Alex Rodriguez's rental car broken into, but his camp now says he didn't lose $500,000 in goods.

Following the online criticism Alex Rodriguez took for leaving so many valuables in a street-parked rental car in a city undergoing an “epidemic” level of auto thefts, he’s now attempting to downplay the value of what he lost. An ESPN-rented car for the Sunday Night Baseball crew was broken into Sunday night while Rodriguez and other members of the team were having a post-game dinner, and the San Francisco Chronicle reported Monday that sources familiar with the investigation estimated the value of the jewelry and electronics taken from the car (much of which was said to be Rodriguez’s) at $500,000. However, perhaps after seeing all the criticism Rodriguez received for having such pricey items in a car, members of his camp told TMZ (which had its own report also estimating the value of the goods at $500,000) Tuesday night that the goods in question actually weren’t worth nearly that much:

A rep for A-Rod tells TMZ … “The financial value of the items stolen from Alex Rodriguez’s vehicle while he was having dinner is being grossly exaggerated.”

One source with direct knowledge of the case tells us the value of the stolen items is nowhere near $500k … and we’re told that figure is not even close to what the items are really worth.

A-Rod just broke his silence too … saying, “I am saddened that several items that were of a personal nature and irreplaceable with sentimental value were taken. I am encouraged that local law enforcement has security footage of the crime and are doing all they can to get the items back.”

It’s certainly unfortunate to see anyone robbed, whether it’s of $500,000 or of a smaller amount, but it’s interesting to see Rodriguez’s camp decide to push back particularly on those numbers. And maybe they’re correct; perhaps the law enforcement sources for the Chronicle and TMZ overinflated the value of the goods stolen for some reason, and perhaps the value really is “nowhere near $500k.”

But Rodriguez’s own statement about losing irreplaceable items with sentimental value doesn’t exactly make this seem like this was no big deal, or that the internet criticism was unjustified. Much of that criticism was based on him leaving significant valuables in a car in an area around the ballpark that’s known for plenty of auto thefts, and that’s still the case even if those items weren’t worth $500,000. And arguing about the specific value here only keeps the case in the headlines longer.

It may be good for Rodriguez to not lose the $500,000 initially described here, but having his representatives pushing back on the specific value of the goods described is an interesting strategy. And it’s one that doesn’t necessarily have a clear benefit for him. Hopefully he’ll be able to get his items back eventually, but having his camp complain to TMZ about the dollar valuation they published doesn’t necessarily seem like either a way to recover his goods or a way to diminish the criticism.


About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.