Hope everyone's having a nice summer. Here are some reflections on a particular summer activity of great importance.
I see the Red Sox couldn't let the trading deadline go by without doing something. Unfortunately, I'm not sure they did the right thing. What they did was trade starter Kason Gabbard to the Rangers along with a couple of minor-leaguers, for closer Eric Gagne. Now Gagne is a fine closer, no doubt about it (as the Red Sox noticed when they faced him earlier this season and failed to score). But they have a fine closer already, not to mention a set-up man with an ERA of 0.87, plus a number of other quality relievers (they lead the majors in bullpen ERA). So I'm not sure that Mr. Gagne won't be a bit redundant. On the other hand, they did announce that Brendan Donnelly won't be returning after all, but will instead undergo season-ending elbow surgery. Plus they traded Joel Pineiro to the Cardinals for a player whose identity, in this context anyway, has yet to be determined. So there's that. Still, Gabbard had done very well, and while it seems that when Curt Schilling rejoins the team this weekend, there won't be a place for Gabbard in the rotation (what with Jon Lester's return), I hate to lose him. If any starter goes down, they'll be stuck with Julian Tavarez, a man who has Middle Reliever written all over him (10.80 ERA in his last three starts). Tavarez starts tonight, in Gabbard's place – let's see how he does tonight.
Now the Sox had also apparently been trying to land Jermaine Dye from the White Sox, who is admittedly having an off year, but he still runs rings around the Red Sox reserve outfielders Wily Mo Pena and Eric Hinske, both of whom have spent the season hovering limply around the Mendoza Line. (The former in particular fails to impress me. So he's a big guy and can hit it a long way on the rare occasions that he happens to tag one. Big deal. IIRC, even the time he went 5 for 5, 4 of them were seeing-eye grounders.) I think I heard they had even settled on Pena plus X for Dye, but they couldn't agree on X. Too bad; they need some more pop from the outfield bats, given the off seasons from Coco Crisp (gotta love that name though) and J. D. Drew.
So they went with the Gagne trade instead. It may all work out, if the hitting picks up, or if Hideki Okajima gets hit by a meteorite. At least it won't be as bad as the infamous L**** A******* – J*** B****** trade (*shudder*). But if Gabbard wins the 2010 Cy Young, don't come crying to me.
UPDATE [8/2]: Tavarez did okay, 3 runs, 7 hits through 5 innings. Back to the bullpen with you though! As for Wily Mo Pena, the man is an LOB machine:
3rd: man on first, no out: pops up
4th: first and second, 2 out: grounds into force
6th: first and second, 2 out: grounds into force
7th: bases loaded, 1 out: pops up, infield fly rule
Total LOB: 8