As Dayn Perry of CBS Eye on Baseball notes, it's common practice for "desperate" independent league teams to offer "exiled" major leaguers a spot on their roster. Guys like Jose Canseco, Darryl Strawberry, even Jack Morris might have even taken up such an offer once. And the Long Island Ducks reportedly have made an offer to Alex Rodriguez to play for them.
But just imagine this for a moment: "Coach A-Rod."
Though he is appealing in federal court and he might even attend spring training with the New York Yankees, Rodriguez stands to miss the entire 2014 Major League Baseball season because of a suspension for performance-enhancing drugs. That doesn't mean A-Rod has to just sit around, eating Cheetos and watching "Burn Notice" all day.
The Torrington (Conn.) Register-Citizen reports that the Torrington Titans of the Futures Collegiate Baseball League will be offering A-Rod an assistant coaching position on their staff. The job pays $5,000 for the season, general manager Joey Abis says. Titans head coach Dan McNamara envisions Rodriguez as a hitting coach. In addition to the salary for working a season that runs June 4-August 15, there's also this perk:
Alex will receive free Coffee and Donuts from the Donut Station in Torrington for the duration of the 2014 season.
Perk. Get it? You know, A-Rod never went to college after being drafted No. 1 overall by the Mariners at age 17, though he seems to frequently long for a life at the University of Miami, which is near his home. The thought of A-Rod in a college-like atmosphere just might appeal to him. (And that's exactly how it might occur to him: "A-Rod, like, in college? Hmm," A-Rod would think.)
While this supposed offer to A-Rod might seem like a publicity stunt — and it is, and well done, guys — the Torrington Titans are not just a fly by night operation. They're an actual team that really does help players transition to the next level. None other than Stephen Strasburg pitched for them, in 2007, when they were known as the Twisters. Since 2008, Torrington has had 13 players drafted or moved on to play professional baseball, the Register-Citizen reports. They also have a cool logo. Actor Bill Murray owns a stake in the team.
Although, the thought of A-Rod being in a teaching capacity with young, impressionable and eager students might give some of you pause. Well, the Titans leadership has considered all of that:
Even though Rodriguez has been linked to steroids recently and even admitted to doping during a three-year period starting in 2001, Abis guarantees that steroids won’t be apart of his team.
“No way steroids will be in our clubhouse or in our league,” he said.
"No way"? Why didn't MLB think of that?!
A-Rod, in all earnestness, probably would make a good hitting coach. He's reputed to have a great work ethic and a keen mind for hitting theory. Will he go back to school? Or even a school-like operation? Probably not. But it could be a good way to start rebuilding his image.
And there probably will be worse offers.
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