Category Archives: Trades

Hello there 2011!

Here we go 2011! With some fantastic off season activity this year, there has been much to talk about. After a winter hiatus from writing, its time to get back into it. I found an essay type description online, and figured that this would be a great place to start my first post of the year.

  1. In the first part, tell us about yourself and why you love baseball.(500 word limit)
  2. In the second part, answer one of the following questions (500 word limit)
    1. Who will win the American and National League Most Valuable Player Awards in 2011? Make a strong case for your selections.
    2. What will be the biggest MLB storyline of 2011? Explain why.

 

Part 1:

There are many reasons to love baseball, and each person has a smaller subset of this large array of reasons that makes baseball special to them. Many people can point to a specific game that their Dad took them too, or a memorable player interaction that their love of the game stems from. My first game, and introduction to baseball happened at such a young age that I do not even remember it. My love, however, stems more from the field that it does from the stands. I grew up playing baseball, and there was nothing that I loved more. 2nd base was my position, and there was nothing more satisfying than making a great defensive play. I loved being in the ready position, waiting for the pitch. I remember the smell of the freshly cut grass, the annoying little gnats that inevitably wound up squished on the underside of my cap’s brim, the cool breeze that came in as the sun was setting, and the joyous feeling of knowing we didn’t have to stop as the lights came on.

I couldn’t get enough baseball. I began to watch the Red Sox. I grew up in the 90’s when the Sox were constantly not good enough. I listened to games on WEEI, because I loved the descriptions of the game over the radio.  Eventually, I began to understand “the curse”. It was something I had always known about, but didn’t understand for a long time. It was only after years of constant defeat did I really feel the pain. The late 90’s  were supposed to be our time, the rise of Nomar, our beloved Trot, the acquisition of Pedro. I was head over heels in love with the Red Sox, and the Yankees broke my heart, year, after year, after year. The curse began to take hold of me. My hatred for NY grew immensely, as did my fear of the curse. The crushing defeats continued into 2003, where I had to deal with Aaron Boone of all people.

Then everything changed, and everyone knows the story. In the biggest hole in professional sports the Red Sox won eight straight games to end it all. Pure joy. The curse was over. My baseball love didn’t end there, how could it? I was thirsty for more.  So how exactly does one top breaking an 86 year curse in spectacular fashion?

Enter the 2008 Phillies.  Game 5, part two. As a seasoned baseball fan knows, Game 5 of the 2008 World Series was postponed mid-game due to rain, throwing a wrench into the travel plans of fans everywhere. As luck would have it, this provided me with a free ticket to part two of the game.  I got to walk into a 2-2 tie in the 6th inning, and watch the Phillies win it all. Mayhem. Riots. Another broken fan base had their redemption and I was a part of it. Sweet revenge after the Rays had eliminated my Sox. Baseball is in my blood, and I will never tire of it.

Part 2:

A)   2011 AL MVP: Dustin Pedroia – This is a tough one for me, and I have tried to remove any bias there might be in me as a Sox fan, but this guy tries harder than anyone I have ever seen. In 2010, he took grounders on his knees while he had a broken foot. Already having won the rookie of the year award in 2007 and an MVP in 2008, a gold glove, and three straight all-star selections, he still has the desire to work hard and improve. With the lineup additions of Crawford and Gonzalez he has a great deal of power behind him (presuming he keeps 2nd in the batting order), as well as the return of Ellsbury to the leadoff slot to help his RBI numbers. This scrappy player will not stop short of perfect, and that dedication will win him another MVP award in the next 3 years.

2011: NL MVP: Roy Halladay – The last pitcher to win a MVP was Dennis Eckersley in 1992. This is really a shame. Since 1992 we have entered the steroid era, possibly explaining why no pitcher was awarded the honor due to inflated hitting numbers. It appears, however, that the steroid era is over. 2010 had 7 no hitters, including two perfect games. Roy Halladay threw a perfect game and a postseason no hitter. Since leaving the AL East, Halladay has been absurdly dominant, and will continue to be in 2011. With 9 complete games in 2010, a 2.44 ERA, and 21 wins, it’s a wonder Halladay didn’t get a single first place vote. In all likelihood, this prediction will not come true, but more because the Baseball Writers will all vote for position players in the end. That doesn’t make it right. Consider Halladay, because in the end he will absolutely deserve it.

