If you were a Red Sox fan in the mid-’70s, you were probably enamored with one or both of the two Gold Dust Twins who burst on the scene in Boston as rookies in 1975: Fred Lynn and Jim Rice.
In ’75, Lynn became the first major-leaguer to win both the Rookie of the Year award and be named Most Valuable Player batting .331/.401/.566 with 21 home runs, 47 doubles, and 105 RBI, and winning a Gold Glove for his defense.
And you were probably devastated when Lynn was abruptly traded to the California Angels following the 1980 season after the Red Sox were skeptical about being able to re-sign the multi-talented center fielder in his free agent year.
On MLB.com, Marcus Giamatti, son of the late baseball commissioner A. Barlett Giamatti and lifelong Red Sox fan, takes a look back at the day Lynn was traded to the Angels, the first and only grand slam by in All-Star history that was hit by Lynn, and where he thinks the nine-time All-Star’s loyalties lie today.
“That day, the day they traded Fred Lynn, I lost my baseball innocence,” Giamatti writes. “Fred was one of my heroes. That he would always be there, beneath Fenway’s center field wall, was one of life’s universal truths. I just didn’t get it. I just could not wrap my head around the loss.
“But I remained a dedicated fan of this great player. Because from that moment on, no matter where Fred played, he took a little piece of me with him.”
Fast forward to the present day… the Globe’s Dan Shaughnessy spoke with Red Sox president and CEO Larry Lucchino yesterday. Lucchino had some interesting things to say about the Sox’ initial lowball contract pitch to Jon Lester, which was reportedly for four yeas at $70 million.
“I wish we had been able to get it done earlier, but it’s a collaborative process,” Lucchino said about the team’s handling of negotiations in the spring. “What we did was throw a number out to get the negotiations started. We’re certainly well aware that there would have to be significant improvement in that, but we expected a more concentrated and ongoing period of negotiations, which hasn’t yet happened.”
Lucchino also says the Red Sox could be both buyers and sellers at the trading deadline. Stay tuned.
In other news from the Globe, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh is not a fan of the new deal the city struck with the Red Sox over the use of Yawkey Way on game days and thinks the city is being shortchanged.
Old friend Grady Sizemore is on his way back to the big leagues. After playing in 10 games for the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, the Phillies purchased the contract of Sizemore and he’ll join the major league club Friday for the start of a three-game series against the Washington Nationals in Philadelphia.
Another old friend Carl Crawford is off the DL and back with the Dodgers, but it looks like the former Sox outfielder, with about $70 million remaining on that albatross of a contract, will be riding the pine the rest of the way in 2014.
Meanwhile rehabbing Red Sox outfielder Shane Victorino started on the comeback trail again in Lowell last night when he went 0-for-2 with two strikeouts in five innings in right field for the Spinners. The plan is for Victorino to play four consecutive days and see how he feels from there. The Flyin’ Hawaiian hasn’t suited up for Boston since May 23 and his rehab was put on hold after after he hurt his back in a game while playing for the PawSox.
Despite the Red Sox as a team having a horrific season, two of its stars remain a favorite with fans, as David Ortiz (No. 4) and Dustin Pedroia (No. 5) have two of the most popular jerseys in baseball in the first half of 2014.
— MLB Public Relations (@MLB_PR) July 10, 2014
Talking Yankee Talk: Masahiro Tanaka may soon be introduced to Tommy John. The Yankee ace may have been overused in the first half of his first season and has been diagnosed with a partial tear of his ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow. TJ surgery could soon become a reality… Remember the snoozing Yankee fan who is suing ESPN? He continues to get a wake-up call online. Not only is Derek Jeter getting into the underwear business, he’s a budding author, too.
— Boston.com (@BostonDotCom) July 11, 2014
And here’s something to sink your teeth into: You won’t see Luis Suarez scoring goals at Anfield next season. The controversial striker has completed a transfer to Barcelona. LFC of course is owned by Red Sox and Boston Globe owner John Henry, who’s now got two teams to re-tool.