Yankees bid farewell to A-Rod after likely MVP opts out

NEW YORK -- Major League Baseball had this message for
Alex Rodriguez and agent Scott Boras: shame on you.

Boras announced during Game 4 of the World Series on Sunday
night that A-Rod was opting out of the final three seasons of his
contract with the New York Yankees. The timing left baseball
officials livid, and Boras apologized Monday evening.

"We were very disappointed that Scott Boras would try to
upstage our premier baseball event of the season with his
announcement," Bob DuPuy, baseball's chief operating officer, said
Monday in an e-mail to The Associated Press.

"There was no reason to make an announcement last night other
than to try to put his selfish interests and that of one individual
player above the overall good of the game," DuPuy said. "Last
night and today belong to the Boston Red Sox, who should be
celebrated for their achievement, and to the Colorado Rockies, who
made such an unbelievable run to the World Series."

Boras said causing a distraction was an unintended consequence.

"I apologize to the Boston Red Sox and Colorado Rockies and
their players, Major League Baseball and its players, and baseball
fans everywhere for that interference," he said in a statement.
"The teams and players involved deserved to be the focus of the
evening and honored with the utmost respect. The unfortunate result
was not my intent, but is solely my fault. I could have handled
this situation better, and for that I am truly sorry."

Red Sox fans sure took notice fast. After their team won the
title for the second time in four seasons, they stood behind the
visitors' dugout at Coors Field and chanted: "Don't sign A-Rod!"

"Kind of strange timing," Red Sox president Larry Lucchino
said after Boston completed its sweep of Colorado, referring to the Sunday announcement of Rodriguez opting out.

New York, which failed to make the World Series in all of
Rodriguez's seasons, maintained Monday that it will not attempt to
re-sign A-Rod now that he has opted out.

"No chance," Hank Steinbrenner, a son of owner George
Steinbrenner, said Monday at Legends Field. "Not if it's made

Sources indicated Monday that Major League Baseball has received Boras' opt-out letter and that the Yankees also have received and reviewed the paperwork.

Rodriguez signed his record $252 million, 10-year contract with
Texas before the 2001 season. By cutting the deal short, he will
have earned $180 million over seven seasons in signing bonus,
salaries and his assignment bonus from when he was traded. In
addition, he has earned $3.65 million in award bonuses and is in
line to gain as much as $1.8 million more for postseason awards
this year.

Terminating the contract saved the Texas Rangers $21.3 million
they owed the Yankees over the next three years, payments agreed to
at the time of the 2004 trade.

Hank Steinbrenner did not make much of Boras' timing.

"It doesn't matter to me," he said. "But I'm sure there's a
lot of people that aren't very happy about it. Other baseball
people, the commissioner's office, the Red Sox."

Hank Steinbrenner said the team left messages with Rodriguez,
and "we really wanted to meet with him."

"We wanted him to stay a Yankee. We wanted to let him know how
much we wanted him," he said. "The bottom line is ... do we
really want anybody that really doesn't want to be a Yankee? How
the heck can you do that? Compare him with [Derek] Jeter. Jeter,
since he was a little kid, all he ever wanted to do was play
shortstop for the Yankees. That's what we want."

New York was preparing to offer Rodriguez a four- or five-year
extension worth between $25 million and $30 million annually and
had hoped to meet with A-Rod to present the offer.

"We expressed our interest in keeping him in pinstripes, and
requested the opportunity to convey those feelings to him directly
with the Steinbrenner family in an open, face-to-face dialogue,"
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said in a statement.

Cashman sounded as if Rodriguez's stay in the Bronx was over.

"Alex was a key part of our success over the last four seasons,
and I appreciate having the opportunity to work with him," he
said. "I only wish we could have raised a championship trophy
together during his time here, which was the ultimate goal we all

Also among the 57 players who filed for free agency on the
first possible day were Yankees P Mariano Rivera, C Jorge Posada
and 1B Doug Mientkiewicz; Minnesota OF Torii Hunter; Colorado Ps
Jeremy Affeldt and Jorge Julio; Mets C Paul Lo Duca; and San
Francisco OF Barry Bonds.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.