Wednesday, November 19, 2014
The enemy of my enemy is my drinking buddy: It's time to root, root, root for the Cubs and Giants; or Boston will be back in the driver's seat
Posted by el duque at 6:52 AM
The Fratboy Nation has made muy gigundo offers to Pablo Sandoval and Jon Lester, their top free agent pinups. Last summer, they ditched the deadwood for just this moment. Moreover, they have a bubbling geyser of young prospects, as opposed to the Yankees' farm system, baseball's version of the XL Pipeline. If they add Lester and Sandoval, it's easy to imagine them whooshing past the Yankees in 2015. In fact, it's easy to imagine Prince Hal Steinbrenner doing something batty - Troy Tulowitzki comes to mind - which could relegate us to permanent Third World status for the rest of this decade.
Two people stand in the way of the Redsocks' plans:
1. Theo Epstein, the former Redsockian consigliere, who is trying to resurrect the Cubs with manager Joe Madden and a roster replica of the 2008 Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Theo needs Lester in the way that the Bill Cosby needs six months of solitude. If he outbids Boston - of if Lester still feels the taser sting of being jettisoned last summer - it would force the Redsocks into chasing Max Scherzer or James Shields. Both pitchers are solid, but Scherzer will require a Giancarlo Stanton price tag, and Shields is 32 (Lester and Scherzer are 30.) That two-year gap is a mofo when when you're looking at a five-year commitment. Go you Theo. Hail Hydra!
2. Brian Sabean, the former Yankee wonk, who built the Giants with other former Yankee wonks. (If only the Yankees were wonked by their former Yankee wonks.) Sandoval has three rings in San Francisco, and - at age 28 - he could fill his hand by staying put. Will he feel loyalty to the town and team? Let's hope so. Because it's not hard to see him flicking pop-ups off the Green Monster and having the peak seasons of his career, much like David Ortiz, who came to Boston at age 27. If the Redsocks whiff on the Panda, their fallback at 3B becomes Chase Headley - ha! - and, at the least, we can bid up Headley's price and make Boston pay way too much. Think of it this way: Their next fallback is in Zelous Wheeler territory.
So watch the skies. If Boston nails both Lester and Sandoval, Team Hal Hydra will declare Code Red, and all the Yankees really have to trade is their future. Of course, even if Boston goes oh-for-two, they still have plenty of wiggle room. It wouldn't be the first time their plans went blooey - and they ended up on top. Remember the winter of 2003 and a fellow named Alex? Hail Hydra, or - better yet - Hail Hubris!