Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Last Place is Fine

After tonight's win against the Red Sox, the Orioles are 61-65 and in last place in the East. The Eastern Division is tough this year and the Birds are making positive strides towards .500. It's been an exciting season for the Orioles with promising young stars making contributions like Luke Scott, Nick Markakis, Adam Jones and George Sherrill. It's still a work-in-progress, but the front office is laying the ground work for success. They haven't dipped too far under the break even mark and have an outside shot at a winning record. The farm system has exhibited marked improvement. The Orioles show promise for the future. I'm happy with what I've seen thus far. They may be in last place, but they are no doormat. They compete and that's all that matters for now.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Goodbye Manny

Manny Ramirez has been traded to the Dodgers and I believe he packed with him any chance of the Red Sox winning the World Series this year. With Ramirez, they had a swagger--a mystique--and without him, the middle of the line-up presents somewhat of a reprieve for opposing pitchers. I'm not discounting the very essence of the Bosox soul--Mike Lowell--but I'm not sure he can carry the team the whole way. Big Papi hasn't been the same since the tee-shirt was buried and then unearthed.

Boston will definitely benefit by not having Ramirez in left. He played the position as though he was sitting in a lawn chair. "Whoops," he must have said to himself as balls rolled past his nonchalant approach.

"That's Manny being Manny," Sawx fans remark.

But man, can he club a baseball. Joe Torre now has the necessary elements to make a run for the pennant.

I remember when Manny came up in the 1990s. Growing up in Washington Heights, he somehow eluded the Yankee scouts. He demolished the Yankees in the Bronx on his very first appearance--hitting two home runs in the series and going back to his old neighborhood to enjoy helpings of fried plantains.

Why couldn't Manny just keep being Manny in New England? He'd finally exhausted their patience. I'm not complaining because he may have also taken with him the sea of red in my ballpark-Camden Yards. Time will tell. The conundrum of how to deal with the Red Sox line-up just got easier.

How many players have reached the 500 home run plateau and were traded that very same year? Not many. That's the sad part of it for the fans.
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