Many Red Sox fans are not happy about Thursday’s fire sale and some fear the trades could hurt the team’s future fan base.
I’m not a sports expert, and I don’t play one on TV, but I am a Red Sox fan and what I’m thinking is the Red Sox have sold out the fans.
From all accounts, Lester was traded because he’s going to want more money than the Sox wanted to pay him.
But Sox fans who want to see Lester pitch won’t be saving any money and, now that’s he’s gone, the tickets at Fenway are still the most expensive in baseball; and yes, that includes the Yankees.
The Sox certainly could have afforded to keep Lester.
The franchise has been valued at $2.1 billion, which is more than twice the average value of major league teams.
But baseball isn’t a bank, it’s not just about money, it’s about excitement and emotion that only a few stars can generate.
And Jon Lester is one of them.
Look around at the Red Sox right now. Who else is there that will make you reach into your wallet and pay to see play?
Big Papi? Absolutely. Dustin Pedroia? Ok. And that may be it.
The rest of the Red Sox are rookies or under-performing veterans.
And that’s not the definition of a major league team competing for a championship.
The games will go on: they’ll still sing ‘Sweet Caroline,’ but without Jon Lester, the Red Sox are simply not the same.
There’s no ace on the pitching staff, no stopper who can be counted on to win when it counts.
I don’t think the sold-out crowds at Fenway will suddenly disappear and become empty seats.
But I do think more fans in the future will go to games just to enjoy Fenway Park, and not the struggling team on the field.
To the Red Sox owners, who could buy and sell me with their pocket change, I send hope that trading Jon Lester helps you go from worst to first again next year.
But I’d bet a Fenway Frank it won’t.