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The Red Sox made an incredibly costly but potentially lucrative gamble by outbidding the rest of baseball for the services of Daisuke Matsuzaka ($51 million just for the right to talk to Scott Boras? Holy crap!). And now right on the heels of this story comes the news that the Red Sox are hot on the trail of by far the two least valuable players from this past season’s Dodgers squad – infamous clubhouse cancers J.D. Drew and Julio Lugo.

Dodgers fans were overjoyed, if somewhat surprised, when Drew opted out of the guaranteed $33 million and 3 years left on his contract, after two injury-riddled seasons in which Drew never hit more than 20 homers and continued to display the lackadaisical style of baseball he is so adept at, completely devoid of clutch hits or spirited play. What foolish team we all wondered, would possibly give this sad excuse for a ballplayer more than 3 years at $11 million per to play 95 dispiriting games and hit 20 home runs?

Now we know: the Boston Red Sox, aka “Yankees North.”

Likewise, notorious wife-beater Julio Lugo is also on the BoSox’s radar screen after a season in which he batted far far above his career norms in Tampa Bay, and then struggled to stay above the Mendoza line in two months of crucial stretch games for LA. Lugo quickly became known throughout LA for his lack of focus on defense, his three-pitch strikeouts in crucial situations, his boneheaded decisionmaking on the basepaths, and most of all, his incredibly surly attitude.

You would think that most players would be elated to escape the purgatory that is Tampa Bay and be shipped to a playoff-bound team in the midst of an exciting pennant race. But not Julio – instead he griped constantly about his playing time to the media despite the fact that he played almost every game down the stretch, and insisted that he should be the starting shortstop over consensus team MVP Rafael Furcal.

A defining moment of Lugo’s Dodgers career came in a crucial game against the archrival Giants when Lugo made the least of a rare appearance at third base by inexplicably attempting to steal home with no outs in the second inning and the heart of the order coming up. Lugo was thrown out easily and the Dodgers ended up losing by one run.

Suffice to say, the Dodgers made the playoffs despite Lugo’s best efforts to singlehandedly lose as many games as possible and torpedo clubhouse chemistry. What team could possibly covet such a player?

Why of course it’s the Boston Red Sox, aka “Evil Empire II.”

How can Red Sox fans continue to claim that their team is morally superior to the Yankees when the Red Sox continue to do every thing exactly how the Yanks do it – chasing after high-priced, overrated free agents to fill the tiniest gap in the lineup, and throwing huge sums of money at foreign players that no team other than the Sox or the Yankees has any chance at?

7 Responses to “Typical Theo: one step forward, two huge steps back”

  1. Coley Ward says:

    Amen!

  2. Sarah Green says:

    Dudes, what is it, bait Sarah Green month (week??? what day is it????) here on UmpBump? But assuming that these exasperated queries are not merely rhetorical, I shall explain.

    First, it does not surprise me, Nick, that Coley is giving you an “Amen.” Coley has decided to hate Red Sox fans for no apparent reason, except that certain towheaded twins he knows can be very Massholish about the Sox on his fantasy league message board, which annoys him. And for this, in his worldview, an entire Nation must suffer.

    But nevermind all that. Yes, the Yankees and Red Sox have the two highest payrolls. However, the Yankees’ payroll last year was about $80 million more than the Red Sox’ payroll. The difference between the Sox and the third-most-costly team (the Angels) is much smaller—about $17 million.

    OH. And WHO could the FOURTH most expensive team RIGHT UP THERE with the EVIL EVIL Red Sox (and the overlooked, in this debate, but almost as evil Angels) BE?!

    COULD IT NOT BE COLEY WARD’S BELOVED PHILLIES?!?!?!

    Indeed, it could.

    Indeed, it IS!

    So, while you can call us Evil Empire II, a more accurate term would be something less extreme…Callous Commonwealth, perhaps. Because the difference in payroll between the Red Sox and the Angels is only big enough to field one other team: the $15 million Marlins. But the difference in payroll between the Red Sox and the Yankees? That’s big enough to pay for either the A’s, the Indians, the Reds, the Brewers, the Royals, the Rangers, the Tigers, the Padres, the Jays, the Nats, the Mets, OR some combination of any two of the D-Rays, Rockies, or Pirates (or of course those cheap-ass Marlins). That’s a pretty big gap. I call it…the Evil Gap. Also, our ticket prices are soooo much higher. They started going up when we got Pedro and Manny and just never stopped. So we feel entitled to free agents, because we’re paying through the nose for right field grandstand obstructed-view wooden seats that aren’t even angled to face home plate (they face the left field wall). Does that make us slightly obnoxious, perhaps? Yes. But look, it’s not our fault we were born in the greatest state in the country, in a city that is the Hub of the Universe, that just happens to have the greatest baseball team ever invented in it. Okay?! Gawd.

    That is not to say that I want Mr. Wife Beater or Mr. Whinyface on my team. Just to be clear.

  3. Coley Ward says:

    Sarah, I’m not sure where you got your info, but every list that I can find on the world wide webs says that the Phillies have the 12th highest payroll in baseball, at around $87 million.

    Additionally, while the Red Sox 2006 payroll was $80 million less than that of the Yankees, you can bet that the team’s 2007 payroll, if they add big contract players like Matsuzaka, Drew and Lugo, will be a lot more evil.

  4. Sarah Green says:

    Here’s my source:

    http://blog.sportscolumn.com/tag/MLB%20Cost%20Index

    Obviously ESPN.com is more reputable, but I don’t know how to account for the different figures.

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