I think I ought to

I think I ought to pipe in with my thoughts on the A-Rod/Nomar/Manny shenanigans going on in the baseball world. Since I first suggested trying to get A-Rod early this October, I have to admit I am pleased to see the Sox’ brass following up, at least from a pure baseball standpoint. Let me break down some of my thoughts/issues: 1. Rodriguez is, hands-down, the best player in baseball, and adding him to any team should be viewed as an upgrade. 2. Clearly, moving Manny is a priority of the front office, and though he is a staggeringly dangerous player offensively, he is, at the absolute most, a near-average or slightly below average fielder (though not as bad as everyone says). He’s a clubhouse case of the sniffles (I won’t accuse him of being a cancer, since the Sox have done pretty well with him to this point) that management obviously wants gone, as well as a salary hog. 3. Nomar has been a great representative of baseball in Boston – a passionate player (despite his sheltered outward appearance, he gives EVERYTHING to the team, I believe), a gifted hitter (however limited), a solid to above-average fielder. As I have posted earlier, any team would be lucky to have him, and under other circumstances (say, had he been drafted by the Yanks) he’d have a few of Derek’s rings by now. 4. The sentimentality factor plays hard. Much chatter has been devoted to a trade of Nomar being equal to a trade of Yaz circa 1969 or 1975, or the loss of Fisk in 1981. To me, the landscape of baseball economics and team loyalty has changed, making these comparisons less apt. I think that the loss of Nomar would be a hard one for fans emotionally, in a vaccum. But replacing him with Rodriguez will shorten our memories. I don’t think there will be a single fan disappointed with what Rodriguez could bring to the Sox, from an abilities and heart standpoint. I don’t think A-Rod has ever been accused of not bringing everything to the table. If the Sox had replaced Fisk in ’81 with with Gary Carter, I don’t think Sox fans would still be lamenting the loss of Fisk as romantically as we do (he was my idol). And Rodriguez is no Gary Carter – he’s far beyond that. Us Sox fans should be more realistic. In this day and age of player movement, to hold onto the idea of a playing career spent in one uniform is suffocating. It’s noble, for sure, but no longer pragmatic. We need the Sox to win a World Series, bottom line, and I think that Theo Epstein, Larry Lucchino, and John Henry understand that modern baseball is not only about romance, it’s also about science, economy, and intellect as well. Nothing would be more romantic, to me, than to see a World Champions banner above Fenway, Nomar or no Nomar.

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