Clash of Titans

Peter Gammons column on the site this weekend talks extensively about the potential A-Rod trade to Boston that’s been swirling around the rumor mill for the past few weeks like a Texas dustup (pun intended). Apparently this deal is being handled directly by the owners of the two clubs involved, along with A-Rod and his agent Scott Boras. Whew. That’s some heavy baseball shit.

The fact of the matter is that a Boston team led by A-Rod with a 1-2-3-4 rotation of Pedro, Curt Schilling, Derek Lowe and Tim Wakefield has the potential to be a juggernaut. Or at least that’s what the folks in Boston are hoping. One cannot forget the spending spree the Mets went on a couple of years ago that included signing the then best second baseman in baseball, Roberto Alomar, that netted the Mets one of the worst couple of seasons in recent memory. The Mets weren’t just bad. They were expensive and dreadful. 

Still, I can see why the Red Sox would be excited about this deal. A-Rod is viewed as the best all-around player in the game. He’s also a marketing goldmine because he loves the press and being the face of his team. Ultimately what this is about, as far as the Boston marketing people are concerned, is a great marquee that adds to the frenzy that surrounds the rivalry between the Yankees and the Red Sox. It’ll be an A-Rod vs. Jeter cage match for the next seven years, unless one of them falls apart (my bet is on Jeter to go to shit long before A-Rod). 

Think about this folks – the Yanks have had a virtual lock on the AL East for nearly ten years. Sure Boston made the wild-card last season, and came darned close to keeping the Yanks out of the World Series, but for New York it’s not about getting into the playoffs, it’s about winning that division title outright repeatedly and being the big bully on the playground everyone else has to try to knock of. If Boston creates a cohesive powerhouse club they could take the AL East title from NY and maybe even hold onto it for a few seasons. You just know that makes Steinbrenner’s blood boil.

It also just as surely makes Bud Selig’s otherwise mirthless soul warm like a kitten in the noonday sun. A healthy and solid rivalry that means something between Boston and New York translates into big TV bucks when the postseason roles around. It also virtually guarantees that lots of luxury tax money will flow downhill from Boston and New York to the less wealthy teams, thus making it easier for them to stay competitive.

Don’t get me wrong. I hate the Red Sox. A big part of me will never like the last organization in MLB to integrate their rosters, especially since Boston is itself still on of the most racially divided cities in the US. But I love to see anything that makes people excited about baseball. You get excited about the game and you go to see your local team play. That’s good stuff Maynard.

So I really hope this trade goes through. Besides, anything that weakens the offensive production of the Rangers is all good for a dyed in the wool A’s fan like me.

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