Super-agent Scott Boras likes to pull out all of these fancy charts and numbers concerning all of his clients, especially A-Rod. However when it comes to his numbers, he seems to be using the same so called "math" Karl Rove said he had concerning the 2006 mid-term elections.
Myth # 1: Before A-Rod came to the Yankees they only drew over three million fans, with A-Rod they've suddenly drawn over four million. True the Yankees have drawn over four million with A-Rod, but attendance is up everywhere in Major League Baseball. For 2007 MLB set an overall attendance record of 79,502,524, a 4.5 % increase over the 2006 season which was at the time also a record breaking 76,042,787. Average attendance for MLB during the 2007 season was 32,785 also the largest in MLB history. In fact the overall MLB attendance record has been shattered every year for the past four years. A-Rod has been a Yankee for the past four years, but the rise in attendance has to do more with the increased popularity of baseball over A-Rod's impact.
To further my point, eight teams set new attendance records in 2007. Ten teams pulled in more than three million, 16 more garnered 2.5 million and 24 others brought in over two million people. In addition six clubs averaged over 40,000 per game, while 12 teams averaged 35,000 per game. Even the minor leagues saw a huge spike once again. To give you an example the team from my area, the Tri-City ValleyCats, a short-season Single-A affiliate of the Houston Astros based in Troy, N.Y. just outside of Albany, who finished dead last with the league's worst overall record, drew a franchise record 136,809 fans in 2007.
Myth # 2: Team performance has improved as a result of A-Rod. Yes A-Rod has been a part of some great ball clubs, was even the driving force of why the Yankees got to the playoffs this season. In A-Rod's last season with the Seattle Mariners in 2000 they won 91 games and reached the ALCS. However in 2001 the M's won an AL regular season record 116 games, reaching the ALCS. And while they didn't make the playoffs, they still won 93 games each of the next two seasons while A-Rod was still languishing in Texas.
Speaking of Texas, they won only two more games with A-Rod there in 2001 and lost 89 or more games in every season he played there. In 2004 the year after A-Rod left, the Rangers won 89 games.
In 2003 the Yankees won 101 games, won the A.L. Pennant reaching the World Series. In 2004 with A-Rod they won 101 games and lost in the ALCS. In 2005 the Yankees won 95 games and a season series tie-breaker with Boston which game them the division and they lost in the ALDS. In 2006 they won 97 games and again lost in the ALDS. In the 2007 season they won 94 games, finished as a Wild Card and once again lost in the ALDS.
No one is denying A-Rod has a marketable quality to attract even the most casual of fans. And more of his team's failures have had to do with the fact that he can't pitch and neither can anyone else on his team. A-Rod is a big part of the attendance and winning, just not in the way Scott Boras would make one believe.