Daily Archives: August 26, 2012

Red Sox and Dodgers truly wheeling and dealing

The dust has finally settled after a crazy past few days in Major League Baseball. If the non-waiver trade deadline wasn’t shocking enough, the waiver trade deadline was even more frantic and surprising.

In a blink of an eye, the Red Sox traded away three core players and over 270 million dollars worth of contracts to the Los Angeles Dodgers. And then some.

L.A. acquired slugging first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, (the centerpiece of the deal), injured left fielder Carl Crawford, struggling 32-year old righty Josh Beckett. and utility infielder Nick Punto. Meanwhile, Boston receives first baseman James Loney and four prospects.

At first glance with little knowledge of what’s gone on this year, it seems like the most lop-sided trade in baseball history. But, as in football, “upon further review”, this deal is as equal as it can get.

The Dodgers, now 69-58 after a win over Miami in Gonzalez’s debut (1-5, 3-R HR), are two games back of the San Francisco Giants in the N.L. West. Prior to this deal, the team had already made numerous moves to improve the club, compared to where it stood on Opening Day.

Outfielder Shane Victorino, shortstop Hanley Ramirez, reliever Randy Choate, closer Brandon League, and starter Joe Blanton are the biggest names that most recently donned Dodger Blue, and all of them have fit in nicely since their respective trades prior to the July 31st [non-waiver] trade deadline.

Now in bringing in A-Gone, Crawford, and Beckett, the Dodgers have added a grand total of 94.75 million dollars to the team’s payroll [for this year alone] since starting to wheel and deal back in July. And I didn’t even bring up the home-grown superstars of Matt Kemp (making 10 million this year, jumping to 21 million annually in 2013) and Clayton Kershaw (making 7 million in 2012, jumping to 11 million next season, and then demanding a big payday afterwards). Clearly, the Dodgers are digging deep into the pockets of Magic Johnson to make all this happen.

Don’t worry, I didn’t forget the Red Sox.

Boston officially waves the white flag in making this deal, as they traded their ace, best hitter, and well, Carl Crawford, all in one deal.

It’s been a season of disappointment and bitterness for the Red Sox and their fans, as they are in fourth place in the AL East with a record of 60-67. Uttering the name Bobby Valentine on Yawkey Way is almost as bad as saying “Dent”, “Boone”, or “Buckner”. Seriously. The fans hate him, and so do the players, which is probably a reason why they’ve played so poorly all year long. If you don’t like your manager, it’s unlikely you’ll play hard or well for him.

The Red Sox to me are like a teenage girl following a sudden break-up. “This wasn’t how it was supposed to end.” I can hear Ben Cherington cry out to John Henry.

But in all seriousness, the team’s prior hopes and dreams of championships are crushed, and so Boston finally accepted it’s time to start looking towards the future and planning for 2013 and beyond, which is the smart thing to do.

The players that are coming to Boston aren’t really anything special. James Loney is only coming over to play first base for the remainder of this season, as he’s been a very inconsistent hitter for the past couple seasons now. And the prospects have all had their share of struggles and should be Major League ready by now, yet they’re not.

But for the Red Sox, it really doesn’t matter who they got for what they gave. The point is they are free from a couple of high-priced, long term deals, one that was very misguided (wink wink, Carl Crawford). And Beckett was making 15 million bucks per year as well, and simply had to go. Taking this much money off the books allows the Red Sox to spend freely on any of the big free agents this coming winter, and also a chance to reconstruct the clubhouse and create a happy and friendly environment in Boston, which let’s face it, will be the total opposite as long as Bobby V is manager.

It will be very interesting to see what the Bo-Sox do this offseason. As I said, they can spend the money they got immediately and maybe try to get back in contention next year. Or they could hold off, let their prospects get a chance to prove themselves and wait and see.

If nothing else, one thing is definitely for sure – Bobby V is gone following the season.

Hurrah Red Sox fans!

Week 18 Yankees Player of the Week

The Yankees had a rough week going 2-4 against Boston, Chicago, and Cleveland. Some nights it was bad pitching and other nights it was bad clutch hitting that failed them. The one constant performer this week was Derek Jeter. I normally leave this up to a vote and try to make the case for other players, but I think this week it should just be about Jeter.

So much gets said about Jeter from haters and lovers alike. They’re people out there who unfairly criticize him for being a Yankee who they think gets to much attention. Then they’re others who think they he is an MVP candidate, which is too much on the other end of the spectrum. People just need to take a step back and appreciate him for what he is. We are watching a legend put together a season at the age of 38 that we may not seen duplicated for a long time. There is no need to compare him to others in history at this point. Save that for when he retires. Right now people should really just enjoy what they’re seeing because what we’re seeing right now from him is pretty cool.  We have been blessed to watch Jeter for all these years and should enjoy it for as long as we can.

Jeter hit .481 on the week, with 3 HR’s and 3 RBI. Jeter’s .819 OPS this season is his highest since 2009 as is his .326 average.

Game 127 Lineup: Yankees @ Indians

Lineup vs. Indians:

Derek Jeter SS
Nick Swisher RF
Robinson Cano 2B
Mark Teixeira 1B
Curtis Granderson CF
Eric Chavez 3B
Raul Ibanez DH
Ichiro Suzuki LF
Chris Stewart C

RHP Freddy Garcia

Poll: 

Morning Bits: Blockbuster Trade, Lowe, Chamberlain, Aceves

Good morning everyone and happy Sunday to you all. The Yankees unfortunately couldn’t back up Kuroda but they have a chance to gain a half game on the Rays who are off…on a Sunday…no fair. Anyway, here are your morning links.

— As we all know, the Red Sox and Dodgers pulled off the ultimate blockbuster trade yesterday. Now the question is, could you picture the Yankees doing the same thing? And do the remaining Yankees/Red Sox series mean anything?

— Speaking of the blockbuster trade, Derek Lowe (who was a former Red Sox with the 2004 Championship team) had a unique perspective on why the Red Sox and Dodgers did what they did.

–This was the sign that Chad Jennings of LoHud Yankees found on his window of his hotel room–and it has something to do with Joba Chamberlain and midges.

— Major League Baseball suspended former Yankee Alfredo Aceves for three games for “conduct dertrimental to the team”. Apparently, he didn’t like the idea that Andrew Bailey was going to save a game instead of him.