The City of Angels might be just what the doctor ordered for a couple of former Red Sox players. Last season, the Sox shipped off a huge chunk of payroll in the form of Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett and Nick Punto to LA in a huge, multi-player deal. The Sox needed to unload some big contracts and some seriously dead weight, and the Dodgers were just gullible enough to take the bait.
Crawford performed under the Boston pressure. In 2010, his last year with the Tampa Bay Rays, he led the AL in triples, made the All-Star team, won a Gold Glove in left field and a Silver Slugger award. He finished that season with a .307 average, the second highest of his career. But when he headed north for the 2011 season, it's like he lost all his powers. A guy that had led the league in steals four times over his career, could muster only 18 in his only complete year with the Sox, and he batted a measly .255. And now that he's with the Dodgers—he's batting .315. Go figure.
Gonzalez and Punto must love that LA smog too: they're batting .330 and .386 respectively. And yes, you read that second number correctly.
But that's not why I'm here. My real interest lies with one arrogant blockhead named Josh Beckett. Beckett was great once with the Red Sox. In 2007, on the back of a 20-7 record, he helped the Sox win the World Series. He finished second in the Cy Young voting that year. But that's as good as it would get. His subsequent seasons were just average and on the heels of the epic September collapse in 2011 where he led the chicken and beer brigade, he just plain sucked. Before the Dodgers trade, he mustered just a 5-11 record with a 5.27 ERA in 127+ innings pitched. *vomit*
So now, in his first full season in Dodger-town, he has shown that it wasn't Boston that made him miserable, he's just comes by it naturally. He has started six games this season and his record is 0-4 with an ERA of 5.24. This probably makes me a little happier than it should, but I blame Beckett for a lot of what went wrong with the Sox between the end of 2011 until he was shipped off in 2012.
When I looked back at Beckett's career, I realized that he wasn't as spectacular as he wanted you to think. And other than the 2007 season, he never led any regular season pitching category in any other year. Even his records weren't that great. So basically, his flashes of brilliance in the playoffs got him the recognition and the big bucks. He was named MVP of the 2003 World Series when the Marlins beat the Yankees, and also in the 2007 ALCS on the way to his second World Series championship.
I wonder how long the Dodgers will put up with his unpleasantries? If he keeps pitching like crap...probably not much longer. He'll be a free agent in 2015.