Oh, what could have been. With a simple affirmative head nod and handshake this week, the bidding for the Miami Marlins could have quickly turned into a WrestleMania-sized main event with Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter standing in opposite corners.
However, as Fox Sports Ken Rosenthal reported on Saturday, A-Rod instead decided to turn down an opportunity to join the group led by Tagg Romney and Hall of Famer Tom Glavine, which would have pitted him against a group led by Jeter and former Florida governor Jeb Bush.
Rodriguez met Wednesday with members of the Romney group in Los Angeles to discuss his potential involvement, sources said.
Rodriguez, like Jeter, has dreamed of becoming a major-league owner. Miami also is Rodriguez’s hometown, adding to the potential appeal from both his perspective and the Romney group’s. Rodriguez’s charitable endeavors have included significant donations to the University of Miami and Miami Boys & Girls Club.
But Rodriguez, while intrigued by the possibility of joining the Romney group, did not feel the time was right for him to become actively involved in team ownership, sources said.
If you thought the sit-down interview that brought A-Rod and Jeter together on CNBC this week was already plenty awkward, imagine if it had this potential Marlins cloud hovering over it.
Based on recent reports, the Bush and Romney groups are the two most serious bidders remaining in the Marlins sweepstakes. There have even been some reports stating the Bush and Jeter group have a deal in place, but commissioner Rob Manfred has since denied that. Had A-Rod jumped in now, perhaps he could have helped tipped the scales in favor of the Romney group.
Regardless, he would have been entering an on-going battle that only figures to intensify in the coming weeks. Remember, the Marlins current ownership led by Jeffrey Loria is looking to complete this sale by the end of the year.
Rosenthal indicates A-Rod’s decision to decline was about more than avoiding a new conflict with Jeter. He notes several reasons why the timing simply isn’t right from a personal and business perspective. Those include A-Rod’s intentions to spend more time with his young daughters, Natasha, 12, and Ella, 9, as well as his full-time duties as an analyst for Fox Sports.
A-Rod is also heavily involved in A-Rod Corp., and is currently serving in an advisory role to Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner.
There’s no doubt A-Rod has a full plate right now, but one can’t help but wonder how this next-level A-Rod vs. Jeter battle would have played out.
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