This is the Thanks David Ortiz Gets?

Bobby Valentine (left) high-fiving David Ortiz (right) during the season . . . watch your back, Big Papi . . .

David Ortiz was one of the Red Sox players, however few they were, who didn’t join in, at once or pretty much ever, when Bobby Valentine’s divide-and-conquer managing and public relations style divided an injury-and-confidence wracked team and metastasised the toxins in a clubhouse still poisoned by the September 2011. And this is the thanks he gets?

Valentine sat for an interview with Bob Costas, of NBC, that aired Tuesday evening, and Valentine called Ortiz a quitter in every conceivable phrase that didn’t use the word explicitly.

Valentine, Like Queeg, Convicted Himself

Valentine’s reign of error is over . . .

This is not to suggest that any known or alleged president of Red Sox Nation should proclaim, “Our long national nightmare is over.” But it is to suggest that the Red Sox and their minions can go to sleep tonight not having to wonder whom Bobby Valentine threw under the proverbial bus this time, if not shooting himself in the proverbial foot yet again over some actual or alleged slight or accusation.

The Big Dealers, Thus Far . . .

Now that Josh Beckett has won his first game as a Dodger, maybe it’s a good idea to see how those involved in the biggest deals—non-waiver trade deadline and waiver deadline period alike—have done since pulling those triggers. We’ll list them by the major players who moved:

Yes, children—minus Strasburg, this Nats rotation DOES have good postseason chances

Let’s try this again.

Assume the Washington Nationals will stick to the script and implement, some time in September, the exclamation point of the Strasburg Plan. Period dot period. Assume, too, that there’ll be enough blue murder screaming over the Nats torpedoing their own postseason chances. Maybe even some conspiracy theorists demanding a formal investigation, perhaps into whether someone isn’t buying the Nats off bigtime to tank. (Would the conspiracy theorists surprise you, really?)

Now, shove all that to one side and look at the Nats’ rotation without Stephen Strasburg.

Zimmermann—Without the Stras, he won’t be leading a rotation of pushovers . . .

Beckett—Ill Seen, Ill Said

Afforded the chance to do so by WEEI’s Rob Bradford, who seems one of the less cannibalistic among sports radio heads, Josh Beckett had a few more things to say about the end of his Boston tour. A few perhaps inadvertent misstatements to the contrary, since Beckett wasn’t always forthcoming with reporters after his losses this season, the righthander didn’t exactly come across as a mere fuming brat. MassLive.com’s Ben Shapiro caught the point almost at once:

Roar of the conqueror, in the 2007 World Series . . .

Sobering Up with the Red Pox

Remember when Idiots weren’t bad things?

In the wake of the 2004 World Series, I wrote, for a since-defunct publication, “[S]omething seems not quite right about the literature of the Boston Red Sox turning toward triumph and away from tragedy.” Specifically, I was reviewing Faithful, Stewart O’Nan’s and (yes, that) Stephen King’s collaborative, end-to-end chronicle of viewing that year’s extraterrestrial Red Sox. And I was trying to say this: A near-century’s literature of transcendental disaster, usually upon the brink of the Promised Land but not necessarily exclusive to it, could only become a literature of transcendental triteness, now that the Red Sox had won a World Series, in my lifetime and every other Red Sox Nation citizen’s.

L.A. Times: It's a Done Blockbuster

The Big One is a done deal, says the Los Angeles Times‘ Dylan Hernandez and Steve Dilbeck. Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, and Nick Punto are expected to arrive in Los Angeles later today (Carl Crawford, of course, is recuperating from Tommy John surgery earlier this week), in a deal sending James Loney, Rubby De La Rosa, Allen Webster, Ivan DeJesus, Jr., and Jerry Sands to the Boston Red Sox. The two Times writers posted the story at approximately 10:30 PDT this morning.

The Blockbuster, Continued: A No-Trade Waiver Needed, a Big Salary Dump in the Making, and a Big Opening for a New Red Sox Beginning

The absolute latest regarding the Boston-Los Angeles blockbuster-in-waiting: the key seems now to hinge on the Red Sox getting beleaguered pitcher Josh Beckett to waive his no-trade clause, and to choose not to exercise his 10-5 rights to block the deal.

Crawford—playing hurt out of pride can earn you an unwanted (unwarranted?) bust tag . . .

If Beckett gives the green light, however, this trade will be—as only too many are saying with the trigger waiting to be pulled—the single largest waiver-deadline blockbuster in, perhaps, baseball history: Beckett, first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, outfielder Carl Crawford, and utility infielder Nick Punto the the Dodgers, for first baseman James Loney, second baseman Ivan DeJesus, Jr., outfielder Jerry Sands, and pitching prospects Allen Webster and Rubby De La Rosa.

Bicoastal Blockbuster? Purging Another (Actual or Alleged) Whistleblower? Beckett, Gonzalez, Crawford Could Be Going West . . .

Goodbye Josh Beckett? Goodbye Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford?

ESPN Boston says the Red Sox and the Los Angeles Dodgers “are closing in on” a deal that would send four Red Sox—Beckett, Gonzalez, Crawford, and Nick Punto—to the Los Angeles Dodgers, with the Red Sox all but out of the pennant races and the Dodgers, who’ve just been swept by the San Francisco Giants and knocked out of first in the National League West, in need of a little extra fortification as the stretch gets serious.

The Dempster Backstory, and other heads and tales . . .

Turns out the Chicago Cubs got a pair of A-level minor leaguers, Christian Vilanueva (3B) and Kyle Hendricks (RHP), from the Texas Rangers for Ryan Dempster . . . decent prospects but not necessarily blue chips. For the most part, few no-questions-asked blue chip prospects moved in the non-waiver trade period, Jean Segura (SS) possibly having been the bluest of the chips when he went to Milwaukee in the Zack Greinke deal.

How and why did the Rangers—hungering for rotation help with Colby Lewis gone for the year (entering the final fortnight, his was the hole they needed to fill)—end up settling for Dempster when all was said and done? According to Fox’s Ken Rosenthal: