Yakkin' About Baseball: Special Total Team Transplant Edition

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David Roth: How do you feel about Boston's decision to take a long look at its roster and its season and make the tough choice to rebuild around Pedro Ciriaco and John Lackey's scowling, Busch-drilling clubhouse ghost? Or, alternately, about the Dodgers' successful—if very expensive—total team transplant?

David Raposa: At the moment, it's 40 percent active annoyance, 60 percent DO NOT UNDERSTAND

David Roth: We have, by this point in our extravagantly misspent lives, plenty of experience making off-topic, uncharitable and mostly incorrect assessments about various trades. But I don't even really know what to do with this. It's too big and too weird, like some sort of massive piece of public art. You just kind of walk around it, slowly, looking up. Sort of admiring it. Mostly going "huh."

David Raposa: Dumping Beckett: sure. Dumping Crawford: fine. Dumping Gonzo: do not want, for all the obvious reasons, but as the cost of doing this sort of business, okay.

David Raposa: Dumping Punto: Killing the team, white flag of surrender, sacrificing children and baby puppies to Gay Marriage Satan. Just inexcusable.

David Roth: Cuts the heart of it right out. The tiny hummingbird dink-hitting heart. Dan Shaughnessy is past tears. He is just sitting in his office, dead-eyed, joylessly bopping his Curt Schilling bobblehead.

David Raposa: If those Boston bastards cut bait on Podsednik (again), they should just cancel the 2013 season and sell Fenway Park to people that care.

David Roth: I'm most surprised by Crawford getting traded. I figured they were stuck with that one, although I also think Car-Craw will probably be good again. Ned Colletti being who he is, I feel like he might've looked at Crawford being decent for 130 PA's this year and thought "he's back, a steal at twice the price."

David Raposa: "If he's doing this well with an elbow that looks like road pizza, imagine how much better he'll be AFTER surgery!"

David Roth: And if they've got unlimited money to spend, better to spend it on these guys than Juan Uribe or whatever.

David Raposa: Better to die by one huge sucking chest would than a million paper cuts. Granted, I'm also miffed the Red Sox are arriving at the Crazy Colletti Minor League Fire Sale so late in the game. I would've rather they mixed it up back in the day, when Carlos Santana or James McDonald were available. Never mind that the Red Sox weren't really in the market for a wholesale facelift at that time.

David Roth: This is more than a facelift, seems like. We are in the realm of Heidi Montagian Total Real Doll Transformation. Even Jocelyn Wildenstein is giving the Dodgers a bewildered "YOLO" right now. The Red Sox, if I can mix metaphors, just kind of burned down a very expensive home because the air conditioning was acting finicky.

David Raposa: That sounds about right, However, based on my award-winning Man On The Street reportage at the Foxwoods poker tables last night—where, again, I did ungood—most Red Sox fans seem OK with this. Because "things weren't working out," and "a change needed to be made." Nice to see Karl Rove moonlighting in the Red Sox PR department.

David Roth: Yeah, I can imagine that being the response. Mostly because Red Sox fans maybe don't like any of their players except Pedroia? "And Varitek, if he's still there."

David Raposa: "Why'd they never bring back that Roberts kid? He could really run!"

David Raposa: Fun fact: I cannot find proof of Ivan DeJesus' existence on BB-REF.

David Roth: He's a sovereign citizen. He lives on Wesley Snipes' fortified ranch and will be deep in the cold ground before he lets the International Socialists at Baseball Reference (AKA the Bilderberg Group) use his name.

David Raposa: He's vaporware! They traded for an injured pitcher, a poor man's Ryan Kalish, and NOTHING.

David Roth: And Allen Webster?

David Raposa: Ah, the other pitcher dude. "Pitcher dude" being the preferred term used for a minor league guy with decent enough peripherals who'll probably never pan out.

David Roth: Here you go. He puts the Robert De Niro space in his name.

David Raposa: De Gaulle of that kid.

David Roth: BOOO

David Raposa: I guess the salary relief is the thing, as reports claim the Dodgers are taking on 96% of the contract commitments. Which is a shit ton of parking spaces.

David Roth: If Boston's goal was to trade one gold-plated chicken-fried Nightmare Texan in decline, the defective cyborg version of Carl Crawford, and one of the ten or so best hitters in baseball so as to no longer have to pay those people, then I guess it worked?

David Raposa: Larry Lucchino is putting on his flightsuit and readying the MISSION ACCOMPLISHED banner as we chat.

David Roth: So now the Dodgers have a highly competitive fantasy team from two years ago. The Red Sox... I'm not even sure what their lineup will be right now. Loney/Pedroia/De Jesus/Ciriaco?

David Raposa: I'm hoping Bobby V still has the sunglasses and fake moustache lying around his office.

David Roth: And then just whoever is healthy enough to play in the outfield. Tom Brunansky is at an airline ticketing desk in Florida right now being like, "YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND IT'S AN EMERGENCY."

