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Selig Takes Ball, Goes Home
2003-12-19 01:25
by Mike Carminati

Bud Selig ended the A-Rod-for-Manny trade talks today, probably realizing that approving deal after the players' union rejected it was an untenable position.

Even Rodriguez himself was rapidly backpedalling away from the position:

"In the spirit of cooperation, I advised the Red Sox I am willing to restructure my contract, but only within the guidelines prescribed by union officials," Rodriguez said Thursday in a statement he read to The Associated Press. "I recognize the principle involved, and fully support the need to protect the interests of my fellow players.

"If my transfer to the Red Sox is to occur, it must be done with consideration of the interests of all major league players, not just one. Any statements by club officials suggesting my position is different than stated is inaccurate and unfortunate."

So A-Rod languishes another year (apparently) with a Ranger club that is all but eliminated from the postseason already. The Red Sox either have to find a way to package Ramirez and/or Nomar Garciaparra, both of whom were tabbed to play elsewhere in 2004, or find a way to play with the now-disgruntled superstars on the roster.

It's a step back for both teams. That may not be a big deal for Texas, a team already in retrograde, but this puts a big crimp in Boston's offseason improvement plan. It's not as if flipping the second-best shortstop in baseball in order to get the best while dumping another player, who happens to be one of the best in the game, would have improved Boston. But now the Red Sox have to deal with the repurcussions while filling some gapping holes (or start Lou Merloni at second).

I can't decide if the clubs will take a PR hit over the mess. It seems like the Red Sox conspiracy theory fans will point a finger elsewhere. Ranger fans will be busily mulling over who exactly this Mr. Rod fellow is while watching their 'Boys (thank God) rapidly fade into the sunset and preparing for an exciting season of NASCAR. The players' union will apparently bear the brunt of the blame for doing their job and upholding an agreement that baseball seems to have forgotten it signed with the union a little over a year ago.

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