Thursday, July 31, 2008

No Blood, No Sweat. No Tears

I say to the House as I said to ministers who have joined this government, I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat. We have before us an ordeal of the most grievous kind. We have before us many, many months of struggle and suffering.

You ask, what is our policy? I say it is to wage war by land, sea, and air. War with all our might and with all the strength God has given us, and to wage war against a monstrous tyranny never surpassed in the dark and lamentable catalogue of human crime. That is our policy.

You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word. It is victory. Victory at all costs - Victory in spite of all terrors - Victory, however long and hard the road may be, for without victory there is no survival.- Winston Churchill, 1940

The Red Sox traded current malcontent and future Hall of Famer Manny Ramirez to the Dodgers for Pittsburgh outfielder Jason Bay in a three way deal. Departing will be 7 million dollars, Brandon Moss, and Craig Hansen. The money goes to the Dodgers to pay Ramirez' salary, and Moss and Hansen go to Pittsburgh.

Manny held a figurative gun to the head of Sox ownership, which had seen the team implode on the field, and Manny assuming the role of Grand Pooh Bah while playing at his convenience on his terms. Ramirez' antics had reduced the Sox to a joke on the field this week against the Angels, and the Sox had to move him or face total meltdown.

Ramirez was less of an enigmatic figure than a petulant star, a man with a great work ethic in the cage and video room, but self-absorbed with both his value and respect.

For manager Terry Francona, Ramirez' departure means the perpetual rock in the shoe disappears, but only time will tell what Bay brings under the bright lights. Team leaders have to be relieved that the distraction vanishes, but they also have the responsibility to raise the team's level of play to playoff caliber.

I think Moss will be a twenty homer guy who can hit .280 and Hansen may develop faster without the spotlight of Boston. You never know whether a guy like Moss could reappear sometime in the future.

Was Ramirez a misunderstood hitting savant or sophomoric narcissist? Manny exemplifies the difference between baseball and football. Manny never matured into the kind of leader who understood that winning and the team meant more than his performance. I celebrate his contribution to the contemporary Sox' pair of World Championship. But I weep not for his departure, as his intransigence and selfishness forced the Red Sox to move him.

No comments: