Next thing you know, A-rod will want the major leagues to use wiffle balls instead of hardballs!
Imagine if he had to play in Old Yankee Stadium!
The Mick must be snickering in heaven!
December 2, 2000
A - Rod Wants Shorter Fences at Safeco
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Filed at 2:55 a.m. ET
SEATTLE (AP) -- When Alex Rodriguez and his agent meet with the Seattle Mariners next week in Miami, the free agent shortstop is expected to repeat an opinion he put on his Web site: The team needs to bring in the fences at Safeco Field.
``With or without me, they have to bring them in substantially -- to make the game better at Safeco,'' Rodriguez said. ``I couldn't care less either way, but it's not good for baseball. Our numbers don't lie. We were under 100 home runs at home and our home run production was terrible at home.''
Agent Scott Boras said Friday that he wanted to emphasize that Rodriguez was just offering his thoughts about the Mariners' new $517.6 million outdoor ballpark and he wasn't trying to negotiate shorter fences there.
``Alex is not making any demands on the team on what they do with their ballpark,'' Boras said. ``Alex feels that has to be an organizational decision.''
The Mariners said they will consider Rodriguez's views on moving in the fences at their $517.6 million ballpark if Rodriguez raises the issue in contract talks.
But they didn't say if they would bring in their fences if that's what it takes to entice Rodriguez, 25, to return to Seattle.
``Everybody has their own opinion,'' general manager Pat Gillick said Friday.
``We saw it,'' he said of Rodriguez's remarks, ``but basically didn't have any reaction.''
Rodriguez's opinion isn't the only one that matters.
``We have to make decisions like that based on what's good for the team as a whole. Underline the word team,'' chairman Howard Lincoln told The Seattle Times.
Rodriguez, a four-time All-Star, became a free agent after the World Series.
He hit .356 with 28 home runs and 81 RBIs in 73 games on the road last season, and batted .272 with 13 homers and 51 RBIs in 75 games during the Mariners' first full season at Safeco Field.
``I'd say the fences should be moved in 20 feet in the power alleys, 5-10 feet in center, and 10-to-12 feet down the lines,'' Rodriguez said. ``When you think about this, we can't even hit it to the warning track, and the track is 20 feet. That's an indication of how large this field is.
``Not only is it the biggest park in baseball, but the ball doesn't go anywhere,'' he said. ``That's why you have to make up the difference -- with or without me.''
Boras said Rodriguez was answering a question on his Web site when he made his comments.
``He just felt last year's Mariners team could have won more games if those adjustments had been made,'' Boras said.
The Mariners hit 92 home runs at Safeco and 106 on the road last season. Among the 14 AL ballparks, Safeco ranked 11th with 164 homers, followed by Fenway Park in Boston, Comerica Park in Detroit and the Metrodome in Minneapolis. The most, 243, were in Anaheim.
Rodriguez has narrowed his list of potential teams to ``about eight,'' said Boras, who would not say which teams they were.
Boras would not say which day next week that the meeting with the Mariners will be held.