Originally written on The Baseball Page  |  Last updated 11/15/14

In Boston this morning "Fenway Fans" are calling this blockbuster trade between the Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers one of the biggest trades in their franchise history since Babe Ruth was shipped to the Yankees.

I don't call it a "trade." I call it finally ridding Fenway Park of "garbage" that's been left to rot far too long. It's going to take more than one trip for the garbage collectors to rid the clubhouse, dugout, and confines of Fenway Park of garbage and its smell, but it's a beginning. The nine-player deal involves more than $270 million in moving salaries and an immeasurable amount of culture change for both clubs. Garbage collectors rid the Boston clubhouse of first baseman Adrian Gonzalez - pitcher Josh Beckett - outfielder Carl Crawford - infielder Nick Punto and close to $12 million in cash.

I won't even name the Dodger players that will be moving their equipment into Fenway Park lockers, because for me, Red Sox ownership could have moved in players from their lowest class D farm clubs and it would have been a major improvement over these malcontent, ingrate, MLB millionaire quitters they now ship to Los Angeles.

The other night when the Red Sox went into overtime with the Angels in the bottom of the 10th inning with a man on base and score 14-13 - Angels, Gonzalez came up to bat. The table was set for Gonzalez to be the night's hero. Down a run, man on base, the Red Sox leading hitter at bat, a perfect walk-off hero scenario. What happened? Gonzalez struck out. Game over. Gonzalez swung at 3 pitches that were so far out of the strike zone that when I watched, I said, "he's deliberately striking out! I screamed at the television set. "He deliberately struck out." In all my years involved with baseball, baseball players, I've never seen a more deliberate act.

Boston's paid Gonzalez $21 million dollars to play this season and he's swinging at pitches a "rookie" wouldn't swing at.

Yesterday when I learned Gonzalez was part of the 9 player deal it confirmed my suspicion about his at bat in the bottom of the 10th. It can never be proved he went up there to strike out but if it could, he never should be allowed on a baseball field again. I've watched players deliberately strike out. It's common in the game. It happens during games where the scores out of reach, rain comes, umpires, managers just want to "rush" things along - officially get the game in. It happens when games are out of reach on get-away day - late at night, planes to catch, hitters are told "rush" things along - "swing" at everything....get the show on the road. Striking out in those situations hurt no one.
That wasn't the case in the bottom of the 10th when Gonzalez swung at 3 pitches he couldn't have hit with a large "canoe paddle."

Adrian Gonzalez was supposed to be the "jewel" of the line-up when acquired in 2011. Instead he was a $21 million dollar "spoiled" head of cabbage.
Josh Beckett has also "smelled" up Boston's clubhouse at Fenway. He also smelled up the clubhouse when he played here in Florida for the Marlins. The Red Sox front office should have known he'd wear his welcome out with his arrogance. It didn't take long for Fenway fans to realize he was "toxic." The first batch of garbage has been removed from Fenway Park. It's going to take more than one trip. I hope the garbage collectors work on Sundays and holidays. Boston deserve to have the "smell" and remaining garbage removed as quickly as possible.

This morning in Red Sox nation, fans are saying, "IT'S ABOUT TIME".................

Larry Upton
"Upton on Sports"-source:usatoday/yahoosports/bostonherald/


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