B) The best storyline of 2011 will be Phantastic Phour in Philadelphia. With possibly the best rotation of all time, they are a giant force that must be taken down. Hands down the favorite for the 2011 W.S. This however, will be a slow storyline and much better in the playoffs. A much less talked about story line will be the Tampa Bay Rays. How will the additions of Manny and Damon for relatively small money impact this team? Can they keep their young, underdog attitude alive? Can they keep Manny from being a cancer? Will Joe Maddon be able to handle the veteran presence? Most importantly, if all of this works out, can they compete with the reloaded Red Sox and powerhouse Yankees? The AL East is once again the strongest division in baseball. Let the games begin.

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Filed under All Star game, Baseball, Boston Red Sox, Cubs, David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia, General Baseball, MLB, MVP, Perfect Game, Philadelphia, Phillies, Playoffs, Red Sox, Sox, Sports, Trades, World Series, Yankees

Deal or No Deal?

Last time I checked in with you, the Sox had just been hit with a wave of injuries. It was series of random events seemingly in the outer six-sigma realm that decimated the team.

Well, nothing has changed.

Still fighting the injury bug that seems determined to slaughter everyone, this team is reaching a depressing level. That sinking realization has set in that the playoffs are a long shot. Even if the Red Sox pull off a Colorado Rockies-esque run (circa 2007), there is little to no chance to make a real deep October run.

The news here, however, is not the disappointing flameout of a potential World Series caliber roster, but more so the trade of Manny Delcarmen.  Delcarmen was traded for 21 year old pitching prospect Chris Balcom-Miller (CBM from here on out), and I like the move. Now, I have never seen CBM pitch, but I still like it. While Delcarmen had his good times here, he was not improving. If CBM can contribute anything in the next few years, the Sox have won in this deal.

This move also gives us an insight into the mind of GM Theo Epstein. Theo has made several big deadline/waiver moves in the last few years, all with the intent of a playoff push. This isn’t that move. This is different. This is a calculated assessment of exactly what I said above, that the injured 2010 Red Sox can’t accomplish the major goal of the season, a World Series ring. We all knew that this year was referred to as a “bridge year” with the short term contracts of a few players bridging the gap to some younger talent and the end of a few big money contracts. Between David Ortiz, Mike Lowell, Adrian Beltre, Victor Martinez, Jeremy Hermida, Jason Varitek, and Julio Lugo (the Sox paid Lugo $10 mil of his contract in 2010) the Red Sox have a whopping $60 million coming off of contracts. Now, there are obviously priorities to some of that money (like a catcher, more on the importance of signing Martinez later), but this move signals that Epstein knows what is going to happen in the next two years. He knows this team is set to revamp, reset, and make a new run.

CBM may be a part of this new era. Probably not in 2011 due to his age and level, but it’s not out of the question for 2012/2013. Epstein has gotten value in the trading market, recognizing that there is a lost value in this season. By taking a realistic view of the situation, the Red Sox have made a move that has the potential to help down the road at a relatively low cost or risk, and that’s why I like it. Tryouts for the 2011 bullpen begin now.

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What a Choke!

What a weekend for sports! The Boston Celtics knocked off the Cleveland Cavaliers, in LeBron’s last chance before his upcoming free agency to show what he is made of. The Boston Bruins just died in a game 7 that was eerily similar to the series, as they went up 3-0 only to blow it and lose 4-3. The Celtics then went on to win game 1 in Orlando, at times dominating the Magic. Oh yeah, there was some baseball played too, but it wasn’t that exciting in comparison. With some rather big collapses happening, I decided to reflect on some of the biggest (as well as some of my personal favorite) collapses and chokes in history. With a lot of discussion about chokes in sports, I will start with what I used as a definition.

