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Want to know what a player thinks about trades like this?

December 4, 2007

As fans you have your perspective. There are large contingents of fans in both markets, NY and Boston, that lean towards the Bill James approach to players and their teams, and probably an equal amount of ‘old schoolers’ that believe their eyes tell them all they need to know, even when not backed up by stats or facts.

As players we have the advantage, and disadvantage of a very unique and different perspective. There is a human element at work for us that not even the most ardent fan can understand. On one hand there is “My God, we might add the most talented pitcher in the world to an already established World Champion roster”. On the other hand, the hand you either can’t understand or don’t care about is the fact that these deals usually involve one or more people that have literally become family members.

There is a change in perspective, and I am speaking about my perspective only, that happens when you play 22 years in the game. When I was younger and asked about things like this I’d answer usually saying something like “Hell ya, that would be awesome, he’d make us unbeatable.” That’s happened more than once. Being quick to respond to questions, (aka engaging mouth before brain) it seemed like the right answer, I felt that way.

Then at some point you realize that while anyone and everyone might agree that a trade makes your team better, or worse, or status quo, people outside the loop take responses and comments made by players at times like these as disrespectful and uncaring about our teammates. In their eyes what you have really said is “I don’t care about the fact we have to trade one or more of my teammates”. Remember the Millar/Arod/Nomar scandal in ’03?

In many cases nothing could be farther from the truth. A few things are at work here, inside the trade and out.

The first and I think most important part is that guys like Jon Lester, Jed Lowrie and anyone else being named in this deal are learning that this is truly a business when it comes to the team you are playing for. Jon’s been through this before, so has Coco, but it’s a shock to the system that first time. I was caught totally unaware and blown away when it first happened to me because I first heard about the trade to the Orioles as I was walking to the bullpen to pitch a game in AA and happened to pass by a TV and saw my name scrolling across the ticker, “The Orioles have traded Mike Boddicker to the Boston Red Sox for OF Brady Anderson and RHP Curt Schilling”, BOOM!  That’s how I found out baseball wasn’t about personal loyalties when it comes down to the business aspect. It’s not a bad thing, you certainly wish it were different as a player but the sooner you get it the easier this life becomes to live, especially over the winter and around the trade deadline.

Nowhere is that more apparent than it has become in Boston. I don’t mean that to sound callous, because it’s not, but if nothing else the winter of 2004 told every person in this organization that personal bonds and relationships would never come before trying to field a winning team. Pedro? Hey you had arguably the greatest 3 year run in the history of the game, you helped us win our first World Series in 86 years, and while it’s much appreciated, your contract demands we believe to be too much for too long, thanks, good luck. Same thing in Derek’s case. A few months earlier they shipped off the guy some people belived to be the franchises iconic player in Nomar. As players you find yourself getting caught between a rock and a hard place. There is an immense difference here though, and in New York. Both of the franchises are built to win, now. If the personel to win isn’t in place, now, today, immediately, you go trade for it, or buy it. There is no true rebuilding phase. In places like this a rebuilding phase lasts a year tops. Every contract for current players is put in place with an eye not only to that players future, but also to that players potential trade value, the next seasons free agent crop and many other factors.

All of these things serve to chill the personal aspects of the player club relationship. For years when I was growing up a fan there was never a shortage of crying from fan bases about player loyalty. Players were almost exclusively railed for leaving one place to get more money somewhere else, as if we were supposed to take into account the fans desire for us to stay, even if the club didn’t want that to happen at any price above their willingness to spend. We were supposed to remain with our team because fans wanted us to be as loyal to them as they were to us. The fan cuts out the middleman (the team) in thinking it through sometimes, we cannot.

Back to the current scenario. What I have heard is pretty much the same thing everyone else has. The Sox have tabled Jon Lester, Coco, and two young kids, and also a package of Jacoby and 2 other kids, to Minnesota in exchange for the games best left handed pitcher. The Yanks, as I understand it, have tabled Phil Hughes, Melky Cabrera and I believe one other player.

The Sox have drawn the line at NOT including both Ellsbury and Lester in the deal together, the Yanks have drawn the line at Ian Kennedy and/or some combination of their upper tier prospects.

Mr Steinbrenners son has stated that their offer is far and away the best. I think that’s patently false, but let’s go another direction one second. Regardless of what anyone wants to think or believe about the packages being presented the only opinion that matters is the inherent value of these players to the Minnesota Twins. A team that has made it known that there are factors outside of talent that figure in here.

Understand before I make the following comments that I think highly of every player being named in this deal. I have more knowledge of the major league players other than Phil Hughes than I do the prospects. There is a recurring theme out there that Melky Cabrera is a far superior piece of the pie here than Coco Crisp. A claim I would argue adamantly against. First off Melky is a career .275 hitter to Coco being a career .280 hitter. Now we all know that batting average is one of the last statistics newer front offices will table during a players evaluation. There is OBP, SLG, OPS, K/BB and more.

From a purely talent standpoint there are many paths to go down. The first and hardest to define talent is defense. I have no idea how good/bad of an OF Melky is. From what I saw he is a good OF. Decent arm and covers ground. Coco on the other hand I would argue should have won the Gold Glove this year, hands down. He doesn’t have a cannon for an arm but I have never seen an OF impact games and save runs to the degree he did this year. Next to Andruw Jones, Tori Hunter and maybe 1-2 others Coco is as good at playing CF as anyone I’ve ever seen or player with.

Offensively you are talking about one guy who homers about every 91 abs. Coco homers about twice as much. Melky gets on base a bit more (.11%), while Coco outslugs him by more than 20 points. Given that he’s got about 1400 more career ab’s that’s no small thing. So for someone to say that there is a wide disparity in talent I think is seriously reaching here.

The off the field pieces to this could be far more impacting in this deal. Coco is due to make, I think, around 5m next year, whereas Melky will be making something slightly above the minimum. Coco is 4 years older. I wonder how much that really matters here? I don’t imagine you would trade players and have 5-7 year projections being a significant factor. Wouldn’t it be far more realistic to use 3-4 year projections in the current environment?

So much can happen and especially in these markets that thinking through how much impact a player is going to have 5-6 years out doesn’t seem realistic.

So if you look at the next 3-4 years I would think you might project Melky to possibly get better? Coco is in those ‘prime’ years according to BP and Bill James. He’ll get older but the years he’s under contract are years that position players usually peak at. He adds a speed dimension as well. That matters more to a team playing on turf than it might mean to a team on grass. People would claim that the Coco didn’t live up to the potential he was supposed to coming from Cleveland. Coming out of Cleveland he was a 300 30 double 15 hr 15-20 steal guy who played ridiculous CF. In my opinion he’s more apt to be closer to that guy over the next few years than the guy who was hurt in 06 and just never got on track this year. That being said he was still an impact player for us. His CF defense won games this year.

Now move onto the pitching parts of this trade, not the prospects in the deal. I can’t speak to pitchers in this deal beyond Hughes and Lester.

The hype around Phil Hughes is big. Projected as a future #1 I didn’t see anything to make me think he didn’t have the ability to get there.

On the surface you have a 21 year old kid who had the peripheral numbers you hope would continue to trend up. He strikes out a good number of hitters and gives up fewer hits than IP. How that projects is anyone’s guess but I’ll trust that the people that project him are good. Bottom line is that being a #1 for Boston or NY is different than being a #1 anywhere else. In addition to the home market aspects of pitching for these teams the fact of the matter is your a #1 in the most offensive oriented division in the game. Finesse and contact guys have a real hard time being consistently good in the AL East. Can he do it? Sure he can. Will he? No idea. The facts are that he didn’t get buried in his first trip around the league but he also didn’t pull a Brandon Webb. The near no-no was probably an indication of his potential on nights he’s on.

For me that was always the way I tried to project young pitchers. Looking at a young guy I always ask “If this guy has all his pitches and is commanding his fastball, what’s his best night line score?”

Some guys best nights is 7ip 4h and 2 runs, that’s their peak. For pitchers like Clay Bucholz you already saw what his best night can be. Josh, on his best night, with his stuff all working and commanding his FB I see his best nights as dominating near no hit shutouts. You could say that Phil Hughes is that guy as well. The other nice thing is that this kid is obviously a late bloomer. Going from undrafted (I’ve since been made aware that he was a #1 pick, I used ESPN to get my information and their player page shows him as undrafted, teach me to trust the media!) to an elite #1 prospect at his age means he either got velocity that pushed his stuff to ++ or he ‘turned a corner’ and mentally understands the game better than most young kids. He’s poised, plus stuff, and has great physical attributes. Does that make him much more, if any more, valuable than a Jon Lester?

Say what you want about peripherals. He walks too many guys right now, but he gets his K’s as well. More hits than IP. Fact of the matter is the kid is 11-2 in regular season games, has beaten cancer, and dominated in Colorado, in a world series clinching game. How do those fit or even bear mentioning in the same sentence? In my opinion those things go together because they speak to character and makeup. He finds ways to win, even when he’s not on, he’s overcome life adversity on a national stage few of us could have done with the grace and dignity he did, and he was as sharp as I have ever seen him, and consistent, in the biggest most important game he ever pitched in. Don’t discount that.

I’m biased, I know him. His character is off the charts. He has a HUGE amount of drive and competes his ass off. His goal is to become a #1, not just pitch here. Why is that important? It’s important because it means you will never ever have to worry about this kid pushing himself or doing what he’s supposed to. He soaks up advice and lives and breathes pitching and getting better.

The other piece to this puzzle is Jacoby Ellsbury. I am not sure there is anything negative you can say about him other than he just hasn’t played much. His ‘sample size’ is small but not irrelevant. The fact of the matter is the kid plays the game at another level. His small sample size was in the midst of the AL East pennant race, and post season. He was huge for us earlier in the year, setting himself up to come back and have a let down given how good his numbers were, and did the exact opposite. Again, he played the most important games he’ll ever play in, and not only was he at his best, but he was better than just about every other player that played in these same games.

He hits 353 in over 100 at bats, covers basically all three OF positions from CF, and pumps some energy into the top of an already powerful offense adding the first legitimate base stealing threat this club has had in years. You can’t tell me anyone in this deal has shown the ability to have a higher ceiling than someone who’s already put some framing around their ceiling. His peak is WAY up there. Will he match those numbers over a career? Probably not unless he is a hall of fame player. But that’s a pretty damn good start and an indicator of the ability when you put up those kinds of numbers in the middle of a pennant race during your 1st taste of the big leagues. Then you basically put those numbers to shame over the course of 6 of the most important games you’ll ever play in.

Fact of the matter is the names being mentioned as possibly getting traded from Boston are all my teammates. Great kids with immense talent. I don’t want any of them to leave. I also understand that there is a good chance NONE of the players being talked about will be wearing the uniforms they currently wear their entire careers. Players get traded, we get that, we also get that there is a side to this that makes us view it as a business when it comes to the team, but personal when it’s our teammates. They go hand in hand.

