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Worst Article Ever...
By Rich Tenorio
Monday, November 28, 2005
The Boston Red Sox are a team with much power, but little speed. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim are a team with much speed, but little power. One simple, straight-up trade will solve both teams' problems.
Listen up, Larry Lucchino. It's time to give Manny Ramirez what he wants. Send him to the Angels for Vladimir Guerrero.
If anyone can replace the dreadlocked darling of the Fenway faithful, it's Vladimir. Think back to the playoffs of 2004, before the epic victory over the New York Yankees and the anticlimactic World Series win over the St. Louis Cardinals. In what F. Scott Fitzgerald would have called a transitory, enchanted moment, the Angels had the Red Sox suddenly struggling, courtesy of Guerrero.
The Angels' right fielder stepped up to the plate against Mike Timlin on an unusually warm October evening with his team trailing, 6-2. Guerrero connected for a grand slam to tie the game. Only David Ortiz could save things for the Sox with a two-out, two-run homer in the bottom of the tenth. Big Papi's shot came after Manny had struck out.
Granted, Manny has achieved much in his five seasons with the Sox. He has averaged almost 40 home runs a year. This season, he belted 45 and added 144 RBI. In the World Series last year, he earned MVP honors by clobbering Cardinal pitching at a .412 pace.
But this diamond has its flaws. Just as surely as the leaves bleed bright colors in autumn, so does each year come accompanied by a Manny trade request. Last week, he said he wanted to go to the Angels or to the Seattle Mariners. Unhappy players hurt clubhouse chemistry, which was why former GM Theo Epstein wisely sent Nomar Garciaparra to the Cubs last year. Lucchino should follow precedent.
Then there is the money issue. Ramirez makes a lot of it, thanks to the largesse of Epstein's predecessor, Dan Duquette, who signed Manny to an eight-year deal in 2000. In the final three seasons of this contract, Manny is scheduled to earn $57 million.
And consider Manny's exploits on the basepaths and in the field, two critical aspects of the game that the Sox often overlook. Recall his two errors on consecutive eighth-inning plays in Game One of the 2004 World Series, and his leisurely stroll to third just in time for Eric Chavez to force him out in Game One of the 2003 ALDS.
Guerrero represents a welcome antidote. He is more multidimensional than Manny. This year, Vladdy hit .317 with 32 home runs, 108 RBI, and 13 stolen bases. He also made eight assists while committing just three errors. Last year, he was named AL MVP.
Sure, he has struggled in the playoffs. He mustered one hit in 20 at-bats in the American League Championship Series. But that came against a Chicago White Sox club that vanquished Boston in three games and won a World Series championship. And while the Red Sox were struggling in the Division Series, Vladdy hit .333 against the Yankees.
Bringing Guerrero into the Boston lineup would provide some exciting possibilities. Imagine him hitting in front of Ortiz, or dancing a few steps away from third with the game on the line in Yankee Stadium. Meanwhile, Manny would supply the Angels with extra power to complement Garret Anderson's speed.
Of course, there are complications. Mike Scioscia would have to persuade Manny to play DH full-time, as left field belongs to Anderson. (Given that Manny plays left field like Dick Stuart played first base, this shouldn't be too hard.) The Sox would have to swallow some of their star slugger's salary, and they would have to figure out where to put Trot Nixon - or where to trade him.
But things have a way of working out, especially when two teams each have something that the other needs. Like a speedy, gifted left fielder, and a petulant power at the plate.
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Does this guy even know that Vlad is 5 years younger and makes $5million less per year? Oh, by the way, he also plays in the field. I cannot believe people actually get paid to write this crap.
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