From Gordon Edes, the former longtime Red Sox beat writer, in a piece he wrote for Yahoo! Sports a month and a half ago:
And then came the 24 hours that shocked the baseball world: [Boston GM Theo] Epstein secretly slipping away from the  winter meetings in New Orleans for a hush-hush meeting at the Four Seasons in New York with [Alex] Rodriguez, who at 1:30 a.m. answered the door of his suite impeccably dressed in a suit, his hair freshly moussed. Before dawn Rodriguez agreed, in exchange for a couple of player options inserted in his contract, to give up millions to escape the purgatory of the Texas Rangers. Rodriguez even pledged to send some under-the-table money back to Rangers owner Tom Hicks to make the deal work.
That morning, after some hard bargaining, players' union lawyer Gene Orza signed off on the deal, and a day later at a hastily called press conference in the .406 club at Fenway Park, Epstein announced that the club had acquired Rodriguez for outfielder Manny Ramirez, who had worn out the club with his trade demands, and a left-handed pitching prospect named Jon Lester.
Then Epstein leaned into the microphone to announce the second part of his bombshell: Nomar Garciaparra, the incumbent shortstop who had interrupted his honeymoon to call a Boston sports-talk show and complain about the A-Rod rumors, had been traded to the White Sox for outfielder Magglio Ordonez and a pitching prospect Brandon McCarthy.
Think about how things might have been different had the Players Association not vetoed the 2003 trade because it didn't like Rodriguez's voluntary salary reduction.
Nah, don't. After watching Lester do that tonight, you're probably better off forgetting about what might have been if, as the result of a proper meeting of the minds, he and Ramirez (who had five years remaining on his contract, plus two club options) had become Texas Rangers, and if McCarthy had gone to Boston before the White Sox had taken a shine to John Danks.
Instead, think about what brand of Vicente Padilla is going to show up Sunday afternoon in the rubber match of this series.
If you think you have a bead on what we're going to see tomorrow, you're a lot smarter than I am.