Jeff Pearlman

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A-Rod, greed, gross

arod-cigar

Not sure how many people saw this, but tomorrow (Saturday) A-Rod, Joba and Joe Girardi will be appearing at the Greentree County Club in New Rochelle, N.Y., where Rodriguez will be signing autographs.

For anywhere between $250 and $400 a pop.

“We could have sold 2,000 or 3,000 autographs,” said Stephen Costello, executive VP of Last Licks Ice Cream, which is putting on the show. “Even in this environment, this economy, an A-Rod autograph at $250 is a very, very good deal.”

That sound you just heard? My vomit hitting the floor.

I am disgusted, naturally. But also baffled. You are Alex Rodriguez. You finally broke through in the playoffs; finally won a World Series; finally connected with the New York fans in a way you never had. You make in excess of $20 million per year … and you do this?

Seriously, who the hell is handling A-Rod’s image?

If I’m Alex Rodriguez, I hold an autograph session. I charge $20 for signatures on paper or cards, $50 for gloves,bats, hats. I donate 100 percent to the Boys & Girls Club, and do it with a smile. I take one day, start at 9 am, and sign until dark. I call it a THANK YOU, NEW YORK DAY. I hand out cookies and iced tea. Maybe milk for the kids.

But this event … no way. No way in hell.

Pathetic.

  • Classicist

    You omitted mention of how Tiger Woods and LeBron James command more for their autographs. I assume it’s because they don’t fit your narrative.

    Also, this isn’t a case of a crippled child approaching an athlete on the street and asking for an autograph, but for an official event for the sorts of fans/collectors who deal in this sort of merchandise. Charging such people for autographs in no way procludes athletes from giving free autographs to kids. Again, this doesn’t fit your narrative, so you ignore it. Perception is reality, hey?

  • Jeff Pearlman

    Classicist, it doesn’t fit the narrative because it’s happening tomorrow, and A-Rod is a local athlete. I actually think it’s utterly unacceptable for million-dollar athletes to charge hundreds for autographs. I also think—and this can’t be argued—that A-Rod (and probably LeBron, and probably Tiger) never, ever, ever hold similar events for, say, low-income kids. Never. Ever. Ever. So if you want to buy in to the corporate BS that causes people like yourself to spend $300 for a ticket, have fun. But it’s friggin’ disgusting, whether it’s A-Rod or Mike Lansing.

  • http://neatesager.blogspot.com Neate Sager

    Jeff,

    I have a hard time wrapping my mind around how an athlete’s autograph could be worth that much to someone — unless it was a print of A-Rod’s centaur portrait.

    I’m not saying you shouldn’t ask for autos as an adult. I have (Wendel Clark, former Toronto Maple Leafs captain, at a fast-food restaurant in 2001). But what does it say to you, personally?

    I would rather have the authenticity of shaking someone’s hand and looking her/him in the eye, honest.

  • mike

    If you look on the Steiner website that is promoting this signing, other players (Jeter and Posada to name 2) get similiar prices for their autographs.

    The oher players are signing in private and are charging the same prices except fans don’t get to meet them in person. The items are ordered online and show up in the mail.

    People need to stop singling out A-Rod and holding him to a different standard than they do other players.

    Why does A-Rod owe a thank you to NY fans? For all the times they booed him and how well they treated since 2004?

  • mike

    “I also think—and this can’t be argued—that A-Rod (and probably LeBron, and probably Tiger) never, ever, ever hold similar events for, say, low-income kids.”

    Might want to check with the kids at the Boys/Girls Club in Miami, St. Simon Stock School in the Bronx, the kids being helped and that he’s met at the mobile dental clinic A-Rod is funding in NY or and the little league program he funds in the Bronx before you make statements like that. If you can’t get them, ask the children from the Yankee Stadium area that he played stickball with and took out to lunch this year.

    A-Rod has spent alot of time working in the community with children this year.

  • Ed

    Thank you for making suporting my point jeff. This is the event outlined in the article form the Joournal News that I wrote my story in response to.

  • Jason

    ironic that its at a country club… would they even accept arod as a member, being hispanic and all?

  • jweb271

    I’m gonna go out a limb with a metaphor here, but this seems like blaming the drug dealer for the drug problem. The people who are willing to pay that for autographs are the problem, not A-Rod. It’s easier to blame celebrities for celebrity culture than it is to blame ourselves, but we are the market. They are just the supply.

    To modify Obama: We are the problem we’ve been looking for.

  • http://subwaysquawkers.com Lisa

    Exactly, Jweb. The A-Rod event is sold out, after all.

  • http://www.19thoughts.blogspot.com Byron

    Athletes charge for their autographs because they’re worth something.

