Jaywalking: Trade diary
Boston Red Sox fans have now had five days to absorb their team’s demolition that occurred this past Thursday during the MLB Trade Deadline.
Over the past two weeks, the Sox have traded away or released eight players from their 25-man roster. That’s quite the overhaul, although it should have come at no surprise given the fact that the team is in last place in the American League East and is among the worst teams in all of baseball. Perhaps some people have even begun calling them the Red Sux.
While it was no surprise that the team traded away a number of players from the roster, especially those who will be free agents at the end of the season, it must be difficult for the manager of a team. I tried to think about what Red Sox manager John Farrell must have been thinking as all these deals were going down.
Well, wouldn’t you know that Farrell is a big fan of this Jaywalking column, and it just so happened that he Tweeted me last week to share some of his thoughts. It makes sense that we would be friends — he a World Series-winning skipper, me an award-winning writer (I got a third-place medal once).
So Farrell sent me his personal diary. He pulled it out from under his mattress and mailed it to me so I could share some of his thoughts as deadline day unfolded. Here’s what I found.
12:01 a.m. — Dear diary, I’m off to bed after another tough loss by the team. Our 6-1 loss to Toronto capped off a three-game sweep by the team I managed prior to coming to the Red Sox. Man, would I kill for some of the Jays’ sluggers. That would really help me sleep at night. Although tonight I will go to bed with a smile after getting the chance to boot that ingrate Felix Doubront out the door. I understand that he wanted to return to the starting rotation, but he’s Felix Doubront. He of the 2-4 record and 5.19 earned run average. Who the heck does he think he is? Thanks for taking him off our hands, Theo, old buddy. Good luck with the Cubs. I wonder who the “player to be named later” will be? It doesn’t matter. We got rid of a slug.
2:06 a.m. — Just woke up in a cold sweat following a nightmare in which we traded Jon Lester. That would be crazy. Aside from David Ortiz and maybe Dustin Pedroia, is there anyone more Red Sox than Lester? I know rumors are running rampant, but I’m sure we will get a deal done to keep him here for the forseeable future. I’ll take a drink of warm milk and go back to sleep.
3:38 a.m. — Just got off the phone with Ben and my nightmare is reality; Lester is gone. I’ve been cleaning the puke off the floor from where I was standing when I got the news. Lester has a 2.59 ERA this season. He’s been one of the only bright spots during this ugly season, and now he’s gone, traded to Oakland.
But the news is not all bad. Somehow we got back Oakland’s Yeonis Cespedes, the A’s biggest offensive threat. I now have a power-hitting outfielder on the roster. Glory be. The dude literally has more home runs (17) than my entire outfield (14). Glad I had that conversation with Lester the other day about re-signing during the offseason, and how I would kick in an extra million per year if he comes back.
3:45 a.m. — By the way, Jonny Gomes got traded with Lester. He was a better locker-room guy than baseball player. I liked him, though. He made me laugh. But only behind closed doors. Can’t show any smiles the rest of the time.
11:57 a.m. — I’m getting worried. Apparently the team is looking to purge itself of every person named John, as the third John of the day has been traded with Lackey jettisoned to the Cardinals. They can’t trade managers, right?
12:07 p.m. — Wow, we really made out pretty well. I know Lackey has been a solid pitcher and will come with only a $500,000 price tag next season, but we may have gotten a steal here. We got back first-baseman/outfielder Allen Craig and pitcher Joe Kelly for Lackey. Craig is 30 and while struggling this season, had a monster year last year and has been a quality player over the past few seasons. And Kelly is just 26 and had a terrific year for the Cardinals last year. It’s as though St. Louis hasn’t done enough for this franchise in the past 10 years by losing two World Series to us, now they are trading good players for aging pitchers. I may have to get a Cardinals T-shirt some time.
2:04 p.m. — Someone needs to slow down Benny boy. After trading four of my five starting pitchers at the beginning of the season, Cherington is now moving our top bullpen guys. Andrew Miller just got traded. Not only that, but within the division. He’s off to Baltimore. It’ll be fine, though. Power lefties are a dime a dozen in this league. Wait, no they’re not.
2:06 p.m. — Thought about the Miller move and I’m better with it. He’s a free agent at the end of the season and with this season having gone down the toilet, why not get something back? I’ve been told we got the third-rated prospect from Baltimore. He’s a 21-year-old pitcher. Maybe we can include him in a package to get Giancarlo Stanton after the season. Hey, a guy can dream, right?
2:58 p.m. — What the heck am I going to do about starting pitching? I know this season is a lost cause, but we still have to play the games. And to do that we need starting pitchers. We are basically going to be running out the Pawtucket Red Sox rotation. How are they doing? Oh, they are 10 games over .500. I think I am going to call up that Ranaudo kid to start tomorrow against the Yankees.
3:28 p.m. — And just like that Ben Cherington made me forget about everything else. He just traded Stephen Drew to the Yankees. Let me repeat that. He just traded Stephen Drew to the freakin’ Yankees. I don’t have to put up with his .170 batting average anymore. And better yet, I can watch him not hit for the Yankees. Truth be told, it’s a good move for them. He can serve as a defensive replacement for Jeter late in games. But he’s off the team. I think I’m going to have a beer.
4:02 p.m. — Well, the deadline has come and gone. I’ve got a lot of work ahead of me. I’m guessing Big Papi is going to be angry. But at least I know he won’t go spouting off to the media. He never does anything like that. I’ve got a lot of new faces to learn. It’s going to be a busy end of the season. I think I will give my pal Jay Butynski at the Greenfield Recorder a call. He’s a good guy and will definitely help me feel better about this day.
Jason Butynski is a Greenfield native and Recorder sportswriter. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.