The Drama of the New York Mets Sale Continues

New York Yankees, Alex Rodriguez

As most New York baseball fans know, anything with Alex Rodriguez comes loaded with drama and endless media coverage. The hopeful future owner of the New York Mets decided to take to the media in an attempt to steal the team away from Steve Cohen.

Rodriguez never has received a “no” for something he wanted, no matter what dirty tricks he has used to pursuit it. From his record-setting contract with the Texas Rangers, then trade to a contender, to playing through and fighting a well-deserved suspension, Rodriguez is a master of using the media to get his way and is attempting to do so once again. This time it is backfiring big time at him.

No Money, No Team

It became apparent that the A-Rod/J-Lo group lacked funds when they enlisted the help of athletes across sports to help their cause. A-Rod used the media game to vouch for a salary cap to put teams on an even playing field. Once again, the highest-earning baseball player of all-time is demanding a salary cap. Since he knows he does not have the money to spend like a New York team should, Rodriguez is attempting to find a way to level the playing field.

One of A-Rod’s former teammates, Brandon McCarthy, took to Twitter to voice his displeasure with his former teammate’s comments.

Union rep Tony Clark also voiced his opinion saying, “Alex benefited as much as anybody from the battles this union fought against owners’ repeated attempts to get a salary cap.” This was not the only trick the Rodriguez team had up their sleeve.

The Race Card

One of the athletes involved with A-Rod is Bradley Beal. Whether Rodriguez had anything to do with it is still a question, but Beal put out a tweet involving race issues and Cohen’s “shady” past.

It seems ironic that an A-Rod led group is talking about shady decisions. Rodriguez could qualify for the same category as Barry Bonds and Pete Rose when it comes to off the field issues that are keeping them out of the hall of fame.

Plain and simple, if anyone had the money to compete with Cohen’s wallet, a salary cap or race issue would not be a question. Baseball only has one minority principal owner and it is Artie Moreno of the Los Angeles Angles. The MLB, more than any sport, can better their diversity and has issues with it within the sport, but this ownership issue is not one of race.

The Guggenheim Baseball Management group, with Magic Johnson as their face, bought the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2012 as well. Johnson has a 2.3% stake in the Dodgers ownership, but his star power had a factor in making the group popular with fans. Should his side win, Beal will likely get the same percentage.

You ask yourself this question, $1.7 billion with a net worth lower than that or $4 billion with $13.6 billion net worth? They are both enormous amounts, but the Wilpons love money more than baseball, and the MLB wants an owner who can support a winner in their biggest market. The biggest factor for this entire sale is whether the Wilpons want to keep SNY (agree to A-Rod’s deal) or hand over any power with the Mets (agree to Cohen’s deal).

Is Cohen the cleanest businessman who ever lived? No. It is hard to find someone with that much money who is completely innocent. Also, there are plenty of owners in the four major sports who are worst people; you can find a couple of them scattered in the New York sports scene.

If the A-Rod group could sniff the amount of money Cohen has, then the race card could certainly have weight to it. The extreme gap in funds, the timing of the statement, and A-Rod’s unpopularity from players throughout baseball are precisely why he is turning to plan B.

Also, think about this, Rodriguez can grab football and basketball players to join his bid, but why haven’t any former baseball players joined his quest to buy Flushing’s franchise?

Brooklyn Nets: Get Bradley Beal at all Costs

New York Knicks, Marcus Morris

Flashback seven years ago, the newly located Brooklyn Nets are stuck as a second-tier team. Led by Deron Williams and Brook Lopez, the options are clear: make a push for a championship that mortgages the future or tear down the roster and rebuild with a stockpile of assets. On draft night in June 2013, the front office made their choice. In a trade that has haunted the franchise for the majority of the decade, the Nets acquired Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, two pieces they hoped would catapult them into real contenders. 

