August 1, 2004

The Morning After. The vitriol was spewed -- and is still being spewed, but to a lesser degree. The deal is what it is and the games continue. Fans will have to adjust. And there is no way to tell if the deal is good, bad or somewhere in the nebulous middle.

All of the papers have tons of articles and you can find them at the left side links. One item, reported by Gammons and today's Herald: "Garciaparra told the team's training staff in Baltimore last week that because of continuing discomfort in his right Achilles tendon, he would require significant chunks of time off over the next two months. A ballclub source said that this concerned the Red Sox enough to make trading Garciaparra a more pressing matter. The Red Sox said the Cubs were aware of this development during their trade talks." ... Caveat: The Red Sox have an interest in tarring fan-favorite Nomar in the wake of this deal. I assume we'll hear plenty about what (allegedly) went on behind-the-scenes as the days and weeks pass.

The Red Sox knew they had two more months of Nomar -- but this wasn't .372-Nomar. This was a Nomar who might miss half of that time either on the DL or the bench and had been absolutely brutal in the field. And the offense did not catch fire when he returned. There was no way in hell he was coming back, the market for him was small and teams knew the Sox were desperate to get *something* for him. A bad deal -- or a deal in which the Sox did not get equal value -- was almost an inevitability.

Mientkiewicz had a couple of hits last night in what must have a slightly surreal experience. Cabrera says he's thrilled to be coming to Boston and if both of those guys can reclaim their 2003 production, this might not be so bad. One thing all three new guys (Dave Roberts included) is excellent BB:K ratios. Cabrera and Roberts are also top-notch base stealers (Roberts is 33-out-of-34 this year).

A lot of the anger and profanity stemmed from what seemed like the sudden disappearance of Clement from the deal. Improving the pitching staff would have been welcome, but improving the defense was a greater priority.

A couple of SoSH posts are worth posting (from the vitriol thread linked above). I agree with just about every word of both of them. First, sog11:
"what i find confusing is that a lot of people are trying to reduce this enormously complex - on a baseball AND emotional level - to a binary, black/white, right/wrong decision. and i guess that's the nature of trades. ... i can admit that at all of the following are true simultaneously:

1. nomar was likely to leave regardless of what we did
2. we did dramatically improve our infield defense
3. we did gain a lot of team speed and give our offense additional options
4. the club, as presently constituted, had played .500 ball for a long stretch and needed a change


5. we probably overpaid for what we received in return, and not receive enough for a borderline HOF caliber player (despite the injury/rental nature)
6. it's sad to see nomar go. i know he's been an unhappy camper, but i assign a fair degree of blame on the front office and their botched winter dealings.
7. we gave up a minor leaguer i'd rather have kept
8. the defense question "upgrade" can at least be questioned, b/c if we field manky, cabrera, and reese in the same infield for the rest of the year and their offensive production stays the same as it has been, we are going to have some serious problems scoring runs

and tons more along those lines. so for me anyway, there's no easy or simple answer to this trade. i can't distill the essential complexity of the transaction into a "i'm for it" or an "i'm against it."
and Quintanariffic:
1) We are NOT trading two months of an All-Star shortstop. We are trading 4-6 weeks of a great offensive SS and (currently) lousy defensive SS who would have missed roughly 1/3 of the remaining games with an injury (or so he claims).

2) To those who say that Nomar got run out of town, $60MM over 4 years says hi. He could have stayed for more money than he will receive on the open market, but chose not to. Given that he has been quoted as saying that his current contract already paid him more than he would ever need, it certainly does raise questions as to his genuine desire to stay here.

3) There is no doubt in my mind that the injury and his relationship with the club reduced the leverage Theo had in this trade. Many people here see Nomar through 1999-2000 glasses. He's simply not that guy anymore and I think we overrate him egregiously given his absolutely putrid defense this year and downward trend the last 3 years. ...

5) If offered arbitration, Cabrera will fetch the same number of draft picks that Nomar will. I believe the RS will offer Cabrera arbitration if he remains unsigned by the arb deadline.

6) Theo should have sought a bigger bat for RF, IMHO. Who bat's 5th now? Manny is going to see a LOT of lousy pitches for the remainder of the year. Picking up a Larry Walker or some such this month would be a saving grace, though I doubt that will happen.

7) Let's let the new players arrive and get their uniforms on before any final judgements are made about this. Emotions are far too high to think rationally right now. ...
Pedro/Santana at 2:10 pm.

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