    Go to the show tomorrow and take a picture of who’s in line. It’s not going to be a queue filled with kids, it’s going to be a bunch of middle-aged autograph hounds who are going to turn around and sell what they got on eBay or at a card show for a profit.

    Why shouldn’t ARod be allowed to make money on something that someone else is going to make money on?

    Who are we to say when enough money is enough? If that’s the case, how much are you making Jeff? Maybe if you make more than I personally think a sports writer should make, you should give away your books for free.

    Jesus, this is what I’ve been reduced to: defending ARod and using FOX News talking points.

    I’m taking a shower.

  • http://none Danny

    a couple days ago, I commented on your jeter nonsense by saying your columns and blog entrys are ridiculously trite. I would like to add “nauseatingly self-righteous” to that.

    “If I’m Alex Rodriguez, I hold an autograph session. I charge $20 for signatures on paper or cards, $50 for gloves,bats, hats. I donate 100 percent to the Boys & Girls Club, and do it with a smile. I take one day, start at 9 am, and sign until dark. I call it a THANK YOU, NEW YORK DAY. I hand out cookies and iced tea. Maybe milk for the kids.”

    haha – i got to hand it to you though, that was hilarious. this is the kind of gold that keeps me coming back here. let’s just change your name to Jesus.

    btw, do you have a response to Mike’s comment above about your hero Jeter’s autograph prices?

  • jweb271

    “Jesus, this is what I’ve been reduced to: defending ARod and using FOX News talking points.”

    Hilarious

  • Harley

    The problem that Pearlman often runs into is; he’s has cognitive dissonance over the commodification of sport. He holds this antiquated view of athletes doing things for “love of the game” and all that melodrama crap. Get real, this is big business.. Whether you make 2 million or 20 million, it’s about being a commodity. Excellent point above about collectors re-selling the autographs. A-Rod’s signature is a known commodity, why should he ask any less than market value for it. Get real Pearlman, this isn’t 1889.

  • Adam

    Jeff,

    I agree with you 100%. Byron, he never said Arod didn’t have a right to do this, he said it was disgusting, baffling and pathetic. And it is. Those adjectives also describe the folks attending the event and those folks who are purchasing these items in the secondary market.

    Arod can do whatever he wants, and he obviously lives in a universe far different than any one of us, but it says a lot about a guy who has made hundreds of millions (whether he earned that money in sports, movies or business), has two young kids, is dating a beautiful movie star, and he feels its a good idea earn 50-100k or whatever it is to sign autographs for a bunch of fools.

  • http://www.19thoughts.blogspot.com Byron

    Here’s another point, if ARod charges $10K for an autograph and no one comes, he’ll lower the price. He’s not putting a gun to anyone’s head to get his signature.

    Obviously a market has been established for his autograph, as well as any other top-tiered athlete, this isn’t his fault.

  • http://www.padsandends.blogspot.com Joe Lanek

    I can’t understand everybody’s outrage over your outrage. Didn’t we all learn in Kindergarten that “because I can” and “everyone else is doing it” aren’t valid excuses for unacceptable behavior?

  • Alex

    So when A-Rod starts giving out his autograph for free you can start giving away your books for free to underprivleged kids and underfunded school libraries, sounds fair to me.

    But Jeff Pearlman doing something other than pontificating and passing some sort of halfassed moral judgment? No way, not in hell.

    Pathetic.

  • mike

    “Didn’t we all learn in Kindergarten that “because I can” and “everyone else is doing it” aren’t valid excuses for unacceptable behavior?”

    Yup. Most of us didn’t stop learning there though. For example; I learned about the laws of supply/demand and free market pricing in economics class in college.

  • SteveH

    One thing to consider, as I know this is often how these appearances operate, is A-Rod is likely being paid an appearance fee (could be $5K, $10K, whatever) to sign for x hours.

    If that’s the case, the Country Club sets the fee for the autograph.

    This isn’t how every appearance is handled, but my brother-in-law owned a card shop and he did this type of thing for years.

  • Lunch Boy

    mike – take your economics and free markets rhetoric away from this blog. I’ve tried to argue for the same, but most of these posters i’ve gone up against are for handouts, freebies and universal everything.

  • jweb271

    I’m still blown away that Sean Hannity even has time for lunch, or to comment on this blog.

  • MRBunyan

    I agree with lunchboy! What has our country come to. Back in the day kids used to go buy a birthday card fill it out with thier name adress and B-day and sent it to Mickey Mantle and other famous yankees. And on thier B-Day the player would sign the card and send it to the adress listed. Now a days we pay $250- $475 for an autograph . Now what this has to do with politics I dont know, but what i do know is that spending to get yourself out of debt doesnt work. NY is mostly liberals and we are almost bankrupt. Is it any coincidence that 95% of states going bankrupt are run by liberal Democrats?!?! Just a thought for all you universal healthcare lovers.

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