After recent reports surfaced Thursday that the Nets have interest in adding star Bradley Beal to the fold, deja vu struck in the minds of many Nets fans. Just as the Nets quickly built a contender in 2012, they have done so again. As Williams and Lopez were exiting their primes, the team attempted to surround them with a desperate accumulation of talent. Durant and Irving may have already seen their best days, but that is where the similarities end. They represent a higher class of superstardom, one that can objectively compete against the most high-profile names in the league. Adding a superstar entering his prime would fuel a championship run without stripping the franchise of all future assets. 

When it comes to perfect additions for this complicated Nets roster, it doesn’t get more seamless than Beal. His immense versatility would allow him to fit in next to Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in a way that most stars would not be able to. 

“I can put him in any situation, and he understands it at a high level,” Wizards coach Scott Brooks said. “I can use him as a decoy, and he understands why I’m using him as a decoy. I can use him in pick and rolls and pin downs and in the post.” 

Playing with two superstars who can break down any defense would offer Beal more open three-pointers than he’s seen at any other point in his career. As a 38% three-point shooter over the course of his eight-year career, he also presents a perimeter reputation that would open up lanes for Durant and Irving to get the rim without the worry of help coming off of the shooters. With Durant coming off a major Achilles injury and Irving dealing with several maladies in previous seasons, Beal would provide necessary durability to a roster lacking in it. He hasn’t missed a game in the previous three seasons, proving to be one of the most dependable stars the league has, especially in the era of player preservation. This would afford Durant and Irving the ability to play relaxed with less of an onus on scoring, which would limit the wear and tear of a grueling NBA season as they geared up toward a run at a championship. Beal’s ability to come off screens and dribble handoffs as a scoring threat would make him a perfect partner with Deandre Jordan, a big-bodied screener who excels with playmaking guards as an explosive roll man to keep the defense honest. 

The big concern out of Brooklyn is the fragility of their two superstars, who are constantly in the headlines for the wrong reasons. It would behoove Sean Marks to add a star with a stabilizing personality to the mix. 

When asked about his relationship with Beal, Wizards co-star John Wall said “We’re just building a bond. We always joke and have fun. We play cards on the plane with each other. All that stuff equaled up to us making a better bond. We never disliked each other. There are times on the court where you are going to dislike a player. You want the ball. They want the ball”

The fight Beal displays on the court indicate a level of competitiveness that carries teams to basketball glory. A desire to win games and compete as well as capable drives the great ones. As Wall stated clearly, Beal is an excellent teammate both on and off the court. 

Parting with Caris Levert, Spencer Dinwiddie and Jarrett Allen may seem like a tough ask for the Brooklyn Nets front office, but consider this: when envisioning the Nets lineup closing out games, which of these guys do you want out on the floor? Dinwiddie struggled mightily when paired with D’Angelo Russell last season and with Kyrie Irving this season. Without the ball in his hands, he provides little in the way of positive value on the court. He isn’t a particularly strong defender or spot-up shooter, making him a less than ideal fit in a closing lineup where he won’t have the ball in his hands. Levert has flashed glimpses of greatness for the entirety of his career, but injuries and an inconsistent jump shot have hindered his development. His lack of a consistent long-range shot would allow defenses to focus on Durant and Irving driving to the hoop, clogging the lane, and leaving them little opportunity to score at the rim. Allen’s inability to develop a consistent offensive game makes him a trade piece for the Nets. His benching in early March, in the first game after Kenny Atkinson was fired, was an indication about how the coaching staff and stars on the team felt about his value. Since his rookie year he has been a rim-running center who can protect the rim on defense but does not provide much else. While he is a solid big man for any rotation, this makes him expendable. At just 26 years old and now entering his prime, Beal himself would account for the lost young talent it would take to acquire him in a deal.

With Beal added to the fold, the Brooklyn Nets would become instant title favorites. Possessing three superstars in a league that is currently controlled by duos would give the Nets a considerable edge to close out games. Putting out Irving, Beal, and Durant to pair with sharpshooter Joe Harris would give the Brooklyn Nets a fearsome foursome that would compliment each other’s skillsets perfectly. Beal would add overwhelming talent for a Nets team that is looking to win their first NBA championship while leading the franchise for years to come. If the Wizards make Bradley Beal available in trade discussions, the Nets should engage immediately, no matter the cost.