Boston Red Sox: Put Away the TNT—It's Not Time to Blow Up the Team
It is getting there, but not just yet. I can understand the sentiment. Thumbing chicken-greased noses at the fans and team while not performing isn't going to win brownie points for any player, especially those who did so while in the midst of an epic collapse at the end of last season.
It seems sometimes that the mood of the entire city of Boston, if not all of New England, rises and falls with the success of its baseball team. When the Red Sox struggle, people get antsy. When they struggle and underachieve, people get downright mad.
You could see it coming with their slow start. Now that the first half of the season is in the books and the Red Sox are tied for last, Red Sox Nation is howling for heads to roll. There are a couple that will, but let's back away from the edge of the bridge just a bit. It isn't time to dismantle the whole team yet.
If you frequent any sports forums in New England you will see knee-jerk reactions to a bad first half on just about every one. Many want to blow up the entire team, productive players included. That isn't going to help. Not even a little.
Everyone knew Kevin Youkilis wanted out after losing his starting job to young Will Middlebrooks. The writing was on the wall there. Youkilis spent years bouncing from first to third and back to make life easier for his team. This year there was no room for him at either position. I understand him being upset, and I understand the team letting him go to make room for new blood.
What I don't understand are the calls for trading Dustin Pedroia or young guys like Ryan Kalish and Daniel Nava. Blowing up the team just to change things up is a bad idea. Why would Boston try to acquire another team's outfield prospects when their own are performing well?
Want to trade Josh Beckett? Go ahead, but try to get something for him in return. He no longer seems to like playing in Boston and hasn't pitched well this year. I don't think Sox fans will be sorry to see him go.
I think it's silly to trade David Ortiz, but at 36 and on a one-year contract it might be a good move to get some more new blood in return.
Jon Lester has been solid and is a young left handed power arm. I'd keep him around to see if this is just an off year. It does happen.
Trade Dustin Pedroia? No chance. How many teams have a second baseman who has recently been named Rookie of the Year, AL MVP and looks to be a perennial All-Star? Not many, and if they do, they keep him at all costs. They certainly don't trade him because a Minor League call-up has three decent games as an injury replacement.
What have Daniel Nava, Ryan Kalish and Jarrod Saltalamacchia done to have Red Sox Nation throwing them to the headsman's block? They are all relatively young, relatively cheap and they are producing. There was even speculation that Salty had a shot at an All-Star berth.
Put away the TNT. It isn't time for that. Yet.
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