So ya, I would LOVE to see Johan Santana in a Red Sox uniform next year. If it could happen and we didn’t have to trade anyone I know that would be perfect. That ain’t happening. I look at this as the opportunity of a lifetime for everyone involved on both sides. Johan has a chance to become part of Red Sox Nation, and there’s nothing like that anywhere in sports. Not only that but he would just add to the legacy that’s being built across the major sports leagues and Boston franchises. Garnett, Allen, Brady, Beckett, Dice K, Manny, Papi, Papelbon. Who out there can run across their big 3 with that kind of star power?

The guys that might head to Minnesota are all at VERY early stages of their careers with a chance to become impact players/pitchers for a franchise that has an incredibly devoted fan base. It will be a huge opportunity for them. It’s a great thing.

If it doesn’t happen then we go about trying to win another World Championship with a roster that’s already proven it can do it. That isn’t a bad ‘fall back’ position.

Either way 4-6 players lives will most likely change forever in the next 24-48 hours, and it’ll be good for baseball and good for the teams involved. So I hope it’s us, but I’m more than ok if it’s not.

121 Comments leave one →
  1. texredsoxfan permalink
    December 4, 2007 11:49 pm

    thank you for that Curt. You already wrote today once and didn’t have to respond to all of our pleas and (probably naive) opinions but you did. I agree with most of what you said… but I still don’t want Jacoby to leave and keeping Lester would be awesome as well. Thanks also for putting in the comments about Coco, he was way under-appreciated in 2007.
    And as always, thanks for keeping this blog and have a great holiday season and thanks for coming back!

  2. mikestufano permalink
    December 4, 2007 11:50 pm

    Hey Curt-

    Couldn’t agree more. (By the way, you forgot Randy Moss in the Boston Icons!) Always wondered what impact it has on a team when you are really excited about getting someone who is phenomenal, but the other end has your friends leaving in exchange. I have to say though, a Beckett, Schilling, Santana, Dice-K, Wakefield/Bucholtz rotation would be unstoppable.

    I’m the type, though, that thinks to the future and wonders if maybe the Sox need to keep around that offensive part of the prospect pool. Manny may not stick around, and regardless, they’ll need someone eventually to take over (where they already traded a great OF prospect for Gagne and then Ellsbury too possibly), and then Lowrie at shortstop could be huge. My personal preference (and I’m sure the Sox as well) would be to trade Lester and keep Ellsbury. This way the upgrade the rotation and keep the basestealing power hitting prospect also.

  3. December 4, 2007 11:51 pm

    I remember back around the trading deadline during the days I worked in the minors and it was always a hard time seeing some of the guys deal with their names come up trade talks. Like you said you have your family and then you’re baseball family. You become so close with the guys it’s hard to see them go. I was a clubbie my first 4 years in the minors and anytime a guy got traded or even sent down or released it was always hard to say good bye.

    The only thing you can do is wish them well and hope to run into them down the road. At least that’s how life is in the minors.

    Great post Curt. Happy Holidays to you and you’re family.

  4. fenway23vito permalink
    December 4, 2007 11:54 pm

    curt you pretty much just pyro-blasted anyone who tried to manipulate your words the last 2 days! rock on brother. and remember to play WoW in moderation we dont wanna see you outta shape again this spring!

  5. bigbonz permalink
    December 5, 2007 12:17 am

    I couldn’t agree with you more Curt. I like hearing your thoughts on this since you have a much better perspective of the whole thing than the fans or even most of the press has. I also think that Coco wasn’t given as much credit as he deserved this year. I can think of many instances were he saved our collective butts. It would be great to see Santana in our lineup next year. With Beckett, Dice-K,Wakefield,and yourself, the addition of Santana would make the Red Sox the most feared pitching lineup in all of baseball. Plus with Papelbon to close it out. I’ve been a fan of yours since your days in Philly and I am very,very happy that you are able to finish your career with the best franchise in baseball. And even happier that my Red Sox felt the same way. If at all possible I was wondering what you thought of going to a six man rotation? I hope you have a great holiday and a great off season and can’t wait to see you next year with the BoSox.

  6. soxandbowling permalink
    December 5, 2007 12:19 am

    First of all thank you for not being a sellout Curt. You tell it how it is and that is how it should be. No Matter What. Im sitting here looking at an autographed CoCo picture in an Indians uniform. My wife is an Indians fan. Myself and the 2 boys are die hard RedSox. My wife actually thinks Fever Pitch was written about us. I have seen him play in Cleveland and Boston and back in Cleveland I always thought man I would love to see him in Boston. He without a doubt was a gold glove winner regardless if it was recognized or not. I love Ellsbury and hate to see him being dangled but CoCo is gonna be the best CF playing for the next 5 years or so. Mark my words. My thought is to Trade Drew and move Ellsbury into left. Is his salary too high for the year he had to even hear his name in a rumor? How about Drew, Bob Stanley, Bill Buckner,Babe Ruth,Bucky Dent,Aaron Boone,Grady Little ,and the 8th inning of game 7 from 2003 for Santana and note that says “these guys do not matter anymore and neither will anyone in the trade in about 20 years.

  7. soxandbowling permalink
    December 5, 2007 12:24 am

    I forgot to tell you Happy Holidays in my message. Go sox and go Sto-Kent Family entertainment. Im the general manager there..lol…Come on in and bowl sometime. We are in Stow Ohio. Peace out brother you are the best!!!!

  8. maustin57 permalink
    December 5, 2007 12:29 am

    $92 dollar t shirt–great gift idea shill-
    hyperbole is fine– but i’m fairly confident they were not running tickers in 1988–even for you–
    keep telling us what we can’t understand–people really enjoy that level of condescension

  9. 10274evr permalink
    December 5, 2007 12:51 am

    Curt,

    Thanks for reminding us that baseball is, after all, a business. Businesses are in business to win (aka make money and succeed). If the Red Sox weren’t in the business of winning, Red Sox Nation would would have a much smaller population.

    But it’s always nice for us fans to get a personal view and human side of what it’s like as a player at times like this. I, too, would hate to see either Lester or Ellsbury (or Coco, for that matter) leave. It makes you wonder if the Red Sox are trading away their future. But come next October, after the reality that Santana has made his impact in winning another Sox pennant, the only thing that’ll matter is that we still have a championship team.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family.

  10. soxfc permalink
    December 5, 2007 12:52 am

    Now that was good reading. I do think you’re wrong about one thing, though:
    “On the other hand, the hand you either can’t understand or don’t care about is the fact that these deals usually involve one or more people that have literally become family members.”

    We love watching the family you’ve become, or the little glimpses that we get to see. Do I want (you guys) to win? You bet. Do I hate losing? Yup. Do I root for this entity called the Red Sox? Sure. But what’s special is watching a team gel, really become a team. When that great hit or that great play happens, do I jump up and scream? Uh huh. But the big payoff, for me anyway, is watching you guys high-five, and celebrate with each other (Is that a girl thing? Maybe. You gonna tell Tito he’s a girl?), or even better, celebrate with us.

    As much as I know baseball is a business, that doesn’t mean it can’t break my heart, and not always because of what happens on the field. I’m just now getting to the point when I can watch footage from the ’04 parade without hurting over all the guys who went elsewhere. This year’s parade helped. :)

    We get that family dynamic. For me, that’s the magic that makes me love you guys.

    Hoping to attend Christmas at Fenway…

  11. redsoxrmyheros permalink
    December 5, 2007 12:59 am

    Hi Curt,
    Amen to everything you’ve said! Nobody can tell it like you Curt, you are the man!!
    I can think of 2 other Boston icons not mentioned, how about Curt Schilling and Paul Pierce? LOL
    I know your too modest to mention yourself, but you are at the top of my list.
    What you and Shonda have done to help those less fortunate is beyond compare. Your legacy will go far beyond your baseball achievements, which are legendary on their own merit.
    Baseball, Boston, and the entire world desperately need more people like you and Shonda.
    I have 3 small children ages 3, 5 and 9, who all LOVE the Red Sox. I let them stay up and watch the WS games. When you left the mound in Game 2 of the WS, all 3 stood in my living room and gave you a standing ovation, without any cue from me or my wife. We were not surprised at all though.
    Children have a keen and innocent sense of recognizing genuinely kind-hearted people when they see them.
    I wish you and your family the most joyous of holiday seasons Curt.
    My children will ALL be receiving #38 Red Sox jerseys this Christmas!!
    Maybe Santa will bring me a new one too…mines getting tattered…lol.
    Can’t wait for April!!!!!

  12. priscillapitman08 permalink
    December 5, 2007 1:03 am

    Thanks for your advice an info. It is really appreciated. Having to wait and read it in the paper is not so much fun. I miss the old days when my dad was a sports reporter and knowing before most of the world. Oh well, I guess I will have to have more patience.

  13. vmonico13 permalink
    December 5, 2007 1:04 am

    thanks for writing all of that Curt…it helps a big fan see a way different perspective…and i have never really thought about the perspective that the players has vs. the perspective of the fans…the team is hard to subtract from…we have major skill at all angles of the field…great bullpen (thanks Curt)…great batting..great fielding…what more can we ask for….it would be nice to see johan in the sox uniform but i really dont wanna see anyone on our team leave..come on..remember who you guys are…

    2007 WORLD SERIES CHAMPIONS!!!

    yes..next year is a new year but look at the capabilites we have now with the guys we have now..what more can we ask for..it wasnt a one person series or postseason…you guys did it as the team u r…now go out there and do it again…with or without johan

    Vince M.,
    Endicott, NY

  14. teddy3321 permalink
    December 5, 2007 1:11 am

    ‘ You could say that Phil Hughes is that guy as well. The other nice thing is that this kid is obviously a late bloomer. Going from undrafted to an elite #1 prospect at his age means he either got velocity that pushed his stuff to ++ or he ‘turned a corner’ and mentally understands the game better than most young kids. ” no offense Great topic, but Phil Hughes was a number 1 pick , 24 overall.

  15. jonathanmccauley permalink
    December 5, 2007 1:14 am

    Thanks for responding to the requests. I know you already wrote once today and is very busy to type out a blog like that. This shows dedication to your fans. Thanks for the response. It’s nice to know what players are thinking.

  16. andrewsha permalink
    December 5, 2007 1:18 am

    Hey Curt,

    It’s late at night and very cold outside. I just read your post on Santana, and in the process, I felt the urge to communicate to you a general conviction. This is my first reply to your blog.
    I, simply, want to thank you for understanding the vital nature of our community. The professional sport’s teams in New England, as you know, weave fresh new fibers into the regions fabric daily. Yet, this region’s people own a conservative wisdom when they reflect on sports.
    Professional athletes in our region stumble frequently when they try to outrun the waves of its desirous bretheren. Ask, David Wells about the enmeshed New England sports fan, and he’ll tell you.
    Yet, you choose to embrace this engaged and cynical region. You appear to understand that the spirit, of the New England Sportsfan, lies in its ability to unite, in the most loyal fashion, people who suffer the complexities and burdens of real life. Yes, your enthusiasm to appreciate the opportunites given you, gives us an opportunity to appreciate ourselves. Your enthusiasm travels from fan to fan to allow us all the simple luxury of being a kid again.
    You understand us because you are part of us. You share the simple need of a complicated people. You need to share.
    Thank you for sharing.

