As a Bostonian and a sports nut, I feel the need to say something, "Thank God this A-Rod deal isn't going to happen!" In case you haven't been watching SportsCenter, or reading The Boston Globe, we're not talking about our New England Patriots in New England. They're 12-2 and looking like a team that's headed for the Superbowl for the second time in 3 years, but that doesn't matter, cuz there's baseball talk afoot.
So, the gameplan was that A-Rod, the most expensive man in sports (252 Million over 10 years, ~25.2 mil a year, he has 7 years left on the contract. Thanks avalyn) would restructure his ginorminous contract and head to Boston, someplace he apparently wants to play. In Return, the Texas Rangers would get power-hitting, non-hussling Manny Ramirez, and probably some other considerations as well. Now, you might be thinking "What's the problem?" or "What's the holdup?", possibly even "Why should I care?" Well, I'll tell you why. It's because it would make us like Them, the dreaded, evil, manipulative New York Yankees. That's why. We'd have bought our way into the playoffs, just like the Yankees. The Yanks have a weaker team than they did last year, we might not even need the help of the most expensive man in sports to beat them in the playoffs. But I digress...
The big problem I have with the trade is the simple fact that no one sees what I see; Alex Rodriguez would make an excellent second baseman. Just imagine, Sox fans, a starting rotation of Pedro, Curt Schilling, D. Lowe and Timmy Wake, with Jason Varitek catching, Kevin Millar at first, A-Rod at second, Nomah at short, Billy Mueller at third, Gabe Kapler, Johnny Damon and Trot Nixon in the outfield. We'd be unstoppable, especially with our suddenly, completely, non-sucky bullpen (when the hell did THAT happen?). But no. No one has thought to show A-Rod his place. For getting paid more than the GDP of some African nations, you think this guy could make a little sacrifice.
As the trade was being worked on by the owners of the Sox and Rangers, many conditional deals started to fall into place, all of which pissed me off. Originally thought to be going to the Los Angeles Dodgers, in some sort of trade or other, Nomar would have been shipped off to the crumbling Chicago White Sox for outfielder Maglio Ordonez. Nothing against A-Rod and Ordonez, but they're not Red Sox! They wouldn't be my team and goddamnit, I wouldn't watch. I'm serious, I let it slide when we traded away Shea Hillenbrand for Byung Yung Kim (Which was a terrible trade, for a cheap all-star you can get more than a pitcher who blows it in A) Yankee Stadium and B) The World Series, two places where the Red Sox need to win) but for these shenanigans I would not be able to stand it. I might actually consider protesting outside Fenway Park, and I know I could get many of the legion of chowdah heads to join me.
I don't want to see the Red Sox win the World Series if we have to give up the heart of our team to do so. You heard me right; I'd wait another 80+ years. Many non-Bostonians might look at Nomar Garciaparra and see an alright bat and a good defensive shortstop. But to the people of Boston, we see something else. We see Red Sox baseball. This guy has spent his entire career in Beantown, and has quickly become part of Boston culture. He came to us as Nomar, a scrawny kid still wet behind the ears. He has then morphed into Nomah! The face of the Boston Red Sox. We don't care if he's 0-5 in a game, we want him to have the last at bat. He is the hero of Boston, even if others have pulled the Hero card and played it perfectly, we want Nomah in the clutch.
As of right now, the deal is off as the player's union did not allow Rodriguez to restructure his contract. Peter Gammons, the uber-wise baseball sage, mentioned that there are two other ways that the Red Sox could get A-Rod on their team. But if he's not playing second, then I don't want him. I want the Red Sox to be the Red Sox, and not repainted pinstripes.