Choke [chohk] (verb,choked, chok·ing, noun) -A choke is a team failing to execute in a situation where they should be more than just a favorite to win. This often occurs in a situation where any par performance would have resulted in a sound victory. Some sort of failure on the team to execute is required. A choke may be viewed in the context of a single game, a series, or a season.

And with that, my top 13.

#13) 2010 NCAA Tournament: Kansas University loses to Northern Iowa in 2nd round

Kansas was not only the favorite to win this game but one of two favorites to win the tournament. Over 80% of ESPN Tournament Bracket players had either Kansas or Kentucky winning. Neither made the final four, but Kentucky wasn’t eliminated in the second round by a 9-seed. Brackets were decimated.

#12) 2007 ALCS: Cleveland Indians

Cleveland loves their collapses, as they were unable to hold a 3-1 series lead against the Boston Red Sox. For a team with 19 game winners C.C. Sabathia and Fausto Carmona, as well as future Cy Young winner Cliff Lee, this team was completely unable to close, allowing the Red Sox to steamroll themselves to their 2nd world series in four years.

#11) 1964 Phillies Phold

After a magical season including Jim Bunning’s perfect game (first in the NL since 1880), the Phightin’ Phils had a 6.5 game lead with 12 to play. After losing 10 games in a row, with the first seven at home, the Phillies had sunk to 3rd place, and would not be a part of any postseason activity. Phail.

#10) 2007/2008 Regular Season: New York Mets

The Mets have recently become the poster child for late season failures. In 2007, the Mets had a 7 game lead on September 12th, with 17 games left to play. The Mets only won 5 of those 17. They lost 5 of 6 to the 4th place Nationals. This one went down to the last game of the season, only to have Tom Glavine let up seven runs in the first culminating in a great collapse.

The Mets then went out and signed two time Cy Young Award Winner Johan Santana, figuring that this would compensate for any weaknesses associated with their collapse. They went into 2008 as surefire favorites to win the NL East, only to be once again eliminated from playoff contention on the last day of season. This was just the beginning of the issues for the Mets as they would plunge to 4th place and a 70 win season in 2009, a team that was once again predicted to contend for a playoff run.

#9) 2007-2008 Pursuit of Perfection: 18-1 New England Patriots

You may note that in my definition above I said that a choke may be defined as a season and I would like to make that distinction here. This was a choked season which is not to be confused with a choked game. The only reason that they make this list was the potential implications of being the greatest NFL team of all time by obtaining a perfect 19-0 record. The Super Bowl itself does not quite qualify to me as a choke. Sure, the Patriots were up 14-3 going into the 4th quarter, but the Giants’ 14 point run bordered on the miraculous. “The Helmet Catch” was a freak play, something one could probably not reproduce in many attempts.  It turned out to be a game where the clock operators were under as much scrutiny as any coach’s decision. There didn’t seem to be a failure on the part of the Patriots to win the game, but more like a spectacular drive by the Giants to put them over the top. The NFL, probably more any other sport, is one where any team can win on any given day. For this reason, I categorize failure to capitalize on the pursuit of perfection as a choke and not the game itself.

#8) 1942 Red Wings / 1975 Penguins

Any team that has ever been up 3-0 in a series and doesn’t win certainly falls into the choke categories. Both of these teams lost to the higher seeded team in the end, after failing to complete their respective underdog runs. For this reason, they get only slightly more credit than #7.

#7) 2010 Eastern Conference Semi-Finals (Hockey): Boston Bruins

They had four chances to beat out the somewhat injured and defeated Flyers, who became only the third hockey team to accomplish such a feat. I thought about ranking this higher, but let us not forget that the Bruins were not a very good team to begin with this season. Two months ago, there were questions as to them even making the playoffs. The Flyers were a lower seed than the Bruins, making this slightly worse than #8. Give it five years for all to settle in, and this will be grouped in the same category as the Wings and Penguins.