    Andrew

  17. poltroop permalink
    December 5, 2007 1:43 am

    Mr. Schilling,

    You just stated the obvious for me, but I’m glad the ones who didn’t know that already get to read it 1st hand.

  18. haymj23 permalink
    December 5, 2007 1:52 am

    Curt,

    I’m hoping this trade goes through. I’m a Dodger fan, but I have always admired watching you pitch. And since my brother is a Yankee fan I root for anyone that plays the Yankees and since the Red Sox’s are the best in the AL, well right now the best in the World…I just want to see you guys continue to beat the Yankees. Congrats on winning the World Series, have a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Years. Good luck next year as well.

    Mike

  19. irishlas permalink
    December 5, 2007 2:03 am

    Mr. Schilling,

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and underscoring the reality of being a baseball player, or any athlete, functioning to the best of his/her ability while living with the possibility of being traded and uprooted from a, hopefully, comfortable situation. Your piece was enlightening and enjoyable.

    You’ve given us an early Christmas present with your decision to remain in Boston. It’s a great comfort to Red Sox Nation to know that the Sox are, and will be, successful for years to come!

    Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and your family.

    Irish

  20. crash2184 permalink
    December 5, 2007 2:05 am

    Great words, Curt. It’s nice to see some praise for Coco. In my opinion he never gets the credit he’s due. Speed, base-stealing, and what seems to be an overall attitude of “catch the ball, no matter what” all make for one hell of an asset to the team. Just seems like he has never been given a fair shake. Perhaps hearing such positive comments from a well respected player like you will give the naysayers out there something to chew on…

  21. December 5, 2007 2:17 am

    Hey Curt –

    I have to say the prospect of Johan with the Sox is AMAZING, and the thought of losing a highly profiled prospect like Ellsbury is DEVASTING to think about. All I can hope is that somehow we wind up with both.

    Jon Lester is a player of amazing character, and a hero to many. His legacy and story in Boston has made him a welcome “son” here in RSN. But him going to the Twins would even further enable him to touch even more people with his story and show people his strength in cancer treatment, something even bigger than the sport itself. Whatever happens it will be an amazing opportunity to Jon.

    I love the talk that all this has generated this offseason. And this was supposed to be the QUIET year for Theo and the front office. So much for that. It is however very relieving to know that the issues facing our team this offseason are not “pressing” ones.

    I also wanted to again comment on Mike Reinold, it was so nice to hear John Farrell sing his praises in a NESN interview earlier this evening. He worked so hard for this and from what I know have him has strived for this job since high school. So kudos to him.

    Hopefully all questions will be answered in the coming hours, but it all honesty I don’t see the Red Sox facing any type of bad situation coming out of this offseason. The great news is Santana would make us even better, but so would Jacoby or Coco in center, Coco returning from injury should get back to his career averages, which as you pointed out, are better than most realize.

    Thanks again for your updates and still please feel free to offer up any ideas on a good contact with the Sox organization to try to get help with Lupus awareness and who may a good person to go to from a player side if anyone comes to mind. You an Shonda do all this amazing work, I would love to try to aid in a cause as close to me as ALS is to you or SHADE to Shonda. Thanks for all you do Curt….happy holidays to you and your family.

  22. philberglund permalink
    December 5, 2007 3:46 am

    As it is in your way, you more or less stated in many words what I suggested in my previous message. Offence and defence win ball games, as well as good pitching. The Babe was a combination of both when he was sold. Well, not so much of the defence. What the Red Sox will do is give up what they gained when they traded with Marlins and with the potential of a longer future. I am not sure that Johan will be that dominant. As you stated, Jon is 11-2 so far. Who is to say that with a complete season ahead of him, he won’t win at least 15-18 games. All through the playoffs and W Series I kept saying “pitch the kid”. Was I right or was I wrong…. This is 65 years of base ball expierence speaking!!!

  23. sdl1 permalink
    December 5, 2007 4:36 am

    I think it was former Dodger/Expo Ron Fairly who said that when he signed his first contract he knew he’d eventually be traded. It’s a part of the game and it is indeed rare when a player spends all of his career with one organization (Yaz, Al Kaline, Brooks Robinson, Cal Ripken Jr, Tony Gwynn and Mickey Mantle are the more modern players that come to mind).

    Like Ian above, I got to know players in the minors; several I’d exchange Xmas cards with and I admit when they were traded away I felt bad, since I had gotten to know them fairly well (and yes Curt, one was involved in the trade for you), but I knew that trades are part of the territory and they’d get a chance elsewhere to shine.

    I do not want to see Jacoby or Masterson or Lowrie go, but I know that when you talk about obtaining a Johan Santana that you WILL have to give up top-notch players/prospects to do it. Sometimes a trade will come back to bite you in the ass (Lou Gorman’s infamous Jeff Bagwell for Larry Andersen deal is the one that sticks in everybody’s craw) Like you said, Lester’s been thru the trade talk before and if he’s the one that goes to the Twins, I know that Sox fans like myself will always regard him as part of Red Sox Nation.

    Curt, your relating about how you found up you were part of the Boddicker trade reminds me of when the Sox got Eckersley in ’78. It was during a Spring Training game that was televised back to Boston. The rumors had been swirling about the Sox getting Eck and during the game, the camera caught Mike Paxton and Ted Cox walking to the dugout from the bullpen, the announcers said that the trade may have gone through and then after the camera focused on them shaking hands in the dugout, they got the word in the TV booth that the trade was a done deal. In this case, it was the TV audience being given a “play by play” of the trade going down.

    Keep up the good work, Curt. I consider it a privilege to be a part of this blog.

  24. December 5, 2007 5:08 am

    I think this is a good analysis and very insightful, as usual. But I also think the way you chose to start the piece was dismissive of fans — I know it’s not a straight apples-to-apples comparison, but a lot of us have worked jobs where co-workers who have become “like family” have been transferred or, even worse, laid off.

    I’m not trying to nit pick, but it’s hard to feel sympathy for a ballplayer who is watching a friend leave to go perform the same job for the same salary or more in a different city.

    And maybe I’m just cranky because it’s early in the morning.

  25. sdredsoxfan permalink
    December 5, 2007 6:46 am

    Curt,
    I am biased but I don’t want to see either Jacoby or Jon leave. Everybody keeps telling me how great Santanna is but I don’t want Theo to give up on our future just to be able to compete in the present. As far as I am concerned I know that we can win the the current players because we just did it. Watching Jon come back from cancer and pitching as well as he did was heart warming. I watched his first game back and I have to admit that I had goose bumps. I am also concerned that Doug Miribelli might not be back. Did we just not go through this a couple of years ago. Does the name Josh Bard ring a bell. Dougie is the only one that can catch Wake’s Knuckle ball. I remember Dougie having to fly across country, have a police escort to Fenway and changing in the back seat of the patrol car just so he could make it to catch the game. Why mess with a good thing. Wake and Dougie are a great team.

    I will be watching the news to see what happens. If nothing else it doesn’t sound like Santanna will be going to the Yankee’s. That is great news!!!!!

    I hope you and your family have a great Christmas and New Year’s

  26. thedoctorx permalink
    December 5, 2007 7:25 am

    Thank you for putting that all into words.

    –J.D.

  27. mattwilly permalink
    December 5, 2007 7:37 am

    You have a unique perspective and I appreciate the insight. I can’t imagine what it’s like to continue to lose “family members” from year to year and to know that you or your best friend could be next on the trading block. But it’s a delicate dance teams have to perform every year to try to remain intact to continue whatever success you might have enjoyed recently, and at the same time realize that other teams are not going to stand pat and will try to improve to increase their chance of winning next year. I think the Sox front office is doing the best job I can see of balancing between keeping the core of the team, both from a talent standpoint and from a leadership standpoint, intact and just exploring opportunities to improve the club, with an eye toward growing and improving the talent in the farm system. The fact that the move wasn’t made at the trading deadline in ’06 to land whatever top flight starter might be available, like Jason Schmidt, told me everything I needed to know about the philosophy the club has, they could’ve pulled the trigger but held on to the talent in the minors and were proven wise. And then the deals done to keep Tek in a Sox uniform, to keep you and Mike Lowell in Boston this year, not only speak to the club’s understanding of how important certain pieces are to the puzzle, but at the same time the willingness of so many players to “leave money on the table” as you put it and not demand the extra year when it might have been available elsewhere, speaks to the health of the organization in general when guys are willing to perhaps take less to stay in a favorable situation, whether that involves their families or a desire to “keep a good thing going”. Love your honesty and frankness, and love seeing that #38 standing tall on the mound. I live in Fort Myers so I’ll be seeing you soon. Go Sox..

  28. vermonter permalink
    December 5, 2007 7:53 am

    Man this is totally great: a tutorial! Special Studies in Front Office Thinking. Seriously, this adds a new dimension to my enjoyment of the offseason. Thank you.

  29. jnick67a permalink
    December 5, 2007 8:34 am

    Curt,

    I really appreciate your insight from a players perspective. Being a Fan I can only imagine how affects the pysche of a Player. I would imagine being traded hurts on some level but then on some level it would be complimenting given the caliber player your being traded for plus the fact that the orginzation wants you enough to give up that player.

    Now for lousy trades….Bronson Arroyo for Willy Mo Pena. Absolutely horrible. Bronson signed what was called a ‘home town discount’ to stay with the Sox and then they turned around and traded him for a player that turned out to be medicore.

    Happy Holidays to you and yours.

    Jim
    Atkinson, NH

  30. rjd2 permalink
    December 5, 2007 8:51 am

    [quote]Some guys best nights is 7ip 4h and 2 runs, that’s their peak. For pitchers like Clay Bucholz you already saw what his best night can be.[/quote]

    It’s Buchholz. B-u-c-h-h-o-l-z.

  31. stanleykrute permalink
    December 5, 2007 8:52 am

    This is the part of modern baseball, and modern life, that I hate: $$$ trumps all else.

    That a team would think of trading a Lester andor an Ellsbury points to an element of soul-lessness in the management clubhouse. Heart-Strangulation-Death-by-MBAs-and-Stats. Feh ….

    – stan

  32. mikel123 permalink
    December 5, 2007 8:58 am

    Curt – I’m an ardent fan of baseball. Please tell me about this “human element” you speak of that I could never understand, because as a baseball player you’re better able to understand emotions than a normal guy like me. Maybe us regular folks have never had a teammate get traded, but we’ve had coworkers switch jobs, friends move to different states, and family members pass away.

    You’ve officially reached a new level of arrogance: the belief that because you get paid to play baseball with other people, you somehow have a better insight into the human condition than those who don’t.

