Jason Bay… we hardly knew ye

So it is official… Jason Bay is a Met and his days as a Red Sox left fielder are over.

And even though the signing was announced less than 24 hours ago, it has already been declared a bust by SI.com, Yahoo Sports, The Post, and many bloggers.

Tough crowd.

And while as a Red Sox fan I would rather see him break down on someone else’s dime (and pick up a few draft picks from the Mets) I think Bay is worth a nice salute before he leaves.

He played well for the Sox (with a few slumps here and there) over a year and a half.
And to the morons who say that the Red Sox lost the 2008 pennant because they had Bay instead of Ramirez, please do a little homework.

Bay would have been the MVP of the Division Series in 2008 if they gave out that award. (I do.)

He batted .412 in the (and a 1.356 OPS) in the Division Series, including a key home run in Game 1 amd doubling in the 9th inning of Game 4 and scoring the series ending run.

And the Red Sox didn’t lose the ALCS to the Rays because of Bay (and his .927 OPS.) They lost because Beckett got crushed in Game 2, Lester got crushed in Game 3, Wakefield got crushed in Game 4 and the Red Sox couldn’t hit Garza nor Price in Game 7.

It’s always about pitching.

Oh and lest we forget Bay’s home run against Mariano Rivera last spring. (Doesn’t that seem like a lifetime ago?)

So the Sox aren’t being sentimental… they are piling up draft picks and hoping to make the next big smash.

But Bay, while still ringless (and will probably remain that in Flushing) he is still worth a Red Sox fan salute.
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Nobody knows who the big trade deadline winner is!

The trade deadline came and went and of course it is always one of the coolest days of the year for a baseball fan.

It’s the sports equivalent of Randolph and Mortimer Duke trying to corner the frozen concentrated orange juice. And of course rumors flew, trades were analyzed, and some stunning deals took place.

Some teams decided to go for it, like the Mariners when they acquired Jack Wilson and Ian Snell.

Other teams decided to cash it in, like the Mariners who dealt Jarrod Washburn?

Confused?

So was I when I saw the Rangers had stockpiled prospects and were within striking distance of the AL West and the Wild Card…and stayed pat.

So was I when I saw the Yankees with a glaring need for a starter and a lefty reliever saying “We’re fine with Jerry Hairston.”

So was I when I saw the White Sox say “We don’t care if he is hurt and clearly doesn’t want to play for us… we NEED Jake Peavy!”

So was I when I realized the Red Sox felt they didn’t have ENOUGH first basemen.

So was I when I saw Riccardi say “Nah… we think it’s best to deal Roy Halladay when his value dips!”

But now EVERYONE is writing up their “Winners and losers of the trade deadline” articles. And the funny thing about every one of those write ups is they are all meaningless now.

We don’t know!
Sure, it looks like the Phillies are a big winner with Cliff Lee throwing a complete game victory in his first game for the Phils. But what if he slumps? Or what if he doesn’t throw well in Philadelphia?

I made fun of the Yankees picking up Jerry Hairston, but what if he gets some big hits down the stretch?

Sometimes what looks like a big time move at the deadline can look downright rotten when the season ends.

Just taking Red Sox deals as an example, in 2007 I celebrated the pick up of Eric Gagne.

There wasn’t a lot of reasons to crow after the deadline.

I remember in 2002, Cliff Floyd came over to the Sox in what was supposed to be a tide turner.

And in 2003, when the Red Sox acquired Jeff Suppan and Scott Sauerbeck from the Pirates, it looked like they got the pitching depth they desperately needed.

How did those turn out?

And in 2004, who noticed the Red Sox picked up Dave Roberts? NOBODY! And now he is a beloved Red Sox icon.

We don’t know how any of these trades will pan out and we won’t for a few years.

When the Tigers traded for Doyle Alexander on August 12, 1987, Detroit was 1 1/2 games behind the Blue Jays.

He went 9-0 for the rest of the season for the Tigers.
Not only did he win all 9 decisions (and the Tigers clinched the division on the final day of the season, so needed every win) but he pitched remarkably in crucial games.

He beat the eventual World Champion Twins twice. He outdueled the eventual Cy Young winner Roger Clemens. He got a no decision pitching into the 11th inning of a 13 inning win against the Blue Jays on September 27th. And finally on October 2nd, he pitched 7 strong against the Blue Jays as the Tigers tied them for the Division Lead… only to clinch 3 days later.

The Tigers got all of that production and did have to sacrifice a single player from their major league roster.

And this writer calls THAT trade one of the worst of all time FOR THE TIGERS.

Of course that’s because the minor leaguer the Tigers parted with was John Smoltz.

But the trade won the division… and what else can the GM do besides give the manager the horses he needs to get into October.

Writers should be banned from analyzing this years trade deadline and instead breakdown the deadline from 5 years ago.

I’d do it, but I need to go to bed.
Perhaps tomorrow.

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Roy Oswalt of the Astros… for some reason

Roy Oswalt shut down the Giants yesterday.

He looks like he is only getting better.

In fact he looks like that most rare of commodities… AN ACE!

So why haven’t the Astros traded him yet?

Seriously, I wrote about this last week and with each win, I am more and more convinced I am 100% correct!

Come on Astros! You are one bad season away from being what the post Cal Ripken Orioles turned into… a team with a great new ballpark and old players and empty seats.

And like the Orioles (who should bring back the smiling bird) the Astros need to bring back the orange rainbow unis.

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