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The A-Rod-Randy Levine emails are . . . weird

Dec 30, 2013, 3:03 PM EDT

a-rod getty Getty Images

Steve Fishman of New York Magazine wrote an epic detailing of the Alex Rodriguez-MLB battle back on December 1. Now, as a spillover from that article, come a series of emails between A-Rod and Yankees president Randy Levine sent from 2011 through the depths of the Biogenesis scandal in August of this year. And they’re, well, weird.

Weird in that they work against each man’s public persona. Levine —  a hard-nosed and intelligent businessman — is often playing the kindly father figure to A-Rod. Meanwhile, Rodiriguez is seriously going to lose points in his competition to become History’s Greatest Monster when everyone sees how often his emails employ the empty jockspeak — “we’ll win tomorrow!” — that is supposedly what head-on-straight athletes are supposed to use.

But overall the emails show a simultaneous warmth and banality between Levine and Rodriguez that seems … off somehow. Like Levine is sort of pandering to a delicate diva in Rodriguez but isn’t too terribly good at it. Which may very well be the true nature of their 2011-12 relationship but it also speaks of a relationship that didn’t have much trust or familiarity to begin with. And then there are some odd asides — Levine makes two steroids jokes! — that now seem way more significant than they might have at the time. It only gets real and testy toward the end once everyone lawyered up.

I suppose anyone’s email correspondence with their bosses might seem weird to outsiders. These are certainly no exception.

  1. flamethrower101 - Dec 30, 2013 at 3:15 PM

    My brain is telling me “This has gotta be fake!” yet my gut is telling me this is the funniest saga to this endless circus yet!

    • fanofevilempire - Dec 30, 2013 at 4:14 PM

      I told you guys Levine is a douche.

      • drewsylvania - Dec 30, 2013 at 4:16 PM

        Levine definitely comes off as the bad guy in this. I can’t imagine being microanalyzed all the time by my boss. Well, I can…it’d make me want to tell my boss to STFU.

  2. dondada10 - Dec 30, 2013 at 3:30 PM

    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.


    • historiophiliac - Dec 30, 2013 at 3:43 PM

      It’s the spelling and punctuation there that’s killing you, isn’t it?

      • dondada10 - Dec 30, 2013 at 3:52 PM

        More than anything else, it bothers me that he’s asking one player’s opinion of another player. Secondly, it bothers me that Levine probably makes 100 times more than me. And then yes, the grammar. The man doesn’t spell “are” once.

      • historiophiliac - Dec 30, 2013 at 3:54 PM

        Yeah, I was shocked too. If I was a teammate and found out he was discussing me like that with my peer, I would be livid. Levine definitely does not look good in the exchanges. I felt a little dirty after reading.

      • tonyz6060chevy - Dec 31, 2013 at 12:21 PM

        I remember when Yankee family Dog ,Reggie Jackson, had to crawl on his knees and beg A-Rod for forgiveness ,when he said something off the cuff about Mr. Steroid .Ol’ Mr. October was almost banished by the Yankees higher ups for that .Reggie was almost forced to change to an Oakland A’s uniform on his Hall Of Fame plaque !.

  3. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Dec 30, 2013 at 3:31 PM

    Levine: “My friend, I have always believed that in difficult times there r two ways to go. The easy way, which is to make excuses, be defensive, or blame others and shut it down.”

    Nice job of foreshadowing the defense A-Rod has been using since this story broke.

  4. danrizzle - Dec 30, 2013 at 3:34 PM

    I haven’t read the article yet, but based upon Craig’s headline alone, I had to scroll down to the comments to share just how unspeakably excited I am to see what the story actually is.

  5. anxovies - Dec 30, 2013 at 3:39 PM

    What is almost universally overlooked with Rodriguez is that he is team-orientated and consistently plays to the limit of his capabilities. I think that his sometimes banal and predictable responses in the emails actually reflect the way he feels about his role. Despite his many failings he never fails to be a team player.

    • djeter220 - Dec 30, 2013 at 4:52 PM


  6. bostonboresme - Dec 30, 2013 at 3:54 PM

    The fact that this is considered a ‘Top Story’ makes me want to vomit.

    • asimonetti88 - Dec 30, 2013 at 4:48 PM

      Well, it must have been hard to push the Melky Mesa signing for this one.

  7. blynch67 - Dec 30, 2013 at 3:54 PM


    What a bunch of sack hugging, ego stroking yuck we have going on between the jock and the suit. I wonder if they meet under the grandstand before home games for a little sack exchange.

    Ashamed to say I’m a Yankee fan.