  33. wsuredsoxfan permalink
    December 5, 2007 9:07 am

    Curt I must say that many of us fans neglect to consider the ramifications that trades have on the lifes of the players involved. However as you mentioned when the day is over baseball is a business. Fortunately for Red Sox fans the business activities of management is to field the best possible team while not sacrificing all prospects and potential stars. Either way the team comes out a winner the only question remaining is which players will be be on the 2008 World Series Champion Boston Red Sox roster.

  34. iluvny permalink
    December 5, 2007 9:15 am

    wohh! redsox nation did you see who the tigers got? with that lineup they`ll be giving you a run for the crown in 08.

  35. rockonsox0407 permalink
    December 5, 2007 9:35 am

    Curt, You are right about loyalties in sports, but it is a business and with the potential staff of beck, yourself, dice, santana, buck, and wake if someone needs a break for sometime that would be the best staff that baseball has ever seen. Keeping ellsbury would allow us to still have two guys with speed, then the heart of the lineup to drive them in. I feel that we should make the trade and move on towards another world series title in 08.

    Happy holidays to you and the family and look forward to your blogs on a daily basis.

  36. booferrisrocks permalink
    December 5, 2007 10:00 am

    Great insight to the personal vs. business side of the game. We can’t lose either way this trade goes. Thanks.

  37. oliver81 permalink
    December 5, 2007 10:10 am

    Curt
    After you were traded to Boston you did a commercial where you said you were out to reverse an 86 year old curse. You had a huge part in doing that. Three years later you helped do it again. Your name belongs firmly among those you losted in your blog. Historically your name belongs up there with Bird, Orr, Bourque, Williams, Fisk, Rice, and Yaz. To see that all ya gotta do is walk around Yawkey Way on gameday and see the # of 38s everywhere.

  38. bowdawg permalink
    December 5, 2007 10:12 am

    Well said Curt! Bringing in Santana would be HUGE! I just don’t want to lose Ellsbury in the deal. He brought such a spark to the lineup, and gives us so many options in the top of the lineup. We haven’t seen that kind of consistency since Damon. Lester is unbelievable! What he accomplished is remarkable, and I don’t want to see him leave either. The experience that both of these players earned last year will only make them better and stronger. Adding Santana though, would only solidfy THE WORLD SERIES Champs! (GOD THAT SOUNDS GREAT) Baseball is however, still a business. We as fans sometimes don’t understand that part of baseball. We just want to see our beloved team win. (AND BEAT THE YANKMEES). Happy Holidays everyone!

  39. dkaroutsos permalink
    December 5, 2007 10:21 am

    That was an incredibly insightful piece written from a completely different perspective that fans don’t get to hear often. Great post. Thanks.

  40. brendinater permalink
    December 5, 2007 10:25 am

    As sycophantic as I hate to seem, this really was a great post.

    One additional example to your illustration of why baseball is a business is Bronso Arroyo. My understanding (correct me if I am wrong) is that he effectively took a hometown discount to pitch in the city he loved pitching in, with the comfort of knowing that there were no plans to trade him. Within about a month he was shipped out, with the discount he took effectively making him more tradable.

    It’s fair to say that fans will never understand the family-mentality the players have with respect to their own teammates. One thing I would say is that I would imagine nearly all Sox fans will be pulling hard for Jon Lester, where ever he may end up pitching.

  41. December 5, 2007 10:26 am

    I still don’t get why so many people are all “omg Tim Wakefield!!!1″. He’s a league-average pitcher, and has been for a long time. I know he’s a nice guy and the epitome of “great reammate”. A class act in the sport. But c’mon. To think we don’t have better options for the rotation at this point is, I think, to be willfully blind.

    Soxandbowling,

    Trade Drew? Good luck with that, imo.

    Curious to see what today brings in the Santana Sweepstakes. I’m sorta surprised the Twins are still holding back on making a deal, I guess. Wonder if this whole thing’s gonna get flushed?

  42. yawkeyoveryankeeanyday permalink
    December 5, 2007 10:52 am

    Hey Curt,

    I have to say that I love how you let us in on your perspective to things. As fans, its easy for to say who we’d trade, or how we’d spend the teams money…but when it comes down to it..no one knows about it like the players.

    Once again, thanks for sharing your point of view!

    Happy Holidays! Cant wait till March to see you guys down in Fort Meyers!

  43. December 5, 2007 11:02 am

    Awesome, awesome blog Curt, it gives us the other side. I too would hate to see the Sox lose Lester, Coco, Ellsbury, I agree Coco is poised to come on strong this year, Lester is a guy who can be the next Bruce Hurst, and Ellsbury, he’s gonna be special.

    But then you bring in the name Johan Santana. Is two out of the three worth it? Beckett, Schilling, Dice-K, Wakefield, possibly Buckholz and then you add someone like Satana to that . . . It leaves a fan speachless.

    It is also sad that having a talent like Ellsbury make Coco expendable and vice versa, and Lester, with all his potential get replaced by arguably the best left hander in the game.

    I think I am drooling.

  44. fryman1918 permalink
    December 5, 2007 11:09 am

    Well put Curt. Coco did alot that was underappreciated this past summer.

    I was in Atlanta for your start there against the Braves at the end of June. You had a rough night and got down several runs early, but Coco wouldn’t give up on that game. He cleaned up most everything in centerfield as usual, and went deep twice! Thats competitive character.

    Thanks for the update Curt. Always an enjoyable blog.

  45. okieredsox permalink
    December 5, 2007 11:32 am

    I want to wish you and your family a very merry christmas and a very good red sox new yr!! happy that your pitcher mound awaits you here in red sox nation curt. I agree with your comments, santana would be a great plus to the team, if only theo would reconsider lester and ellsbury. I’m a huge fan now since I moved here in 99. I remember carl everett and his temper he put here. I see how business is business. but players are s’pose to have fun in the game also. ellsbury is young and he looks like he is having fun in the business. give him a chance to shine here like caveman did. I’m a full blood native amercian and ellsbury has inspired me and i’m sure all other natives americans in this country agree with me. there are natives in new england that appreciate what ellsbury accomplished in MLB and at a young age at that. hope theo keeps ellsbury here. hope you mention to ellsbury that there is a native amercian center in boston who supports him and the red sox team. thanks curt for being a straight forward down to earth person. glad there are players like you who gives back to the community. once again happy holidays to u and your family. keep ellsbury!!!

  46. jdodge permalink
    December 5, 2007 11:35 am

    Fantastic post. Thanks for the Player perspective. Just out of curiosity, how goes the weight battle?

  47. papuz permalink
    December 5, 2007 12:02 pm

    whew Curt! That was long… but as always… it’s another well-written post. I’m sure that if we, the fans, have the “I want Santana on the team but I don’t want Ellsbury, Lester et al. to leave” syndrome, what more you guys who are actually teammates with them. not to mention that they’re teammates whom you’ve recently won the World Series with.

    Let’s just wait and see … and hope for the best at the same time!

    [keeping my fingers crossed that Jacoby gets to stay!!!]

  48. qball4070 permalink
    December 5, 2007 12:07 pm

    Curt,
    Really enjoy your insight to the game.
    I’m wondering if the Sox should be going after Santana at all.
    Bedard and Haren will be available shortly if they really feel need to shore up the starting pitching. You’ll be around this year and maybe more. That gives us the same staff that we had last year. Then there’s Lester, Buchholz and who knows who else is coming up. sounds like we have excess talent (if there’s such a thing)
    I’d hate to see Coco or Jacoby leave this team. Power and pitching are great but there is something about the speed on this team that makes me think we got enough to continue this great roll were on now.
    GO PATS.

  49. dori317 permalink
    December 5, 2007 12:14 pm

    Curt:

    I think one of the best parts of this season has been getting your perspective on things that fans never get to grasp or understand…or I should say have had the opportunity to learn about. We do tend to get emotional about players…I’ll admit readily to that, and quite frankly, while I can appreciate the talent of a Santana, I really don’t want to trade a Jon Lester or a Jacoby Ellsbury to get him. Not just the emotional piece of their part in the 07 world series win, but also because it’s not like we “need” pitching for 08. And, if we do, who’s to say we would should mortgage the future by trading the young guns away. I know Santana is a “Cy Young” pitcher but there are plenty of great pitchers that haven’t won that award, and I think its clear we have what it takes to win already.

    It is very cool to get your take on this, and now in the hot stove, at greater length since you have the time to analyze and comment. I’m sure there are those who would just as soon see you not comment at all but I appreciate the opportunity to understand and learn about baseball (the game I’ve loved for so many years) from the perspective of someone who plays it, loves it, and seems to get what a Boston fan is like. I have always been one of those fans whether its a music personality, actor, or sports figure who wants to just sit down, have a drink and chat. Your blog is kind of like that….Dunkin Donuts ice coffee and Curt in the morning. I’ve gotten to like that combo!

    Thanks again for resigning (and for wanting to do that in the first place), and for sharing your knowledge with us in the Nation. Happy Holidays to you and your family.

    Dori/Randolph MA

  50. marcomarco permalink
    December 5, 2007 12:27 pm

    So, including Moss, Garnett, Ortiz, Santana.

    Thank you Minnesota for being Boston’s superstar-cultivating farm teams.

  51. jpbsox permalink
    December 5, 2007 12:36 pm

    Curt,

    I love reading your comments and hearing your opinions! This web site is great….I read it everyday! You are a total class act Curt! Best of luck to you and your teamates in 2008. Happy Holidays.

    Jeff Burton

  52. muellertime11 permalink
    December 5, 2007 12:38 pm

    Curt, I appreciate your article and with each megadeal, we are becoming more aware that loyalty to a player is a mitigating factor in terms of a team keeping him. By this rationale and in this day in age, don’t the Red Sox requirements of having a player’s number retired ( ten years w/ the team, ending the career w/ the team, and making the hall of fame) seem unrational?

  53. soxmaineiac permalink
    December 5, 2007 12:40 pm

    Thank You Curt for all of your blogs,great reads. First time posting here with you so let me say thank you for all you’ve done for our team. I knew great things were coming when you signed with us back in ’03, and you didn’t disappoint. Thank You for re-signing this year and proving you’re a man of character.In todays world,it’s refreshing to see.
    On to the subject du jour…As much as I’d like to have Johan on our team…I really love the team we already have intact,and wouldn’t want to disrupt the chemistry this team seems to have. Jacoby is fun to watch,he makes things happen when he’s on base and can cover the whole darned outfield by himself practically with his blazing speed. I guess the question I’m asking is, do you think Johan coming on board will cause any distractions with the team,most notably,Josh Beckett ?

  54. depsean permalink
    December 5, 2007 12:40 pm

    Great blog, it’s very nice to be able to see what’s going on from a player’s perspective. Whatever happens, happens. It’s a decision that will be made from so many different angles and different degrees of luck. No reason to get upset about whatever happens because the GMs truly care about this club and they are going to put the best team out there that is humanly possible. This is has been fun to watch so far and I’m truly excited to see what the next 24-48 hours will bring. The Tigers caught themselves a nice little deal too, especially for a team that was just, “browsing.” Thanks for the update and Merry Christmas to you and your family Curt.

