Alex Rodriguez was once looking at the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating contest on July 4 when it dawned on him that Major League Baseball was once lacking a significant alternative.
The NFL owns Thanksgiving. For years, the NBA has had a stranglehold on Christmas — even though the NFL has taken a large chew out of that apple too. College Football has New Year’s Day.
A-Rod, chatting with The Post on Saturday morning over espresso on the Four Seasons in St. Louis the place he referred to as the Cardinals-Phillies Wild Card sequence with Michael Kay for ESPN, laid out his plan.
“You feed all your national partners — ESPN/ABC, Fox, TBS — and feed them with four national games,” he stated. “They have to be huge, dynamic matchups. You can’t set the date two years ahead of time. You have to be able to get the greatest matchup.”
Whereas the NFL and NBA wait no longer simply till their season ends however till after unfastened company and the draft to agenda their upcoming seasons, MLB introduced subsequent 12 months’s agenda — in August.
A-Rod is of the conclusion that this fashion of doing issues leaves trade on the desk.
“As an example, when [Albert] Pujols left the Cardinals, I thought it was a missed opportunity that it took eight years to get him back to St. Louis. You have to be able to dynamically flip that schedule,” he stated.
He identified that the league will have to need championship rematches or different key matchups focused round occasions like Opening Day, July 4, London and Field of Dreams.
“If the Dodgers play the Yankees in the World Series, maybe that’s how you open the season or program July 4. Be really strategic on it. Create these heavyweight battles,” he persisted.
“Baseball has so many great battles, but if you set up the trip to London two years ahead of time, and those teams end up going south … you should have the opportunity of being dynamic. You look at Field of Dreams this year. Cubs-Reds many years would be great! It might be great in two years. It wasn’t great this year.”
MLB is taking steps the place marquee matchups will have to be extra common. Beginning subsequent season, each staff could have a minimum of one sequence towards each different staff within the league in line with 12 months.
With 162 video games within the common season, baseball has difficult logistical problems to paintings round. First, there’s the shuttle. Further, giant live performance acts like Metallica, Lady Gaga and a listing of a number of dozen others play baseball stadiums on their summer season excursions, which might be deliberate as much as a 12 months upfront.
Nevertheless, A-Rod would really like MLB to be extra nimble with those hurdles.
“You can probably set like 50-60 percent of the schedule early, but leave yourself some time to be dynamic. For example, if you go to London next year, why not go with our very best? It doesn’t always have to be the Yankees or Dodgers. There are other great matchups where you can put your best foot forward all the time,” he stated.
“Having the flexibility as an organization to always lead with your best — July 4 is the easiest low-hanging fruit that the networks would want. There’s no NBA. No NFL. No soccer. Back to Pujols — if you send his team to play in St. Louis the year after he signs, it’s three guaranteed sellouts. But if you wait eight years … [you’ve missed an easy opportunity]. If your goal is to grow the game and bring popularity to it, you have to make it a priority.”
What follows is a Q&A — encompassing sports activities media, actual property and more than a few foolish questions — that has been edited for readability.
The Post: You had your first 12 months with Kay-Rod this season and labored the Cardinals-Phillies sequence with him. What was once it love to paintings with him after realizing him for see you later?
It’s been superior. I really like Michael. It’s humorous, we did a really perfect recreation on Friday, and I didn’t really feel that I used to be operating. First of all, Michael and I textual content each and every different 52 weeks out of the 12 months, proper? We’re at all times in conversation. I’m an enormous fan of his. We’re excellent buddies. There’s numerous consider and chemistry there.
I feel you notice that during our paintings. To me, it’s nearly as though we’re at a bar, having a lager, speaking concerning the recreation that we adore.
What’s your first reminiscence of him?
I simply at all times take into accout him being a famous person. One in one million. Just excited about even the early days, when he made the transition from author to radio, from radio to TV.
One of the issues as a child that’s framed in my thoughts without end is when he’d do the radio, and I heard him a couple of occasions when I used to be younger, and he’d say, “And the Yankees, wearing the classic blue pinstripes, with the NY interlock on their left chest” — he has the sort of approach of describing, and I feel he makes you are feeling one thing each time he describes a recreation.
