December 20, 2003

Time To Walk Away. According to a report by Peter Gammons, the Big Deal is breathing its last. "[A]ccording to sources, Rodriguez's passion for this trade has diminished, both because of his relationship with Hicks and his encounters with Red Sox CEO Larry Lucchino. Rodriguez was reportedly incensed when a Lucchino statement Wednesday not only made reference to Alex and his wife -- neither of whom Lucchino has ever met -- but also tried to drive a stake between A-Rod and the union ..." A source told Gammons the deal could be salvaged if John Henry "steps forward and undoes some of [Lucchino's] damage."

At this point, that doesn't seem likely. Which is fine with me. As the deal has gotten more and more complicated, it has worked less and less to Boston's advantage. If Gammons's report is accurate (which is a big if, especially with this deal, and with Gammons in general) and not more PR posturing, then it's time for Henry and the Red Sox to walk away. ... There is no reason on Earth why Boston should dig Hicks out from under the weighty contract he signed with Rodriguez. The Red Sox have a shortstop (and a good one) for 2004. Now Theo can call that shortstop and get to work on an extension.

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