October 27, 2007
Would A-Rod To Boston Make Sox The Team To Hate?
From John Harper -
So the question now, as the Red Sox move toward a second championship in four years, is when do they officially become the team that everybody loves to hate? In other words, when does the world decide they've become the Yankees?
They fit all the categories, right? They win a lot. They spend big. Their fans seem to be multiplying by the day, invading stadiums around the country.
After all, this isn't 2004. There's no charm to the Sox winning this time around, no curse to break, no octogenarians waiting for that elusive championship so they can die happy.
For that matter, you'd have to say the old underdog role is gone for good. The Sox are too well-run, too well-financed, not to be an October presence for years to come.
Still, it's hard to imagine the Sox ever being perceived nationally as the Evil Empire, the label the Sox themselves hung on the Yankees. Boston is not New York, for one thing. The Sox don't have an imperious owner in the manner of the old George Steinbrenner, for another.
Of course, there's one way to practically guarantee the Sox becoming the new villains of baseball, and that's by signing Alex Rodriguez for a billion dollars or so.
People around the Red Sox don't rule it out, because the club is one of the few in baseball that could pay a player the $30 million a year agent Scott Boras has told the world he expects as a minimum.
I'm probably shooting myself in the foot for thinking this, but, there's a part of me that hopes Alex Rodriguez goes to the Red Sox - should he decide to leave the Yankees. It would be one heckuva story - and it will be interesting to see how such a move would impact A-Rod, the Red Sox, the Yankees, and the fans of both teams.
And, it just might put that bullseye, that always seems to be on the Yankees' backs when teams play them, on Boston for a change.
Posted by Steve Lombardi at October 27, 2007 09:08 AM
I'm probably shooting myself in the foot for thinking this, but, there's a part of me that hopes Alex Rodriguez goes to the Red Sox - should he decide to leave the Yankees.
I'm with you for basically the same reasons. I think that A-Rod would be very stupid to leave the Yankees and the Red Sox would be where he would most have to "pay the piper."
Still, A-Rod was about 5 wins more valuable than Lowell this year. He won't repeat that next year no matter what -- so it probably means 3 more wins for the Red Sox. That Red Sox team would be almost impossible for an A-Rod-less Yankee team to beat. The Red Sox advantage, I would hope, would start to dissipate beyond 2008 as Manny and Ortiz age. Replacing Manny and/or Ortiz could possibly be very difficult for the Sox if they were paying A-Rod's salary.
Yankees fans who hope A-Rod signs with Boston are masochists who apparently will enjoy finishing in second place (or worse, when the Baby Rays come of age) for the next decade. Enjoy mediocrity while the best player in baseball hits 60 homers a year over that ridiculous green wall!
Isn't masochism a central component of being a diehard fan?
That said, I hope he signs with the Yanks.
when the Baby Rays come of age
Everyone keeps on talking about this. I think it's been proven that you can contend without an astronomical payroll. The Twins, A's, and Indians have proven this. But it's still going to be hard for Tampa to leapfrog both New York and Boston even if they have cornered the market on talented young players. I have to imagine that the D-Rays don't have the financial flexibility to make in-season moves in the event that players flop or get injured. It will be interesting to see what happens in Tampa. No matter what, though, I know that baseball isn't viable down there. Even with a good team, they'll never sell out that dump of a ballpark.