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Why were these men smiling? Behind the scenes of the MegaHella Trade

Aug 28, 2012, 1:00 PM EDT

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We ran this pic on Friday of three former Red Sox who were presumably happy to be former Red Sox, on their way to Los Angeles.  But their happiness wasn’t about the trade as much as it was about making fun of Nick Punto and trying to get Josh Beckett to join Twitter while flying cross-country.

Rob Bradford of WEEI has an interesting tick-tock of how the trade went down from the players’ perspectives. Who knew what when and what was happening after Adrian Gonzalez was pulled from the lineup before Friday’s game. Which was before the trade went final, and led to no small amount of confusion.

Fun stuff, from a perspective you rarely hear in a trade. But when a trade is as big as MegaHella Trade 2012, you get to hear it.

  1. normcash - Aug 28, 2012 at 1:13 PM

    They were probably happy to be flying cross-country in a private jet!

    • papalurchdxb - Aug 28, 2012 at 1:19 PM

      my sentiments exactly – doesn’t matter where you are from, going to the left coast is definitely a good reason to smile!

      • paperlions - Aug 28, 2012 at 3:41 PM

        Assuming you mean Portland or Seattle, totally agree.

  2. number42is1 - Aug 28, 2012 at 1:19 PM

    I was equally as happy when I left Boston the one time in my life i went there

  3. bigleagues - Aug 28, 2012 at 1:25 PM

    Still cannot get over the sack Punto has to be an MLB player of his caliber and call himself “shredderpunto”

    granted, ‘shredder’ refers more to his fielding prowess than his (lack thereof) hitting prowess, but still . . .

    • fearlessleader - Aug 28, 2012 at 1:33 PM

      Actually, it refers to his habit of “shredding” the jerseys of teammates who do awesome things on the field. He did it a lot to his fellow Cardinals during their postseason run last year, and even though he wasn’t a Redbird for very long, I’ll always have an enormous fondness for him and for the great defense and terrific spirit he brought to that team.

    • shaggylocks - Aug 28, 2012 at 1:34 PM

      I always just thought the dude was a huge TMNT fan.

      • kevinbnyc - Aug 28, 2012 at 4:50 PM

        Please…if he was a true fan he would be “Master Splinter Punto.” That has such a nice ring to it anyway.

    • Ben - Aug 28, 2012 at 1:41 PM

      As a Twins fan who hated on ‘lil Nicky Punto when he was here, I’d say at this point he gets to do whatever the hell he wants, so screw the haters. He’s not the best player out there (and really maybe not even a competent player anymore) but he’s fun, he has fun, and he seems to be able to make fun of himself. He’s alright in my book.

      • Cris E - Aug 28, 2012 at 2:11 PM

        LNP was fine in MIN as a player, but what rankled was the amount of playing time he got. As a defensive sub he was great, as a dirty-faced gamer he was gritty, as an occasional late inning hitter he might draw a walk and he could bunt well, but as a 400 AB guy he was infuriating. It had nothing to do with him and everything to do with roster construction and Gardy’s lack of impulse control. He is, as you said, alright.

      • Ben - Aug 28, 2012 at 2:54 PM

        Yeah, that’s absolutely true. LNP’s problem wasn’t LNP, it was Ron Gardenhire thinking Punto was more than he is.

  4. natslady - Aug 28, 2012 at 1:51 PM

    That was a nice article. The comments are vicious, so I guess it’s not just the Boston media, it’s the fans (or at least the fans who comment) also.

    We had a guy here who got lit seems like every time he stepped out of the bullpen. Fans booed him endlessly and he got traded. Well, guess what– “Gascanrahan” turned into Joel Hanrahan, All-Star closer, when he arrived in Pittsburgh. So now we have a rule–you don’t boo your own players. Not always adhered to, I admit.

    That experience, however, might have made Rizzo over-cautious about trading wild young fireballers. That’s why we still have Henry Rodriguez (sigh). Here’s hoping he’s right to be patient because it’s really hard on the fans.

    • natstowngreg - Aug 28, 2012 at 2:24 PM

      The Nats benefited from the Hanrahan trade in two ways. First, they got Sean Burnett, who has been solid. Second, they got rid of Lastings Milledge’s poor attitude. Nyjer Morgan was good for half a season, then wore out his welcome with his own bad attitude.

      As for booing your team’s own players, that’s something Nats fans do rarely — even when the player is not performing well. Jayson Werth got booed a bit last season.

      As for Bad Henry(TM), he keeps getting chances, and he keeps failing. One game a couple of months ago, watching him come in from the bullpen in person, I put my Nats cap over my face. (Didn’t work; I could see him though the ventilation holes in the top of the cap.) Henry was supposed to justify trading Josh Willingham to the Athletics. Sadly, he did not. But he is still relatively young, and has not passed the point of no return.

  5. hisgirlgotburrelled - Aug 28, 2012 at 2:17 PM

    “MegaHella Trade 2012″

    Eh. Average. You could have done better… I don’t have twitter, but you should check if Chipper weighed in the trade and has some baseball term we don’t know about.

  6. elmo - Aug 28, 2012 at 3:48 PM

    “The biggest misperception that the clubhouse was toxic,” Punto said.

    I actually believe him. I think its management and the media environment there that create the toxicity. Players suck, and teams lose, and they’re certainly responsible for when that happens. But in the whole Greek drama aspect of it, where every failure has to be traced back to some supposed character flaw, the players are just the scapegoats.

  7. kevinleaptrot - Aug 28, 2012 at 6:00 PM

    Simers can’t break news so he tries to make news. Not really his description, but only way he can meet deadline. Pitiful.

  8. pisano - Aug 28, 2012 at 6:29 PM

    They’re smiling because they’re leaving Boston, they think they’re going to California, but in reality they’re going to Baja California North, aka LA.

    • normcash - Aug 28, 2012 at 6:49 PM

      My, my, my…aren’t we the anti-Mexican bigot!

      • pisano - Aug 28, 2012 at 7:01 PM

        The only bigotry is in your simple mind.The fan base is mostly Hispanic, you must find something offensive about that, maybe you’re an Obama liberal lunatic that likes to put racial spins on everything.

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