  55. rogerredsox21 permalink
    December 5, 2007 12:44 pm

    I like the Lester trade for both the Red Sox & Twins. Lester could become a No. 1
    with the Twins, doubtful with the Red Sox. The Ellsbury trade scenerio sucks because Ellsbury is a position player and also reminds me of a faster Fred Lynn.
    I know Santana is awesome but to lose a 5 tool player just at the beginning of something special!

  56. ctsoxnation permalink
    December 5, 2007 12:45 pm

    Hello Curt!

    Thank you for giving the players perspective on this. I think as you do. If the trade goes through, it would be tough to part with Lester, Coco or even Ellsbury. Like you said, Sox Nation is different then any other fan base. We live, breath and digest everything you guys do on and off the field. With that being said, we have grown to love Lester for everything he’s done on the field as well as all the things he’s had to deal with on a personal level. Coco has played gold glove style defense since he arrived and Ellsbury became an instant fan favorite (especiall with my wife). To lose any of these guys would be like losing a family member. To gain Santana would be amazing but at what cost? Peter Gammons just reported on ESPN radio that the Sox are pulling out of the deal as I type this. So it looks like these guys will be around unless something happens and we decide to go after Haren or another pitcher. Regardless, you nailed it right on the head. It’s a business but we as fans do take it personal. It’s hard not to when you care as much about the game and the players as we do here in Boston.

    Happy Holidays to you and the rest of the family and best of luck with your off season workouts!

  57. marcomarco permalink
    December 5, 2007 1:05 pm

    Curt,

    Not sure if you’ve ever read this site (think of the Onion for the Sox), but you might enjoy this article:

    “Yankees Attempting to Sabotage Schilling’s Weight Clause”

    -Marc

  58. randocalrissian permalink
    December 5, 2007 1:07 pm

    Curt – wow, very solid analysis. People are quick so say “sell high” on Ellsbury, Melky > Coco, and that Hughes has a higher ceiling than Lester, but your points are exactly the right tonic for such claims. We’ve seen as much if not more from all of our three than people are willing to admit. Bottom line is that we are so lucky to have Theo, who really gets it. He hung on to you after 2004 when some might say let’s move on, he’s got to be on the decline. My dad and I could tell from the stands in Game 2 vs Colorado that you’ve still got it, maybe you are now a pure pitcher instead of more of the heat hurling thrower you used to be, but you are our heart and soul on the pitching side, and know your game very well, keep up that good work. So Theo is taking his time, not willing to sacrifice too much 3-4 years down the road as you imply, just to get Johan. Hey there is always Danny at $18MM through 2010, that’s not a booby prize! And Bedard, man you know how well he pitched at the Fen this year. Ellsbury would look good in Camden Yards, no doubt. Let’s just leave the blindfold on and enjoy Theo’s wild ride. We all have faith in RS Nation that he’ll get us safely to our destination. Looking forward to 2008!

  59. carlyaz permalink
    December 5, 2007 1:10 pm

    Count me as a defensive junkie. Loved watching Gonzo play SS, Minky at 1B and Coco in CF!! That said, Minky and Gonzo were always topped out on the offensive side whereas Coco “could” have a great upside on offense. Hate to say it but I miss Papa Jack when I look at Mr. Magadan. No offense, but bunting Lugo and Coco more often and lowering Coco’s hands from that contorsionist stance makes the Sox lineup soooo much better. We would be talking about Coco in a different light in my opinion. I’m no guru, but it seems pretty clear that when you have guys (Drew,Lugo,Coco) that are struggling, then getting them back to basics and hitting up the middle by dropping the barrell on the ball is the best medicine……..But,I digress. Give me just a little more contact out of Coco and keep him in Center Field for the next 10 years!!!
    Thanks for your insight

  60. sapper21a permalink
    December 5, 2007 1:12 pm

    Why can’t we trade Gagne, Hinske, or Drew? I mean Crisp was not good offensively ( I tell my kids he looks like a duck when he bats), but his defense was great!!
    Why do we always trade young future prospects to only see them shine somewhere else?
    I was glad to see Theo step up against the Empire – The Return of the Jedi lives on.

    Thanks Curt for not leaving, and Happy Holidays!

    P.s. Please tell Dike K not to over due himself this year – That is at the begging of the year, he was out their before everyone else running and (over) throwing. As we could see it did some damage at the end of the season.

    If not, would he be a great setup? For 100+ Million?

  61. garysr permalink
    December 5, 2007 1:23 pm

    Curt,
    Outstanding, insightful, thought provoking, blog commentary today.
    Now is see why that “know all”, curly red haired, Irish columnist for the Globe, HATES you so much….you write much better than he does and he continually shows he doesn’t know anything about baseball or sports in general.
    Thank-you for sharing your thoughts. We look forward to another spectacular year from #38 and any new members of our Ol’ Town Team. Best to you and the family in this holiday season.

  62. colecovision permalink
    December 5, 2007 1:38 pm

    Curt,

    That was perhaps the most insightful commentary that I have read on the proposed trade. My wife and I are close friends with one of your former teammates and have always appreciated the players perspective. I also agree that it is extremely difficult to measure the intangibles in an individual. A “winner” has it embedded in their DNA to succeed. The 2007 Red Sox are a team filled with men with the DNA for success. A winner generally ignores the risk that others see and overcomes obstacles because they see the opportunity rather than focusing on the risk.

    Question: Without the games that Coco won with his glove, do the Sox win the East?

    Thanks.

  63. baseball21 permalink
    December 5, 2007 1:38 pm

    Curt, you are the man. Telling it like it is. I know it is hard to see a teammate leave. My team of 6 years just broke up as we all went on to college and it truly is sad. I agree with everything you said here. Melky is a good player but on any given day I would put coco out there. He was definetly overlooked last year. I think that as long as the Yankees dont end up with Santana the Sox will have ‘won’ this situation. Also, Dan Haren is still out there too.
    Thanks Curt

  64. Liza permalink
    December 5, 2007 2:07 pm

    Thank you, Curt. This is a great post with a perspective that we, as outsiders to the game, don’t get very often. I especially enjoyed the analysis of Jon and Jacoby from the point of view of someone who knows them personally and got a front-row seat for their performances in October. :)

    Do you know what any of your teammates think, aside from Papelbon? Have you talked to any of them about this? Now I’m hungry for more of this perspective!

    Go Sox!

  65. shaunsam permalink
    December 5, 2007 2:16 pm

    Curt,

    Coming from a Yankee fan that never really liked you much, I do enjoy your blog – it gives a unique perspective of the baseball world from your side of the fence. That being said, I do want to combat a couple of the things you said about Hughes. First off, he was drafted in the 1st round (23rd pick) out of high school and has always been a top prospect – not sure where you got the non drafted information from. Also, he threw 7 innings of no hit ball against the Rangers before pulling his hammy….would he have completed the no-no? Who knows? But I do think we got a look at what his best night might be. Finally…one thing on Melky. He doesn’t have a decent arm, he has a great arm…I believe led the league in assists, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. I can’t disagree that Crisp might be a better overall fielder, but I do think you were selling Melky’s arm short.

    All in all I can’t disagree with your comparisons….I think the deals are comparable and I wouldn’t expect you to go the other way (and say the Yankee deal was better).

  66. jack111 permalink
    December 5, 2007 2:28 pm

    Enjoyed the post.

    Phil Hughes did not go undrafted. He was a first-rounder.

  67. alasky7 permalink
    December 5, 2007 2:30 pm

    Phil wasn’t undraftet Curt. In fact, he was a first rounder…

  68. jimd52 permalink
    December 5, 2007 2:35 pm

    Curt,

    Very interesting take from a persepective most fans never consider. I have been following the Red Sox since my grandfather took me to my first game at Fenway in 1959. I grew up in New England and left in the early 70′s for a career as a naval officer. Whenever I lived near an American League city, I would try to catch a game or two. I am retired from the Navy and have settled in NE Florida. I have been travelling to Red Sox games in Baltimore, Atlanta, and Tampa on a regular basis for the last 5 years or so.

    I cannot begin to express how much I have enjoyed watching the Red Sox play over the years. I have been singularly impressed by the current ownership especially when compared to some of the brain dead stunts pulled by previous owners and management. It can be hard on fans as well as teammates when favorites like Pedro Martinez and Johnny Damon leave. However, if you look at what has happened since they left the team has been vindicated for not agreeing to long term contracts. That is just the cold, hard business reality of the situation.

    I would also point out that great teams are greater than the sum of their parts. Compare the Yankee teams of the late 90′s with the Yankees of the last few years. Position by position, the current team has gaudier numbers. Yet it was the less star-studded team which had that great run of championships. Players like Paul O’Neill, Tito Martinez and Scott Brosius didn’t put up numbers like Abreu, Giambi (in the past anyway) and A-Rod. However, the team came first and the team did the little things to win as well as the big things. So, especially considering great teams versus a collection of great players, your comments are particularly interesting.

    By the way, I have always thought that fan outrage over players’ salaries was a bit strange when you consider that baseball is in the entertainment business. I have never seen people rant and rave about Brad Pitt getting $20 million per movie or Bill Cosby and Jerry Seinfeld making hundreds of millions from their TV shows.

  69. esaslaw permalink
    December 5, 2007 2:40 pm

    Thank you. Very informative and I really appreciate it. I happened to be heading to Boston on the night you were traded with (the next Mickey Mantle) Brady Anderson for Mike Boddicker. I understood the need for the trade then, and why Baltimore wanted you in return. I did not like that we were in essence giving up on you—and there were so many reports of the “Bee Hive” effect on pitchers and hitters passing through New Britain in that horrible old ballpark those days that suggested this might not work out for us in the end. But Boddicker really did a good job for us in two division championships which might have meant more but for the fact that baseball ignored what Canseco and his enabler LaRussa were doing to win the pennant. And, eventually, thank goodness we got you back.

    The Bagwell/Larry Andersen fiasco two years later was a different story since it was born of an injury to Reardon, I think, and I am sure that Lou knew we were paying a really heavy price for our desperation, but under the circumstances there was little choice. (Bob Watson, then the Houston GM, had the foresight to move Bagwell to first, and the knowledge to discount power numbers out of New Britain.)

    Thanks to you, your teammates and a great front office, neither exigencies occur today. I, too, ould love to have Santana, but as Dustin Pedroia and Jacoby Ellsbury showed, our future is with the kids, just as Nomar, Mo Vaughn, Wade Boggs (in the minors way too long), Roger Whateverhisnamewas, Lynn and Rice, Pudge, and even Yaz proved over so many years.

    I wish you had spent your whole career with the team that drafted you, though at least you will end it there and there are very few guys who can say that, either.

