I’ll never forget my initial reaction to the news that
Aaron “Bleeping” Boone tore an ACL while playing in a pickup basketball game
late in January 2004. I laughed like crazy.
No, I wasn’t celebrating the fact that Boone was
injured, even if his home run to end the 2003 ALCS was still stinging. I was
celebrating the rare misfortune of the Yankees.
I wasn’t laughing less than three weeks later when the
Yankees pulled off the trade the Red Sox couldn’t and landed Alex Rodriguez,
who was widely regarded as the best player in baseball at the time.
Yes, when the A-Rod trade news hit SportsCenter on
Feb. 16, I learned that you can never laugh at George Steinbrenner’s Yankees.
Steinbrenner would do anything to win.
The Yankees boss, though, never would have targeted
A-Rod had Boone stayed off the basketball court. He had to go into the season
with a Yankee hero at third base.
Once we saw that A-Rod was going to move to third base
to play for the Yankees, everyone assumed the trade would mean the Steinbrenners’
limousine long ballers, as Stephen King called them, would walk to the World
Of course, we started to think the Red Sox would get
the last laugh in that transaction when Jason Varitek said, as legend has it, “we
don’t throw at .260 hitters” and hit A-Rod in the face. We knew it for sure
when a desperate when A-Rod was busted for slapping the ball out of Bronson Arroyo’s glove on his way down the baseline in Game 6 of the 2003 ALCS.
I won’t even mention the steroid allegations and
suspension because that would just seem like we’re rubbing it in, and we’d
never want to do that.
At the time, though, the A-Rod trade to the Yankees
really stung. It also stung at the time when the Yankees beat Theo Epstein to José Contreras,
another transaction fight in which the Red Sox won by losing.
The only thing more enjoyable than seeing the Dave
Dombrowski sign a bona fide ace and build a potentially dominant bullpen this
offseason is to see the Yankees, who were a broken team in 2015, sit on their
hands and do nothing.
George Steinbrenner must be spinning uncontrollably in
his grave as Brian Cashman pretends that he’s the general manager of the
Whatever happened to the days when the Yankees bought
every top-tiered free agent, like they did prior to their 2009 World Series title?
Now, the Yankees appear to be more worried about
saving money than they are about winning. They haven’t even kicked the tires on
a big-named free agent.
Also, some are speculating that the Yankees might
trade dominant closer Andrew Miller or gritty, speedy outfielder Brett Gardner
for a starting pitcher, even though guys like Price, Greinke and Cueto were
sitting around waiting for the Yankees to call.
Wow. These aren’t your father’s Bronx Bombers.
This time, it might be safe to go ahead a laugh at