It came to my attention yesterday afternoon while having a conversation with my buddy Andrew that when the Boston Red Sox have had problems in the past a certain number has been called upon. For those of you that guessed the Ghostbusters, your humor is appreciated, but guess again. For those of you with a lack of patience or an inability to continue reading this article without being informed in the next sentence I will deafen the suspense and give you the answer… It’s Hollywood!!! (Or Mannywood circa 2008 which was the last instance of a superstar wearing out his welcome only to be inevitably dumped into the likes of Dodger Stadium.)
Saturday afternoons trade (Or as I would appropriately title it the much needed disposal of some expensive real estate) involving Adrian Gonzalez, the Texas tough guy, Carl Crawford and the infamous Mr. insignificant Nick Punto was one that will stand the test of time as one of the boldest moves that could possibly made by a professional organization. Clearing these gargantuan salaries from the checkbooks of the brain trust faster than you can say Chicken, beer and or September of 2011 was the current action at hand taken by GM Ben Cherington . It’s a move that will not only define the direction and overall performance of this team in the next 5 years, but is the right decision no matter what the outcome is. No matter what numbers those three (four if you realistically want to consider the .200 average 1 HR, 8RBI and 6 pinch run appearances Nick Punto will have from now until the end of the season) produce while wearing the Dodger Blue, the fact of the matter is they could not collectively be cogs in a championship machine here in Boston. At 33 Beckett has shown that the miles on that pudgy right arm of his have caught up to him so much that has velocity has done nothing but plummet in the last four years going from the blazing 97mph he was throwing in his hay day of 2007 to the pedestrian 88-91mph batting practice fastball he sports so frequently over the middle of the plate in 2012. If Magic Johnson and the rest of the boys in Chavez Revine think they are going to get a revived version of Josh Beckett that will help them make a deep playoff run this season and next I think they are terribly misconstrued. Either way I know that I will be mailing Xmas cards to Los Angeles for the next ten or some Christmases after they have allowed the Red Sox to dispose of this massive pile of unproductive dung that is the infamous Josh Beckett. Good riddance pal! I really hope the door didn’t hit you in your fat gluteus maximus on the way out of the friendly confines of Fenway Park. As for the losses of Crawford and Gonzalez the tune is of a different variety. Gonzalez is the most frustrating player I have watched sport a Red Sox uniform in the 14 years I have watched this team. His lefty stroke is a smooth as silk and he can pick a Timmy Wakefield knuckler out of the dirt at first base, but his porous attitude and lack of a fiery competitive passion is why I don’t think he could have ever sustained a truly successful career on Yawkey Way. Wade Boggs used to get criticized as a guy that would show up to the ballpark and would be able to leave with a smile on his face as long as he was 3-5 with a HR and two doubles and a batting average over .300. Although the sample size of Gonzo was small, it seems to be a logical comparison between these two which the media and fans could sniff out from a mile away. I don’t doubt that he will be very successful in his return to the National league because the guy is without a doubt one of the best pure swingers this game has to offer these days, but the bright lights and spotlight here in Boston seemed to overwhelm Gonzalez to the point of no return. And lastly there’s the $142 million dollar man Carl Crawford. After his latest return, I was starting to have a recent change of mind regarding the hopes that he might be able to regain some of the form he had while in Tampa Bay. Now we will never know. Overall it seemed as If that was not going to be the case resulting in a trade him now or be possibly be stuck with a failed investment when his bloated contract is up in 5 more years. At the age of 31, he is already battling injuries in many important areas (wrist, elbow, and groin) not to mention positional players do not traditionally recover from Tommy John surgery like pitchers do with the ability to come back stronger than before. Its only matter of time before his money makers (his speedy legs) also break down making him a very gamble for the Dodgers to take on. After trading away $260 million dollars in salaries over the span of the next 6 years, it leaves the Red Sox with a very Oakland Athletics Money Ball -like payroll for 2013 of roughly $41 million dollars committed to players on the active roster. Words can’t appropriately describe this deal on the levels of money and talent that was forked over in a moments breathe. The return of James Loney (nothing but a rental as he is set to be a free agent in 2013) and four highly touted prospects is one that the likes of baseball junkies in Buster Olney and Keith Law of ESPN are calling “tremendous” and has moved the organization into the top ten in baseball with the added youth from this trade. Haz-mat suits will be on back order in L.A. for the foreseeable future while Boston seems to be in no need of a new shipment of that clothing anytime soon.
About the Author
Written by Jefferson Mills
I am a 22 year old aspiring sports journalist. I graduated from Hofstra University with a BA in Broadcast Journalism and was born and raised in Norwood, MA, twenty minutes south of the great city of Boston. Sports consume my life in every which way as I have been an athlete since the age of 8 playing organized football, baseball and basketball throughout high school and have been an avid die-hard Patriots, Bruins, Red Sox and Celtics fan. I Interned for the "Mecca of Sports Radio" WFAN 660 AM while in college and also interned for News 12 Long Island. Working as a member of the hardest working sports department in one of the most talented college radio stations 88.7 FM WRHU is the one thing I am most proud of when it comes to my work in the field. My passion and work ethic define who I am as a writer, person and friend which is why I hope to become successful in the sports Broadcasting spectrum in years to come.