  70. December 5, 2007 2:41 pm

    What I don’t get is how Curt can write a well-thought out piece like that–a long article about baseball from the rarest source, the player himself–yet we still have people, including local TV/radio people, saying “shut up and just pitch” and stuff like that. It’s Curt’s choice to say what he wants and I’m glad he does. Right down to him voicing his support for political candidates that I wouldn’t support myself.

  71. wingnut2002 permalink
    December 5, 2007 2:41 pm

    These young players came up through the system so fast you have to wonder how they will do when the scouting and subsequent adjustments catch up with them. If/when they find the holes in their game will the player adjust or stagnate? For that reason you have to look at Santana as one who has obviously long since gone beyond that point. MVP, lefthanded pitching, strikeout and innings machines should be worth almost any price. Having said that, the populararity of ‘fantasy’ sports tends to make us look at players like names on a page and we forget that the lives of actual human beings are disrupted and changed forever during times like these. As much as I like Jacoby Ellsbury I felt for Coco at the end of the season just being cast aside by the fans after all of his amazing defensive (yes, and some offensive) play the last two years. We as fans shouldn’t be so quick to coronate or dethrone these guys.
    And by the way…I say make the trade and worry about the ‘potential’ Hall of Famers you give up later.

  72. drconlaw permalink
    December 5, 2007 3:05 pm

    Curt:

    Thanks so much for taking so much time to answer my, and many others’, questions about the effect of trade rumors on players’ lives. Having this chance to converse with someone who possesses your level of experience and expertise in the game, unfiltered by the press, is a wonderful opportunity and we, as fans, are all grateful for it.

    Bruce

  73. December 5, 2007 3:08 pm

    hey, all i’m saying is you won the WS without Santana and with Jacoby…

    …then again, i’m not on the bosox payroll, so i might not know what i’m talking about.

  74. rsoxgal07 permalink
    December 5, 2007 3:10 pm

    Very well said, Curt. But even though we all know it is business and that many people don’t stay on one team their entire career it will still be a happy and sad moment when we get Santana. He is great, and it would be awsome to have him as you said, but I will agree that I will be sad to see any of these talented young athletes go. If the trade doesn’t go through we will still be in great shape, so the way I see any way it goes we get a good deal out of it. But like I siad, any guy we lose is a sad thing in a way. Even though we never meet these people(At least I don’t) You kind of get attached in a way by reading about them, or listening to interviews and hearing about what kind of person they are…I don’t know I guess it is one of those things that can’t be explained. I will be hppy either way but sad to lose any of our young future players. Well said thoug, Curt, it is really great to read about the player’s insight and not just what fans assume or what is in the media as we all know that the media can sometimes be wrong(or at least off a little bit) Thanks for being a straight up guy, and losing a team mate is always hard. My softball team lost a lot of the older kids last year and even though we got lots of new players, it isn’t the same nor do those who left forgotten. One of the most insightful pieces on the blog. Again, well said.

  75. caroledon permalink
    December 5, 2007 3:17 pm

    I understand the trades are a business decisions however, I firmly believe we must keep the kids. Jon Lester did great in the World Series and Jacoby was great to watch. I think the young with the veterans what a GREAT TEAM Don’t fix it if its not broken. Curt you have a strong voice people listen. Tell them not to trade the kids.

  76. scallop permalink
    December 5, 2007 3:17 pm

    Man, I can’t believe you said that Santana is better than Beckett before. Santana is NOT the best pitcher is baseball as you state. Do you REALLY think Beckett is not as good or better than Santana?

    I wonder is Beckett knows you think he’s second rate. I hope the reporters get to ask him soon.

  77. pawsoxfan permalink
    December 5, 2007 3:18 pm

    Curt: Thanks for the comments. I have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to talk with former players like Bill Lee, Dick Radatz, George Scott, etc. about similar issues. The average fan has no concept of what you guys deal with. I appreciate your comments.

    From the entertainment perspective, I would hate to see an exciting player be traded away. Jacoby has the potential to be a star player. Every moment he’s out there, there’s a sense in the air that something’s about to happen. I hope he stays.

    Besides with the dozen or so starting pitchers the club has, you guys only get to throw about 12 games. You’d think that you’d get bored during the season.

  78. conquercancer permalink
    December 5, 2007 3:36 pm

    Curt
    Thank you.
    I wish to note one last intangible statistic by which no player is judged, rated or traded for. This is about Family. And in true business fashion family is often overlooked and undervalued. Not only does the Red Sox Organization harbour the sentiment of Family amongst its players and coaches, spilling that energy into Red Sox Nation (and visa-versa as the case may be), but more over THE SCHILLING FAMILY HAS BEEN A DRVING FORCE in our community. I am lucky enough to be invloved with the Wellness Community of which Shonda was recognized for her courage, attitude, and response in the face of a cancer diagnoses. THE SCHILLING’s are an ALL-STAR team all by themselves, and that has made us all stronger. We are lucky to have your talent, personality, poise, experience, motivation and determination, and I guess your pretty darn good on the mound too.
    Here’s to a happy, HEALTHY holiday season…
    Thank you Shonda and Curt for the gift you give everyday…HOPE!

    http://www.conquercancer.org

  79. rsxnh permalink
    December 5, 2007 3:37 pm

    Curt,

    Great post. Great insight.

    I think a good amount of our fans project Jacoby to be a Grady Sizemore “like” player. As you said, small sample size here. But his efforts this past year have us thinking greatness. Its hard not to.

    Johan IS the best left handed pitcher in baseball. There’s no projection involved here. Combine him with Josh and the rest of our rotation, and for a team to beat us in a 7 game series would be nothing short of incredibly unlikely.

    I want to see Jacoby grow. I want to see him be a dominant leadoff hitter. I want to see him make Coco type catches in CF for years to come. I want to see his speed on the base paths every night.

    I want to see Josh and Johan thrive off eachother and elevate their games (is that even possible?). I want to know that we have 2 absolute aces that will be sent to the hill possibly 4 times in a 7 game series.

    This is tough as a fan…I think Johan provides our team with the best chance to win in the post season. Jacoby provides us with excitement year round every day.

    As much as I like Lester, if we can somehow keep Jacoby and deal for Santana…I couldn’t be happier as a fan.

    Thanks again

    Bryan

  80. djb799 permalink
    December 5, 2007 3:43 pm

    Fenway Park is a place where left handers have struggled.
    I would like to see Johan stay right where he is. If you check his numbers in Fenway they are ERA of just under 5. As a starter half of his start will come at Fenway, his nubers are not that good at Yankee Stadium either. We have a lefty in Jon Lester that has been pretty good at Fenway.

  81. beresford9 permalink
    December 5, 2007 3:45 pm

    Jeebus…some of the folks commenting here are obnoxious twits…especially the knuckleheads maustin57 and mikel123 at #8 and #32 respectively. Chill out fellas.

    Now to my comment:

    Ellsbury’s decision to hire Scott Boras as his agent may have been a clever ploy to make him less enticing to the Twins…and keep him in Boston.

    If so — brilliant move.

    Reportedly, no club enjoys dealing with Boras. The prospect of having to do so a couple years down the road…probably makes Lester look more attractive in comparison.

  82. December 5, 2007 3:45 pm

    Interesting insight into how a player thinks when some his teammates/peers are going to possibly be traded.

    I don’t think I have heard it quite articulated like that. Have you thought being an analyst or hosting a show once your career is over?

    Thanks, Curt.

    - Anthony

  83. wickedworld123 permalink
    December 5, 2007 4:21 pm

    This is definitely one of the most insightful posts I’ve read here. The fans think about the human element of it too, though. Not to the extent that players do obviously, I don’t know Lester or Ellsbury personally, but I can imagine being so young and getting traded while your career is just starting to take off, and having to abandon some of the strong friendships you’ve made would suck. That’s why I always have sympathy on some level for guys like Lester, Coco, Ellsbury etc., when trades are made, or there are trade talks floating around. I honestly don’t want to lose guys like Jon and Jacoby since they’re such exciting young players and will be an important part of our future if they stay in Boston. But if it’s gonna happen, I wouldn’t want it to happen for anything less than Johan Santana. But I guess it really is a win-win situation in the end. With Santana, our rotation would just be complete overkill. Without him, we will still be pretty damn good.

  84. dustinsoxfan permalink
    December 5, 2007 4:32 pm

    Great post Schill. I wanted to ask you if you had thought about the impact you could have on the team this year as a “projected” 4 or 5 starter? If the Santana deal goes down, you would have Santana, Beckett, Matsuzaka, Buchholz, and Schilling (not to mention Wakefield as well). Even without Santana, Lester may just be plugged into the 3 hole. Even though you are adjusting your style and may not be a top 5 pitcher in the majors anymore, you may benefit playing against other 4′s and 5′s to the tune of a 20 win season. I truly believe this. Then you wouldn’t have to offer a kickback to a Cy Young voter:)

  85. dshaughnessy permalink
    December 5, 2007 4:35 pm

    shut it Schilling. anytime you want to throw down let me know.

  86. jmacbosox permalink
    December 5, 2007 5:05 pm

    I’ve always wondered what it is really like being a pro ball player and I am not even talking mostly about the baseball. Thank you for your insight.

    Are you able to go to the grocery store in peace?
    Do you get people knocking on your front door regularly?
    Does fame get annoying?
    Do your children suffer at school, etc due to playing MLB?

    I realize this doesn’t directly respond to your blog but I would be SO interested to hear about what daily life is like and the challenges you face playing MLB.

    Jay
    JayMcPherson@hotmail.com

  87. 04forever permalink
    December 5, 2007 5:38 pm

    Thanks Curt,
    This blog is a great! You have really explained it perfectly. It is a amazing (and a wonder) thought about how you can fit a pitchers life and thought while making sense for the average Joe like me. This a a passageway to what a good and hardworking and caring baseball player life is like. Thanks a lot Curt. Keep up the good work on and off the field.

    -Samuel

  88. soxwin28 permalink
    December 5, 2007 6:14 pm

    Why would Jacoby hire Scott Boras??? Theo better trade him now because he’ll be asking for 25 million per year soon and unless he is great at that point we won’t be able to keep him anyway.

  89. splendidsplinter409 permalink
    December 5, 2007 8:20 pm

    hi curt,
    I am12 years old and you inspire me and help me with my own pitching so much just watching you helped me so much in all-stars this year. I think Santana would be a great bonus to this pitching staff we will have at least four definate wins You, Becket, Matuzaka and if we get him Santana. I think if th Lester deal goes it was a good one, if you can get away with Santana for Lester and prospects you are in great shape. Leftys may not do well in the Fens but I think he will give us at least 15-20 wins o more.

  90. rufokathcar permalink
    December 5, 2007 8:27 pm

    Forget about running for the Senate when your playing days are over. You should get on track to becoming a major league GM. Anyone who can analyze a situation like this, dealing with current teammates and opponents, clearly has the ability to evaluate players, their abilities and their potentials as dispassionately as a GM must.

