Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Plea from a Red Sox Fan: DON’T SIGN A-ROD!!

by Sum Mehrnama

Though I fully admit to being a baseball fan only after the All-Star Break each season, I still am a die-hard Boston Red Sox fan. Though I don’t know the names of all of their top minor-league prospects, I could feel my heart beating in my throat and gut simultaneously as Jonathan Papelbon pitched for the third time in four nights to give us the World Series. What I’m getting at is fairly simple…I’m not the most knowledgeable baseball fan, but I sure as hell love my Red Sawks [sic].

Through this love, spawned through my brief but significant connection to the Boston area, I do not wish my team to suffer any maladies or to fall victim to any dire viruses. Unfortunately, Major League Baseball’s equivalent of SARS is now out there and potentially ready to pounce onto third base or shortstop in Beantown. That’s right, Alex Rodriguez, aka A-Rod, aka Gay-Rod, aka Busch League (okay, I’m probably the only one who calls him that) is now a free agent and many sports sites are predicting that the Red Sox are among the more likely spots where he’ll land. If that happens, I just might cry.

First off, we’ve got Mike Lowell. Sure, his age is a key factor, but his 2007 stats were pretty beastly, especially considering his spot in the lineup after Papí and Manny. Furthermore, the man stayed perfectly consistent throughout the playoffs, unlike Rodriguez, whose production seriously dropped off once October hit. Lowell’s proven his value to the organization, and he’s a better fit in our lineup and on our bench than the attention-hungry A-Rod.

Secondly, as amazing as Rodriguez is at the plate I, personally, have no room in my heart for the cheap crap he pulls. Exhibit A: The Glove Slap. Sorry, MLB does not allow videos of games on YouTube, so you don’t get the “joy” of seeing that play again. But if you don’t know the story, just google “A-rod glove slap.” Exhibit B: The Shout. While people will go back and forth debating the cheapness of this play, I’m just going to say that I do not want a player who will resort to using busch league plays that I expect from 10-year-olds.

Third, I just don’t like “me-first” players in any sport. Any debate as to the me-first mentality of A-Rod was put to rest through his giving the OK to Scott Boras to make the “opt-out” announcement during Game 4 of the World Series. As annoying as it was to hear about the Yankees managerial search every hour for the duration of the series, at least the evil-empire generally adhered to MLB’s request of no major announcements during the World Series. Rodriguez and Boras couldn’t wait just another hour or two, which makes me wonder to what extent A-Rod would sacrifice for the rest of his next team. My guess is not much, and I don’t want a player like that on my team.

Finally, even though Julio Lugo isn’t the greatest player of all time, he’s still got 2 years left on his 4-year deal. He is also a team player, a great base stealer and can come through when necessary at the plate or even, on occasions like the World Series, defensively. Even though we have Ellsbury and Crisp, there won’t be too many games where both will start, and having another fast baserunner is important. Yes, Rodriguez is the better player, but I’ll go to my grave saying that Lugo is the better fit in Boston. Plus, there are other free-agent shortstops out there.

Theo, I beg you … listen to Red Sox Nation on this one. Avoid A-Rod and keep Lowell (and Lugo). It’s simple logic.

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