Friday, August 31, 2012

What To Make Of The Red Sox (Post-Trade)?

by Nick Valeri, FN Youth Board

In my last article, back on July 23rd, I gave my full-out option on why our favorite ballclub was underperforming and not living up to our expectations of just simply winning games. Most of that was put on the starting pitching and bullpen, giving up too many runs for the offense to catch up to. Well, instead of criticizing every ‘new low’ they seem to achieve this season, BenCher decided to take a different approach; trade Theo’s quarter of a billion dollar experiment.

At first, my initial thought was “I understand why Beckett and Carl, but why Gonzo?” As more details came out and more professionals analyzed the trade, the more I kept hearing; ‘It’s hard to find a bat like Gonzo's and ‘This makes sense but adding Gonzo to the mix doesn’t fit the bill’. I’ve had  a week to digest this trade, which can arguably be the biggest disappointment in my sports lifetime since Aaron Boone, (I understand, I am young and there have been plenty of other disappointments, I’ve just been spoiled on championships), but I have come to the conclusion that this trade was meant to be and I love it, and here is why:
• It freed up a boatload of money to change the direction of the team;
• It got rid of the biggest scumbag pitcher in recent memory;
• It lifted a weight off our shoulders.
With all this extra money, what BenCher did was take all of Theo’s great ‘Big contract, big money, great player’ method and completely threw it away to LaLa land, and now can shape the team and contract his way, instead of following in Theo’s footsteps.
It also got rid some of the most negative attitudes this club had to offer. Beckett we always knew was bad, but I personally thing Gonzo’s personality was part of the reason to let him go. Yes, he has great power, yes his bat is hard to come by, but his personality was not so hard to find. He was always a small town ball player, who loved to play the game, and did a very good job at it. In simpler words: a professional. In Boston, with all the expectations, you need to be more than just a professional. Baseball needs to be more than just a job, you need to lead and represent your city with pride and greatness. Yes, Gonzo did his job very well, but his personality was hard to fit in with the culture we have in Beantown, which is more God-like worship and championship caliber play consistently (See: Tom Brady as example number one). So to see him go is sad in a way, because for a year and a half it was up and down inconsistency, but in the end, his personality just didn’t fit with our culture.
Finally, I think the biggest positive about the trade was that it lifted a weight off our shoulders. Before the trade, we just took a shot at the team every way possible we could find every night, and just put the criticism on repeat. Now, with $270 million now free to spend, I think fans are a little looser than they were before, and focused on the upcoming winter/2013 season, instead of finding every flaw with this team.
In the end, I think this trade was for the better. My only fear is BenCher goes the Theo-way and just pays for the biggest free agent. But, from recent interviews, my trust in BenCher has increased. Only time will tell if that trust investment will pay off.