Currently browsing category

Josh Beckett

How the Dodgers’ Massive Trade WASN’T a Bust

The Los Angeles Dodgers’ August acquisition of Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett and Carl Crawford was the most phenomenal bust in the history of Major League Baseball trades. LA is unlikely to make the playoffs at this point, being two games behind the St. Louis Cardinals for the final Wild Card spot with only three games left to play. Even if by some miraculous meltdown in Missouri the Dodgers are able to simply tie the Cards, they’ll still have to play a one-game playoff at home in order to play yet another Wild Card one game playoff just for the “honor” of being shot straight into a five-game series with the best team in the National League. Needless to say the Dodgers have a pretty unlikely road to success. For a team that many people, including those on this blog, felt were now the class of the NL, the Dodgers struggled mightily post-trade and now sit on the outside of the playoff picture looking in. Even in the rosiest of scenarios, this Dodgers team is such a far cry from who they were supposed to be. It’s pretty pathetic; even roughly $260 million dollars couldn’t buy them a playoff spot.

Too bad that this viewpoint is an uneducated display of how incredibly short-sighted trade analysis has become, where short-term benefits and overarching statements rule the day. I’d like to lay back and say that this trade’s success can’t be examined yet, but that’s an impartially true statement. As it stands right now, even if the Dodgers don’t win the NL pennant this year, let alone make the playoffs, this trade is still an unqualified success. Here’s why:

There are a bevy of other reasons why the Dodgers aren’t making the posteason…not just the new guys.

Mike Petriello of the superb blog Mike Scioscia’s Tragic Illness detailed it better than I could, citing nine different reasons, ranging from injuries to the starting rotation, Matt Kemp and the unbelievable play of the San Francisco Giants even when their best hitter feel on top of some leftover needles in left field. LA’s problems go far past the incredibly slow start of Gonzalez and Beckett’s very good, but not ace-quality starts. This collapse of sorts has been a team-wide phenomenon, rather than just limited to a few players that were supposed to be season-saving saviors. Blaming the new imports from Boston is an over-simplification worthy of the city they came from.

How many power-hitting, Gold Glove-caliber first basemen were ready to join the Dodgers?

The answer is: zero.  In the next two seasons, the best available free agents would be, in no particular order: Paul Konerko (38), Carlos Pena (35), Justin Morneau (33) Mike Morse (32) and Nick Swisher (32). All certainly fit the bill of big time power hitters, but every single one of them is on the rough side of 30. Morneau, Morse and Swisher all could be impact acquisitions, but none of them fit into the Dodgers plans quite as well as Gonzalez does. Swisher and Morse are the youngest guys here, but both will command deals of at least four years, $60 million for two players past their primes and won’t ever be able to contribute the same type of MVP ceiling as Adrian. Morneau is a proven player, but like Morse has an extremely sketchy injury history that shouldn’t warrant anything past a one or two year contract. Pena and Konerko are both fine players, but neither has age on their sides like Gonzalez does.

The new Dodgers 1B comes without most of these question marks. He’s had an impeccable health history and is in the midd… Read more...

Instant Trade Analysis: Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett and Carl Crawford to the Los Angeles Dodgers

Los Angeles Dodgers get: 1B Adrian Gonzalez, SP Josh Beckett, OF Carl Crawford, IF Nick Punto

Boston Red Sox get: SP Rubby de la Rosa, OF Jerry Sands, IF Ivan de Jesus, 1B James Loney , SP Allen Webster

After the Los Angeles Dodgers were sold to a new ownership group including former Los Angeles Lakers point guard Earvin “Magic” Johnson, former Atlanta Braves President Stan Kasten and investor Mark Walter, Kasten repeated over and over that business in Chavez Ravine was going to change. For the past seven years, the team had been beset by management that didn’t have the capital to back up the massive responsibility that came with running a league institution like the Dodgers. Fans became disillusioned and bitter, and after several seasons of seeing the best players being eschewed from their dreams of playing in Dodger Blue because of bigger paychecks in not just places like New York and Boston, but Detroit and Milwaukee, simply stopped showing up to the Stadium.

From day one, Kasten repeated that the Dodgers would take their rightful place on the iron throne that they molded out of the ingenuity of Branch Rickey and the sweat of Peter O’Malley. Over and over, he said that the Dodgers would no longer operate like a small-market team whilst sitting in the middle of the nation’s second-biggest media market. Stan Kasten, with Magic’s infectious smile beaming a little bit brighter than usual, proclaimed that the Los Angeles Dodgers would be the New York Yankees.