  8. cackalackyank - Dec 30, 2013 at 3:56 PM

    Given the topic, and the participants how could they be anything but weird?

  9. unclemosesgreen - Dec 30, 2013 at 3:58 PM

    Wow. Super-weird. So awkward. Chip is a very strange person.

    • historiophiliac - Dec 30, 2013 at 4:02 PM

      Did you have any sense there that it was a boss and employee talking…as opposed to centaur and guy from the horse track?

      • unclemosesgreen - Dec 30, 2013 at 4:06 PM

        Centaur and rail-bird all the way. But Gulfstream Park is beautiful this time of year. So they got that going for ’em.

  10. unclemosesgreen - Dec 30, 2013 at 4:02 PM

    And if anyone doubted for a second that Levine is a bloviating empty suit …

  11. blynch67 - Dec 30, 2013 at 4:04 PM

    And I also agree with historiophiliac’s comment –> ” I felt a little dirty after reading.”

    I honestly wish that I hadn’t read the actual article. Hard to explain it exactly, but I’m stuck with the feeling that grown men shouldn’t speak to each other in this manner.

    And yes, Levine discussing another player in confidence with A-Rod is totally wrong.

    Inappropriate on a few levels. Levine should be fired.

  12. braddavery - Dec 30, 2013 at 4:19 PM

    Levine comes across much, much worse here. As soon as he stopped using “r” and started using “are” in the last email, I knew the whole thing with him “supporting” A-Rod and the “hey-we-are-best-buds-texting” talking him was just some hackneyed and creepy way for a lamo “suit” to get close to the superstar, millionaire ballplayer.

  13. deathmonkey41 - Dec 30, 2013 at 5:01 PM

    What this article fails to mention is that A-Rod’s email is

  14. rdav29 - Dec 30, 2013 at 5:05 PM

    Even George Costanza would call this dysfunctional.

  15. DelawarePhilliesFan - Dec 30, 2013 at 5:18 PM

    “I suppose anyone’s email correspondence with their bosses might seem weird to outsiders.”


    I can only speak for myself, but when I am e-mailing someone in my org…that I don’t quite care for….I use words that can not be used against me, and can later be called up as a rebuttal. That’s how this all strikes me – in a down the road convo:

    Levine: I don’t care about your health??? What about that time you got hit by a pitch and I told you it hurt to watch it?
    A-Rod: I am selfish??? What about that time I e-mailed you and said how my team needs me?

    And so on and so on….

  16. hardkor07mn - Dec 30, 2013 at 8:51 PM

    A-rod is the biggest D-bag in baseball! He should never have a chance to play again. PUKE=A-Rod

  17. bronxtale247 - Dec 30, 2013 at 9:47 PM

    Alex is a victim of being an 18yr old kid raised in the MLB spot light and given the world and everything in it for years!. He’s very weak minded and shallow man that’s feels the need to have everyone love him. It’s just sad we all bash him simply because he’s the highest paid player in the games history when we don’t look at the fact he’s an insecure kid who never grew up.

  18. kappy32 - Dec 31, 2013 at 1:02 AM

    Very weird, but you can see the relationship soured with Biogenesis Scandal. As a lawyer, there are 2 things I take from this. First, Alex was writing his messages to Levine from his heart & they appeared sincere. Second, after the Biogenesis Scandal began, Levine was being coached by a lawyer & using the e-mails in anticipation of litigation. Alex being the ballplayer, Randy being the shrewd businessman.

  19. largebill - Dec 31, 2013 at 10:17 AM

    Knowing the New York market, there will soon be a book written about the relationship between Levine and A-Rod.

    Most telling thing, to me, about these exchanges is how they run counter to expectations. A-Rod seems like the more mature and professional of the two men.

  20. Old Gator - Dec 31, 2013 at 11:44 AM

    It’s December 31. When does the dove come down with the magic word? I wanna see this thing wind up in Federal court!

    • historiophiliac - Dec 31, 2013 at 12:06 PM

      Careful what you wish for, OG. It might cause you to choke on your black-eyed peas.

  21. tonyz6060chevy - Dec 31, 2013 at 12:15 PM

    A-Rod is a weird dude ,anyway. he probably sleeps in a bedroom covered in mirrors on all four walls!

    • kiwicricket - Jan 1, 2014 at 2:52 AM

      Since when is that deemed ‘weird’ ???

  22. autmorsautlibertas - Jan 1, 2014 at 9:29 PM

    Makes you appreciate what Cashman is up against. Levine needs to stay far away from all aspects of day to day operations.

  23. tonyz6060chevy - Jan 1, 2014 at 10:33 PM

    He’d be a good reclamation project for the Angels !

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