I am in favor of making big deadline trades in certain situations and the teams play over the month of July (giving up 8 games and first place to the Yankees) is certainly one of those situations. What I was never in favor of is trading away the farm for Roy Halladay. I saw no need to bring in another starter to lose a bunch of 2-1 games. The problem with this team isn't pitching—it's scoring runs.
The big hitters available (or rumored to be) were Indians 1B/C Victor Martinez and Padres 1B Adrian Gonzalez. Both were intriguing. Martinez can catch...Jason Varitek cannot hit or throw anyone out and should hang it up after this season. But he is going to be (at least) 30 and is headed into his decline years. That's a deal the Yankees make.
The guy I really wanted was Adrian Gonzalez is only 27 and is a bonafide franchise player. An excellent hitting—and fielding—first baseman. Mark Teixiera but younger and cheaper. A player about to hit his prime.
Adrian would cost more in prospects, but I don't care. The Sox farm system is deep. There are at least three starters in the minors that would be in major league rotations for almost any other team. Most Sox fans consider Clay Bucholtz off-limits. I didn't. I don't think he's as good as he seems. It might sound crazy, but with a major league no-hitter already on his resume, he is overrated. His trade value will never be higher, and I would have let him go without hesitation for the right player. No single player in the Sox system would be off-limits to bring in Gonzalez, just limiting the number of such players.
In the end, the Sox brought in Martinez, and while I think he has more downside, it IS a trade that will help. And while the Sox now have a logjam at the corners with Martinez, Lowell, Youkilis along with new addition Casey Kotchman (?!?) it should keep everyone healthy and rested down the stretch. Martinez can catch, play first and DH to keep his bat in the lineup.
BIG PAPI'S POSITIVE TEST
Am I surprised? No. Disappointed? Somewhat. But let me be clear—I'm not the typical Sox fan that thought his team was clean. The mere fact that Canseco came through the clubhouse doors for a few years—at exactly the right/wrong time—should shatter that illusion for any fan with a semi-active brain. Nomar, Mo and other contemporaries of Canseco's tenure probably all had their brush with PEDs. Do I think they went all the way down the McGwire/Bonds/Canseco growth hormone and full-on steroid cocktail regimen? Probably not. But enough evidence exists now to show that a significant number of players at least experimented with PEDs, if not relied on them. Plenty of Sox players had otherwise inexplicable career years in the late 90s and early 00s. And Nomar had one shocking off-season body transformation—shirtless SI cover, anyone?
There was a part of me that wanted to subscribe to the Sports Guy theory that contrasted Giambi and Sheffield's complex steroid abuse with Ortiz and Manny being "a couple of goofy Dominicans who between them could hardly mix up a batch of Thera-Flu."
Seems pretty naive now.
Do I think the Sox Championships are tainted? No. They won the World Series in a League full of other teams that were also all cheating. Still a level playing field in that sense. As for the outrage and pearl-clutching by the media? I say again—shut the fuck up. They, along with the League, willfully looked the other way during the explosion of PED use and abuse.
The League needs to figure out a way to just release the whole list of over a hundred players who tested positive. Selective leaks by whoever holds this thing is totally unfair, and bad for the whole group. Just get it all out and over with.
Anybody else wonder if Rickey Henderson tested positive?
UPDATE: What the fuck is up with this story?...John McCain can STFU too. Steroid scandal makes you "sick?"