Saturday, December 24, 2005
Spanning the back pages
Steinbrenner rings, I was listeningRed Sox fans got run over by a reindeer, standing on their soapbox this Christmas Eve. If you don't think there's no such thing as karma, head on down to Beantown... they believe.
Overnight, the Stadium's glistening
A beautiful sight
Leaving Fenway tonight
Walking in a Yankees wonderland
Gone away is the long hair
Here to stay is the short hair
Singing a love song
Me and Jeter go along
Walking in a Yankees wonderland
In between preparing the holiday menus and readjusting my morning routine, did everyone neglect to mention that hell froze over? I was all but certain that my eggnog had been spiked with the news that now-ex Boston centerfielder Johnny Damon had spurned renegotiating with the front office at Yawkey Way to jump ship to the dark side. Grizzly Adams, a Yankee? It took front page confirmations from both tabloids that this in fact was true. And in many ways, can't say that this is too much of a shock either. The deafening silence that was Cashman & Co. fronting the so-called "Evil Empire" with low-key sound bites and a tight-lipped rein was getting to be a bit unnerving this offseason. However, The Boss rarely misses an opportunity to make a big splash in the free agent market and this turned out to be the whopper of them all.
Rabid high priestess of pinstripes that I am, I'm pretty ambivalent about the whole scenario, really. While this plugs a hole in the outfield and provides our most lethal 1-2 leadoff combo since the days of Chuck Knoblauch wearing down pitch counts with his pesky at-bats, Damon's arm is even worse than Bernie's, his shoulder problems aren't a thing of the past and mere memory of his grand slam off Javier Vasquez in the 2004 ALCS still is a sore subject to even type about, much less discuss at length.
However, when you consider the implications of a team who can count among the highlights of their year:
- losing their boy genius GM
- having their knucklehead, but infinitely imposing star slugger Manny Ramirez so desperate to flee New England that his swanky penthouse went back on the market before a trade scenario could even be worked out
- shipping off their one blue-chip SS prospect to the Marlins in order to swing the Beckett/Lowell trade, meanwhile the supposed heir apparent to Nomar in Edgar Renteria was such a collective bust, they paid the Braves $11 mil to get him off their hands
At the expense of the Fenway faithful, this is a comedy of epic proportions. The Yankees didn't even waste much time in hot pursuit. They waited for Scott Boras to pull his head out of his ass with the ridiculous 7-year contract sticking point, and he fell into their laps for a bit over market value - but only boosted by the "are they kidding?" uptick caused by Rafael Furcal's defection to L.A. Now for Dead Sox fans, it's the nightmare of losing Pedro Martinez being played out all over again as another beloved favorite bolts and the excuses started piling up quicker than Jesus to Judas analogies. "He's not worth that money" and "We didn't really want him anyway" rings really sincere after the fact. Have fun filling all the holes in your lineup, guys.
A father's pain: And on a more somber note, a tragic footnote in recent headlines is the apparent suicide of Indianapolis Colts head coach Tony Dungy's 18-year-old son James earlier this week in his Tampa apartment under bizarre circumstances.
So many times sports figures receive all-too-public floggings from the media about the image projected and examples being set in light of their heavy visibility. One couldn't find nary of a source of badmouthing directed to Tony Dungy, because he was that kind of person.
Unfortunately in life, sometimes very bad things happen to very good people. It's a scenario that no parent ever wants to confront and is a horrible juxtaposition against a season that up until this point was on a magical ride, flirting with perfection. And in that chase for immortality in the history books, we're reminded of how life really is. Fragile and oftentimes, far too fleeting.
- Rell commented at 12/28/2005 03:10:00 PM~
that dude really looks like a cro-magnon life form.
- Mealone commented at 12/29/2005 06:35:00 PM~
I can't believe how handsome Johnny Damon looks now. Watch out NY.
I did read about Tony Dungy. What a tragedy.
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