International Sports: Canada Rescues Boston

Posted August 3, 2008 on 11:23 am | In the category Baseball, Canada, Sports | by Jeff

The Boston Red Sox were faced with a dilemma: how do you get rid of an ego-twisted hitting machine with a $20M contract? Manny Ramirez had soured on Boston and Boston had pretty much soured on him. While the arguments on whether they should have caved into whatever weird needs Manny had developed but not articulated continue, his behavior had gone around the proverbial corner and the management of the Red Sox could not stand having him around.

The trade that was finally worked out – minutes before the trade deadline – sent Ramirez to the Dodgers (with his remaining salary paid by the Sox!), the Dodgers sent a couple of minor league players to the Pirates and the Red Sox got Jason Bay from the Pirates to take the place of Ramirez, one of the baseball’s best hitters over the last ten years. Turns out that Bay is from Trail, British Columbia and brings a typically Canadian modesty along with a 282 batting average and 22 home runs, similar stats to those of Ramirez this year.

While no one believes Bay will hit like Ramirez, he will bring a couple of new dimensions to the left field position – speed, a decent arm, a willingness to run from home to first and a dedication to the game that goes beyond looking at himself in the mirror. Bay scored both runs in a 2-1 win over Oakland in his first game with the Sox and hit a three run homer in the next game. The Sox’ previous experience with a Canadian player was with Ferguson Jenkins who had a nasty curve ball and a police record of carrying illegal drugs across borders. Jason Bay will likely last a lot longer in Boston.


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