Lester bangs.

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From Gordon Edes, the former longtime Red Sox beat
writer, in a piece he wrote for Yahoo! Sports a month and a half




And then came the 24 hours that
shocked the baseball world: [Boston GM Theo] Epstein secretly slipping away from
the [2003] winter meetings in New Orleans for a hush-hush meeting at the Four
Seasons in New York with [Alex] Rodriguez, who at 1:30 a.m. answered the door of
his suite impeccably dressed in a suit, his hair freshly moussed.  Before dawn
Rodriguez agreed, in exchange for a couple of player options inserted in his
contract, to give up millions to escape the purgatory of the Texas Rangers.  Rodriguez
even pledged to send some under-the-table money back to Rangers owner Tom Hicks
to make the deal work.


That morning, after some hard
bargaining, players’ union lawyer Gene Orza signed off on the deal, and a day
later at a hastily called press conference in the .406 club at Fenway Park,
Epstein announced that the club had acquired Rodriguez for outfielder Manny
Ramirez, who had worn out the club with his trade demands, and a left-handed
pitching prospect named Jon Lester.


Then Epstein leaned into the
microphone to announce the second part of his bombshell: Nomar Garciaparra, the
incumbent shortstop who had interrupted his honeymoon to call a Boston
sports-talk show and complain about the A-Rod rumors, had been traded to the
White Sox for outfielder Magglio Ordonez and a pitching prospect Brandon




Think about how
things might have been different had the Players Association not vetoed the 2003
trade because it didn’t like Rodriguez’s voluntary salary reduction. 


Nah, don’t.  After
watching Lester do that tonight,
you’re probably better off forgetting about what might have been if, as the
result of a proper meeting of the minds, he and Ramirez (who had five years
remaining on his contract, plus two club options) had become Texas Rangers, and
if McCarthy had gone to Boston before the White Sox had taken a shine to John


Instead, think about
what brand of Vicente Padilla is going to show up Sunday afternoon in the rubber
match of this series. 


If you think you
have a bead on what we’re going to see tomorrow, you’re a lot smarter than I


You can read more from Jamey
at www.NewbergReport.com.

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