I suppose I’m unlike most fans in that I usually harbor no ill will towards players that leave the Red Sox, unless they bolt for the Yankees a la Johnny Damon. Even Jacoby Ellsbury signing with the Yankees didn’t get me that upset. Usually when a Red Sox player leaves, either via trade or free agency, I wish them well and think back on our time together family. So watching the playoffs this year, I find myself taking a small amount of pride in the ex-Red Sox who are still out there, putting their talents on display in the postseason. Here’s a look at all of the former Red Sox currently playing in the 2014 Postseason.
The Nick Punto Trade
In my mind, these four players are a package deal, as they once were. Even though I can view their talent and contributions in a vacuum, these four guys will be forever yolked together in my mind because of the 2012 blockbuster August waivers deal.
- Adrian Gonzalez (Dodgers): Adrian Gonzalez, somewhat surprsingly, led all of the majors in RBIs this year with 116. This doesn’t tell us much, except that he performed pretty well with men on base, and he had a lot of opportunities to drive runs in. He was worth 3.5 fWAR this year and boasted a solid slash line of .276/.335/.482. In last night’s brutal loss to the Cardinals, A-Gone went 1-4 with a walk and a two-run home run.
- Carl Crawford (Dodgers): Crawford had a pretty monster second half for the Dodgers, so much so that it pretty much rendered Andre Ethier completely useless. That being said, Ethier is a pretty nice piece to have off the bench, albeit an extraordinarily expensive one (he’s making $15.5 million this year). Crawford put up his best batting average and his best on base percentage since his last year in Tampa Bay, and he was worth 2.5 fWAR in just 105 games. I know Red Sox fans pretty much hate both Gonzalez and Crawford, but I have a bit of a soft spot for both of them. Gonzalez was pretty fantastic for the Red Sox, which we kind of tend to forget, but he never showed the requisite fire or passion, and saying that it wasn’t in God’s plan to win the playoffs was pretty stupid. And for all that we wrote him off pretty quickly as he made his way out of town, but he played well and he played hard for the Red Sox, and I wish him well. Carl Crawford never really got a totally fair shake with the Red Sox. The Sox offered him a totally unreasonable monster contract, and he took it. Who wouldn’t? It’s not his fault the Red Sox overpaid. Crawford was mostly injured and ineffective throughout his tenure in Boston, and one can’t help but wonder what might have been. Since his departure, he has been kind of insufferable with the whining and complaining about what it was like playing in Boston, but I also can’t help but feel a degree of sympathy towards him, because I imagine it was a pretty uncomfortable situation (money is a pretty nice salve for those kinds of burns, however).
- Josh Beckett (Dodgers): Josh Beckett isn’t on the playoff roster so I’ll gloss over this one. He was having a nice season with the Dodgers (6-6; 2.88 ERA), before a hip injury derailed his season. He’s now actually mulling retirement.
- Nick Punto (Athletics): Nick Punto signed with the Athletics over the offseason, after enjoying a playoff run with the Dodgers in 2013. Unfortunately for the A’s, Nick Punto put up some of the worst numbers of his career and was worth just .2 fWAR in over 220 plate appearances. He struck out in a career high of 25% of his plate appearances and posted a sub-.300 OBP. He pinch hit for Eric Sogard in the AL Wild Card game against the Royals, only to strike out swinging on just four pitches. The A’s were later knocked out of the postseason later that night after a walk-off single by Salvador Perez.
We’ll check back in next week on the rest of the Red Sox alumni playing in the postseason.
(Header image via BamiloRBT YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r-y8SNQw3SM)