It's silly to compare Scott Hairston to Alex Rodriguez. One is a journeyman who is best suited to be a team's fourth outfielder. The other could be the majors' all-time leader in home runs, runs scored and runs batted in before he calls it a career. (I'll let you figure out which one is which.)
Clearly, Alex Rodriguez's career has been one for the books, while Hairston's career has been full of one-year contracts. But baseball is a business where "what have you done for me lately" is just as important, if not more so, than "what did you do over the last ten years". And when it comes to Hairston and Rodriguez, one player has done a lot more for his team lately than the other.
On Wednesday night, I posted this tweet about the two players, which got quite a response from my Twitter followers:
Scott Hairston (20 HR) had more homers this year than A-Rod (18) in 86 fewer at-bats. But A-Rod made $27.9 million more than Hairston. #Mets
— Ed Leyro (@Studi_Metsimus) October 11, 2012
But Hairston didn't just out-homer A-Rod. The Met outfielder also collected eight more doubles and two more triples than Rodriguez, and had a .504 slugging percentage compared to A-Rod's .430. That means Hairston had more of each type of extra-base hit in 86 fewer at-bats than Rodriguez.
Did I mention that Scott Hairston earned $1.1 million in 2012 while Alex Rodriguez had 29 million reasons to thank his lucky stars? I did? Well, it deserves repeating. The following also deserves a mention.
Alex Rodriguez made $1.6 million per home run in 2012. Hairston made $1.1 million. Period.
Scott Hairston rounded the bases 20 times in 2012, a year after trying to hit a home run with my wife.
(Photo by Sharon Chapman)
When Steve Phillips did not sign Alex Rodriguez prior to the 2001 season, he claimed it was because A-Rod would have been the "one" in a "24-plus-one" roster. On the other hand, Scott Hairston has been the one who has complemented the other 24 members of the team perfectly since he signed with the Mets prior to the 2011 season.
Let the Yankees give their money away to fading stars. The Mets can get similar production from players like Scott Hairston without having to break their piggy bank into 29 million pieces. I'll take Hairston over A-Rod any day.