I’m in awe of Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington’s ability to rid his team of so much dead weight in one trade.
How he managed to convince the Los Angeles Dodgers, even with rich new owners, to take on the long, expensive contracts of both Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez is beyond me. Gonzalez was a productive player for the Red Sox on the field so I can see why the Dodgers wanted him, but I can also see why the Saux felt they had to get rid of him. He clearly did not mesh with Red Sox Nation, who want their players to be accountable for their play and behavior and not leave their epic collapse in God’s hands. Crawford never truly fit in Boston and had his relatively brief stay there marred by injuries that left him underachieving—a change of scenery to the laidback West Coast might actually do him some good. And don’t get me started on Josh Beckett, who managed to blow through whatever good will he built up by being a key member of a World Series team.
Now Cherington has the money to spend on the guys that he wants, not the collection of selfish, foolish or underachieving players that his predecessor Theo Epstein left behind. But this is more than about money. Cherington can fill his clubhouse with good players and solid men he thinks will change the toxic clubhouse for the better. In one major move, he has managed to put his stamp on the Red Sox.
The other clear winner is Bobby Valentine, who will now get to impose the discipline he obviously felt was lacking in the Boston clubhouse without interference from players who think they should be running the show (assuming management keeps him around, which I think they will for at least another year). Seriously, any player who dares challenge Valentine is going to find themselves with a one-way ticket out of town, which is something perhaps some of the players actually want.
Despite the talent exodus, this deal is going to make the Red Sox a much better team, which should be a major concern for the New York Yankees.
Thanks to Timspastimes via Wikimedia Commons for the Cherington photo.