Yesterday, on Twitter, I was served raw meat:
Anyone else bored with litigating and relitigating the Mookie Betts trade?— Ed Hand (@EdwardHand8) November 16, 2022
Hand, a writer for SoxProspects, would like us to stop writing about the abomination that was the Mookie Betts trade, presumably to focus on the future, where a franchise-defining-shooting-yourself-in-the-dick-deal has merely yet to have been made. Given the numbers of haters like myself in the replies, i.e., perhaps unsatisfied with the number of people who said “no,” the Hand went back to the well to rephrase to get the answer he wanted:
Which trade are you most bored with relitigating?— Ed Hand (@EdwardHand8) November 16, 2022
As of this writing, Betts is ahead by a mile, with 71 percent and change, which means 71 percent of 999 people are somewhere between oblivious and ridiculous. The Red Sox are a franchise that was defined, for 86 years, by a deal they made in 1918, and that deal is still relitigated. Larry Anderson for Jeff Bagwell? Another one that we still talk about! Do you know why? Because it sucked!
Two-plus years after trading an inner-circle Hall of Famer, I think it’s still well within the boundaries of common sense and decency for Sox fans to have not, like, forgotten they did that, and it’s okay to still be upset about it.
That said, I do understand the cult of the GM. I play dynasty baseball in some sicko deep leagues, including with the editor of SoxProspects, with whom I get into some fun fights and make some bad trades, as he’s better than me at scouting. Shocking! My issue here is that this is all just forest-for-the-trees, and I think asking fans to give up their biggest gripes with a team is akin to asking a dog to stop licking its junk. It’s not gonna work!
The best thing we can do here is stick to the facts, which are that the Red Sox traded Betts for an embarrassingly low return and have not rebounded from it. Until they’re nearly as good as they were in 2018, it’s fair game. Given that that was one of the best 10 baseball teams of all time, and Betts was the best player on it, it’s gonna be a while. Asking how we got here from there isn’t being a bad fan. It’s being a good one.