When it comes to huge national stories that get picked apart by some of the best writers of our generation, I often times feel like the little guy standing in the corner trying to outshout the loudest voices on earth. In other words my opinion, although welcome in some circles, doesn’t carry as much weight as say Gordon Edes, the brilliant ESPNBoston.com writer that nailed the Red Sox megadeal from start to finish.
Anyway, my thoughts are that the Sox are bolder than anyone in New England dared to believe. Josh Beckett had to go and Carl Crawford will some day wake up thinking the last two seasons were simply a nightmare, but trading Adrian Gonzalez is what makes this deal one of kind. His production suggests that he could in fact have been the centerpiece of a World Series contender for years to come, so why? Well, if you walked down the street in any New England town and asked a Sox what he or she thought of A-Gone the response you’d usually get “He’s a great player but why doesn’t he care?”
That expressionless, head down, lunch pail approach plays well in places like So Cal or maybe even in the Midwest but not here. Fans want larger than life personalities that can dish it out just as much as they can take it. You want to cheer for the button down, clean cut All-American boys you’ll have to become a Yankees fan. We want Johnny Damon and his hair, Manny and his weirdness, Pedro and his little friend.
It’s unfair to chastise a guy because he falls more to the “blah” side of the personality chart but in the end A-Gone will once again thrive in the NL West. Meanwhile the Red Sox can move away from one of the more awkward eras in franchise history.
I have to admit that I really don’t care that much about Lance Armstrong losing his Tour de France titles. I actually thought this story was dead like seven years ago. I’ve been pestered in the last couple of days for an opinion but my response is usually a shoulder shrug or a blank stare. Who in this country can break down how the Tour de France works? How many stages? How does the timing work as opposed to just one guy beating out the rest of the field in each stage? Most think it’s just one guy pedaling faster than the others and he gets to wear a yellow jersey and gets flowers if he’s in first place. Those are the images that come to my mind when thinking about Lance in his prime.
Now the image is a yellow Livestrong bracelet and the million dollar checks handed over to help raise money for cancer research. In fact NONE of his sponsors backed out when the titles were stripped. What’s more, donations to the Livestrong foundation went up 25% within hours of the news. Did he lie? Most likely. Do we feel cheated out of the pride we felt for Lance as he dominated the rest of the world? Some do sure. Not me though, I’ll go back to not paying attention to the sport until another American superstar emerges.
Speaking of suspected cheating athletes from Texas, I have to admit that I watched every pitch of Roger Clemens return to the mound Saturday night. I am not sure what the 50 year old is trying to prove but rest assured it isn’t that he can still strike out Joey Gathright in an Independent game. Don’t be shocked if some MLB team is crazy enough to take a chance on him. (Astros I’m looking at you)