    I wonder what the media will find in this entry to try to turn it into a point of dissention comparable to Millar/ARod/Nomar back in 2003? “Ooh ooh, Schilling says he wants Santana!! He’s dissing Ellsbury and Beckett and Lester!! Ooh ooh!”

    For now the question is simply, are the 2008 Red Sox a better team with, on the one hand, Ellsbury and Lester, or, on the other, with Crisp and Santana. I think the answer is obviously the latter.

    Ask the same question about the 2009 Red Sox–or 2010 or 2011–and I think it’s increasingly less obvious, even remembering that Santana is still only 29.

    Tough call, Theo, but I think there may well be no wrong way to go.

  91. roushfenwayfan permalink
    December 5, 2007 8:58 pm

    While I understand and appriciate what you have said Curt, I do not think, we should let go of possibly, the best center feilder since Fred Lynn. We have seen just a small sampeling of Jacoby and although a lot of things can happen and change, he appears to be the most promising player the Red Sox have a this time. I would not understand the decission to let so much potential go. Johan, who is a great picther, may not be all that his tallent would lead us to believe in the Red Sox Atmosphere, look at Gagne, Full of tallent but hasn’t been a success with the Sox. Not to say that he will have the same trouble but he does have a shakey record in Boston. I still would like to go for Johan but the deal I would present to them would be more like Coco and Lugo and if a picther is needed to help this along, Hansen or maybe Snyder

  92. scottdog permalink
    December 5, 2007 9:01 pm

    …”LITERALLY become family members”? Did you adopt Ellsbury??

  93. cardodad permalink
    December 5, 2007 9:10 pm

    This is the best sports commentary since John McPhee’s golf article in the New Yorker a few months ago. Like McPhee, you avoid the boring and useless current habit of newspaper sports writers these days – collecting and presenting quotes from players. Although you need an editor, this is one of the two best sports stories (McPhee’s being the other) I have read in 2007. Your insight and ability to communicate it to us is, in typical sporting world overstatement, revolutionary. I really love it.

  94. roushfenwayfan permalink
    December 5, 2007 9:38 pm

    I am sorry wasn’t finished, accidently sent it while cleaning around desk.
    As I was saying if we gave up Lugo we could bring up Jed Lowrie and with Cora as the lead, alternate them to give Lowrie some experience and give Boston a infield subtitution as required. We also have Argenis Diaz who is already on the rooster who we could platoon with Cora. As Far as Coco he would fill the Twins need for a center fielder. Also cutting Lugo and Coco would cut the sallary of the Red Sox payroll. While keeping a awesome player like Jacoby and allowing young prospects the opportunity to show what they have to offer. Pedroia and Ellsbury, have both shown, that the Red Sox can stay within it’s organization and be competitive and Shine. Pedroia and Ellsbury may have been the most impressive young player this year in Baseball and adding Lowrie or Diaz would keep a good mix of young tallent and experience from the veterans. I know I am not in the Buisness of Baseball, but I have been a Red Sox fan and I know the sport very well, not only have I been a fan, But have played and still play this sport. I would love to add the arm of Johan to this staff, but at the cost of younger stars and potential stars for a picther with the caliber of Johan may be something I may not be willing to do, But to move a few players that have some experience and potential with a higher sallary might be more acceptable.

    Thanks Curt and Good luck in “08″
    Michael

  95. suesunswim permalink
    December 5, 2007 10:09 pm

    Hey Curt,

    Thanks so much for your player insight into this whole thing. I am so SICK of the “media” and their opinions, opinions from people who never played a day of baseball in their life. Gee, I bet I could do just as good a job as the media because I actually have the same amount of knowledge.

    I am continually amazed that all these guys have the power to make ANY decisions about sports.

  96. soxaholic46 permalink
    December 5, 2007 10:40 pm

    Curt,
    My family and I are huge sox fans. We catch al ot of the minor league games. I have been known to watch a Portland game in Maine, then drive back to Connecticut just to catch them again in New Britian!

    In April of this year we were lucky enough to catch one of Jacoby’s last games with the sea dogs, My sons (7&4) sat behind the dug out and screamed for Jacoby every time the innings changed and every at bat. I was trying to calm them down, when Jacoby got them all riled up. He started coming off the field and giving them thumbs up and waving. At the end of the game he came over to my kids and offered and autograph. Told my oldest son to keep playing ball, witch he plans to play for the red sox one day!!!!
    So seeing his name in the trade stinks , the “super heroness” of big name players keeps us all coming back, the chance that you might get an autograph or beable to tell one of them they are your idol. Then when they loose that super hero and they are just a person having fun and playing ball and being part of a wonderful experience trades can sound scary to an eight year old.
    Your blog was great and gave us all a different view. Glad to have you back in 08

  97. 1954redsoxfan permalink
    December 6, 2007 4:55 am

    I still think that the Red Sox should stand firm and keep the “family” in tact. However since my words don’t count a whole lot in the GM’s office there isn’t a lot I can do. So I will suggest my own version of the Santana trade. If the Twins want Lester send him with Crisp, Tavares and a choice of Masterson, Bowden or Lowrie. Let the Twins choose and if they really want Ellsbury send him with Tavares, Hansen and once again a choice between Masterson or Lowrie.
    My thought is that a deal with Santana will not get done at least not with the Sox. Yes it would be great fit to have the Santa man with the Sox for a long time but you know we won 2 without him and we (Red Sox) at least have a chance to win some more in the near future. I am sure people will say yeah but why take the chance??????…………. It doesn’t make a difference which direction it goes. Red Sox will still be the odds on favorite to cash in again next year. They have what it takes. They are a well run organization with a commitment to the business of baseball, a commitment to their players and a commitment to the fans. And I kinda like that.
    David
    Final note to all of you in the incredible weather happenings across the US I wish you all the best. Be safe and take care and if you are safe and sound lend a hand to someone who might not be.

  98. redsoxns permalink
    December 6, 2007 9:01 am

    That was a very interesting piece, thank you for sharing that insight.

    Fans generally only see the team from the outside looking in, it was interesting to hear an inside out perspective.

    I’m sure Santana’s stock – as off the charts as it was on Monday – has gone even higher (if that’s possible) with the Tigers recent coup. Adding Willis and Cabrera to a solid team like Detroit must have set off a GM tremor.

    Do you think the heat just got notched up on all the top AL teams to do something with the Detroit move?

    While the thought of Haren or Bedard lining up with you, Josh, Dice-K et al has a certain appeal the thought of Santana joining the group is galvanizing.

    That thought is with no disrespect to the talented players mentioned in the trade who would also benefit the Twins. The Twins would be banking on Lester benefiting them the way you benefited Philadelphia and Arizona and Boston (saving the best for last)…

    I see the team competing strongly either way.

    Thank you for re-signing. The team has not been the same since you arrived and from a Boston fans viewpoint I can tell you that’s a very good thing. Amazing what character, leadership and determination can mean to a team.

    I breathed a sigh of relief when you signed and another when Lowell did the same. Those were two very good days for RedSox fans. Supposing no moves are made this will not be a winter of discontent like 2004.

    A happy and healthy holiday to you and your family.

  99. davidkay3 permalink
    December 7, 2007 1:53 am

    Let’s analyze this trade, Curt. Yankees offer Hughes + Cabrera + prospects for a player the Twins won’t be able to afford after this year, and who also questioned “why he was even on the team” after their GM traded away the second baseman halfway through the season. Red Sox offer something like Ellsbury + Lester + prospects, but don’t even go that far. Let’s analyze the major pieces.

    Ellsbury was a .298 hitter this year in AAA pawtucket. So he came up and got excited about being an everyday player and played gave 110% or whatever. What happens next year when he falls back to earth? He goes back to being a sub .300 hitter, or basically the same as Cabrera with less power and maybe more speed, similar defense.

    Coco Crisp, a guy who’s capable of hitting .300 and has some more speed, but has a tendency to get injured. Can he be the player he was in his ‘prime’ with Cleveland? Well, I would think he would be closer to the injured player he was with Boston given the artificial surface in Minnesota. See Ken Griffey, Jr. and the Reds.

    Now, let’s analyze Lester vs. Hughes. Lester was good this postseason, and had a couple decent years. But is he ever going to be a team’s ace? Was he ever rated as a top prospect, or projected ace? Sure, Hughes’ era was over 4.00 this year, but that’s what Lester will be every year. Hughes is 21, and he wasn’t even expected to be in the majors this year. He throws 95, unlike Lester who barely touches 90. Hughes was rated higher when he was drafted than Kazmir. So if you’re comparing Hughes and Lester and pretending that they’re in the same league, why don’t you also sell me a VW Jetta and tell me it’s a Porsche 911.

    The fact that the Twins didn’t trade Santana for Hughes already and/or is considering the Red Sox offer ahead of the Yanks just tells me that they really don’t know what they’re doing, are unrealistic about the situation, or are delusional about Santana’s value or the notion they can keep on to him. Santana already expressed his displeasure with pitching for a losing team, and I’m sure his numbers will reflect this if the management decides to hold on to him longer than they necessarily should.

  100. nypope permalink
    December 7, 2007 1:10 pm

    hey Schilling retire and shout your mouth–you next job may be washing down yourself

  101. dadio61 permalink
    December 7, 2007 4:24 pm

    I respect Curt’s opinion on the matter. He certainly knows the principal players more than us fans but the only opinion that truly counts is that of the Minnesota Twins. Their scouting, player development people and management know the facts and stats on every prospect out there. If they like the Red Sox offer better…….the Boston offer is better……..period.

    With all due respect to Johan Santana, I would prefer we keep our young players, return in 2008 with our championship roster and build for future championships around Jon Lester, Clay Bucholtz, Jacoby Ellsbury, Jed Lowrie and the other young players already on the roster, Pedroia, Youkilis, Papelbon, Beckett and Dice-K.

    We have an excellent mixture of youth and veteran talent that can produce now and in the moderate future.

    The only scenario I would be happy with Johan in a Sox uniform is to keep him out of New York or if we could get him as a free agent in 2008. We should not overpay for ONE player. In cases like that and injury can turn that trade into a disaster.

    Theo has handled this negotiaton with professionalism and class. He represents the franchise well. He made an offer, set the team limit and left the decision in the hands of Minnesota. There’s been no posturing, setting of deadlines and no games on the part of Boston.

    However, as I said in the opening……..our opinions mean little. IN THEO WE TRUST.

  102. silverlocke permalink
    December 8, 2007 8:53 pm

    Curt,

    Wow!That may well be the best sports article I’ve read all year. I was completely engaged. I really appreciate the combination of insight and insider perspective.

    Despite having managed a software doc team, I did not notice any grammar problems: Ironically I did notice one in your post about grammar (pronoun before a gerund (a verb in the (ing form) should be in the possessive case. How’s that for obscure? :-).

