When the Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers signed off on the major trade that sent Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford and others west, shock was the overwhelming reaction. A couple of days removed, it's no less astonishing.
The New York Mets undertook a colossal collapse a few years ago, made the mistake of standing disturbingly pat, and then collapsed again the following year. Adding insult to injury, they failed to qualify for the playoffs by losing on the last day at Shea Stadium, as if summarizing a history of stunning failure only occasionally interrupted by a scant few seasons of brilliance. Worse, management determined they'd hold ceremonies to say good-bye to the old place after the game rather than before, removing all potential momentum such an observance might render. After the second gag in two years, most disgusted patrons left the mausoleum after the game and during the ceremony. Typical Mets. But the real organizational issue then concerned bringing the same team that had collapsed back under the scrutiny of such enormous failure. They waited too long and have since skidded precipitously to the point of irrelevance.
The Boston Red Sox, not very long ago, seemed like a much smarter organization than the Mets - one the populace in New England could trust to make the right decisions. Only a year ago, the Red Sox were primed for another run at the championship. Then September arrived. Then, every moment after September has seemed like every day during September.
Goodness, the Red Sox have imploded. They fired their only World Championship manager of the last century instead of allowing him to right the foundering ship. Then they hired an acerbic manager as a captain. Then they sunk the ship. Wow! Everyone could understand jettisoning Carl Crawford, who had a year and a half to excel and didn't. But, while no one is claiming Adrian Gonzalez is as good as had been advertised, he's still a quality ballplayer. Josh Beckett is an enigma, but has demonstrated brilliance in the past. It is way too much change at one time. They watched the Met disaster, and traveled a course 180 degrees in the opposite direction - one equally as dangerous.
Who knows how long it will take for the Sox to re-surface as a contender. One truth remains clear, though. The Dodgers have one heck of a team.
Glenn Vallach has been a New York Mets fan since foolishly abandoning the mighty Yankees in his youth after Mickey Mantle retired. Since the fond, fleeting memories of the Tom Seaver, Cleon Jones, Tommie Agee years, he sits quietly yearning for a fraction of the success enjoyed annually by the team that inhabits the borough in which I was born...waiting and hoping...waiting and hoping.
- · Yahoo! Sports New York Mets page
- · Yahoo! Sports Boston Red Sox page
- · Yahoo! Sports Josh Beckett page
- · Yahoo! Sports Adrian Gonzalez page
- · Yahoo! Sports Carl Crawford page
- · Jeff Passan, Yahoo! Sports, 10 Degrees: Red Sox rid of bloated contacts, but relationship between players, ownership poisoned