TAMPA, Fla., March 13 -- Alex Rodriguez tries to insist that he wants to remain in New York. But an option in his contract allows him to become a free agent after this season, and in a radio interview Tuesday, he threatened to invoke the option if the fans did not embrace him.
"It's a do-or-die situation," he told Mike Francesa and Chris Russo on WFAN. "Either New York is going to kick me out of New York this year. ..."
He did not finish the sentence because Russo interjected, but Rodriguez continued: "Listen, at some point, either New York is going to say, `I've had enough of this guy, get him the hell out of here' -- and we have an option -- or New York is going to say, `Hey, we won a world championship, you had a big year, you're a part of it, we want you back.' "
Asked if he could see himself finishing his career with the Yankees, Rodriguez said: "One hundred percent, that's exactly what I want to do. But I also want to make sure from the fans and management, I'm wanted here. One hundred percent, my wife and I and my daughter, we want to stay here, we're getting more comfortable in New York off the field, too."
Rodriguez, who joined Francesa and Russo in a broadcast booth at Legends Field, also said he had "options to go to several teams this year, probably five or six, and I chose not to."
"I chose to be in New York," he said.
Memo to Yankees fans:
Leave A-Rod alone. This team is NOT better off with him swinging for the fences in Chicago or Anaheim next season while getting absolutely nothing in return for the greatest talent of our generation. Cashman refused to trade him during the offseason and certainly won't let him walk without a fight -- but these lynch mob tactics by the fans have got to stop for the good of the team.
Yes, the media does indeed help drive this story when they should be discussing other topics, but it is ultimately the fans who have kept this story afloat by continuing to sling mud at him every time he steps foot out of his house.
The media would never cover this very tiresome story if A-Rod wasn't such a hot-button issue in the eyes of Yankees' fans -- not to mention that it was the fans who created this A-Rod mess in the first place by booing and berating the guy in his own house and ridiculously raising questions about his "true Yankee" status.
Update [2007-3-14 13:26:20 by John Amato]:Click here to hear ARod on WFAN. I'm not sure how long it will be posted...