The Valentine-led Red Sox have completed a fire sale via a blockbuster trade that will send left fielder Crawford, first baseman Gonzalez, right-handed starting pitcher Beckett, infielder Nick Punto and cash to the Los Angeles Dodgers, according to USA Today. In exchange, the Red Sox will receive pitchers Rubby De La Rosa and Allen Webster, infielder Ivan De Jesus Jr. and outfielder Jerry Sands from the Dodgers.
The mighty Red Sox Nation is in desperate need of a change of attitude that can only come with a change of personnel. After the historical collapse the team endured last season, flaws in the management and leadership of the team grew too large to ignore.
The Red Sox have been absent from their reservations at the postseason dinner table since 2009. They haven't won a playoff series since 2008, when they were eliminated by the surprise Tampa Bay Rays in the ALCS.
Since the 2009 season, the Rays have replaced the Red Sox as the team contending with the New York Yankees for AL East supremacy each season. This season, the Red Sox are currently fourth in the division.
The Red Sox seemed like they were going to be unstoppable when they brought in Crawford and Gonzalez before the 2011 season. However, the ridiculous financial investment didn't pan out to success on the field. It appears the players didn't fit into the type of team Valentine wants to manage.
It is safe to assume that Valentine has carte blanche authority in Boston when you look at the moves that have been made so far this season. Sure Ben Cherington is the GM, but these moves have Valentine's prints all over them.
The Red Sox also traded catcher Kelly Shoppach to the New York Mets. Shoppach was rumored to be the player who sent the text message to Boston ownership complaining about Valentine, according to the New York Daily News.
That brings us to the trio sent packing today.
Crawford made every boo-boo seem like a career-ending injury and just never adjusted to the pressures of playing in front of the Boston media and Red Sox Nation. Coming from the friendly atmosphere of Tampa Bay, he wasn't prepared for the level of expectations and accountability.
Gonzalez also was involved in the text messaging scandal, and there also was a sentiment that he wasn't able to adjust to playing in Boston after coming from the West Coast.
No beer, new manager, same Beckett.
Beckett was the ultimate disappointment. After all of the attention he garnered from the chicken and beer incident last year, he thought (or didn't think) that playing golf after not pitching due to a back injury was acceptable.
If no other changes happened, Beckett needed to be sent packing. Punto, unfortunately, is a casualty of war.
These moves have solidified the facts that the Red Sox are a team in transition and Valentine is at the helm of the ship. After all of these moves and changes, the 2013 Boston Red Sox will look much different from the team we have become accustomed to seeing over the past decade.
That may be exactly what this team needs if they hope to return to dominance.
Jamal Wilburg is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report.
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