he opted out.  ARod will prove his market value and insist that is he just as valuable at that price to the Yankees as he is to the other team setting the price.

Now we understand why Rodriguez did not meet with the Yankees or return their calls. He did not want to give the Yankees an opening to make him a good offer, leaking the details to the news media. The expected news media circus would have added weight to the otherwise implausible Yankees claim that they could not negotiate in free agency without gaining a reputation as a weak bargainer and would have added more risks to a subsequent decision to opt out.

The good professor also shows that ARod had no choice but to look like a cad by opting out on Sunday rather than doing so after the Yankees announce their new manager, Joe Girardi, which is assumed ARod knew was going to happen.  If ARod had waited, then he would have cast a pall over the relationship between himself and his new manager by giving the appearance that he disagreed with the hiring after publicly stating he would wait until after the situation was settled.

Even allowing the public is not privy to everything that each side of the negotiations say and do, this still seems like a planted story from a sympathetic Scott Boras colleague rather than the slam dunk explanation that brings crystal clarity to ARod's willingness to disrespect the World Series and its particpants.   Nor does it address the leak last Sunday morning's headlines, prior to Game Four, that the Yankees offered a 5 year/$150MM extension.

Further, from Sunday's New York Times, Murray Chass provides a time line from Yankees' GM Brian Cashman that includes time-stamped voice mail and e-mail from Scott Boras to Cashman at 9:32PM and 9:42 PM Sunday evening respectively.  The email contain's no cc's, and no one else has reported receiving a voice mail message.  According to Cashman, he found out at 10:30PM after the story was posted on SI.com.  Why not earlier?  He had fallen asleep reading bedtime stories to his son and was awakend by his wife when his cellphone began ringing off the hook for follow-up on the SI piece.

How do these factor into the Professor's narrative?