Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
What's Next?
2004-07-01 13:51
by Alex Belth

Cruising around the Net during my lunch hour, I'm getting a mixed-vibe out of Red Sox Nation. The usually up-beat Edward Cossette just isn't feelin' this year's version of the Home Towne Team, no matter how much positive visualization he employs. Others, like my pal Sully, think there is still plenty of time for the Sox to turn things around. Sully reminds us how far back the '78 Yankees were before they came to life. Sure, they were the defending world champs, but this Boston team is still mad talented. OK, it's not likely that the Yankees will blow a huge lead. Why? Cause it hasn't happened before. But for skeptics like me--and Larry Mahnken--that isn't a good enough answer. After all, it has to happen some time. Why not now? (The glass is half what?)

One thing seems sure: Theo Epstein is on the spot to make something happen. Rumors have it that Nomar Garciaparra will be moved. Previously, this would have been unfathomable, but right now, it makes sense, especially if Garciaparra is firm about not returning to Boston next year. Epstein has performed admirably thus far as GM of the Sox. It will be interesting to see what he can cook up. Obviously, Red Sox fans fear that Randy Johnson could wind up in pinstripes. I'll counter that by worrying that he could join his pal Schilling in Boston. However, Peter Gammons is saying that Anahiem is a more likely scenerio for the Big Unit if he moves at all.

Meanwhile in New York, there is a growing perception that Jason Giambi isn't a gamer. OK, those who have thought that Giambi was soft have thought so for more than a minute now, but in light of Gary Sheffield playing through obvious pain, Giambi looks bad being disabled with a bizarre stomach condition. This isn't fair, but Sheffield plays baseball like a linebacker, just the kind of spirit that the football maven George Steinbrenner covets. Meanwhile, Giambi is becoming a fallen star in New York. fair or unfair. Was Sheffield calling his teammate out last night when he told reporters, ""They're paying me a lot of money to play and not sit and watch." I don't know. But I'm holding out hope that Giambi can get healthy and start enjoying the game once again. I know I'm rooting for him. If he continues to falter, he could become George's whipping boy and a target of the boo boids in da BX; worse, he could become the second-coming of Mo Vaughn. Or he could be the best hitter in the line up. Which one of these?...

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