The 26th marked the 90th Anniversary of Babe Ruth’s trade to the Ney York Pinstripes. Now, though I’m sure we’re all pretty much ‘over it’, it is still a pretty important date in baseball history. Sure, it was the opening of a floodgate for Boston talent to the lowly Orioles / Highlanders / Yankees in part engineered by the President of the American League and shifted the center of the baseball universe… but hey, sh!t happens.
To read a bit more insight into the happenings of Red Sox Nation before and since ‘The Trade’, I
highly recommend Jerry Gutlon’s It Was Never About the Babe, an insightful and objective look at the managerial history of the Scarlett Hose from the origins of the American League to the breakdown of late 2008 with coverage of every owner, GM and superstar of note including all the dark, displeasurable, miserable stupidy which carried on behind the scenes. It doesn’t slam anyone, it isn’t filled with rumor and blah blah woulda’ shoulda’ coulda’. It includes interviews with office insiders, those around baseball and others generally in the know.
Another great read for any fan of the Nation is Mark Frost’s Game Six, an extremely detailed
journey into Game Six of the 1975 World Series, which is as we all know, regarded as the greatest WS game of all time. Duh. With interviews of… well everyone involved in the on-field / off-field / behind the scenes action and biographies of the players and managers involved. Seems like a long and drawn out affair, but really it rolls along quite nicely and is a great read. I’d easily recommend it for any serious member of The Nation or baseball fan who takes his history seriously.
Speaking of history….
Jason Bay has reportedly signed with the New York Metropolitans. Eh, he’s used to playing for a bumbling managerial staff who squanders talent to dissapoint a bandwagon fan
base while getting buried on the backpage.
I sure do love it when players sacrifice their talent and happiness for getting the ‘big’ payday.
That should mean Scott Boras is ringing the dinner bell for any suitors who wanna’ get serious about Matt Holliday. We’ve signed Cameron and the Yanks are supposedly looking to Jermain Dye, so the two biggest glutons at the buffet are out.. wink wink. So we’ll see what shakes loose.
It’s finally Christmas. Weeks of Black Fridays, Black Saturdays, Red Thursdays and blue balls from the yammering of commercials and blah blah blah.
24 Hours of A Christmas Story made for an excellent break from the rather hum-drum board game we call The Hot Stove Season.
Now aside from this so-called ‘Blockbuster’ on the part of the Yanks to aquire the former Yankee Javy Vasquez (if he’s so friggin’ awesome why does everybody trade him?) for Cabrera, the ‘Where’s Waldo?’ game with Scott Boras and all the Matt Holiday offers pouring in from all over the globe and the Jason Bay blah blah discussions.. it’s been a rather boring week.
But we all know the true meaning of Christmas is to remind us all that the blessing of Spring Training is only a month away, which means The Super Bowl is around the corner (Go Pats!) and the other two leagues will finally get thier long drawn out pre-seasons done and get the playoffs started (which any real Celtics / B’s fan knows is the only season that counts). It also means that the FA market should go into super-market sweeps and start moving like Herme’s Jerked Prunes through Theo Epstein’s bowels! (if you’ve seen Futurerama… you know the Carribean Drano)
So Merry Christmas to all…. even you Yankees fans… And to all, well, ya’ know.
… To you ‘A-Rod/A-Roid’ lovers haters et al,… Alex was on his way to Boston in 2004. Bags were packed, ticket punched one and done. The MLBPA squashed the deal due to the ‘restructuring’ of his contract. All the Yanks did was keep the contract AS IS and make the deal we didn’t. Can’t ya’ just be happy or miserable in silence after all these years? 2004, 2007 who cares? Both of those important years on the A-Rod timetable were far more important to the Sox for far better reasons. Ever think what those teams may have looked like if A-Rod was on board? Probably not series champions due to various payroll dumps or line-up changes. OK? Done. Finis.
Now.. one has to agree with a semi-popular thought going around in Jason Bay is over-rated. Well, he just may be. But the ‘Nation is familiar with him, so we want him. But he’s over 30, dissapeared mid-season (very very strange in a contract year) and has some pings and dings, but more over, is not a gold glove caliber fielder. Holliday? Damn, he’s a Boras client… who can properly see through the smokescreen without NASA certified detection systems? He went from Blah in Oakland (in a middling line-up) to BAM! in Birdtown. But who’s to say the uber-MVP wasn’t slightly responsible for that? Pujols is, as inferred, a machine. Rumor has it (and pretty much confirmed it through Olney and Gammons) the Sox made an offer to Holliday, for 5 years or so at about $82.5million before signing John Lackey to 5 years or so for $82.5million.
Adrian Gonzalez. Is staying in San Diego.
