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Endgame on a High Note

Kevin Youklis and Julio Lugo

I’m content.

At least for today. The best day.

The day after.

Late last night, the Red Sox won the 103d World Series, and, let’s be honest, winning never gets boring. As Red Sox fans, we were bred to take every bad break as an omen for disaster. Today, all these worries have evaporated. Beckett threw Clemens-like heat with Pedro-like skill. Pedroia hit the ball like he was double the size of Richie Sexson. I will always remember Manny on the base paths, chucking his helmet off while running at three-quarter speed, Ortiz crying during the celebration, and Mike Lowell’s impish grin while being presented his MVP award.

These are the 2007 Red Sox, World Champions. And I rooted for them. In November, I started reading the rumors online, I saw us sign the antichrist, J.D. Drew. I saw Lugo adjust his crotch dozens of times against my will. We traded Willy Mo. Coco and Youklis caught everything within twenty feet of them, and I saw every out of Buccholtz’s no-hitter. This team was special. I know there were more people than me who scoured the fine print of the sports section, debating our transactions. They know too.

Out of the league’s thirty-two teams, the Red Sox, again, after four years, are World Champions! Hail, Tito! Long live Red Sox Nation!

When does spring training start again?

Boston Sports Saviors?

Jacoby Ellsbury

The Red Sox have been perennial playoff contenders this decade—but they have mostly achieved this through buying and trading major league talent. Just like in the late ’80’s and most of the ’90’s, the Red Sox have traded most of their minor league talent for big league help. In the last few years we’ve traded Clay Meredyth, Hanley Ramirez, Anibal Sanchez, Matt Murton (probably only Ramirez doesn’t have a ceiling for his potential) for other talents, mostly rent-a-players. I think Murton was in the Nomar trade that got the Sox Orlando Cabrera. Ramirez and Sanchez landed us Beckett, etc. It may seem like the Sox only kept “sure thing” prospects over the years, like Clemens, Boggs, Vaughn, Nomar, Youklis, and Papelbon. But think about all other talent lost in dumb trades. Brady Anderson, Jeff Bagwell, David Eckstein, etc. I just wish Boston won’t squander this homegrown crop: Lester, maybe, or Craig Hansen, or Jacoby Ellsbury. Mortgaging their future so they can win today, much like the Celtics are doing now.

Ray Allen

The Celtics basically traded for a 32 year-old All Star coming off surgery on both his ankles. I’m not saying Ray Allen isn’t good, or that we didn’t get good value with the 35th pick. I’m saying that we spent too much for a 30+ player and a second round pick. Wally can shoot, not as well as Allen, per se, but he makes considerably less money. Then there’s Delonte, who led the second team—not to mention being a solid one-on-one defender, and bringing unity in the locker room. Basically, Ainge traded a high prospect, in Jeff Green, a budding player in West (who shouldn’t be a sub), and Wally (probaby a throw-in to make the salaries work, the Celts didn’t want to give up there co-captain Ratliff even though he’s coming off an injury. Wally’s coming off an injury too!) Theo Ratliff needs to prove that he can play a full season. Then another team will have the added benifit of a big man and an expiring contract, then the Celts will get maximum value. Plus, no other star is coming to Boston through a trade this summer, most likely. It’ll have to be during the season.

And if another deal gets done, trade Ratliff and Green. They are expendable. Jefferson isn’t. The Celtics added all this young talent. They should take a lesson from the old Red Sox teams that lost to the Yankees for so long.