Sunday, July 27, 2008

Red Sox: Back to Also-Rans?

My local high school, Rowan County High School, traditionally has a weak football team. But 8 or 9 years ago, a coach got the guys into winning territory behind a high-quality running back and took them to the Kentucky playoffs.

Then the coach was fired for some non-football related reason. I forget what. The coaches response: "I guess they want to go back to 2-7."

Actually, the team went way way back to 0-10 and got so bad that they were booted out of the local district.

This brings us to the Boston Red Sox. Before the arrival of Manny Ramirez, the Red Sox had been bridesmaids to the New York Yankees for more than eighty years. Bill Buckner let one World Series dribble between his legs. Ted Williams couldn't get them over the hump. Neither could Roger Clemens.

But Manny Ramirez helped them win championships with his big bat on the field and anxiety-free attitude in the clubhouse.

So much for the Curse of the Bambino.

The problem is that Ramirez is very tough on management. Manny has a habit of making public demands to be traded that he doesn't really mean. He also takes games off for no apparent reason and recently shoved the Red Sox traveling secretary.

Now, it looks like pressure's building up (again) for a trade. Sportswriters like Ken Rosenthal are demanding that Red Sox executives trade Ramirez for a couple of spare parts while Sox GM Theo Epstein claims that "we'd be open to (a trade) . . . We've called around. We've been open to it for 5 1/2 years now."

Of course, the Red Sox have won two World Series in those 5 1/2 years and Ramirez is a major reason why they can call themselves "The World Champion Boston Red Sox."

But I guess the Sox want to go back to being "The Tragic, Suffering, Also-Ran Red Sox."

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