Once again, the Red Sox have been trumped by the Yankees as the “Evil Empire” agreed with the Texas Rangers to pick up Alex Rodriguez, not 8 weeks after the Sox could not get it done. Its just typical. I am bitter. Different Red Sox ownership, same result. Yanks get the best of the Sox. The Sox made some great moves this off season picking up Curt Schilling and Keith Foulke, and they did pull out all the stops to land A-Rod, which I must commend them for. And lets not forget that this is the reigning MVP of the American League. But at the end of the day, this season, and all the remaining 7 seasons that A-Rod is a member of the NY Yankees, will be evaluated in part relative to the Sox’ failure to get the A-Rod for Manny deal done this winter. Nothing less than the Red Sox winning it all sometime soon will do. Otherwise, ownership and management will always be questioned – What if they did get A-Rod?
What this deal really does is illustrate a system in baseball that is woefully out of whack. The Red Sox have a new system in place where they value production and some level of fiscal sanity, which I definitely respect, but that was the deal breaker in the A-Rod negotiations (Larry “Evil Empire” Luccinno did not help any, but that’s another story) and from this fan’s perspective, the reality is that the Sox did not get it done and the Yankees did. Don’t get me wrong, the Red Sox are big spenders too, but they are still being out-spent by $70 Million!! The Yankees will now have almost a $200 Million dollar payroll for its team. That is 300% more than the Florida Marlins and 400% more than the Milwaukee Brewers. They have 6 of the top 15 salaries, and in turn, players, in Major League Baseball. That is just wrong. Baseball needs to fix the system now. It needs to take the blueprint from the NFL and replicate it, word for word, line for line, dollar for dollar.
I think the most frustrating thing is that I am residing in the NYC area watching all this go down, and all I hear and read is about A-Rod and the snickering of the Yankee fans towards the Red Sox. That is the most frustrating. I don’t want to get too ahead of myself since the game needs to be played on the field, and I am confident that the Red Sox have a solid team that is actually better than last year’s team. But all the good work that was done by the Red Sox this off season was blown away by the Yankees in one week and now we have to watch A-Rod play for the Yankees for the next 7 years and wonder “What if…”. This is a tough pill to swallow.
Update (2019) – It is amazing to read this 15 years later and just laugh at how things shook out for the Red Sox, the Yankees, and for A-Rod’s legacy. Everyone knows what happened in 2004. With the exception of a fluke 2009 World Series, the Yankees have been, dare I say, pedestrian. And A-Rod turned into one of the most polarizing players ever to wear pinstripes, much less play baseball.