The blessing and the curse of social media is that anyone with an opinion can have at it. So when I saw that the Red Sox had unceremoniously dumped Christian Vazquez at the Astros’ doorstep while they were in Houston for a series, I figured it was just a matter of time until someone offered a counterpoint to my “sentimental” take that the Sox should’ve kept him.
And sure enough, within minutes of the trade announcement, there were folks lining up on both sides of the picket line.
Some felt it was a callous disregard for homegrown talent, much in the way Jon Lester was dispatched with the world’s most awkward hug. Others dropped numbers and flow charts and Powerpoints defending their take that we won’t miss Vazquez at all, and that shedding any tears is a sign of lack of understanding of the sophisticated nuances of the game.
Perhaps those people cheering the trade are right. Maybe the prospects we got in the trade, infielder Enmanuel Valdez and outfielder Wilyer Abreu, will blossom into future Yastrzemskis. Maybe we’ll flip them during the off-season for someone who single-handedly pushes the duckboats through Kenmore next year.
But for now, it’s okay to feel like the deal kinda sucks.
Vazquez, again, was a homegrown talent. A steady and solid catcher who, by all accounts, brought out the best in out pitchers and remained a potential threat at the plate. Perhaps more importantly, he was one of those “good clubhouse chemistry” guys who brought the right combination of energy and mischief. Whenever a bucket of Gatorade was being dumped on the hero of the game, you could almost expect to find Vaz on the other end of it. The guy used to share a freakin apartment with Xander Bogaerts and the two of them essentially grew up together in our system, on the Paw Sox and eventually in the bigs. Watching the two of them pal around — and grow into integral parts of the team — was pretty freakin awesome.
I guess the point of these 400 words is that you should never let anyone tell you that bonding emotionally with these players is a bad thing. There are times when “I’m gonna miss seeing that guy play” is every bit as valid a reason for being pissed about a trade as pointing at someone’s WARP or ERA or BAPIP or SASE or WTF is for being pleased about it.
You just kinda gotta be ready to have your heart kicked from time to time.
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