Boston, St. Louis Thanks You For John Smoltz, Julio Lugo, and Shot at 2009 Title
The Boston Red Sox ordered every single one of their players in 2004 to take HGH cocktails garnished with Andro and hydrogenated cyclopentanoperhydrophenanthrene.
Or at least that's how I envision it.
Because lost in the east coast bias when we look back on 2004 was the fact that the Cardinals are actually the ones that lost to Boston in the World Series; MLB didn't automatically hand the Commissioner's Trophy over after that improbable Yankee series.
And now, five years after, the Red Sox disposed of Finland...errr...St. Louis, they've decided to repent for their cheating past and hand the NL Central to the Cardinals.
Let me be clear here: There is no way to understate this, trading Chris Duncan almost aborted 2009 in a very, very messy way. Chris, who had always been a lightning rod for (probably, mostly unwarranted) criticism was finally separated from his father, David, the excellent pitching coach for the Cardinals.
From all accounts, on and off the record, Dave pretty much blew his f**king top. There were rumors of him quitting, of him yelling at management, of him generally acting like a baby who got his sucker stolen. And honestly, this point of contention will surface again this winter when his contract is up for re-newel.
As much success as Mr. Duncan is having with his staff this year (starters are 26-3 since July 1), it seems as if the Big Dunc isn't one to shed grudges quickly, and even though his son was a mediocre MLB player that was recently cut from the Pawtucket Sox (AAA affiliate of Boston) he feels his son was wronged.
Unfortunately, the facts don't support him.
Consider this; since the Cardinals have traded Duncan, they are a 22-8. Addition by subtraction would be enough to quantify this trade as a success, after all, the team did shed an ongoing negative storyline...but Boston also threw in Julio Lugo.
Mr. Lugo is batting .292 with 30 runs scored as a valuable IF option off the bench since coming over. Oh, and did I mention he's free? The Red Sox are so kind; they even threw in 2010 for free as well.
But wait...there's more!
You may remember John Smoltz, the all-time winning-est post-season pitcher. Ever. He got dumped by the Red Sox (albeit after some terrible starts) and promptly signed a very reasonable $100K deal to pitch for the Cardinals down the stretch in 2009. Sunday he went out and struck out nine in five innings, with zero earned runs and got the win in 75 pitches.
Considering Boston was working hard to get Billy Wagner or Livan Hernandez into the fold earlier this week, this does seem awfully generous of the Sox. But remember Cardinal Nation, they stole that 2004 World Series- they owe it to the city!
It's getting late in August, and the season is long for many games...but I'm eager to see how the Red Sox can bolster the Cardinals stretch run and get that double-digit lead on the Cubs before they completely collapse in September.
Thanks Boston. We're getting close to even!
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