TAMPA, Fla. -- If you haven't noticed that it's suddenly becoming largely about the kids for the filthy rich, All-Star-laden, Johan Santana-less New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox, then you haven't been paying attention. Or, you've been out of the country -- possibly, say, in Japan for several months, eagerly awaiting this week's Boston-Oakland season-opening series.
|Dustin Pedroia, a Red Sox farmhand, won Rookie of the Year in 2007. (Getty Images)|
"Got a long day ahead, buddy. I've got the kids today," Posada said of his two children, 8 and 5.
Chamberlain didn't miss a beat.
"Ooooh, you'd better make sure it's a long shower, then," he said.
Take it from one who knows. Chamberlain was a kid who gave opponents absolute fits last summer. He's one of the tantalizing young prospects, along with fellow pitchers Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy, who could become the foundation of the next dominating Yankees run.
While Minnesota was shopping Santana this winter, the Yankees consistently refused to include Chamberlain and Kennedy in the trade talks. They left Hughes on the table for all of about five minutes before quickly yanking him off, too.
Over in Boston, meanwhile, the Red Sox refused to discuss with the Twins young pitching prospect Clay Buchholz, who threw a no-hitter in Fenway Park last season.
The way Boston figures it, Buchholz and fellow youngster Jon Lester will be a key part of its rotation for years to come. The Red Sox rededicated themselves to rebuilding their farm system when Theo Epstein became general manager in 2002, and the pipeline already has started to flow. Two rookies, second baseman Dustin Pedroia and center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury, were key in Boston's World Series win last October.
Which is why, throughout the game, these latest developments with the game's two richest franchises are being watched with wary eyes and eliciting nervous tics.
Because it's one thing for the Yankees and Red Sox to carelessly throw their millions around to free agents who don't make sense, or to guys whom they've misread (see: Pavano, Carl).
But to have both financial resources and front-office folks who operate intelligently when it comes to player development ... unquestionably, that's the ultimate horror-show scenario for every other club in the league.