Amid the news today that Alex Rodriguez and a dozen other players received suspensions because of their ties to the now infamous Biogenesis clinic, there should have been a collective sigh of relief from Red Sox fans.
Most of those tied to the clinic got 50-game suspensions from MLB Commissioner Bud Selig. Rodriguez received the toughest penalty, a 211-game suspension that could effectively end the controversial slugger's career.
And while we as Red Sox fans revel in schadenfreude of the highest Yankee order, remember this: It almost happened to us. All the A-Rod drama now playing out in the Bronx could have - if the stars aligned a little differently - happened on Yawkey Way.
A little stroll down memory lane ...
Our tears barely dry after Aaron (#$%!) Boone deposited Tim Wakefield's knuckler into the left-field stands on that cold October night in 2003, Red Sox brass began plotting ways to bring A-Rod - then a star shortstop for the Texas Rangers - to Boston. Discussions among those in the Sox and Rangers front offices continued for a couple months.
After some creative discussions and accounting, media reports soon indicated a deal had been struck: Boston would receive Magglio Ordonez from the Chicago White Sox in exchange for Nomar Garciaparra and a pitcher. The Sox would also send Manny Ramirez to the Rangers in exchange for A-Rod.
New Red Sox owner John Henry even got A-Rod to restructure his contract to lower the annual value of the monster document he'd signed with the Rangers. The deal was done. Alex Rodriguez would be belting home runs - and, possibly, breaking records - for the Red Sox for years.
But the players union stepped in at that point and put the kibosh on the deal. A-Rod would not, in fact, be wearing a Red Sox uniform.
As fate would have it, Boone would injure himself in early 2004. The Yankees swooped in and signed A-Rod to another monster contract, this time to play for the New York Yankees.
The New York papers took pot shots at Sox fans after the deal had been done. Now, it's Red Sox fans sitting back, enjoying the fireworks.
The lesson here? Be careful what you wish for.