Saturday, December 11, 2010

Jeter, Gonzo, Crawford and Waiting for Lee

So, quick tangent before I get to my main topic....Finding time to write anything is a little tougher when you have a 8-10 month kid cruising the house. I'm as worn as I've ever been in my life, but no way would I trade one second of it for anything. Not conducive for blogging, though.

But, seeing as my last post was in late September, a lot has happened since my last post. First off, the Giants became the latest team to end a long wait for a title, the Yankees were made to look like a 2nd rate team against the Rangers, and the Phillies are starting to look like the 2003-04 era Yankees.

The off season has also been somewhat tumultuous. As I'm writing, we still don't know if Cliff Lee will be a Yankee or a Ranger or whether or not a mystery team will swoop in at the last minute. Smart money (and a dumb 7th year) says the Yankees get this done now that they have Jeter and Rivera resigned.

Speaking of Jeter -- I was a little disappointed in how the Yankees went about these negotiations, although not surprised. But Jeter has been the picture of class for his entire tenure in the Bronx, and for the club to try out the "greedy player who wants more than he deserves" angle....well, that's a bit of an insult to the fans. We all knew that Jeter wanted to remain a Yankee, that the Yankees wanted him back, and that whatever they paid him -- it would be more than he was worth on the open market. Look, we all know he's an aging shortstop with declining range (that many will say was never that good anyway). He was coming off his worst year of his career, too. But Derek Jeter IS the Yankees. Plain and simple, and if you didn't take care of him, you'd have angered quite a bit of your fan base. I can say that aside from Albert Pujols, he's hands down my favorite player, and I'd have strongly considered turning my back on the Yankees had they let him go. I've been a Yankees fan for a long time, but it has been during Jeter's time in the Bronx that I've been at my most passionate. I'm sure many of you would point out the fact that I sound like a fair weather fan with that statement, but Jeter, much like Ozzie Smith in the 80's, is a guy that I will always root for no matter what uniform he puts on (although I don't ever want to test that out if he should sign in Boston).

The big players in the offseason, though, have been the Red Sox. They pulled off the big move for Adrian Gonzalez -- who was formerly #3 on my list of current favorite players. I saw him play for our local A club, Kane County, when he was coming up in the Marlins system, and saw him play during Spring Training just after he had been traded to the Padres. Right after that, I grabbed him off the wire for my fantasy baseball team, and I've been a huge fan since. He'll do well in Boston, and I'll miss having him play for a team where I was able to root for him. The Sox also added Carl Crawford to play left, and now have the option of trading either Mike Cameron or Jacoby Ellsbury for some more pitching. The Red Sox -- on paper at least -- look to have put themselves back in the conversation in the AL East, and will very likely be a power.

Talking to a friend of mine -- a fellow Cardinals fan who spent his college years in Boston. He is now and always will be a Cardinals fan, but did begin rooting for the Sox while living out East. His comment was that the Red Sox have become a bit tougher to like the last several years because they are now just as bad as the Yankees (he, like most other baseball fans, hates the Yankees with a passion). Hard to argue with that after the two moves they've made.

Of course, that is until the Yankees make Cliff Lee an unimaginably rich man and lock him in for 7 years.

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