#6) 2010 Eastern Conference Semi-Finals (Basketball): Cleveland Cavaliers

In a collapse that left LeBron James without a title in Cleveland, the Celtics may have not only made headlines for themselves, but they may have just cost LeBron a huge part of his legacy.  Cleveland was his city and his team. After numerous opportunities to make a championship run and numerous failures, one can accuse coaching, front office management, and the players themselves.

The fact is that LeBron will take the brunt of this, and Cleveland will suffer if he leaves. For a team that was the best home team in Basketball for several years, they squandered their last two home games. Boston may have earned this win with spectacular defense and a tremendously elevated level of play, but the fact remains that LeBron choked in his abilities to bring a championship to the Cavs.

#5) 1978 Red Sox

Boston held a 14 game lead over the New York Yankees, a lead that would dwindle only to be eventually erased after being swept in a four game set by New York, now referred to as The Boston Massacre. The Yankees forced a one game playoff tie breaker where Bucky Dent, who had hit an average of three HR’s per season in his career; hit a 3 run homer to lead the Yankees to a 5-4 victory over the Sox. The Yankees went on to win the World Series. Bucky ******* Dent.

#4) 1990-1994 Buffalo Bills

The only thing worse than being 0-4 in Super Bowl appearances (Vikings, Bills) is doing it in four straight years. The Bills made their first appearance in the Super Bowl in 1991, only to lose by one point to the New York Giants. They would repeat their Super Bowl run in the next three years losing to the Redskins, and then in back to back years to the Cowboys.

#3) 2003 NLCS: Chicago Cubs

Similar to #11, the Cubs squandered a 3-1 series lead. What makes this much worse than the Indians, was that in game 6, the Cubs had a 3-0 lead behind Matt Clement’s three hitter with just five outs to go. Lifetime Cubs fan Steve Bartman interfered with a foul ball off the bat of Louis Castillo, preventing Moises Alou from making the catch. The thread had been pulled, and the unraveling began. Bartman was escorted out of the stadium for his own safety, and has been ridiculed ever since. The Curse of the Billy Goat lives on.

#2) 1986 World Series: Boston Red Sox

It was game 6 and the Red Sox had a 3-2 series lead. After scoring two in the top of the 10th, the Red Sox had a 5-3 lead with two out. They were one out from their first championship since 1918, and one out from defeating the curse of the Bambino. A few hits later it was 5-4. Enter Mookie Wilson. Mookie Wilson was at the plate and fought out a ten pitch at bat. On the 7th pitch of the at bat, Bob Stanley’s wild pitch tied the game at five. Pitch number ten to Wilson was the infamous grounder through the legs of Bill Buckner, scoring Ray Knight to win the ball game. There is no guarantee that had Buckner fielded the ball that they would have won, however their inability to close out this game, as well as game 7, lands them in the #2 spot all time. I refuse to lower this on the list on the basis that the “curse” has been broken, or that Boston has more or less forgiven Buckner. At the time this was an epic collapse, and it should remain so when talking about it.

#1) 2004 ALCS: New York Yankees

The biggest collapse in sports history, as well as my personal favorite, was the New York Yankees failing to close out the Boston Red Sox after a 3-0 series lead with home field advantage. With a lead going into the 9th inning of game 4, Kevin Millar led off with a walk, off of arguably the best closer of all time, Mariano Rivera. Pinch runner Dave Roberts was Boston’s personal savior that night. The entire world knew that Roberts was stealing second, and after several pickoff attempts he went on the first pitch Rivera sent home. Safe.

This was the single turning point, as Bill Mueller would single him in for the tie. David Ortiz would then hit a two run shot in the 12th, giving the Sox their first win in the series. This was just a taste of what was coming. Rivera would blow the save again in game 5, this time with some help from Tom Gordon. Boston went on to win this game in the 14th where David Ortiz was the walk-off star again singling in Damon. Curt Shilling would pitch the “Bloody Sock” game in game 6 in Yankee Stadium, and the Boston bats beat up the Yankees in game 7 to cap the greatest comeback ever. Everything made this series epic. It was Sox/Yanks, it was Rivera, it was David Ortiz, it was long games ending well after midnight, it was the lovable idiots taking down the evil empire, and it was certainly the biggest choke ever.

