Add the Red Sox to the list of clubs who have complained to MLB about an inability to compete with the Yankees.
Commissioner Bud Selig heard from Boston general manager Theo Epstein this week, sources have told Metro.
Boston’s post-season hopes were essentially obliterated a few weeks ago, after the Yanks stormed into Fenway for five games and shredded the Sox.
The Yanks, fortified by a zillion-dollar payroll, are predictably running away in the AL East.
And so the Sox have suggested (demanded?) realignment of baseball’s divisions — just as the Blue Jays, Baltimore and Tampa Bay did earlier this year.
The BoSox, despite spending wildly themselves on players in the past, have concluded that the other three clubs are correct in their views that their chances of finishing atop the AL East are remote as long as George Steinbrenner continues to operate the Yanks with his win-at-all-costs mentality. And The Boss has no intention of doing it any other way.
The Yanks actually reduced their payroll from last season, but obtaining Bobby Abreu’s contract at the July 31 trade deadline raised the issue anew. Selig’s revenue-sharing formula has done nothing to prevent the Yanks from investing megabucks on players. Paying a luxury tax doesn’t bother Steinbrenner. And a new park for the Yanks in 2009 will give him more financial strength.
The only solution for clubs stuck in the AL East is realignment, and they’ll desperately lobby for it after Dec. 19, when baseball’s labour agreement expires. It’ll be a major issue.
• In the NL, the Florida Marlins have emerged as a post-season contender with a puny payroll of $14.3-million US — about as much as Roy Halladay alone collects from the Jays ... From baseball guru Ken Rosenthal, on Toronto GM J.P. Ricciardi: “He is charismatic and energetic, fun to talk to. But many of his former employees remain angry over his treatment of them. Even Ricciardi’s friends say he occasionally lacks tact.” ... Boston will cut its payroll and won’t keep Trot Nixon and may even dump Manny Ramirez ... Even Steinbrenner won’t spend $17-million to exercise the Yanks’ option next season on Mike Mussina, who’ll return to NYC for about $10M.
• There’s concern in Milwaukee about Canadian Corey Koskie, still suffering symptoms from a July concussion. The ex-Jay is signed with the Brewers through 2007, with an option for ’08 ... And, don’t look now, but Barry Bonds has come on and may complete ’06 with decent numbers. And so, yes, he’ll play somewhere next season — maybe even in San Francisco.
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