July 31, 2008

Gambling in sports

by Dan Bilicki In: Baseball, Basketball

Tim Donaghy may be going away 15 months for his game fixing, gambling and other indescretions but that hasn’t stopped the people running Houston from making a big bet. The bet is on Ron Artest and the gamble is can he not tear apart the Rockets from the locker-room out? It’s even money that he’ll destroy all chemistry the team might have. Teaming him with Rafer Alston? That’s an even riskier propostion! Alston, aka Skip To My Lou, is an ex-street player and allegedly assaulted people off the court in several occasions last summer. You’re teaming him with the utterly insane Ron-Ron? This may not turn out well. On the court is a different story though. If his issues are kept in check and the dynamite defender is out on the court, Artest may be the guy who finally pushes the Rockets (and T-Mac) over the top and finally win a playoff series for the first time in six seasons or, in McGrady’s case, ever.

Then, in the baseball trade-deadline-centric world, there came this proclamation:

“The Red Sox don’t deserve a player like me. During my years here I’ve seen how they [the Red Sox] have mistreated other great players when they didn’t want them to try to turn the fans against them.”

That’s what Manny Ramirez said before yesterday’s game. Seems like the Red Sox are gambling by keeping him in the fold.

Maybe the Red Sox should trade Manny. After watching them get embarassed — at Fenway — by the Angels — with and without Mark Teixeira — it looks like they might need a shake up. They looked like a gong show compared to the Angels. When was the last time that you saw a team that is supposedly a contender make three errors in one inning? When you factor in what Ramirez said about Boston (see above) then should he really be held onto? The time of Manny-being-Manny in Boston has come and gone. A deal, to wherever, needs to happen. Be it the Phillies or Marlins or Mets, let someone else deal with Manny’s tired act. Remember what happened the last time Boston dealt their superstar at the deadline (Nomar to Chicago)? A curse was lifted. There may not be a curse hanging over Fenway right now, but there may be plenty of cursing from Red Sox Nation if they can’t get by Anaheim in October, a scenario that’s looking very real. Manny will probably like Florida weather.

And also, the Yankees’ gamble wasn’t so significant. Any time you can land an multiple-time all-star catcher to replace the one you lost to surgery and it only costs your team a washed up setup man (Kyle Fransworth), well, that’s a deal you’ll always make.

Leave a Reply