Call it the KG Effect.
Sports is rarely a bastion of originality. Whatever’s working, copy it. Whatever helped the latest champion – as if championships can be distilled into one move – do it yourself.
In football, it may be a particular offensive scheme. In the NBA, it may be a specific defense. In baseball, it appears to be make the Big Dawg Move.
Just like the Boston Celtics did last summer when they traded for Kevin Garnett. Months later, the Big Ticket punched his first NBA championship and the Celtics had their first championship in 22 years.
Now, baseball’s wannabes are making the Big Dawg Move. They’ve pulled what they hope to be their KG move.
None was bigger than the Dodgers’ play for Manny Ramirez, perhaps the best combination of Big Stick and Big Personality in the game. His presence will transform the Dodgers lineup unlike any player since Kirk Gibson. And it makes them instant postseason contenders.
But they were not alone. In plucking Ken Griffey Jr. from the Reds, the White Sox solidified their hunt for October (and steal a bit of limelight from the crosstown rival Cubs, at least for a few minutes).
The Yankees’ move for Pudge Rodriguez qualifies, too, though to a lesser degree. It was very Steinbrenneresque, and it infuses the Yankees with an air of confidence that has been strangely muted this season.
So now it’s on. Big names change addresses, millions of dollars flow in electronic transactions and fans are buoyed with hope.
In three months, we’ll find out if it becomes hope realized or hype.
And whether the Big Dawg Move is still the right move.