  103. patrice37 permalink
    December 8, 2007 9:31 pm

    As I commented on after the Santana blog entry, Ellsbury must be declared untouchable -no matter who he may bring in trade. With respect to Curt and his long career, a pitcher’s effectiveness is much more at risk every time he throws the ball, than a position player like Ellsbury. Santana also cannot win as many games for the Sox during the season as Ellsbury. Heck, Jacoby has already won post season games with the bat, his speed on the bases, and perhaps saved game 4 of the World Series with his glove! All this BEFORE he was even eligible for the Rookie of the Year Award.
    Unless Theo can somehow use a time machine and trade for the young Ted Williams, he needs to leave Jacoby Ellsbury where he is, a member of the Red Sox, and let his potential play out for all of us to see. Besides, if he is traded, we will be haunted by his success for the next 15-20 years. Keep him here Theo!

  104. chesario permalink
    December 12, 2007 4:15 am

    Good to see that with your “insider” status, you see it the same as any homer red sox fan would. No value added here, but, then, you’ve managed expectations rather consistently

  105. theirish11 permalink
    December 12, 2007 10:49 am

    Curt – real quick. I think the confusing part of the ESPN page where you got the information on Hughes is thus: the “Undrafted” label applies to his Fantasy Sports status among leagues on ESPN.com, not real life. Apologies for the confusion.

  106. mcstoldt permalink
    December 12, 2007 12:19 pm

    Curt, I read the ESPN.com update about Phil Hughes draft position. The player bio you probably looked at lists his average draft position in fantasy leagues, and of course nobody would draft a guy who was not going to pitch in the majors right away last season, especially a yankee.

  107. sullynyc permalink
    December 12, 2007 11:30 pm

    Dear Curt,

    I may not be the first to suggest this but, among other things — like a possible political career in your future — you might consider sportswriting someday. Honest! You make that much sense to the everyday reader. And, for sure, your knowledge of the game and clubhouse relationships with players and management throughout baseball pretty much blow away the dreck we have to sift through now on a daily basis (hello Globe sports pages!).

    Anyway, as ever, I enjoyed your insights here.

    Best,

    SullyNYC

    p.s. my boy Murph got engaged to his girl over the weekend. Murph, don’t plan your wedding for Series-time October ’08. Sox are going to do it again baby! Go Papi! Go Paps! Ells yeah!

  108. twinsfan34 permalink
    December 13, 2007 9:20 am

    Coming from a twins fan i dont believe any of the redsox fans realize just how special a guy like santana is. In a offensive depleted lineup like we have here in minnesota he still manages 15-17 wins per season.. put that into the powerful lineup of boston and hes a 20 win pitcher almost every season. I understand completely with how you guys do not want to part with ellsbury, and however how u can not compare him to the recently departed Torii Hunter i think giving up a possibly 2nd or 3rd rotation spot pitcher and a electrifying(yet considerbly unproven) center fielder is well worth it for the best pitcher in the game. I cannot begin to explain the extreme saddness i would feel to see Johan Santana is any jersey but the minnesota twins.. every start you watched of his you felt that you were watching someone and something special. And from wha ti know of how boston fans are extrememly dedicated i know you all will get the exact same feeling when watching johan start at fenway park.. all i wish is we (twins fans) could have just one more start to say our final farewells to Johan Santana.

  109. lamprejm permalink
    December 13, 2007 10:35 am

    Curt, as a Sox fan and growing up in Minnesota, this trade has been on my mind this fall and winter almost exclusively. The strange parts I never heard out of your front office or the twins was that they needed to score a third baseman out of the deal. I still don’t see how the Sox can just lump Coco, Lowrie, and one more prospect to the twins and somehow make them forget about their needs at 3B. The Sox didn’t even talk to St Louis and try to get the same deal to spring Scott Rolen to the Twins.

    If buisness is business then why wouldn’t you try, from a business perspective, to give the team you were dealing with exactly what they think they wanted in turn for their ace. That being a young arm (Lester) and a proven infielder and solid hitter (Rolen).

    They would have been able to field Coco, Could have used some more upside in their infield, and they already have 3 3Bs in addition to Rolen on the roster. If the Sox were throwing in another young arm from the minors I would have thought them to be crazy not to take that deal, and in my opinion the twins would have done a deal for Rolen and Lester. They already picked up Delmon Young in an early trade and Cuddyer/Kubel were far from terrible last year. In fact Cuddyer plays his position in the Metrodome like he’s been there 10 years.

    Anyways, I really wanted to see Santana in a Sox uniform without giving up too much of a young nucleus. Obviously you put it best when writing that “those kids arent a bad fall-back plan” which is a hell of an understatement. Having those kids in an already amazing roster is the icing on my Red Sox cake.

  110. louislipps permalink
    December 14, 2007 1:57 pm

    Curt — Melky’s young…give him three seasons and his overall offensive numbers will be superior to Coco Crappy — and let’s not forget that Coco Crappy has led off the majority of his ABs….which changes things a bit because you see a lot better pitches than the 8 and 9 hitter does.

  111. paulsamuel permalink
    December 14, 2007 2:21 pm

    Thanks for the blog. I’ve always been frustrated at the revolving door aspect of professional sports. Just when you get to know a team and have some affection for the players, they’re gone.

    I wonder how it would be to have what one could call ‘a players team.’ A team where players come to play because they WANT to. Either they like the city, or the management and coaches, or the fans, or they have friends on the team, or they think there’s a good chance of a world series win. Whatever. But once they’re there, they’re home. They won’t be discarded, or traded, or uprooted from family, friends, and home. I still feel bad about how Dewey Evans and Fisk were treated by the Red Sox. I still miss Dave Roberts, Orlando Cabrera, Millar and Lowe, Pedro and funky young Bronson Arroyo (what a cool name).

    It might not be a winning team every year, but it would be OUR team, win or lose.

  112. dekstr08 permalink
    December 16, 2007 5:33 pm

    Dear Curt,

    I think that the players should make a statement when they receive their rings on opening day. The players should wear their therma base sweat shirts that Terry is famous for wearing in the dugout.
    thanks for speaking your mind and for the blog.

    dekstr08

  113. tlil248 permalink
    December 20, 2007 1:25 am

    Curt, you have stated, I believe, that you didn’t want to play for the Yankees. Why?

  114. osuf permalink
    December 20, 2007 1:45 pm

    Curt you arrogant b________! What happen to innocent until proven guilty? It is not like he lied to a Grand Jury!

  115. riverdaleray61 permalink
    December 20, 2007 2:53 pm

    I’m 46 years old, and the day after the Mitchell Report hit the streets, I downloaded it and read it. I felt like a kid who discovered that Santa Claus wasn’t real. And yet, the rush to judgment by sports writers has been astonishing. Simple things like writers keeping track of how many times Roger Clemens’ name was mentioned create a weird impact, as if the fact it was written 81 times is significant. The first time was enough, the rest was just Mr. Mitchell’s refusal to use pronouns in the report.
    I was glad that Andy Pettitte went public. I wish Roger would, but he doesn’t have that burden. Let’s see how this plays out before next season starts.

  116. carbono21 permalink
    December 20, 2007 5:18 pm

    Curt, we all take our path in life. It would be great to always be among the righteous and true, but life doesn’t work that way. You compete and become driven, some people are driven to more traditional ways to improve and some want more than what traditional ways have been able to provide . We live in a society that is always looking for a quick fix. You, I am sure have several things in your life that make life easier for you, a car, a microwave or even a cigarette. While these things seem harmless we all know cigarettes are toxic and probably have more of an impact on world issues than MLB players using steriods ever will, yet, we keep smokin em! Cars distribute pollution and contribute significantly to gloabl warming but I will be damned if l will bike to work or the store. Since these substances had not actually been banned by MLB, had these players actually got a doctor’s prescription to take these substances does it change the circumstances? Is it cheating if everyone is doing it? I refuse to hold anyone accountable during this lax period of steriod or HGH enforcement. The burden is on baseball, fix it and move on! We gain nothing by destroying the reputation of many fine competitors. I’m sure Clemens was a great pitcher well before steriods or HGH, should those years be tarnished as well? I think you need to redirect your attack to the bodies that govern the game and the players association instead of being critical of Roger or asking for him to atone for possible past (in reallity harmless) indescretions.

    P.S. Ironically, IMHO, you would have fit in perfectly with the Yankee champion teams of the mid 90′s. I find you outspoken yet honarable but feel you are misguided on this topic. As a player rep you should approach the issue for the betterment(?) and preservation of the game

  117. res65 permalink
    December 22, 2007 8:36 pm

    Curt,

    There is no money trail with most of the names on the Mitchell Report so unless a third party can corrorborate one way or the other, it will be a he said—he said. Unless of course Clemens and his former trainer are willing to take a polygraph exam. And since HGH is a step ahead of any test, make polygraph test mandatory for everyone in baseball and all sports. Of course any dummy knows it is not admissable evidence , but at a 95 percent accuracy rate it would give pause to look closer at some. What do you think about that. 95 percent is more accurate than the testing for HGH. Only thge guilty would be afraid.

  118. gtblubbery1930 permalink
    December 23, 2007 12:35 pm

    Curt: Great Series victory but anything to get that kook Lester off the roster is well worth the effort. A piggyback ride and who cares? There may be something else wrong… What the hell was going on from ’82 on.. Santana is in a class by himself and what is requested is good but not the Hall of Fame calibre Santana is & will be… It will only enhance… I also uncovered something you will find seriously bizarre. St. Louis had 5 pitchers [Isringhausen, Springer, Percival, Flores, & Jiminez] on their roster in 2007 that combined for a 21-1 record. Sound familiar? One went in 2006 and surprisingly grossly collapsed in ’07 and you played against the other, the 21-1 Rockies, that out of nowhere blasted there this year. It’s smaller scale than the Bambino but it’s there to see… You made a smart move staying put and you’ll do better next year if you stay healthy, which you probably will. You’re still good and can dominate on any given day. Houston looks like they rebuilt their engine & bulpen. Some trade activity.

  119. 24hits permalink
    December 26, 2007 6:19 pm

    hi curlt can you send me a message to my email please.

    by the way can you send me a t-shrit your b-bal t please

  120. snowman1 permalink
    December 28, 2007 9:52 am

    Hi Curt,
    Just wanted to share something with you from the benefit dinner the other evening. I’m a health care provider working at a local veteran’s facility. One of my patients and his family attended the benefit, and I can not express to you the joy it gave them. My patient is one of the most seriously injured veterans from the current conflict. His family has been under unimaginable duress of late, and you and the other participants the other night truly made a difference in their lives. I just wanted to thank you (and your wife) for all of the good you do in our community. I had to opportunity to see you pitch in an away game this season and saw your wife and son sitting near us. I wanted to thank her in person for all that you guys do, but I did not want to disrupt her anonymity. Please pass along all of our thanks (well most anyway :) ) for your work is much appreciated. Take care and happy new year to you and yours.

  121. tlil248 permalink
    January 15, 2008 2:54 am

    Everyone talks about HGH and steroids–what about the spitball, which no one in the past claims to have used. Wasn’t that equally “cheaty”? Umpires and opposing players seemed to have let that one alone.

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