The Red Sox and Curt Schilling came to an agreement on Friday that enabled the ace to waive his no-trade contract and accept a trade to Boston. In turn the Red Sox relinquish two pitching "prospects" they had already given up on (Casey Fossum and Brandon Lyon) and two minor-leaguers (one of whom, LHP Jorge De La Rosa, was an erstwhile Diamondback and has had a great deal of struggles in the minors even at the age of 23).
It's a good pickup by the Sox. Really the only downside for them is the value of the contract to Schilling, reportedly $12 to $13 M per year for two years with an option for a third. Schilling is 37, missed one third of the 2003 season, and has missed significant playing time in three of the last five years, so the investment could be ill-advised. However, Schilling is one of the best arms in baseball when healthy, Boston gave up very little to get him, and they desperately need pitching help.
It's nothing more than a salary dump for the D-backs combined with a game of ye ol' bobbing for prospects. It's unlikely Arizona got one decent major-league arm among the three pitchers.
However, the trade aside, it was disconcerting to see Bud Selig extending the deadline for the trade to Saturday. I know that the trade was completed on Friday, and now Theo Epstein is being heralded as the genius du jour. But it seems that Bud is incapable of going out of his way to help his cronies in Boston.
Whether it's laundering a player in baseball-owned Montreal before turning him over to the Sox (Cliff Floyd) or rescuing a player from a contract he's already signed with a professional Japanese team so that the Sox can sign him (Kevin Millar), the commish just has to get involved in John Henry's business. Epstein, who may not be old enough yet to rent from Avis in some states, apparently is a genius who still needs to have the training wheels on his bike.
On a totally unrelated front, baseball is now going on the offensive regarding gamecasts. If Bud and his boys get their way, the only place that fans will be able to get up-to-the-minute game reports will be from MLB.com.
Baseball went after fan sites a couple of years ago and now this. They won't sit still until every thin dime can be squeezed from the sport and be deposited in their secure coffers. What they don't realize is that the distaste it engenders in the fan as well as the attendant lack of exposure the sport will enjoy will cost them far more than the advertising rights on an ESPN gamecast page. The again this is the organization that gave us the All-Star game as a determiner for homefield advantage in the World Series.
Baseball's grab for money will likely fail given the precedent set in basketball. However, if it is successful, where will MLB turn next? What if I post a game score and situation as it is happening? What if you call your friend from your cell phone while at the game and tell him game sich? Will the Bud police ("they live inside of my head") come after us?
Well, you would probably answer, "No," given that there would be no money in it. Or to be more fair, that no money exchange hands so there was no violation of the copyright laws. Perhaps that's true. It just seems odd that a sport that was forward-looking enough at the turn of the last century to promote good relations with the Fourth Estate realizing the symbiotic advantages, is now ready to chuck it all for a few Viagra ads.