Well, this year's trade deadline has come and gone, and the A's roster is still comprised of the same mediocrities, mehs, and Maybe One Days that just got swept at home by Kansas City. I don't know what's more dispiriting -- the fact that we're in for at least two more months of the uninspiring baseball the A's have been playing since the All Star break or that Oakland's few tradable commodities are so lightly regarded by the baseball world at large, they couldn't produce enough of a return for Billy Beane to pull the trigger on a deal.
So I'm afraid I don't have much to say about any of the trades that went down today...
Excuse me, Phil.
Maybe I can be some help in that regard
My goodness! It's Sigma Delta Chi National Sports Columnist of the Year Bill Plaschke. It's an honor to have you here at Catfish Stew.
Well, the floor is all yours. Bill Plashcke, ladies and gentlemen.
On one side of the country, they win championships. On another coast, they dream of championships.
In Boston, they turn their back on a hall of famer. In Los Angeles, they welcome a hall of famer with open arms.
In the shadow of the Green Monster, they say, "Good riddance." In the bright sunshine of Chavez Ravine, they say, "Riddance? Good!"
It's the same man who inspires these conflicting emotions from the Back Bay Fens to the 405. Manuel Aristides (Onelcida) Ramirez.
Manny Ramirez, former Red Sox.
Manny Ramirez, current Dodger.
Ned Colletti pulled on his snakeskin boots, stroke his bristling mustache, stared down the trade deadline, and decided to roll the dice.
Theo Epstein looks around the table and decided to fold his hand.
Meanwhile, Billy Beane played baccarat while Tim Purpura turned to the nickel slots.
The house always wins.
Manny always wins, too. He won in Cleveland, where they came oh so close to ending their long championship drought. He won in Boston, where they did end their even longer championship drought. Now can he win in Los Angeles and end that not-so-nearly-as-long-but-still-rather-lengthy championship drought?
Answer hazy. Ask again.
Manny always irritates, too. He rubbed nerves raw in Cleveland, when he should have been getting slaps on the back. He tried patience in Boston when he should have been toasted up and down the Freedom Trail. Will the same happen in Los Angeles?
Manny being Manny.
But people have put up with the irritations because of the pure power of his numbers. 510 home runs. Two World Series rings. A World Series MVP award.
Manny being money.
He always tries hard, until he doesn't. He's always a fan favorite, until he's not. He's always good, unless he's bad.
Manny being moody.
But Dodger fans hungry for that first World Series banner since Gibson limped to glory in '88 won't care about the histrionics. If Ramirez delivers, as he's delivered before, they'll sing songs late into that championship rave.
Manny being Moby.
But if Ramirez doesn't deliver on the field, if he causes the same distractions here that he caused back east, then it won't be long before the Dodgers find themselves lost in space.