Good Luck Manny Delcarmen

Another member of a World Champion Red Sox team is gone.
And if I could salute Julio Lugo then I can damn sure salute Manny Delcarmen, who got traded to the Colorado Rockies (ironically the team he helped beat in the 2007 World Series.)

It may not have ended well in Boston, let’s not forget what a wonderful Red Sox story his is.
He is a native Bostonian and “The Pride of Hyde Park” pitched at West Roxbury High School, dreaming of pitching for the Red Sox.

The Sox drafted him in the second round and in 2005 was called up to pitch for the Defending World Champs.

In 2007 he was up for good and contributing. With Papelbon and Okajima anchoring an All Star Bullpen, Delcarmen posted a 2.05 ERA over 44 relief innings. He kept the Angels off the board with 1 1/3 perfect innings in Game 2 of the Division Series that year (which ended on Manny Ramirez’s walk off homer.)

He pitched in the clinching Game 4 of the World Series where he got to accomplish what so many kids in Boston had dreamed of and so few ACTUALLY have achieved:

He won a World Series ring as a player for the Red Sox.

He did it.
All of us who grew up in New England all wanted what he actually got done.

So while this year has been rocky and his season will end AS a Rockie, let me just say, from one life long Red Sox fan to another, thank you Manny Delcarmen for living out all of our dreams.

It was fun for us. I assume it was even more fun for you.

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Cliff Lee’s Trade is the Sequel to the Mark Langston trade

The Mariners went into the season with some optimism and some solid talent… but a slow start took them out of the race early and not even the presence of Ken Griffey Jr. could turn things around.

So Seattle took their left handed ace who was in his walk year and traded him off. It seemed like New York, looking for another October run, was the likely landing spot, but instead sent him to a team that had never won a pennant before and despite financial troubles was going all in.

The Mariners fell apart after the trade but some good solid talent came back giving them some optimism for the future.

Meanwhile the ace flourished at first, but then came back down to earth.

Which Mariners team am I talking about?
This year’s team? Or the 1989 team?

Which left handed ace am I talking about?
Cliff Lee? Mark Langston?

In 1989 there was some optimism with the arrival of manager Jim Lefebvre and rookie Ken Griffey Jr. And a quick glance sees there was some talent on that team.

An infield of Jim Presley at third, Harold Reynolds at second and Alvin Davis at first is nothing to sneeze at. And oh yeah, they had a young shortstop named Omar Vizquel.

Griffey anchored the outfield that had Hac Man Leonard and a young Jay Buhner.

Plus pitchers who had some success in their careers like Billy Swift, Erik Hanson, Scott Bankhead and Mike Jackson were all on the staff.

But they fell into 5th place well behind the A’s when it was clear that Mark Langston, their best pitcher and a legit #1 starter, wasn’t coming back.

The Mets looked like the likely landing spot as they had tons of young pitching talent they seemed ready to move. (They ultimately would trade Rick Aguilera, Kevin Tapani and David West that summer to the Twins for Frank Viola… a move that helped clinch a World Series for Minnesota, not New York.)

Instead they found a partner with the Expos who were jammed packed with talent and had their eyes set on unseating the Mets.

Langston dominated the Padres in his first start, striking out 13 and giving up 1 earned run over 8 innings.

He began his Expos career with a 10-3 record and people declaring him the second coming of Steve Carlton. The Expos were in first by the All Star break and at the height of Langston’s winning ways, the Expos built up a 3 1/2 game lead and remained in first place by themselves as late as August 4.

When Langston threw a complete game shutout on July 25th against Philadelphia, the Expos were riding a 6 game winning streak and matched their 3 1/2 game lead for the widest margin of the year.

Then the roof caved in.

The Expos lost 40 of their last 62 games. Langston lost 6 of his last 8 decisions and the Expos, who seemed to have everything in line to win the National League East for the first time in a non Strike Shortened season, finished the year at .500, 4th place and 12 games behind the Cubs.

Langston left Montreal for the Angels.
Meanwhile one of the players in the haul from Montreal became a more fearsome pitcher than Langston ever was… future Hall of Famer Randy Johnson who did indeed lead the Mariners to their first ever post season berths.

Which brings us to 2010.

The bookends of Ken Griffey’s career has him see aces dealt from the Mariners.
Cliff Lee is sent not to the Yankees but to the Rangers, who like the Expos, are pushing their chips to the center of the table.

Like Langston, Lee came out smoking but has slowed down considerably.

Now with an 8 1/2 game lead heading into the last day of August, it is safe to say the Rangers aren’t going away. But can Lee turn things around to help deliver a pennant?

And there seems to be little doubt that, like Langston in Quebec, his stay there is temporary.

I wonder who in the haul back be the future Hall of Famer? I’ve got my eye on you, Justin Smoak.

By the way… there’s another part to this analogy of the Mariners dealing ace left handed starters.

Remember when the Mariners had to deal Randy Johnson when HE was facing free agency?

Once again they found an unlikely trading partner looking to finally win a pennant (The Astros)… the ace pitched well but fell short of a pennant (Johnson lost to the Padres twice in the Division Series)… and left town (to the Diamondbacks)… and the Mariners got back a nice haul (Freddy Garcia and Carlos Guillen were big parts of the 2000 and 2001 playoff teams.)

What I am saying is… the Mariners are good at this whole “trading a left handed ace away” thing.

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Hey Ozzie… don’t give Manny any ideas

Seriously, Ozzie Guillen, be careful what you say about Manny Ramirez.

I read your quotes in the AP article by Tom Withers, and some were a bit odd.

I never see anyone on his team get mad at him because he goes about his business.”

Um, did SOMEONE forget Manny Ramirez and Kevin Youkilis going at each other in the dugout in 2008?

But really, Ozzie… when regarding his manner of dressing and upkeep of his uniform, you said “That’s not my department. Guys can go out there buck naked, and if they win games for me, I’m happy.

Ohhhhh boy. You just opened a can of worms there.

This is a guy who took many leaks in the Green Monster, brings drinks up out to the outfield and wears his iPod in the field.

Showing up nude to the plate?

It’s only a matter of time.

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