As a participant, it was once truly necessary that within the giant moments, if we ever received a championship, or it was once a large house run, like the only for my 3000th hit, that he was once on the decision.
You’re a large investor. What are your takes on the making an investment setting at this time? And anything else you’ve invested in not too long ago that you simply’re fascinated with?
I’m spending maximum of my time on two issues: The Timberwolves and actual property.
If you take a look at the true property setting, for the primary time since 2008-09, we’re beginning to see a crack available in the market. There are alternatives that haven’t been there in over a decade.
When you take a look at the debt setting, there’s billions of greenbacks of debt that’s going to come back due, and I feel that’ll create immense alternative the place you’re purchasing 50-60 cents on the buck on nice property.
In actual property have you ever purchased any houses not too long ago, or are you simply eyeing at this time?
We’re at all times purchasing and promoting. Over the ultimate 5 years, it was once a vendor’s marketplace. We would possibly purchase 1,000 gadgets, promote 2,000-3,000.
I feel it’s nonetheless early. The marketplace remains to be more or less correcting itself. Think of any person with a 2.5 % loan on a assets. If he has to refinance, it’ll be 6.5-7 %. That’s when he’ll have to seek out some faith.
One of the property we’re fascinated with is we transformed Trump’s resort in Washington D.C. [purchased for $375 million] right into a Waldorf Astoria.
What do you do to cross the time on planes?
I sleep or catch up on my presentations. Right now, I’m looking at “Succession,” “Yellowstone” and the Lakers legacy documentary.
Who do you believe to be the single-season house run champ, Aaron Judge or Barry Bonds?
I feel Aaron Judge stated it easiest. I consider Judge.
[“Seventy-three is the record,” Judge told SI in September. “In my book. No matter what people want to say about that era of baseball, for me, they went out there and hit 73 homers and 70 homers, and that to me is what the record is. The AL record is 61, so that is one I can kind of try to go after. If it happens, it happens. If it doesn’t, it’s been a fun year so far.”]
What’s the happiest you’ve ever been?
When my daughters had been born, and the 2009 Yankees championship.
One of my daughters is a freshman in highschool, and the opposite one is a senior.
Do you understand the place the older daughter goes to college but? I noticed you scouting Michigan.
She has a protracted checklist of about 20 puts. It’s so aggressive nowadays to get into excellent faculties. Some of her most sensible puts come with Michigan, NYU, Yale, Princeton and Syracuse. She is enthusiastic about Econ and Broadway.
What’s your favourite town on the earth to shuttle to?
Domestically, New York. Internationally, London.
I really like the vibe in London. It’s one of the vital monetary capital markets [capitals] of the sector. The model. I love the folk.
What’s your cheat meal?
That’s no longer a meal! That’s a snack! A meal, such as you’re truly going all out, like The Rock on Instagram, together with his stack of 8 inch pancakes.
Pizza and wings.
What are your favourite pizza and wings?
The Big Cheese in Miami for pizza, and Miami wings.
Do you ever get pizza from one and wings from the opposite, in combination?
I’ve. Especially when we’ve BBQs and convey other folks over to look at soccer or basketball on the area.
I’ve heard you drink numerous espresso. How a lot do you drink an afternoon?
Six cups on a standard day, perhaps 12 if it’s a protracted paintings day.
What occurs for your mind in the event you pass an afternoon with out espresso? Could you do it?
I most probably may just do it, however I wouldn’t be that glad.
Who are your favourite colour commentators in sports activities?
I really like Mark Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy. I really like Cris Collinsworth.
Tim McCarver is my all-time favourite. I’m an enormous fan of him as a result of I grew up looking at him with the Mets, with Ralph Kiner.
I’m additionally an enormous David Cone fan. I feel he’s a modern-day McCarver. He’s the most productive within the recreation.
If you have to accomplish something in the remainder of your existence, what would it not be?
To proceed to be a gift father.