On Friday, August 24th, the Los Angeles Dodgers have become the New York Yankees.… Read more...

MLB Dog Days of Summer Check-in: How bad is it in Boston and Houston?

You know your perennial All-Star first baseman? He’s not turning it around. Hoping that your bullpen can start to hold down leads? It’s not happening. Praying that your center fielder is going to regain that sock in his bat? Switch religions. 

It’s the “dog days of summer”. If your team isn’t playing to how you thought they would, then what you see is what you got.  Baseball is over 100 games into its season, so hoping for a late season surge has gone from unlikely to damn near impossible. Sorry kids, time to start saying “well, there’s always next year.”
The only good to come out of this desolate section of the summer? The playoffs are right around the corner, and the herd is rapidly being thinned out. As the air has gotten thicker and the temperature has risen to record heights, teams throughout the league start dragging and the true core and character of your favorite squad has begun to rise to the top. We know who the contenders are, and sadly for some, who will be selecting in the upper half of the MLB draft next season. Over the next few days, MAMBINO will be taking a look at what has gone horribly wrong with some teams, but unsuspectingly right with others.

The Red Sox are nine games back of the Yankees in the AL East but only four and a half games back of the Tigers, Orioles and A’s for the Wild Card. They’re pretty far away from being dead in the water, but if you were to listen to the national media, you’d think that they were absolutely toasted. My first question is, in a season of incredible lows, what’s been the worst part of it for you as a Sox fan? And do you think that they can make the playoffs, and will make the playoffs?
Mr. Marquez: Before 2004, we lived by the same mantra as Cubs fans do today: “There’s always next season.” After 2004, things were never going to be the same for a whole generation of Red Sox fans. Nor should they be. The passion isn’t the same – the pain of a loss, the scrutiny of a manager, the anticipation of a Yankee game, the desire to be inside Fenway – it isn’t on the unhealthy obsessive level. When a goal has been accomplished, it’s easy to lose motivation.
Since then we have continued to be spoiled as a city. Four months after the Red Sox swept the Cardinals, Tom Brady won his third Super Bowl. Two years after that the Red Sox won again this time with a core that was younger and primed to be a perennial juggernaut. Jon Lester threw only 63 innings that year after beating cancer. Dustin Pedroia was an MVP in his second season. Jacoby Ellsbury was in his first year and didn’t start in center field until the World Series. Clay Buchholz was left off the post-season roster after throwing a no-hitter in his third career start. The Patriots became the first team to go undefeated since the Dolphins (hey, they made it to the Super Bowl, okay?). The Celtics acquired Ray Allen and KG and won immediately. The Bruins somehow even managed to sneak in and win a Cup two summers ago. And the Patriots made it to a fifth Super Bowl in eleven years – maybe the most impressive team accomplishment of the 21st Century.
When you are spoiled though, expectations do get higher. When Jonathan Papelbon blew the save and Evan Longoria hit the home run, it brought out comparisons of Bucky Dent and Bill Buckner. THAT wound opened up. The Red Sox blew a 9 game lead with only 27 left. Think about if Seattle came back to take the Wild Card right now. It wouldn’t be worse than what the Red Sox did last season. The moment that Longoria touched on home plate it was one of those 

Josh Beckett makes Red Sox Nation Vomit

Strike a pose you POS!

…and who couldn’t be more happy than Yankee fans?

After coming off a season where Boston blew a playoff spot in the final day of the regular season, after we learned that the funky smell coming out of the Red Sox clubhouse was the remnants of fried chicken and beer, and in a week where longtime PA dude Carl Beane passed away, Josh Beckett decided to violently tug on the heartstrings of Massachusetts and beyond.

If you haven’t heard, Beckett was pulled from his start last week, with manager Bobby Valentine explaining the move to be a result of “tightness in [Beckett’s] lat muscle.” The very next day, Beckett was caught with his hand in the cookie jar, as an observer saw him and teammate Clay Butthole shooting the ish on the golf course.

Beckett returned to the mound last night to face the Cleveland Indians in front of the Fenway faithful, registering a quite fantastic line:

2.1 innings pitched
7 hits
7 earned runs
2 strikeouts
2 walks
2 home runs allowed

That’s 1 earned run per out. FAN-tastic. And it got worse, as Beckett displayed an utter disregard for the questions at his post-game press conference:

LET’S GO YANKEES (clap clap, clap clap clap)

@TheGreatMambino