Happenings in New York stole buzz from Boston

By Dave Fultz

Congratulations to the 2007 World Champion Boston Red Sox!

They did just win the World Series, right?

As a matter of fact, they did, and I wasn’t sure if many of you noticed. Sure, Boston’s second World Series title in four years was given its share of headlines.

But a team that went the better part of a century without winning the big one has now won two titles in the last four years and seems positioned to make a run at a few more in the coming years.

Despite all that, the Red Sox got swept aside almost as easily as they sent the Rockies packing back to Colorado.

Get The Daily Illini in your inbox!

  • Catch the latest on University of Illinois news, sports, and more. Delivered every weekday.
  • Stay up to date on all things Illini sports. Delivered every Monday.
Thank you for subscribing!

We all know that Boston fans were happy and were as unruly as ever; it was reported that there were nearly 40 arrests that stemmed from celebrations near Fenway Park last night.

But due to some good timing by a couple of other happenings in the East Coast sports world, the Red Sox weren’t the whole story last night.

Two pieces of Yankee news managed to take my attention away from the sweep when I jumped online to read the news this morning.

First, Alex Rodriguez officially announced that he has opted out of the three remaining years of his contract with the Yankees.

Rodriguez would have been paid up to $27 million annually for each of the remaining years on the contract but will now test the market in search of a contract that will most likely make him the richest man in baseball … again.

If this wasn’t an announcement that was meant to steal the spotlight away from the Red Sox, I don’t know what is. The New York Times reported that Scott Boras, Rodriguez’s agent, e-mailed the announcement to the Associated Press during Game 4 of the World Series.

While it was certainly a smart move by Boras to get the attention of every owner and fan while interest in baseball was at its peak during the Fall Classic, it sure did take the legs out from under the Red Sox.

After the Yankees got some bad news from Boras and A-Rod, they spread some news of their own that just so happened to coincide with their biggest rival capturing the title that has eluded the Yankees in recent history.

New York announced that it had offered its much publicized open managerial job to former Yankee Joe Girardi.

Enough can be said about this job without even mentioning Girardi because of the way former skipper Joe Torre exited the organization. As most of you probably know, Torre turned down the Yankees’ offer for him to return when they informed him they intended to cut his pay and offer incentives instead of guaranteed money.

A man who has led his team to the playoffs for more than a decade straight can only lose his job if he’s a Yankee. The amount of success that Torre has had in New York can’t be equaled by anyone over the same time period, but again that’s how it goes with the Yankees.

Anything short of a World Series victory is a failure for this team, a truth I’m sure Girardi is weighing.

Girardi is a man who seemed like he was on the rise when he won the NL Manager of the Year award after he led the Marlins to a respectable record after the team’s owner slashed payroll and left Girardi with the youngest and least experienced team in all of baseball.

But Girardi was fired when he argued with his bosses within the organization and was passed over for Lou Piniella last winter when the Cubs’ job was vacant.

Personally, I would have loved to see the Illinois native and former Cubs catcher managing the Northsiders, but I won’t argue with Piniella after the Cubs’ worst-to-first finish in 2007.

From the time Girardi was mentioned as the favorite, the Worldwide Leader covered him as if he had already won a title. The top three videos on ESPN.com covered everything Joe Girardi and Yankees as Red Sox Nation went crazy in the streets of Boston.

Which brings me back to the point of my column, congratulations to the Boston Red S – wait, what do you mean I’m out of space?

Dave Fultz is a junior in Communications. He can be reached at [email protected].