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An Ortiz-less 2011

I would like to start out by defending Ortiz for a moment. I think the scrutiny his every at bat gets due to last year’s slow start is unfair. The large majority of the fan base, media, and analysts seem to be ready to throw in the towel.  After 26 at bats, I think this is absurd. You must give Ortiz at least a month, possibly until mid May, to come around because if he does he is too valuable to let go. I think people are still bitter about a bad start last year and a playoff sweep in the first round. Calm down Red Sox nation, its April, there is plenty of baseball to be played.  26 at bats (or 26 of anything) is a pathetic sample size in the statistics world.

Now, even with the bad start last year, David Ortiz finished the season with 28 HR, and 99 RBI. I would like to think that given whatever mini-slump he is in now, he will break out of and do about the same this year. Then the question is as follows. Do you resign David Ortiz for 2011?

Regardless of what I think the answer should be, I will tell you what the answer will be. No, this is David Ortiz’s last season in a Red Sox uniform. Again, I cannot emphasize enough that my opinion on this is not due to his failure to hit well in the first 8 games of the year. There are 4 main reasons that I believe Ortiz will be departing at the end of the season.

  1. Jeremy Hermida and Mike Lowell. In 2009, the Sox could wait out the Ortiz slump, as their options for replacement were very limited. Our bench players were Nick Green, Jed Lowrie, Rocco Baldelli, Chris Carter, Jon Van Every, and Mark Kotsay. These were not exactly potent offensive forces, with several of them on the DL or in AAA to start the year. Ortiz had no practical replacement options, so they left him there. Jeremy Hermida could not be off to a better start; taking advantage of seemingly every plate appearance he has been given. If this keeps up, I see Hermida being a cornerstone of the team in years to come. I believe Hermida is on a 1-year deal, and I’m not sure the status of the contract rights, but I’m sure if he performs that there will be an effort to keep the 25-year old. Mike Lowell is Mike Lowell. We all know the situation he is in. Terry Francona will be giving both of these guys’ at bats, and he will likely have to use the DH slot to do that. If they are hitting and Ortiz is not, eventually he will lose playing time. Ortiz has two be looking at these two in his rear view mirror and can’t be thrilled about it.
  2. Contract. Ortiz’s contract is up at the end of the year. The Red Sox hold a $12.5 Million option for the 2011 season, and there is no buyout clause. Boston could let him walk without paying him a dime. With concerns surrounding the slump(s), and age, $12.5M is probably not going to happen. The Sox will pass on the option, and this would leave both sides in a position where they would have to negotiate a new deal. I see Theo Epstein aiming in the 1-year, $5 million range, if offering anything at all.
  3. The Slump(s). I said the slump(s) don’t matter right now, and they don’t.  Ortiz could break out tomorrow and have a great season. The problem is the perception, and the talk, is there.  If Ortiz hits .280/32/110 this year, a stint of 4 for 26 at the start of the season will be inconsequential; however the perception of bad starts has been cemented in everyone’s mind. There is no way around it. On opening day 2011, wherever he is, David Ortiz will be asked if he is slumping if he goes 0-4. He will likely have to face these questions in spring training as well. This puts extra pressure on him to hit home runs every game. This has the potential of upsetting the big teddy bear, and can put him in a mindset of struggling, which will actually lead to him struggling.
  4. The direction of the team, pitching and defense. Youth, speed, and some of the more “natural” talents are what are being valued more these days. I realize that Ortiz is a DH, and he has no impact on the pitching or defense, but the fact remains that this team has a different feel to it than it did from 2000-2008. I don’t want to blame it on the steroid era, but I think that is part of it. The whole game is changing, and the big boppers have less of a place if they don’t meet the other aspects of the game.

