One of the saddest things in this world is watching a commodity past its peak. It is our nature to deny our own decay and carry on long beyond the point of one's prime. Whether it is Weezer's dogged insistence on making music after the Green Album or Jack Nicholson/Al Pacino/Robert Deniro's glazed, disinterested look in basically every movie any of them has made since I was legally old enough to drive, we very rarely, if ever, know when to quit. Fire Brand of the American League is a blog dedicated to Red Sox coverage and was a well written and well developed medium for discussion for some time. Unfortunately, this can hardly be considered true anymore. An article posted on November 11th entitled, The Red Sox Should not Trade for Adrian Gonzalez, stands a shining microcosm of all things wrong this site at present.
I don't want to ruin the surprise for you but the author, Tom Fratamico, does not believe that Adrian Gonzalez is an appropriate candidate for trade. He believes this because his career comps are not promising, because he is not an adequate return for our valued prospects, and because we would not be "buying any of A-Gone’s seasons on right side of thirty." He also explicitly states that A-Gone is a riskier projection in 2012 and beyond than Fielder. There are so many inaccuracies and ignored factors in this article that I am forced to rebut them all David Letterman style with a Top Ten List.
Top Ten Issues I have with this article
10) Ignores the fact that the dearth of available third baseman this offseason renders the movement of Youkilis and the acquiring of a premium option at first base the only significant manner in which Theo Epstein could improve the team's infield.
9) Describes Gonzalez as the riskier player despite the fact that Fielder considers eating an entire roast suckling pig a light snack.
8) Glosses over the significant defensive advantage Gonzalez holds over Fielder
7) Ignores signability issues for Fielder in 2011 that are a given due to his agent
6) Does not acknowledge that Gonzalez has spent the past few seasons playing in a statistically dampening stadium with Kyle Blanks, Chase Headley, and David Eckstein as wing men.
5) Does not offer statistical evidence of any kind to support his contentions that "the pair have put up similar production with the wood." and that "Fielder also appears to be less of a risk with the stick going forward"
4) References Red Sox's valuable prospects in the article. Who are these prospects and where are they hiding them? Lars Anderson looks like he purchased Andy Marte's career arc on EBay, Felix Doubront is apparently Venezuelan for Brian Rose, and Jose Iglesias and Anthony Rizzo are at least two years away from major league relevance. When the great white hope for my team are a pitcher who just decided he might consider pitching full time and an outfielder whose career upside mirrors that of Ben Francisco, I fail to see how valuable these prospects can be.
3) The use of the phrase "assuming Pujols stays in St. Louis", as if it is not a foregone conclusion that he would either be a Cardinal or be given the GDP of Suriname to join the Yankees if he ever left the gateway to the west.
2) The author's repeated assumption that there is no way the Red Sox could acquire either player any time before 2012. There are more than one window for the Red Sox to acquire the player of their choice prior to the 2012 season.
1) The author's use of historical comparisons to devalue a player. Historical comparisons are at best a curiousity or a discussion point not a significant argument against a player's ability. Oh and for the record, I can cherry pick through Pujols' comps and say that his similarity to Todd Helton, Juan Gonzlez, and Jim Edmonds does not bode well for his future.
There, I feel much now having got that off my chest. For those who would argue that any one can have a bad moment, the site's latest article discusses alternatives to Adrian Beltre and suggests we pick up either the human strike out machine, Mark Reynolds or Alex Gordon. I mean any time you can replace an 8 WAR player with one who is not good enough to start for that glorified Double A team in Kansas City, you have to do it right? Right? I think it is best we all assume that the site was acquired in a hostile takeover by Dan Shaughnessy and Murray Chass and just find somewhere else to get information on Red Sox baseball.