[翻譯]Yankees Should Opt in for Rodriguez
Yankees Should Opt in for Rodriguez
By JEFFREY N. GORDON
Published : November 4, 2007 / The New York Times
To the New York-centric sports fan, the most newsworthy event of the past week was not the Boston Red Sox’ sweep of Colorado in the World Series, but the decision of Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez to opt out of his contract to pursue the siren song of free agency. Indeed, the opt-out decision was announced during the final Series game, at virtually the earliest possible moment under the contract.
對所有紐約地區的運動迷來說, 過去一個禮拜最值得關注的新聞並不是紅襪隊在世界大賽以直落四將落磯隊橫掃出局, 而是洋基三壘手A-Rod決定行使合約中的逃脫條款、成為自由球員。A-Rod在世界大賽最終戰仍在進行時宣佈了這個決定, 那也是其合約中所明定可做出此決定的最早時機。
Many believe that Rodriguez really means to leave the Yankees and has no class. From a bargaining perspective, however, the story up to now shows strong evidence of the reverse. Rodriguez wants to stay a Yankee — albeit after proving his open-market value — and has gone out of his way to make it possible for the Yankees to climb down from their posturing and match any offer.
許多人都認為A-Rod的做法除了說明他並不想留在洋基陣中, 更證明了他其實是個沒有格調的球員, 不過故事演變到今天, 陸陸續續浮現檯面的證據似乎都告訴我們事情並非如我們所想, 其實A-Rod還是想要留在紐約的, 他只不過想藉由行使逃脫條款的方式來測試自己的市場價值, 那麼一來洋基或許也不用再度扮演自由球員市場上的冤大頭角色, 只要參考其他球隊的出價然後提出條件相近的合約就可以留下A-Rod。
Conventional wisdom is that Rodriguez willfully ignored the Yankees’ repeated public assertions that they could not rationally pursue him in free agency because they would lose $30 million from the Texas Rangers when they took over his contract. But the Yankees’ assertion is simply a bargaining gambit.
A-Rod無顧洋基球團一再公開表示, 若A-Rod選擇逃脫, 他們將不會在自由球員市場繼續追逐A-Rod, 因為這麼一來, 他們將會損失來自遊騎兵方面、總額將近3,000萬美金的貼補, 不過就我看來, 洋基的強硬立場不過只是著眼於想用折扣價留下A-Rod的純商業考量。
Assume some other team, call them the Dodgers, were to offer Rodriguez $32 million a year for eight years. Remember that the Dodgers are receiving no part of the Rangers’ booty. Is it really the Yankees’ position that Rodriguez is worth more to the Dodgers than to the Yankees? If the Dodgers can afford to pay the $32 million a year, can the Yankees — the richest franchise in sports — plead poverty?
假設今天道奇願意在沒有遊騎兵幫忙分攤的狀況下, 用平均年薪3,200萬的8年合約簽下A-Rod, 那麼聯盟中財力最雄厚的洋基球團似乎也沒有理由喊窮, 不是嗎？難道他們願意為A-Rod標上的價位, 比不上道奇的出價嗎？
The Yankees’ earlier protestation about the Rangers’ money was to make it appear their hands were tied, so that they could land Rodriguez at a lower cost. But that bluff has been called. The lost Rangers money merely puts them on the same ground as other teams. How far will the Yankees go with cries of wounded pride?
洋基不斷強調遊騎兵那筆錢對他們的重要性, 其實真正的目的就是想要用較低的價位留下A-Rod, 他們堅定的立場其實只是想要模糊焦點, 就算少了遊騎兵的幫忙, 洋基也不過就是回到和其他想要競逐A-Rod的球隊同一個出發點、公平競爭罷了。現在真正讓人感興趣的是, 因為A-Rod的決定而感到自尊受損的洋基隊, 究竟會堅持多久？
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.
現在我們似乎可以理解為何A-Rod會選擇不在宣佈決定前和洋基方面會面, 他並不想給洋基球團有正式提出合約、並且把合約內容透露給新聞媒體的機會, 這麼一來, 媒體對於合約內容的大篇幅報導, 也會不斷提醒球迷, 洋基球團有多麼拙於在自由球員市場中做出正確的決定（進而影響洋基進場爭取A-Rod的意願）, 讓A-Rod成為自由球員後的未來平添更多變數。
In other words, Rodriguez wanted to test the market and to make it easier for the Yankees to get back into the game. If he really did not want to return, why would he care about the news media circus? Why not hear the offer, then burn the bridge?
