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February 19, 2004

It's a trap!

This is a total fantasy. But wouldn't it be cool?

Here's what almost certainly didn't happen:

Back last fall, Red Sox GM Theo Epstein realized that Alex Rodriguez was an interesting possible acquisition for Boston. He started to look into the trade and discovered that it was possible, but that it would be very expensive.

He also discovered that A-Rod had some teamwork and ego issues that would make him a poor fit in Boston's clubhouse. So Theo decided to pass on A-Rod.

But then he had an idea.

Theo and the boys spent the better part of the next two months making it look like they desparately wanted A-Rod in Boston. They made offer after offer. But each one came up just a little bit short of acceptable. Intentionally.

In the end they "failed" to acquire Rodriguez, but they did accomplish a couple of things.

(1) They made the players' union look like they cared more about power than what a player wanted, and more important...

(2) They lured the Yankees into acquiring A-Rod.

This number (2) has a handful of interesting possible side-effects.

(a) It cost them A LOT of money.

(b) It jacks up the stakes for GM Cashman and Manager Torre who, even more than ever, HAVE TO WIN this year. No pressure.

(c) It sets up a likely clubhouse rivalry between A-Rod, and Jeter.

(d) It further weakens the Yankees by trading away Soriano.

(e) It provides a dramatic example of the mismatch between what the Yankees can spend and what everyone else can.

(f) It returns the Red Sox to the perceived position of underdog in the AL race. Which is a better place to work from.

OK, I know that Theo and the boys engineering this is nonsense. There are a couple of facts that make almost certain that it didn't happen this way. But remember that the Sox did put Manny up on open waivers last fall. So they're not opposed to a little gamesmanship.

It's a total fantasy. But wouldn't it be cool.

Posted by jghiii at February 19, 2004 12:01 PM
Posted by: sherman on February 19, 2004 12:36 PM

One of my students is from Seattle, but spending this semester in Spain. Here's what he sent me in an email:

ok, iŽll get myself started, but just a little bit. that little crybaby used to play for seattle, i never liked him anyway, and the season after he chased the paycheck to texas we tied the alltime record for most games won in a season. so that little bitch can go where he wants, that bastard team can buy who they want, whatever. some teams have money and some have heart.
ps- several rhode island friends here, big sox fans

Posted by: Sean on February 20, 2004 12:39 AM

Well I only wish that this was true. I see some major problems coming from the Yankee clubhouse this year. K. Brown needs his own private jet, Sheffield and BALCO'roids.

You know once Jeter gets hurt, sits a game or just gets into an inevitable slump, A-Rod will step in and never leave (probably vying to beat his idols record for consective games played)

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