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Jerry reacts to the trade between the Dodgers and the Red Sox.

I was tempted to start my reaction to recent Red Sox maneuvers with the classic Michael Corleone line from “Godfather 3”. You know the one where he says, “Just when I thought I was out… they pull me back in!”; because that’s about the way I’m feeling. I was just about to write them off for the rest of the season and beyond, when suddenly, like Magic, the Dodgers swoop in and unburden the Sox of about a quarter of a billion dollars in payroll. What was looking like a possible lost decade, may yet be saved. Thank you Frank McCourt!While most of Red Sox Nation is casting their appreciative eyes towards LA general manager Ned Colletti for his coveting of Adrian Gonzalez, many are just grateful to the basic incompetence of former Dodger owner, and erstwhile Boston buyer, Frank McCourt, for making such a mess of one of most storied franchises in sports. Should he be just a wee bit competent, then LA continues to scrape by, and the Sox continued to drown in a mixture of bad chemistry and bad contracts into the fore seeable future. (Albeit in front of one “sellout” crowd after another.) But thanks to Frank and his wife, the Dodgers go just about bankrupt and have to be saved by a deep-pocketed group of buyers led by Magic Johnson. So once again, “Thanks, Frank!”

As for the deal itself; to say it has been well received may qualify as the greatest understatement of all time. Much of that is a direct result of the fact that it got rid of Josh Beckett. To say that Sox Nation had tired of Beckett may qualify has the second greatest understatement of all time. When you add in (or more accurately, subtract from) the $100 million still owed Carl Crawford, then you can truly undersatnd why some joy has returned to Mudville. On paper, the Crawford addition to the Sox outfield should have been a positive one, but when the paper is a contract with a lot of zeroes, not so much. Actually, it’s quite possible that both Beckett and Crawford flourish in LA, with some people here fearing that Beckett ends up a World Series hero once again. (That would be tough to take…)

De La Rosa is one of the keys to this deal for the Sox. (Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

I think if you are Adrian Gonzalez, you could not be happier. He is getting big market money, in a city with a definite Mexican-American feel, without the glare of playing in the Boston-NYC-Philly triangle. A Southern California kid, he just never seemed to get used to the way we do things here in the Northeast. He must truly feel like he’s going home.

How this works out for Boston remains to be seen. The two pitching prospects, Allen Webster and Rubby De LA Rosa, are at the heart of the deal. Both are highly regarded and it is expected that they will both be contributing by at least the second half of next season. There is also hope that minor league power hitter Jerry Sands will like the friendly confines of Fenway Park, and contribute to the offense. But even more  significant to the future of the Sox is how they use their new found financial flexibilty. It is hoped they will resist the temptation to sign Josh Hamilton, who is unlikely to do well here, but rather go after Nick Swisher who could play first or the outfield, and be less costly. This also changes the dynamics for Bobby V, and probably makes it less likely that he’ll be brought back.

Finally, I can’t help but thing about how different the Sox could be now if Theo hadn’t committed to Gonzalez. Think of some of the talent that was here and wasn’t re-signed or was traded off, as part of the grand plan to build around him. People like Victor Martinez, Adrian Beltre, and Jason Bay jump quickly to mind. What about Youkilis? Would he have stayed healthier at first? That’s not even considering prospects that were traded away like Anthony Rizzo and Casey Kelly. I know that’s a bit of a over-simplification, and that age and injury has to be factored in, but I really believe it could have created a very different scenario, and probably a more likeable team.

All I can say in parting is that it was such good news, that I figured Bud would pull a ‘David Stern’ and void it. Now only time will tell if this was genius or another Babe Ruth…….


Jerry Ballgame

About Jerry Ballgame

The personification of "old school", Jerry Ballgame was born in the shadow of Dr. Naismith's peach basket, and baptized in that "Dirty Water." Designated by his "Uncle" Ted, to keep an eye on things, he's here to tell everyone what his view is like from the Hub of the Universe.

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