換句話說, A-Rod在測試其市場價值的同時, 也幫洋基球團想好了後路, 如果他真的想要離開紐約, 他根本無須顧忌媒體的新聞炒作, 他大可做做樣子聽完洋基所提出的條件, 然後再拍拍屁股走人。
But here is the crucial piece of evidence that shows how much Rodriguez wants to wear pinstripes: the opt-out announcement during the final World Series game. We can assume that Rodriguez learned late last Sunday that Joe Girardi would be named the manager of the Yankees the next morning. If Rodriguez opts out after that announcement, his decision would be taken as a negative response to Girardi’s hiring.
還有一個關鍵的證據可以用來證明A-Rod想要續穿條紋球衣的決心 : 他選擇宣佈執行逃脫條款的時間點。我們可以推測A-Rod在上週日晚間得知了洋基球團可能會在隔天宣佈聘任Joe Girardi為新任總教練的決定, 如果A-Rod在該決定被正式宣佈之後才選擇執行逃脫條款, 人們或許會把他的決定看作是不願為Girardi效力的反應。
This could sour his relations with Girardi and finally make it rational for the Yankees not to match a market offer. That would upset Rodriguez’s strategy. How does he credibly signal that he is fine with the choice of Girardi and wants a pathway back to the Yankees in free agency?
這麼一來, 他和Girardi的關係就會出現裂痕, 可能也會因此讓洋基球團無意提出符合市場價值的合約來留下A-Rod, 因此打亂A-Rod的如意算盤, A-Rod究竟要如何在不讓外界對他和Girardi關係做出無謂揣測的同時, 還能為已經投身自由球員市場的自己留下一條回到洋基的路？
That is where the World Series announcement comes in. In bargaining lingo, it is a credible signal of his desire to remain a Yankee because it is costly. In other words, to show his Yankees preference, Rodriguez was forced to appear classless by disturbing the sanctity of the Series and by stepping on Boston’s triumph. That’s a cost.
這或許就是為何他會選擇在世界大賽仍在進行的同時就宣佈決定執行逃脫條款的理由, 這個已經讓他付出代價的時間點選擇更加證明了他最終還是想要回到洋基的企圖, 為了證明自己仍然心在洋基, 他選擇這種極沒品的做法來搶走本屆世界大賽冠軍紅襪隊的風頭。
He put it in terms of uncertainty about the return of much-admired teammates, which sweetens, not sours, relationships. But his behavior makes absolutely no sense unless it was timed to precede the Girardi announcement, and that in turn makes no sense unless Rodriguez wants to be on his lineup card.
他也把部份隊友合約狀況的不確定性作為自己選擇逃脫的理由之一, 而他的做法其實並不會讓他和洋基隊友的關係變得緊繃、反而是讓他們的關係更加友好。為了避免節外生枝, 他必須要在球團正式宣佈Girardi作為新任總教練人選之前提出上述說法（因為部份隊友合約狀況不明而選擇執行逃脫條款）, 才能發揮他預期的作用。除此之外, 如果他真的不願意繼續為洋基效力, 他根本沒有理由需要擔心其他隊友是否留在洋基陣中。
There are two downsides for Rodriguez. First, it may well be that his open-market value is less than the Yankees’ best and final offer that he never heard. Second is that the Steinbrenner sons’ inexperience and anger could get in the way of the good judgment of the business people in the front office. If so, then a Yankees return to the World Series is further away than Yankees fans hope.
不過對A-Rod來說, 他這樣的決定將會存在兩個隱憂, 首先, 他可能會發現他自己的市場價值還不如洋基最終可能開出的價碼（在他沒有選擇逃脫的前提下）, 其次, Hank和Hal的缺乏經驗和怒火攻心, 可能會迫使球團中的專業經理人無法作出對洋基最有利的判斷。這麼一來, 洋基距離奪下第27個世界大賽冠軍盃的距離就更遠了。
Does this sound too sophisticated for a fellow who makes his living hitting home runs? Remember that his agent, Scott Boras, is the black-belt negotiator. Why would Boras gratuitously expose Rodriguez to ridicule and scorn?
你是否認為, 以上這些推測對於一個靠著打全壘打謀生的人來說實在太過複雜了些？別忘了, 他的經紀人Scott Boras可是個談判高手, 他怎會如此大意地讓A-Rod被如此蔑視、甚至淪為笑柄？
In short, unless the Yankees behave spitefully, there is a very good chance that Alex Rodriguez will be back at Yankee Stadium next spring.
簡而言之, 只要洋基球團不因為記仇而影響其判斷, 我敢說A-Rod明年春天回到洋基球場的機率是相當高的。
Jeffrey N. Gordon is the Alfred W. Bressler Professor of Law at Columbia University Law School.