No one (not even in baseball) had a clue Lackey was on board… and as I’ve stated previously… this winter, expect the unexpected.
Yes, to say that I am relieved the Sox have finally clinched the Wild Card is an understatement, but seriously boys, what’s up with the champagne? The darlings of the stretch run have been the Twinkies and their down to the wire, still on-going, race past the Tigers of Detroit. The Scarlett Hose on the other hand have lost five in a row and backed into the playoffs on the shoulders of Texas’ rather deteriorated line-up who was gracious enough to lose yet again… Let’s recap: The Red Sox lost to the Jays (again?) for a fifth straight loss and then end the evening with a celebration?
Yeah, I understand that getting into the playoffs is a major accomplishment in any sport, especially one where the schedule is easily the longest for games played and travel time, etc… but you’ve lost 5 straight… cheer, applaude each other and drink a beer. Hoo-rah! Hip-Hip-Hooray! and the like… but champagne spraying and all the love is reserved for not only winning your way in, but winning something significant. Winning the ALDS, ALCS and most obviously the World Series is a champagne drenched goggles wearin’ celebration… not backing in. Hell, backing in is too kind. Falling in is the better term. The Red Sox haven’t been the display of near perfect baseball as much Tampa Bay and Texas have been examples of lost opportunity and injured potential. If the Rays had met expectations this season we’d be singing a much different tune nevermind if the surprising Rangers (nearly this years 2008 Rays) hadn’t broken down.
I’m looking forward to watching the Sox compete in yet another great playoff series versus the L.A. Angles and possibly the age old battle of good n’ evil with the New Yorkers (should the Twinkies not carry the momentum in and crush them) but I’m also putting the mediocre second half and thus the champagne wishes with World Series dreams finale behind me. After all, as I write this, they’re losing to Toronto again!
On to new business… or the business of giving the business ’cause business is good. Jason Bay, as we all know, is a FA this coming winter and the price tag is expected to be high, especially after he has salvaged what began to look like an ‘oops’ season in 2009. Here’s the kicker… so is Matt Holliday. Now, I’ve stated before that St.Louis would be off their nut to let Holliday go, especially as he and Pujols are looking to be the new Ruth/Mantle or Papi/Manny, but…. and let’s be greedy for a moment… what if the Sox could make push for both? Hmmmmmmm? Hey the damn Yankees can do it, why can’t we? Imagine an Opening Day roster with Bay in Left and batting fourth behind V-Mart and Holliday in right taking the fifth spot…. drop Youk in the sixth spot with Big Papi (barring some change on managment’s stance) behind him and let your mind run free. Yeah, obviously there’s a lot of flexibility in that order in regards to where you hit Youk and Petey behind Jacoby (should he finally officially be annointed the lead off guy) but damn…. think of it. Now… wait for it… think of adding Prince Fielder! Supposedly the Brewers might be open to negotiating a trade for Cecil’s little boy in the off-season due to his big-ticket. Granted, that will take some serious push in the form of pitching prospects and maybe a young hitting prospect and is far from any serious consideration at this point (to the common man, but we all know these guys don’t drop hints just for the fun of it… except J.P. Ricciardi of Toronto), but he may be tailor made for crushing the ball in Friendly Fenway for the next five years or so (health will become an issue at some point). Obviously such moves would make Ortiz, Lowell and most of all J.D. Drew (we’re paying like $9 million for Julio Lugo to play well in St. Louis, so we can dump these guys payrolls) extremely expendable and each has made great contracts with great loyalty and a ring (or two) from the club but Varitek is going to be dealt with in the off-season and if the Captain (however unfortunate) is expendable, so are they. Sad but true.
p.s. Joe Mauer is possibly a free agent next year…. ooooooooh. Hey, they let Santana go cause of the $dough$ so who knows… if he’s not a Twinkie he’ll be wearing pinstripes or red sox.
On the sad but true note…. Eric Wedge (very short tenure as a player for the Sox) was fired by the Cleveland Indians today… well sort of. Must have been a great conversation to sit in on… “Sorry Eric, but we’re letting you go. Hey, do you think you can finish the season first and then pack your sh!t and leave?” Yeah, it didn’t go quite like that, but this tells you the Indians have no managerial prospects out of the current coaching staff.
Should the Twins and Tigers require a one game playoff to decide the Central (which I doubt as it seems like the Twinkies have karma on their side… oh and consistent talent), it may require an extra day to play. The Twinkies own the homefield over the Detroit bengals and common sense dictates the game be played (if necessary) on Monday… however the Baggie-Dome will be unavailable as it hosts Brett Farve and whoever he’s playing for this season versus the Green Bay Packers for Monday Night Football. Who knows what an extra days rest might do for either team and the impact on the ALDS.