I think the first few words out of my mouth upon seeing the news of yet another big trade involving the Toronto Blue Jays was a stream of words that we’re not supposed to use on the front page of this blog. (Some of them might have been in languages other than English — would that be OK, then? No? Oh well.)
But I have to admit that there were a multitude of reasons the seven-player deal between the Blue Jays and Mets momentarily reduced me to a steaming pile of barely contained frothing rage. The first of these, of course, is that it involves something that ostensibly helped the Mets. Now, after 1986, the Mets are third — behind only the Yankees and Rays — as objects of my unmitigated baseball loathing. Anything that helps them is to be scorned with all of the spurning and hatred I can muster. Unfortunately, my rage can only do so far, and at such great distances, might as well be a fruit fly trying to stop an oncoming Maserati.
And, of course, this move helps the Blue Jays, who along with the Orioles, had been AL East bottom dwellers for most of the last two decades. But now, through this series of trades (some of which could only have been enabled by incriminating photos of Bud Selig, so lopsided and ridiculous were they), they may actually have the chance to threaten to turn the AL East into a race where every team makes life miserable for every other team. [Woe betide us if this becomes a four-way race involving everybody except the Sox. But that’s another rant for another day.]
Seriously, though: look upon what Toronto has done in recent months: Mark Buehrle, Jose Reyes, John Buck, and Josh Johnson landed in one "blockbuster" trade for not much more than a few scuffed up baseballs and a leftover gum wrapper! (If we knew the Marlins were offering their best players for dregs, we could have offered up a gold mine and got their whole roster in exchange! But, yet again, that’s another rant for another day.)
Now, of course, comes for the double two-fer of thumbing their noses at the Sox. The Mets, of course, exercise their option on their ace R. A. Dickey, effectively taking him off the market. But the Mets are incompetent (Exhibit A, your Honor: see Wilpon, Frank), and so they don’t quite know what to do with him. Thus, who would guess that the Blue Jays would then flip their recently acquired Marlin Buck in exchange for landing the NL Cy Young Winner? (Okay, legitimately this was a surprise, but only because it makes two ridiculous deals for the Blue Jays. The freaking Blue Jays!)
But why is this such bad news for the Sox? Well, beyond adding yet another big arm to the AL East that the Red Sox will probably have to face an ungodly number of times next season, the aforementioned Mr. Dickey is a knuckleballer. So what, right? Well, in this case, perhaps it makes a difference after all. Of course, no one listens to the crazy blogger dude; what does he know, right?
Well, in this case, I fear that not listening means the Red Sox will be wandering in the baseball wilderness for a long, long time. Perhaps twenty years or more, by all accounts. All because they made a blunder and let the knuckleballer walk.
A few years ago, in one of my first Fanposts on SB Nation, I revealed the nefarious truth about Tim Wakefield’s continued presence on the Red Sox roster, long past what appeared to be his "sell-by" date: Tito Francona's and Theo Epstein's quite rational fear of what would happen by letting him go. All you needed to do back then was look at the other team that let him go: the Pittsburgh Pirates. They rode Tim Wakefield’s stuttering slowball to within a few hits of making the World Series in 1992, before saying Sayonara to the seemingly star-crossed, struggling and slumping sophomore a scant few months later. Ever since that fateful day, they’ve been consigned to baseball irrelevance, suffering the ignominy of what is now twenty consecutive losing seasons.
It is my adamant belief that Wakefield has the power of voodoo, and he has placed a curse on the Pirates, turning them into the Pennsylvania version of the Flying Dutchmen, forced to travel the rough seas forever, never again to set anchor in the land of the playoffs. And now another curse is upon the Red Sox, with the extra added burden of not having a Wakefield to bring back to undo the curse. But perhaps, just perhaps, if we could find another knuckleballer, perhaps the vengeance of Tim would be slaked somewhat, enough to allow the curse to be broken long before a score of years have passed, and we watch in vain as a new championship drought takes hold in Boston.
But even in that, we are to be denied, thanks to the evil designs of the Mets and the Blue Jays. Thief! Thief! Thief! Anthopoulos! We hates it, we hates it, we hates it forever!
But perhaps there is another...