Any of these reasons on their own may not be enough to get him out, but the union of all of them presents an interesting argument for letting him walk. Given all this, if Ortiz does turn it around in the next week or so, and winds up with that .280 Avg/32 HR/110 RBI  line, I would be for signing him to a 1-year deal, but probably not at his contract option price.

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Offseason Updates

I apologize to those who have been checking for updates and haven’t seen any in a while. I have been following everything in baseball, I just have not had time to write about it. In any event, I thought I’d do a little catching up. Mitchell Report I’d like to start by expressing my huge excitement that nothing in the Mitchell report tainted in any way the Red Sox World Series titles. For those who don’t know, the only connections that the Red Sox had to the report were Roger Clemens, Mo Vaughn, Brendan Donnelly, Eric Gagne, Jose Canseco, Paxton Crawford, Jeremy Giambi, Steve Woodward, Josias Manzanillo, Chris Donnels, Mike Lansing, Kent Merker, and Mike Stanton.Donnelly and Gagne were the only members of either World Series team. Donnelly was injured for the majority of the season, and clearly nobody can make the argument that the 2007 Red Sox won because Gagne allegedly juiced. In any event, both players were in the report when the players were elsewhere. Clemens is still fighting his name in the report, but regardless of how that turns out, he hasn’t been a Sox player in long enough, nor has he been since the years he was allegedly involved. On a side note, Curt Schilling really needs to keep his mouth shut on this one. I don’t need to hear that he is disappointed in Clemens. Unless Schill knows something that we don’t, leave it be, it’s not his place to speak publicly about it. With little to no major contributions from any other players, the Red Sox and the Mitchell report will likely never be closely related, and probably never talked about together. Thankfully the Sox are clean on this one, and I would like to believe they still run a clean organization. Offseason MovesAs I noted in my end of season post, the 2008 Red Sox will look much like they did in 2007, except improved. (I know, it’s great to think they are lined up to be BETTER.)The resigning of Curt Schilling and Mike Lowell to 1 and 3 year contracts respectively will help our club greatly. Curt brings veteran leadership and will help the young guys regardless of his on field performance. Without the status of the “ace” in 2008, I think Schillings pitching will be much more appreciated this year, and if he goes 15-8, I’ll be very happy with 15 wins, much like my year in, year out attitude with Wakefield. I expect him to miss a few starts this year, but I’m okay with that as it will allow someone to step up for a few spot starts.I view the Lowell signing as even more important. We don’t have any top prospects lined up for third base, and most of the Lowell alternatives involved moving Youkilis to third. I think that would have been a poor choice, as Youk has clearly found some comfort at first base. His defense was excellent this year (no errors in the regular season, as well as making some spectacular plays) and his on field play did not interfere with his offensive production at all. Keep him there because it was working. Very happy to know that Youk and Lowell will be our corners for a few years.One year extensions were exercised for Tavarez and Wakefield. I fully expected them to sign Wake, as the organization recognizes what a value he is. Tavarez surprised me a little bit, but I am really happy that they did. Tavarez has shown time and time again he can start with only a few hours notice, which can be very handy to have around. He will once again fall in that middle relief role but his flexibility will help us through the season in spot starts, extra inning games, and any games where a starter is knocked out early.Catcher Kevin Cash was outright sent to Pawtuckett, and declined the assignment and thus became a free agent. Don’t worry though, our catching prospect re-signed shortly after and has an invitation to spring training. He could be Wakefields catcher if Mirabelli doesn’t wind up in a Sox uniform again.Timlin has been signed to a 1 year deal as well, and I can’t say I’m disappointed about that. I love his composure on the mound and love the way he rebounded in 2007 after everyone (myself included) had given up on him. A healthy Timlin can only help us. The Team As Is Youkilis, Pedroia, Lugo, Manny, Drew, and Varitek are extremely likely to keep their spots on the field, pending some blockbuster trade. Ortiz is obviously the DH. Crisp and Ellsbury are both in the picture for a job in center field. My guess is that right now Crisp has the job. I do think Crisp is on the trade market, but like usual, Epstien will not pull the trigger just to pull it. He has to get something that is valuable to him.The rotation looks like you would expect. Beckett, Matsuzaka, Schilling, Wakefield, and a # 5 starter. The five hole likely belongs to Lester right now, as it should, with Buchholz looming in the background. Unless Lester winds up in a trade for Johan Santana, I see him in the starting rotation and Buchholz starting the year in AAA.As for the Santana trade rumors, Lester, Buchholz, and Ellsbury have all been put into the trade rumors. Personally I think Buchholz and Ellsbury are untouchable, even for Santana. If that deal goes through I think we would see Lester and Crisp in that deal. I find it hard to believe Epstien would agree to something else.Papelbon will be the closer once again, and I only see him becoming more dominant as he gets stronger and develops his other pitches a little more.Okajima and Matsuzaka will be interesting to watch as they start their second seasons in the USA. I find it hard to believe Oki will be as dominant as he was, however, I still see him being very effective and a great 8th inning guy and an excellent back up for Papelbon. I expect Matsuzaka to improve greatly as I expect him to mature in his second American League season much like Beckett did in his second season with the Red Sox. I think we will see many more 7+ inning outings from him.  Get ready because the 2008 Red Sox are on their way, and they are looking stronger than ever. There is no way that this team doesn’t make the playoffs.     

