With the outsting of Ben Cherington and the hiring of Dave Dombrowski, things are going to change for the Boston Red Sox. Dombrowski will likely make moves this offseason to place his mark on the roster. Lisa Carney goes to the Dustin Pedroia Twilight Zone to see what it will be like if the unspeakable happens.
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December 8, 2015: I woke up this morning, turned on ESPN and found out Dustin Pedroia had been traded! Whattt???
Yeah. Off he went to the Cleveland Indians with Pablo, Hanley, Cecchini and a bag of money. And getting back Corey Kluber and Carlos Santana is supposed to make us feel better? Well it doesn’t. It’s snowing and there’s no reason to anticipate Spring. Dustin Pedroia has been traded.
I stumble through the house until I find an old pair of cleats to kick around. When will these guys learn? Team friendly contracts just make you expendable. I linger in my dark bedroom. I can barely stand the thought, but I bring myself to it. I slide open the pocket door and peer into my closet. A sad little Pedroia jersey hangs next to A-Gon‘s, Youk‘s and Lester’s. “From now on, I’m only buying retired Hall of Fame player jerseys.”
At noon, I turn on NESN. Tom Caron and Rob Bradford are going to try to make me feel better.
TC: “You had to think Dave Dombrowski, through his new GM, wanted to make a statement. He’s effectively saying, ‘This is my team now.’”
Bradford: “Yeah and reminiscent of Theo trading Nomar this has the feel of a new guy sending a message to the old guard. No one’s untouchable.”
TC: “Yes, as Ben Cherington was fond of doing. Maybe to his detriment. He would label guys untouchable.”
Bradford: “And we never got Cole Hamels. You can see where Dombrowski was forced to make his move.”
TC: “So now what?”
Yeah. Exactly. So now what? I hate the Red Sox. I’m not watching them anymore. They traded Pedey – the Red Sox’s answer to Derek Jeter. Now there’ll be no Pedroia the Destroyah farewell tour. I feel so cheated.
Back from a stupid WB Mason commercial. Who knew? Yeah I’ll tell ya who knew – nobody!
TC leads in, “So for those of you wondering about Pedroia’s no trade rights and how this would affect any trade scenarios – Dustin was last seen exiting the Red Sox front offices carrying a cribbage board and wearing a satin Rock and Roll Hall of Fame jacket.”
“He’s gonna be fine.”
“He is. And so this is how the Red Sox lineup shakes out now.”
With no Hanley, Rusney Castillo crushes it from left, Mookie Betts rules center and the late season breakout performance of Jackie Bradley Jr. lands him in right field where he’s a nightly highlight reel sporting a perfect fielding percentage. There was good reason for Dombrowski to label him “my favorite.” Nobody worries anymore about offensive production from the slick outfielders who provide plenty of speed, gap-to-gap power and run production.
With no Pedroia, Brock Holt slides over to second base, his natural position. Holt and Bogie already know how to turn ‘em together and the defensive magic flows. Brockstar hits .290, OBP of .336 and steals 15 bases. Nobody cares anymore that he doesn’t have any power.
Clay Buchholz’s option has been declined and now Corey Kluber leads a young, talented, diverse pitching staff to one cleanly pitched victory after another. Kluber and Kelly will make the All-Star team and the Red Sox will win 94 games. With the money they saved from Buchholz and some arms promoted from the farm system they completely rebuild the bullpen. Santana clubs 25 dingers, plays decent defense at first and nobody cares about his average. Travis Shaw slides over to third and proves he’s no Ted Cox.
But it’s December and none of that has happened yet. All I can focus on is that they traded Pedroia. This reminds me so much of 2002 when they all but refused to resign Cliff Floyd. And look how that turned out.
But as flabbergasted and dejected as I feel, MLB Network begins the live feed of the Indians’ presser and I’m curious to see if the fans in Ohio really appreciate how lucky they are.
When I change over the channel, it’s Francona’s turn at the podium: “Our offense was poor last year. So as an organization, we wanna do the right thing, and give our fans a lineup they can be proud of. I asked Chris Antonetti for nine Dustin Pedroia’s. I said, ‘with nine Dustin Pedroia’s I can win the Super Bowl.’ Chris said, ‘we don’t play those in Cleveland.’ Anyways. I got one Pedroia and I can make that work.”
“Even if he only plays 120 games a season?”
When asked about Sandoval and Ramirez, Tito responded, “Tell that Hanley kid that it sets the right tone when you wear your uniform in the Dominican Academy chow line.”
Thank you Cleveland and Terry Francona for always making us feel better!
Does it all seem a little ridiculous? Sure. But then again, there was a time and a land where the Punto trade hadn’t happened yet either.