Thursday, July 31, 2008

Out of Left Field

I always say that our Boston Red Sox are the greatest soap opera going. Today's episode goes down as one of the best cliffhangers ever.

First, the big news: Manny Ramirez has been traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers, and Pirates OF Jason Bay is coming to Boston. The Sox also sent Craig Hansen and Brandon Moss to Pittsburgh, and the Dodgers sent two prospects to the Pirates. Sounds clean and simple, but if you've been following the bouncing ball today (like thousands in Boston have - crashed at around 4), it was anything but.

All day long, it seemed like Manny's destination was going to be South Florida. The Marlins, by all accounts, were in the lead to get him, but in the back of my mind their pursuit never made sense. They don't go out and get big names like this. They groom their talent, they're very good at it, and why would they take Ramirez on when they know he can walk after this year? (As part of waiving his no-trade, Manny and Bore-ass made it clear the acquiring team would not have the twin $20M options). It just didn't add up.

After untold updates throughout the day, it seemed like nothing was going to happen right at the 4:00 deadline, and my thoughts turned to 'how is the Sox clubhouse going to take this?' A sulking Manny for the stretch run we've seen before, but this was a different feel - this year alone, he's slapped a teammate, pushed a 65-year old man to the ground, and perhaps the most inflammatory of all, had used his personal mouthpiece - a Spanish ESPN reporter - to toss hand grenades at Red Sox ownership. How was Tito's much-discussed team meeting for tomorrow night going to go down with Manny still there? Just as I - and I'm sure countless others - were fretting about that, word came down from the Globe's Gordon Edes that Manny was heading to LA. There were some excruciating minutes after the news alert where we didn't know who we got in return. Was it Matt Kemp (please, no) or Jason Bay (please, yes) and it turned out to be Bay.

Did the Sox give up a lot? Yes. They give up Manny, Hansen, Moss and $7 million for the rest of this year and they get one player back in Bay. I would have liked to have seen a reliever in the mix somehow. The Dodgers give up two stiffs. But in the end, Theo had to get rid of Manny for all of the reasons documented above. Count me as satisfied.

If you think about it, LA made sense all along. It's been like our little Ellis Island for Red Sox cast-offs. They welcomed Grady Little, Bill Mueller, Nomar Garciaparra, and Derek Lowe with open arms, and now they're getting the clown prince of left fielders. Do you think Manny realizes there's no DH in the NL? We're going to see some tape-measure homers, but we're also going to see some comedic fielding highlights. In other words, more of the same.

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.

i'm hear...I'm a hardblog FANATIC....where are you
sports/faurve/manny/chadJ....sorry ball ....old school red sox...."maybe next year" IS BACK
olympic time for 2 weeks f mlb
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