I want you to go back in time in your head (like there’s another way?). Johnny Damon had just signed with the Yankees following the Red Sox 2005 playoff collapse in Chicago. Rent-a-wreck had booted what felt like 100 balls in the infield and the Sox had traded him to Atlanta for Andy Marte. The Sox then flipped Marte to the Indians for Coco Crisp coming off a season where he batted .300 with 16HR, 42 doubles, and 15 stolen bases.
The Sox thought they’d traded for their center fielder of the future. Well he missed pretty much the first two months of the season with a broken finger and never really bounced back. In fact he never batted .300 with the Sox, never hit double digit home runs with the Sox, and the most doubles he hit in a season with the Sox was 28 in 2007. Coco’s 2007 post season was so bad that he lost the starting job to Jacoby Ellsbury in the World Series.
Everyone had Coco traded by May at the latest. Jacoby would carry over his spectacular post season into the regular season. Jacoby would be our starting center fielder and lead off hitter. Who needs Coco? Well when Jacoby hit the skids, it was a good thing that Coco was still with the team. Coco was the best insurance policy this team could have asked for especially in the post season where he batted .417 after Jacoby disappeared in the ALCS.
But we all know it couldn’t last. Coco made it clear after the season was over that if he wasn’t the starter that he wanted to be traded to a place where he would be. So Theo sent him to the bowels of baseball. Kansas City. Now Coco can show off his World Series ring to a team of young guys just hoping they’ll finish out of the cellar in the AL Central.
What I’ll miss most is the flute playing, bat holding of Coco. What’s up with that? Jacoby best be playing Arizona Fall League baseball and at the Athletes’ Performance complex in Arizona. That’s where Youk worked out this past off season and was a beast this season.
What did the Sox get back you ask. A bag of balls? A used pitching machine? A cardboard catcher cut out? Nope. They actually got a decent player in return.
Reading Peter Gammons yesterday and from what I can tell this kid is the real deal. Ramon Ramirez (can he please wear #24 so people that bought Manny shirts can keep wearing them?) throws 93-95 and will likely replace Masterson as a bridge to Papelbon. Meaning that Masterson can return to the rotation and the Sox are probably out of a bidding war with the Yankees for AJ Burnett. Rumor has it the Yankees are set to offer him a four year $80 Million deal. Remember Carl Pavano? I rest my case.
As I said yesterday this is exciting and this is just the beginning. Build us a winner Theo.