What year is it, anyway? As my friend and colleague Bruce Markusen pointed out last year when rumors surfaced that Ozzie Guillen might be traded to the Miami Marlins, the last time a baseball manager was traded to another team was a decade ago when the Seattle Mariners dealt Lou Piniella to the Tampa Bay Rays for outfielder Randy Winn. On Saturday, the Boston Red Sox revived the old art form, trading infielder Mike Aviles to the Toronto Blue Jays for manager John Farrell.
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Two decades ago, NFL owners and coaches were torn over the use of instant replay, a technology then in its infancy. Former Miami Dolphins coach Don Shula insisted it was a “major help in getting calls correct.”
Lamar Hunt countered, the instant replay will “robs the game of its spontaneity … and intrudes on the fans enjoyment of the game.” Late Kansas City Chiefs owner offered a full page of bullet points to support his claim.
Despite leading the American League Eastern division by 14 ½ games as late as mid-August, the summer of 1978 may go down in history as one of the most miserable in Boston Red Sox history.
Over the next six weeks, the second-place Yankees would catch fire while the Red Sox watched the wheels fall off their seemingly impassable lead.