A failure of an era: Gonzalez, Crawford, Beckett, Punto off to LAD – but at what cost to both teams?

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The deal that all of New England, California, and Red Sox nation have been on the edge of their seats about is done. As well as an era, or an era that Boston tried to create. Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett and Nick Punto are members of the LA Dodgers.

Now, don’t get me wrong, something seriously bad was happening in the clubhouse of Fenway Park. Josh Beckett, the supposed leader of the beer and fried chicken brigade, was an obvious move out. Crawford, injury prone and when he was playing was not worth the millions he was paid. But the scariest thing for Boston is the loss of Adrian Gonzalez. It adds so many questions, and so many regrets.

Adrian Gonzalez could’ve been a serious candidate for MVP had the first half of the season gone better. He is a vital piece to the Red Sox success, and his RBI may be irreplaceable. While a first baseman from the Dodgers (James Loney, a career .284 hitter) was sent, he is not a real replacement, at .254 this season with 33 RBI, compared to Gonzalez’s .300 and 86 RBI.

But this was a deal that had to be made. Beckett and Crawford had to be taken off of Boston’s shoulders connected to their quality of play and injuries, as well as the salaries and bad memories that were connected to a failure of an era. But the Dodgers would not take on these players without a sweet spot in the deal. Nick Punto was a pawn in this trade, as a little bait. But they got to the big bait – Adrian Gonzalez, whose quality of play could make up for the others.

The Red Sox lost one of their best hitters and leaders. Adrian Gonzalez was not something they wanted to give up. Even so, they ended up doing just that. But the Dodgers didn’t get off of here worry free. Crawford and Beckett at their bests are incredible and at their worst are absolutely dreadful. The Dodgers will have to recreate them or get rid of them fast, because otherwise, those guys are just taking up space in the clubhouse.

Both teams came out losing and winning at the end of this deal.

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Sitting Strasburg: Is it the right idea?

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I was actually watching the game. The pitch. It was mid august of 2010. Nationals VS Phillies, Strasburg pitching. I had to watch – this rookie phenom was tearing up the majors. I forget the batter. I forget the inning. The pitch is what I remember. He immediately winced after the pitch, which was away. He was clustered by a group of teammates. The usual rowdy philly crowd had quieted a bit. When he walked off, we thought it was a two week thing. Here we are, on the two year anniversary, where it might of created one of the biggest problems the Nationals have ever seen in their eight years as a franchise – do you sit Strasburg?

In case you’ve been paying attention to baseball but living under a rock, this is the situation: Stephen Strasburg has a 180 innings limit after his Tommy John surgery. The Nationals are poised to make a playoff run. Do you sit Strasburg or take the risk?

One year ago, this wasn’t a problem. The nationals weren’t a playoff team. Strasburg is the future. If you hurt your future, you hurt yourself. Sit him. But now that the Nationals are a playoff team, it is a problem. Shutting down Strasburg won’t be easy. As a fan of the Nats, I say to play him, to forget these inning limits.  But I know that it’s the right move.

The Nationals look to be prominent for the next few years. When Strasburg is completely healthy, that is. They also have a number five pitcher waiting, John Lannan, who was the number one in 2010 before Strasburg. And if Strasbur did end up with an injury this year? The pain would be unbearable for any Nationals fan.

I understand he could possibly be a key component to a playoff run. But, the Nationals pitching staff can and will hold up without him. They are the number one rotation in the league, and a rotation isn’t one man.

The main argument against this is that you can’t take out your best pitcher this late in the season and this close to a playoff run.

Even if they don’t go far this time round, the Nationals will have a chance next year, the year after, and after that.

And they have to preserve this chance.

Even if it means ripping the ball from Strasburg’s fingers.

 

Is Valentine the answer?

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VALENTINE:

val·en·tine/ˈvalənˌtīn/

 
Noun:
  1. A card sent on St. Valentine’s Day, February 14, to a person one loves or is attracted to.
  2. A person to whom one sends such a card or whom one asks to be one’s sweetheart.
  3. The number one topic of conversation in Boston right now.

This might be a short question. But it’s the one that has created the most conversation. Should the attention be on or off the field? Books and movies like moneyball might say yes. But when the score of the game is in your favor, this wasn’t the manager playing. 

But even so, I might argue that the countless hours put in from the coaches to fine tune these players might be a key to success. 

Right now, the Boston Red Sox are a sinking ship. At the bow of this ship is Bobby Valentine. The crew that once worked in harmony is rioting. But nothing can happen until an agreement can be made. Until then, the water will continue to fill the boat. 

I don’t necessarily think that this can be blamed on anyone. This, honestly, is a thing where a team needs to be a team. The Red Sox are a prideful organization – with 7 world series to their name and (or were) the prime location for many free agents. 

The mindseton the team may be hard to go through though. The team has shown large proportions of disrespect. They hadn’t really given Bobby a chance. And while things may look bleak, right now, there is no answer. Except for this; Win today, because yesterday is done.