As best as I can recall, I became a fan of the Boston Red-Sox in the summer of 1971. It may have happened before then but certainly not after. If you are even half-way good at math you'll no doubt conclude that this has afforded plenty of time to learn the rules of Red-Sox Nation and I think I have a pretty good command of my role as a faithful follower.
I also think I have a pretty good sense of what is in my heart and lately, there have been a couple of un-Red-Sox-like feelings skirting around in there. I'm not talking about strong passions, just a fleeting sense here and a casual preference there. Not real strong sensations but unmistakeably present and of the type that emanate from the heart.
Here goes. I think I really want Manny to have a great year with the LA Dodgers and part of my wish is tied to my respect for and admiration of ex-Yankee skipper Joe Torre. I know I am supposed to hate both of those guys but I really can't. Manny quit on his team (my team!) which I cannot respect but I am really incapable of carrying a grudge and while my brain is telling me he acted dishonorably in Boston, my heart is rooting for him. I followed his free-agency lunacy, rejecting the Dodger's offers while seeking a more lucrative deal. I know his behavior struck a bitter chord with the public; turning down millions of dollars when so many people are embracing difficult financial times. But what can I say? In my heart I wish him nothing but success. I don't know if this is right or wrong but it is honest.
As for Torre, I can't hold his Yankees association against him. Since I am coming clean, I'll go on the record and say there are many Yankees players I have liked over the years (even the years prior to 2004 when it was sooooo easy to hate that entire franchise from the ownership right down to the fans). I have always really liked Bernie Williams, Derek Jeter, and Jorge Posada. I also like Matsui but mostly because he doesn't leave the batter's box between pitches (one of my top recommendations to those seeking ways to speed up the game). As for Torre, I think he has always played the game right, handled the players right, held his own in a dicey relationship with Steinbrenner, and been a general credit to the game of baseball.
Here's to Manny, Torre, and a great year in 2008...may they lose the World Series to Boston in seven games!