BOSTON (CBS) – Stunning.
When I first read the tweet from my esteemed colleague Gordon Edes regarding the Red Sox-Dodgers potential blockbuster trade, I laughed. It’s August, a time when you rarely see any deal more than “Veteran Player X for a ‘player to be named later.'”
But this one has three superstars involved. Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, and Josh Beckett, all in the same deal.
Even more surprising is that most — if not all — of their remaining $270-million in contract money is expected to be picked up by Los Angeles?
When you first see the names involved, you sit there and ask “why?” Adrian Gonzalez is hitting .300 with 15 HR and 86 RBI. Those are good numbers to go with his Gold Glove at first base. Carl Crawford seemed to be getting comfortable in a Red Sox uniform (.282, 3 HR 19 RBI) before he ended his season by undergoing Tommy John surgery. And Josh Beckett, although struggling this season, has won an awful lot of big games in a Red Sox uniform.
However, if you are Ben Cherington and ownership you almost had to do this deal.
The just-bought LA Dodgers are going to take these three players (plus Nick Punto) and pay $260-million to them. They make a major, major splash now and have a shot at a title.
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The Dodgers get Gonzalez, who just never seemed to come to grips with the “Boston mentality.” Every game, every second, every win or loss is life-or-death in this town. Gonzalez was a nice enough guy and a hitting machine, but he is a guy who had a different perspective than what the fans want here.
Carl Crawford may never be the same player he was when he played for Tampa Bay. We never got a chance to see it because he put so much pressure on himself to live up to his contract. He just couldn’t settle in and then he couldn’t get healthy. It turned out being an Edgar Renteria-type signing (for a lot more money). It’s just a shame because the skills he has are off the charts. Go look at his numbers — ridiculous.
Josh Beckett? He helped this team win a World Series in 2007 when he was lights out. That postseason was awesome to watch, and, he really did care. He loved playing here then –telling me he loved the lows as much as he loved the highs because the fans cared, which is something they didn’t do down in Florida when he was with the Marlins. I just wish he would have come out and said it. He was just was too stubborn to. And yes, he made mistakes last September, but every time he stepped on the mound he battled.
But it was clear that this wasn’t working in Boston. The fans were tired of this team as currently constructed. Fans didn’t want to hear about injuries (courtesy of the Pats), they didn’t like the way they handled off-field situations (beer and chicken, funerals, etc). and most of all, they didn’t like the losing.
What is amazing is that with this deal Ben Cherington was able to instantly change this team in one night with one trade. A huge majority of fans love this deal.
Will it work? Who knows. But it gives everyone a fresh start. The players certainly need that as well as probably Cherington and his Baseball Ops department.
And now we ask: will Bobby V get that fresh start too?
I am stunned at what went down on Friday night August 24th, 2012. Absolutely floored.
And, I can’t wait to see where this all goes…
Follow WBZ-TV’s Dan Roche on twitter @RochieWBZ.