Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Jeter a Red Sox?

Wow! What a thought?

Derek Jeter, the heart and soul of the New York Yankees’ franchise for the last 15 years since his debut in 1995. Jeter has won 5 World Series, 5 Gold Gloves, 4 Silver Slugger awards, and has made 11 All-Star appearances over his illustrious career.

So you ask, how does New York let a player of that caliber reach free agency? I can’t answer that question, but I’m really glad they did. History has been shown to repeat itself.

On January 3, 1920, New York pulled off perhaps the greatest acquisition in baseball history by acquiring Herman “Babe” Ruth from the Boston Red Sox. Red Sox owner Harry Frazee regretted this deal for the rest of his life, as the Yankees went on to win an astounding 7 World Series titles with Ruth. The Red Sox went 86 years before they would finally break through and win the World Series in 2004.

Frazee, a theatrical producer, used the proceeds from the Ruth trade to produce a Broadway musical called “No, No, Nanette”, originally called a non-musical named “My Lady Friends”.

The “Curse of the Bambino” was widely blamed for the lack of success for the Boston franchise, until in 2004, the Red Sox came back from a 3-0 deficit against the hated New York Yankees, to win the American League Championship series 4-3. The Sox went on to sweep the St. Louis Cardinals 4-0 to win the World Series.

Many feel the “Curse of the Bambino” was broken when the Babe’s piano was found in Willis Pond, in Sudbury Massachusetts. Local legend has it that Ruth, an avid piano player, pushed the upright onto the ice in 1919 during a stay at one of the pond's cabins. Two men who grew up on the pond said they remember setting fire to the piano in 1973 and pushing it into the water.

Babe Ruth at Willis Pond, prior to spring training 1918, waiting for his ride into Boston. "I'll see you kids at Fenway Park this summer.

Back to Derek Jeter……..The Red Sox could certainly use a player of Jeter’s caliber. Ever since that day in 2004 when he dove into the stands at Fenway Park for a foul ball while the Sox poster boy Nomar Garciaparra watched from his bench with an supposed injury, he has been a fan favorite of Red Sox Nation. Personally, I don’t like the Yankees, but I follow them as closely as I follow the Red Sox. I have always respected Jeter’s character, work ethic, and skills. He may not be the greatest shortstop of all time, but he’s worthy of being included in the discussion. Will he ever leave the Yankees, probably not? But ask any Bruins fan if they thought the greatest athlete in Boston history (do I really need to name him?......Bobby Orr) would ever leave Boston and you’ll get your answer.

Here’s one vote for John Henry to go out and make some noise. Mr. Henry, Mr. Werner, please go out and sign this guy! The intangibles he’ll bring to Fenway will more than pay for his salary. With the loss of Victor Martinez, Adrian Beltre, and Mike Lowell, there’s plenty of payroll available to make this happen….


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