In this case, it’s not about getting equal value. It’s about getting rid of a jerk and replacing him with someone who cares more about the team than about himself. At their best, Bay isn’t Manny, not nearly. But Manny was no longer at his best in Boston and had no desire to be. On paper, this trade does not make the Red Sox better. On the field, it does.
And so this becomes a more-than-even trade for Boston, which gets a player who has gone from baseball’s small-market gulag to the most popular team in the game, a team that draws bigger road crowds than even the Yankees. Bay is not going to arrive at Fenway and grouse about the cramped clubhouse or the low roof in the ancient dugout or the weird way the ball caroms off the Green Monster. He’s not going to go on the radio to call the owner a meathead. He’s not going to bitch about the status of his contract.
Jason Bay is going to play the game just as hard as he can and appreciate every minute of the season’s final two months. Whether that’s enough to get Boston into the playoffs is a question that remains to be answered. If Red Sox Nation is learning anything from this tumultuous season, it is what the loathed Yankees have known for longer than they care to think about — that repeating as champions isn’t nearly as easy as it looks.
But sports aren’t real life, and whiners do get rewarded — if they have sufficient talent. Brett Favre is going to get his way and probably end up on an NFC North team no matter how much the Packers try to prevent it. If he does, it will be because he whined and pouted and held his breath and stomped his feet until the Packers got annoyed enough to agree to anything if he’d promise to go away.
That’s what Manny did, and it looks more and more like he had an actual exit strategy. Normally, we don’t give him credit for thinking ahead. His actions usually reek of childlike spontaneity — Hey, look! A butterfly! And over there! A lollipop! But in this case, he waged a campaign to get out of town using the only weapon at his disposal — his innate ability to act like a jerk.
He had made the mistake last Sunday of playing hard against the Yankees, and after that game that he helped to win, I thought that maybe he had come to realize that it was in his best interests to bust his hump the rest of the season to get the big free-agent deal he wants. But within a day or two, he was lollygagging on the bases and exhibiting total indifference at the plate. When a proposed trade to the Marlins fell through, he pulled out the heavy artillery, going on a local radio station to rip Red Sox management as being undeserving of a personality as stellar as his.
ATLANTA (AP) - Matt Harvey pitched six hitless innings, John Buck homered and the New York Mets held off another Atlanta comeback, beating the Braves 4-3 Tuesday in the first game of a doubleheader.
Message for Manny
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