August 25, 2012

Have to admit that you could have knocked me over with a feather when I saw the news about the Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers coming together on a trade that would send Josh Beckett, Adrian Gonzalez, and Carl Crawford – and all but $12 mil of their total contracts! – to SoCal in return for a group of prospects. I think I might have gasped “holy sh*t” or some thing to that effect; I mean, teams in any sport just don’t make those kinds of deals anymore. And, when it comes to Major League Baseball, deals like that don’t come together except at the July 31 trading deadline or during the winter GM meeetings. And even then, no team in the history of sports (at least any I can recall) has ever traded three players of such caliber to a single team. It’s a blockbuster in every sense of the word, the likes of something you’ll probably never see again.

…I remember Charlie Finley’s attempted “fire sale” of Oakland As players back in 1976, but that wasn’t to a single team. And, he was just dumping salary for the sake of dumping salary.

As far as I’m concerned, this was the best news I’ve heard all season. I’ve lamented in this spot previously just how unlikeable the Red Sox team has been, enough to make me forego my MLB Extra Innings package this year, and Beckett and Gonzalez were big reasons why. In Beckett’s case, the Sox made the big mistake in locking up an aging pitcher to a long-term contract, removing any incentive for him to keep himself in shape and serve as a role model to the pitching staff. In Crawford’s and Gonzalez’s case, it was clear neither player was suited for the high-powered, emotionally-charged atmosphere that goes along with playing baseball in the Northeast, especially Boston.

Here’s hoping the Red Sox have learned once and for all that you can’t just open your wallet and expect big-time players to replicate their past success in Boston. You need players who embrace pressure, not run away or attempt to hide from it. In addition, this certainly puts the final exclamation mark on the Theo Epstein era in Boston. Look, it was great while it lasted – two World Series championships in nine years – but towards the end he was just throwing away money like Barack Obama at solar companies.

Now, my joy will be complete once (hopefully) the Red Sox realize their mistake in hiring Bobby Valentine as manager. He’s been a joke.

Last word goes to the guys at Surviving Grady, who never fail to please when it comes to their uncanny ability to call things as they see them:

…I look at it this way: as the Planet of the Apes films taught us, sometimes you just have to blow up the world to set things right again.

Indeed.

Filed in: Golf & Sports by The Great White Shank at 19:59 | Comments (0)
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