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Gagne: The Fenway Treatment

So yesterday was a pretty terrible day for any Red Sox fan. We saw our lead in the AL East shrink to 4 games, and I think it can be called a race again.

Anyone who watched the game questions why Gagne was even put into that game. You have a proven combo with Okajima/Papelbon, and you pull Okajima for Gagne, whom has had trouble. There are a few reasons floating around out there, one of which being the Right/Left matchup. First of all, with the exception of Lopez and the few lefties he faced, Francona hasn’t played the Right/Left game for most of this year. I certainly hope he doesn’t start now. Theres something benifical about letting the reliever take care of his full inning. Plus, its not like Oki hasn’t gotten righties out before. They are only batting .1xx something off him. Terry lost this game by over management.

This leaves us with Gagne. He’s struggled in a Sox uniform, no doubt about that, but it has all been on the road. Gagne is a guy who has closed, handled the pressure. You wan’t pressure Gagne, here it is. You are stepping into the gates of Fenway, and it’s here. I hope, and expect, you to be cheered in your first appearance. Get your blood pumping because this is your home now. Let the crowd fuel you, get mad, pumped, whatever it is you do and have a good outing becuase if you don’t those cheers will turn to boo’s rather quickly.

Show us why we are the best pen in baseball, and why we should ever let you pitch in the 8th.

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Sox Aquire Gagne

Move: Red Sox send Kason Gabbard, David Murphy, and Engel Beltre to the Rangers for Eric Gagne

Opinion: Great move.

The Red Sox just went from the best bullpen in the majors, to the most fantastic bullpen in the majors by a long shot. Now, I don’t think this move was NEEDed, however it is a great move. I love Gabbard and it’s sad to see him go, but really, his trade value will never be as high as it is right now. I hope he has a great career and winds up in Boston again at some point. It will be interesting to see if Gagne takes the 8th from Oki, and moves him to the 7th, or if Gagne takes the 7th himself. My guess is Gagne will be our 8th inning guy.

The biggest part of this deal to me, is that the Yankees didn’t land Gagne. When they traded away a reliever I was sure they had a deal in the works to bring him to New York.

Donnelly is now out for the season, which is one of the main reason they were willing to do the deal. This deal solves 2 “problems” for the Sox. When Donnelly came back, the pen would have been crowded with Gagne there. It also removes the issue of Lester/Gabbard going back to AAA once Schilling comes back, which after last nights rehab start, I believe will be in 5 days for Schil’s next start.

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