Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |
Sports fandom gives you painful moments, and delicious ones. For those who love the Yankees, the sting of October 2004 will never quite heal, nor will the initial hurt and ultimate suspicion of Jose Altuve's ALCS walk-off last October.
Those are horrible days.
But then there are winters like this. Since last fall, Yankee fans have watched the Red Sox lose a beloved manager in Alex Cora because of the electronic sign-stealing scandal. Now, with the equipment truck already en route to Fort Myers, the Sox are in the extraordinary position of staring down a February managerial vacancy.
It gets worse (or better, depending on your allegiances). On Tuesday night, New York was able to enjoy the exquisite pain in New England caused by the trade that sent superstar Mookie Betts to the Dodgers.
If you're a Yankee fan, this must be awfully fun to watch.
Enjoy it. Savor the moment.
Because -- and despite the dominant anti-Sox narrative popular today -- this is as bad as it will get for Boston under the highly-regarded chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom. There are almost certainly better days ahead.
Bloom is at the beginning of a Brian Cashman-like retool -- and like the Yankees' GM, he has the resources and intelligence to ensure that the present will be so-so, and the future bright.
Several years ago, recognizing the need to reset the team's farm system and finances, Cashman pulled off the closest thing to a rebuild that a big market will bear. During that time, his scouts and analysts helped him assemble a reasonably competitive roster.
In 2013, the likes of Lyle Overbay and Vernon Wells spearheaded a surprisingly likable 85-win team. In 2015, the Yanks somehow snuck into the Wild Card Game. By 2017, they had opened another extended window of contention.
Without Betts and David Price, who also went to the Dodgers, Boston will struggle to contend this year in the American League. But they will be competitive, on their way in a few years to another potential championship run under Bloom.
During his long tenure in the Tampa Bay Rays front office, Bloom built a unique reputation as a dual expert in analytics and traditional player development. Stereotyped as a stats guy, he continually surprised folks in the game with his personal touch and interest in old-school fundamentals.
While he has never worked in a market as demanding as Boston or contended with a fan base so emotional, Bloom has acquitted himself well so far.
Rival executives engaged in trade talks have come away impressed by his calm, professional demeanor. After Cora's outsized presence in MLB's report caught Sox management by surprise, Bloom handled the fallout with as much grace as possible.
Bloom's first big trade in his new job puts the Red Sox in much worse shape for 2020, obviously. But enjoy the schadenfreude, Yankee fans, because your hated rivals are in good hands, and will see better days before long.