David Raposa: I heard Jack Clark is fast-forwarding through P90X and oiling up his first baseman's mitt.

David Roth: Let's not talk about Jack Clark oiling anything up, please. That Jerry Sands sure did hit some homers in the Pacific Coast League.

David Raposa: And he's still youngish. That Josh Reddick trade must've really chafed the Boston FO.

David Roth: It was probably most annoying in context of this season, but this changes that context. It'd work better, of course, if they have reinforcements to make it make sense. And I don't know that Michael Bowden's ready for that rotation spot SORRY.

David Raposa: Junichi Tazawa is gonna make you eat that crow. And just wait until they make that long-awaited run at Carlos Pena this off-season. I am whistling the intro to "Winds of Change" to myself while typing all this.

David Raposa: Since I love me some dead horse-beating, let me again state that none of this would be happening if they caught a couple of lucky bounces last September, and/or 90% of their roster didn't come up lame to start the year.

David Raposa: While bad moves were made, pre- and post-Theo, marching like Sherman through the roster seems like the exact way NOT to address the problem areas.

David Roth: Crawford, of those guys traded, seemed the one to me who might be good again, if only because no one this side of Jason Bay could decline that much, that permanently. But Beckett seems pretty clearly in his decline. And if you want to start fresh, then I guess you deal Gonzalez, although he is of course very good so maybe that's dumb.

David Raposa: Given folks expected Gonzo to Bonds out after leaving Petco, the 27 HRs and 45 doubles last year did underwhelm some. But, yeah, even with this year's speed bump, he's obviously high quality.

David Roth: And Crawford's value could bounce back with one decent season. This is like if the Mets had dealt Beltran after his shitty first season with the team/mashing faces with Mike Cameron. (Or, alternatively, like trading Jason Bay after his first year-plus) (So I don't know)

David Raposa: Maybe Boston was looking at teams like the Mets—saddled with high-priced contracts they can't move—and wanted to get out from under that while they still could?

David Roth: That would make this Boston's fault for looking at the Mets. But obviously that's a strong negative example. The guys with those contracts are, Dice-K aside, better in Boston, it seems to me.

David Raposa: Yeah, definitely. Again, I do not (totally) get it.

David Roth: It's Ciriaco's team now. That much we know.

David Raposa: Viva La Bobby Ball! I'm still holding out hope the trade falls through, because I'd really like to see the Boston sports-media-industrial complex go up in flames.

David Roth: For Shaughnessy's sake, let's hope that's what happens. The bobblehead is getting shiny from where he's been hitting it these last few hours. The tears are nearly back. Somebody do something. His tears smell like Sam Adams Lite.

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Comments

The public art installation example is right on. The whole thing was just so f'n weird and out of nowhere. Ultimately I think this deal will pan out for the Sox. For now, everyone's still in "What the fuck is that!?" mode.

You sirs are incorrect. This trade is a gutsy, intelligent maneuver by Ben Cherington et al that makes me think for the first time since T. Francona was bounced for no real reason that the Sox management has any hope of getting back to winning. Being without Gonzalez is going to hurt, but Beckett was well into active self- and teammate-destruct mode and that wasn't going to change. Crawford may bounce back, but even if we were getting his best that was a bad contract (he's never sniffed an OPS of .900, hit 20 HR or 100 RBI--how many guys worth $140m can you say that about?) He's a table-setter who scored 100 runs only twice and stole 20ish bases for the Sox; a pure athleticism guy who has now had multiple surgeries and will be 31 the next time he takes the field. I never stopped rooting for him, but--bad call, Theo.

A few bounces in September might have let the Sox limp into the playoffs, but come on--you can't seriously tell me everything would've been fine if that had happened. The team has been sad and dysfunctional for at least a year and everyone knows it.

They aren't exactly the 1998 Yankees, but after this trade is complete, the Sox will have some good young talent--Middlebrooks, Doubront, Kalish, de la Rosa, Iglesias, Bogaerts, Bradley--plus some players who are in or near their primes in Pedroia, Lester, Ellsbury, Buchholz etc. That sounds like a squad with reason to hope for 2014; in the world of Crawford and Beckett, 2014 was going to be a sad, expensive year. Bad for the glass.

Also, why are you going to miss Nick Punto? $1.5m for 25 TOTAL hits this year?

If you have to ask about Nick Punto, you're speaking the wrong language.

Think about it.

Nick Punto debate brought to order: the assembled parties agree he does not have the ability to hit a baseball with a bat.

Having said that, I stand by my views on the world's greatest salary dump. They were having a garage sale and Ned Colletti showed up with a laundry bag full of c-notes. What else to do but liquidate?

I went looking to cherry-pick a stat to facetiously argue with you about Punto and couldn't even find one. I guess he walks slightly more than average?

(Point is the Davids were surely joking.)

I am incapable of joking about Nick Punto. Some things are sacred. Also I have a condition.