Steve Fishman of New York Magazine released a series of emails between Alex Rodriguez and team president Randy Levine in an article today that he became privy to when writing an article earlier this month on the topic of A-Rod. The back and forth between player and team official has an expectedly jovial tone for most of the email chain. Levine checks in on A-Rod during a slump and A-Rod discusses the need for him to be a team leader when things are going poorly.
All at once, the tone of the emails shifts as the topic of lawyers and MLB investigations come into play. What seemed like emails between two friends became carefully worded emails between two people very much at odds. The joking stopped and the accusations began to fly. Some other things to potentially take away from these emails is that Levine regularly jokes with Rodriguez about Robinson Cano needing steroids. It's possible that that's just a guy joking with another guy in a harmless fashion, but after seeing the way that the Yankees handled negotiations with Cano in free agency, you have to at least wonder a little in the back of your mind what might have been known on the inside.
Other things to take away from the series of emails: Randy Levine types like a middle schooler, incapable of spelling out the word 'you'. The emails to Rodriguez are hardly a formal setting, but still. Why do people write like that? Levine seemed to be very supportive of A-Rod throughout the correspondence, right up until the point where A-Rod's lawyers began contacting Hal Steinbrenner and everything went down hill from there.
Reading the entire article is extremely recommended, but here are a few of the better excerpts.
May 17, 2011
Rodriguez hits two home runs, leading the team to a win over Tampa Bay.
Levine: Way to go, welcome back ... enjoy start of a roll.
Rodriguez: Yessir!! Our team needs me to hit and lead us.
Levine: U are the man. I told u that for years. U can and will do it.
U, u, u, u, u
July 30, 2012
Rodriguez is out with an injury, having fractured his hand five days earlier when hit by a pitch. Levine makes a reference to performance-enhancing drugs that he later refers to as a "bad joke."
Levine: How r u feeing since u left Robby [Cano] under 200, he needs some steroids fast!
August 21, 2012
With A-Rod still out, Levine again makes a possibly comic drug reference.
Levine: Hey, what's up with Robby. This guy must not be using the liquid. U didn't tell me what did Chris and Steve say your ETA is. Don't rush it unless u r right. We need you. Nova looks like he may need a breather. What do u see.
September 22, 2012
Rodriguez gets two key hits in a fourteen-inning victory that keeps the Yankees in first place. The chip on the shoulder the two have spoken about has become a nickname: Chip.
Levine: Way to go best win of year. U had walkoff mesa nerves. U stepped up do it tomorrow. Chip. Proud of u.
Rodriguez: Huge win. ... Very nervous. Need to win tomorrow. Chip
Levine: That's what leaders do.
Ouch. Poor Melky Mesa.
February 28, 2013
Rodriguez: Randy, [...] As you can imagine, I'm feeling left out, I can't be with the team at spring training and this leaves an empty hole in my life. And on top of that I'm dealing with the backlash of all these ugly rumors and false stories. [...] Of course I am very concerned about these rumors and about what the team is doing and saying about me. ... People have been telling me that you have an 8% bounty on my contract.[...] Maybe all of this is coming from my cousin [...], who knows. He claims he met with the Yankees and that you are after me and it has me concerned. I hope this [e-mail] is the start of us clearing the air between us. I don't want us to be enemies. I am loyal to the team. I only want the best for the Yankees organization. But I do need reassurance from you and I need to know what is going on. It is bad business for everyone.
Levine: First off, neither I nor anyone at Yankees every met with your cousin. This is being handled by MLB and we r allowing them to do their job. There is no bounty on you. We have no idea who MLB is meeting with or what course their investigation is taking. It is entirely in their hands. We r not talking to the media on this issue, we have said this is being handled by MLB, and we will have no comment until the investigation is over. That's it. There is nothing else going on. I wish u health and a good rehab.
What, no more nicknames?
What do you think of the emails between A-Rod and Levine? Do they sound legitimate to you?
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