Another shot in the pants

There’s a story that some of you may have heard before. It’s about a team that sold the greatest home run hitter to the New York Yankees so their owner could finance a play.

The Yankees went on to become the greatest franchise in all of sports and the other team has been “cursed,” never winning a World Series since.

The cursed team is the Boston Red Sox and the player they sold was Babe Ruth. Some teams never learn.

The Texas Rangers just sealed a deal with the New York Yankees, which gives the greatest team in baseball the greatest player of our time – Alex Rodriguez.

A-Rod is the reigning American League MVP. He’s won the last two Gold Glove awards at shortstop and has consistently hit forty or more home runs in each of the last six seasons.

Ironically, Rodriguez wears the same number, three, worn by the great Babe Ruth. Considering the volatile baseball gods and their ominous curses, I don’t see how the Rangers could trade A-Rod simply for money. I hope the Rangers know what they’re dealing with.

This recent trade has been an exclamation point to Major League Baseball’s off-season. The main participants in the trade market have been the above-mentioned Yankees and Red Sox, along with another team form Texas, the Houston Astros.

Thanks to free agency, the Yankees pitching staff is a mere skeleton of what it was in last years World Series. Yankees’ owner George Steinbrenner III (the man who ruined baseball) let Andy Pettitte slip away to the Astros while pursuing Gary Sheffield.

Pettite is, in my opinion, the greatest post-season pitcher since Whitey Ford – “The Chairman of the Board.” Pettitte is an intimidating left-handed pitcher who always seems to win when it’s needed.

Steinbrenner took another shot in the pants when six time Cy Young award winner Roger “The Rocket” Clemens came out of retirement to join Pettitte with the Astros, giving Houston a fearsome twosome atop their rotation. Roger had retired as a Yankee at the end of last year, but it’s believed he came out of retirement to spite Steinbrenner. Atta boy, Clemens.

With starting pitcher David Wells snubbing the Yankees, New York is in need of some left handed pitching. Wells refused to sign for another season after his controversial book came out to the chagrin of Steinbrenner. He claimed he was hung over when he pitched his perfect game in 1999. George got all pissy and made him publicly apologize. Wells loved the Yankees, Babe Ruth was his idol and Steinbrenner was still able to turn him away.

But George has made the Yankees, yet again, a pennant contender. Adding sluggers Gary Sheffield and Alex Rodriguez to an already loaded lineup with Jason Giambi and Derek Jeter, the Yankees are comparable to what is known as the greatest offensive team in history, the 1927 Yankees dubbed “Murderers Row.”

Don’t worry you beautiful people, I have not forgotten about the Red Sox. The Yankees-Red Sox rivalry, the most famed in sports, has just gotten a little more interesting. And it just goes to show how intense this rivalry is.

Well, I’m out of time and we still have a lot more to cover before spring training starts. Next time we’ll head to the National League Central division where Greg Maddux is about to re-join the Chicago Cubs and we’ll try and answer the question, “Is this the year Ken Griffey Jr. pulls his head out?” Until next time. . .