Monday, January 29, 2007
Another one bites the dust?
It looks like another one of my favorite players may be on his way out of Boston. The Red Sox and the Rockies are having "serious upper level" discussions about a trade. The guy in the picture, Mike Lowell, along with Crazy Julian and maybe prospects, to the Rockies for Todd Helton. Seems like the only hitch in the giddyap is what prospects and how much of Heltons roughly $90 million he is still owed the Rockies will pony up for.
I know Mikey has only been here one year, but man, do I love to watch him play. Just like the guy he replaced, Billy Mueller, Lowell brought his lunch pail to work every day. He played a mean 3B, and the time he DOVE flat out for a pop up bunt early in a game was one of the best defensive plays I saw all year. He turned the Green Monster into a landing zone for doubles, doing exactly what Epstein thought he would: became a doubles machine.
I may not be qualified to talk about how I don't like change. I drive my wife nuts when she moves the furniture around, or we have to get a new car, or she moves my socks to a different drawer. In fact, to say I don't like change is the equivalent of Reagan did not really care for the USSR: a BIG understatement. It's just when there are 7 guys by my count left from the 25 who won it all just 3 years ago, that seems like A LOT of change. Think about this, from last years starting 9, Loretta, Gonzalez, and Trot are already gone. Wells, Foulke, and Jason Johnson are gone from the staff. (OK, I should not have said that. Jason Johnson pitching for the Red Sox NEVER happened, you hear? It NEVER happened.) You get my point.
When I was a kid, guys stayed with teams their entire career. In football, you had L.T. and the Giants, Staubauch and the Cowboys, and Bradshaw and the Steelers. In baseball, 2 guys going into the Hall of Fame next year, Cal Ripken and Tony Gwynn spent their entire career with the organization that drafted them. Even the Yankees (And I HATE writing this) have consistently signed their own guys to extensions, even when they maybe did not deserve it. Bernie Williams, Jorge Posada, Rivera, etc... Meanwhile, the Red Sox ran Pudge Fisk out of town, "forgetting" to forward his contract to him on time. So this is nothing new for them.
I'm a grown up (well, I am 36 years old and we'll leave it at that), so I can see the business side of all this. The Red Sox do not make decisions based on warm feelings or what the fans want. See Nixon, T. and Damon, J. as examples of this. As long as they put a good team on the field each year, with a shot at making the show, I'm ok with that. Who I feel sorry for are the kids, especially my own. Ciera had the hardest time figuring out why they traded Nomie, or why Pedro and Damon did not re-sign. I buy all these things with Papi and Manny on them for Rakes and Trot, and know that one day it'll break their heart when they go.
I'll support any man wearing the Red Sox jersey. And while I'll tell myself not to do it, I'll be teaching Rakes how each one stands in the batters box by May 1st. And come next winter, I'll be disappointed when we don't resign this guy, or trade that guy. I'll get to try to explain to Ciera and Rakes why this has to happen. And I don't really know how I'll do that. How do you tell a child that real life sucks, as opposed to what you wish it was?
I guess all I can do is try to teach them what I tell myself: It's not about the name on the back of uniform. It's about the name on the front.