Transplanted Life
Thursday, October 30, 2003
Just out of whack
What the heck is going on on Yawkey Way?

Not retaining Grady Little - okay, I get that. I approve. I've been asking for that since at least June. People from outside of Boston may think he got sacked because of a few innings of monumental stupidity in Game 7 of the ALCS, but those were just the most widely-viewed and disastrous examples of what we Red Sox fans have been seeing all year. Little was hired to be a calm center after the insanity of the Jimy Williams/Joe Kerrigan/Dan Duquette situation two years ago, and he did that well, but now the team's needs aren't so much for likeable as, well, smart.

But putting Manny Ramirez on waivers so that any team can claim him without compensation... I just don't get it. I know the Red Sox are run by smart guys, but this looks like something out of Strong Bad's playbook:

1. Get rid of Manny Ramirez
2. ???????????????
3. Profit!

As a baseball fan, it kills me to not know what #2 is. Is it "free up enough money to sign Pedro and Nomar for the rest of their careers", "sign Vladimir Guerrero", "acquire an absolutely killer starting pitcher," or something else? Does the team know something that would be utterly shocking about the health and prospects for next year of Manny and Jeremy Giambi? Why, so soon after being so close to the World Series, do you practically offer the Yankees (one of only a handful of teams that could grab his salary) a really good player like that?

The other thing that gets me about those scenarios is that they assume the Sox can do one of those #2s, that they're so sure of it that they can do the hyper-risky #1. Maybe they've been talking with Guerrero's agent all week and will have a press conference to announce it just as soon as someone claims Ramirez. In that case, well, you just have to look at GM Theo Epstein and say "well played", especially if Manny winds up in the NL where our pitchers won't have to face him.

But I can't help compare it to:

1. Switch bodies with Martin Hartle
2. ???????????????
3. Profit!

I don't know what #2 is here, either. Does it involve finding a rich wife like Natalya Tartakovsky? Stealing her body? Is living as a man profit enough for Michelle? Is it about getting away from something in her life (not that I've encountered anything, let alone anything unpleasant, out of her past)? Or is it really about being expected to learn how to live another person's life?

I've been worrying about the "why" a little bit more lately, ever since I saw that picture of "Martin" and Natalya. While I've been sort of stumbling around randomly, I have to assume that Michelle is acting with some sort of purpose (just as the Red Sox must be). I can't really grasp what it is yet - I still just don't know enough about her, even after three months, to figure out what her motivations are - but there is one conclusion I have a hard time escaping: Very few of the scenarios I can come up with end with me back in my own body

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