Saturday, January 7, 2006

Traitors and Traders...

As 2005 came to close, one of the expected events of the baseball offseason came to fruition. Johnny Damon signed with the Yankees. Does this make him a traitor? No, not even I, the rabid Sox fan could say that. The man is a professional athlete; he plays for money. Why not go to the highest bidder?

Sure, I felt as though I was kicked in the groin that morning, as my wife came interrupted my shower by saying, "The radio just said Johnny Damon is a Yankee now." I freaked out. I didn't want to go to work. I actually said, "There is no baseball anymore." No, it wasn't that Damon went to the Evil Empire (though I'd like it better if he hadn't). It was the fact that Manny had already requested a trade, and though I'd been bracing for this since early May, I didn't know how I could face the Sox this year. Don't get me wrong, I really love the Sox, but really...

Pedro is gone. Lowe is gone. Schilling looks like more like his time with the Orioles than the guy with the bloody sock. Was Cabrera ever really here? His replacement has already been traded, let alone not signing him. Das Wunderkind, Theo Epstein, left because he didn't have enough control. He may or may not be back soon...Perhaps there was a ripper at Yale he decided he couldn't miss (a post-grad admission into Skull and Bones?).

At the start of 2006, Damon is now gone, on the same team with former Idiots Alan Embree, and Mark "I'll strikeout and walk 100 times" Bellhorn . "Trust me, I'll hit a double" Bill Mueller is gone. Manny looked as though he was on his way out (more on that shortly). And the thing that most kills me, is that Kevin Millar is still unsigned. That's the kicker. Millar is the heart and soul of the idiots. The man who first coined the phrase, "Cowboy up!" in 2003, looks as though he will never be in bean town again (which means no more karaoke or dancing). Sure, Damon was the face, but Millar was the guts.

Manny has always been, and will always be, an idiot. This all started when he wanted the pitching machine guy from Cleveland as part of his $160,000,000 deal when he came to Beantown. He was part of the great A-Rod debacle that also made Nomar (may the Lord have mercy on his soul) reach his boiling point in Boston. (Thank God Garciaparra didn't sign with the Yanks to play first. I don't think I could take watching that. Honestly, I loved Nomar (right up until that Yankee game that he refused to play in). I don't think I would have been able to watch him double off the Monster in the Yankee road grays.) Then there was last summer.

First he disappeared into the Monster, supposedly to take a leak. Really, while the Sox brought in a reliever, Manny relieved himself. This led to the Sox's infamous Manny non-trade. First he was on the wire, but then the Mets couldn't come up with the right deal. So, as the trade deadline passed, Manny stepped out of the dugout for a monster pinch-hit single. The Nation went ballistic, and he ate it up. Manny being Manny has become almost too cliche. He said he was happy to be in Boston, but in December he asked for a trade.

Then, just yesterday Manny said he didn't want to be traded any more. He wanted to stay in Boston. He wanted to stay with Papi! Great news, because the Monster loves a great righty power hitter. But his Agent said that ESPN Deportes misquoted the Man-Child.

I'm sick of the rollercoaster that is Manny-being-Manny. However, I really do hope that Ramirez stays in Boston for the remainder of his contract.

Now our winter just needs Theo Epstein and Millar to return to the Fens...

On a side note, Herman Edwards is reportedly going to leave his position as headcoach of the Jets and replace Dick Vermeil as the headcoach in KC. Can you blame Herm? The man has been nothing but a stoic for the past few years with Gang Green. He is leaving a situation with a good, young defense, an aging Pro Bowler at RB (Curtis Martin), and an oft-injured quarterback in Chad Pennington (or Jay Fiedler, or Vinny Testaverde, or Brooks Bollinger). He'll enter a situation with a good, young defense, a situation with one of the best backs in the league (Priest Holmes) who is backed up by the breakout player of 2005 (Larry Johnson). Trent Green is really coming into his prime as a quarterback. He will be 36 next season; old enough to have some great veteran savvy and young enough to keep making plays. He hasn't missed a game since 2000, while Chad Penington has missed 22 since 2002. Green throws throws to Tony Gonzalez, and there was never a huge target like that with the Jets. Good luck to Herm...

Now, please excuse me. Mike Alstott just trucked a tiny Ryan Clark of the 'Skins...back to watching the playoffs...TOUCHDOWN CHRIS SIMMS! Gotta love the lead block from that pulling guard!

PS-As a Titans fan from CT, I could care less who wins. As a football coach, I just want to see some great football play.

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