The Worst/Best Trade Of My Life

Ohhh, Cashman, you don’t make blockbuster deals on Friday the 13th. You just don’t.

And you definitely don’t make this deal.

I’m sure the entire baseball world knows the news by now. I was supposed to have this post up right away, but every time I started it, I had to stop. I figured I could just type through the tears, but then I thought an overly-emotional post would be irrational and unfair. So I waited until I regained some composure. Here I am now, still in shock, but over my initial state or mourning. I haven’t cried yet today, though that may be because I depleted everything I had last night.

This is without a doubt the hardest thing I have been forced to go through in my life as a Yankees fan.

I don’t even know where to start. There’s so much running through my head. I guess I’ll talk about what happened when I found out that the Yankees traded Jesus Montero for Michael Pineda (along with Hector Noesi for Jose Campos, but it’s the Montero part that sent me over the edge).

I saw the news on facebook first on a baseball page that I liked. It wasn’t official then. But my heart stopped a little, and I gasped. I immediately headed over to MLBtraderumors, they had it up with the little times next to each sentence, as if they were monitoring every move. I knew that was a bad sign -that meant it was legit.

I began to panic.

The Yankees website had nothing, just as I feared. Throughout my life as a Yankees fan, being surprised by Brian Cashman and his stealthy moves became quite a regular thing. He never lets you know what’s up. I went on some other site about the Pineda/Montero swap, and it wouldn’t load – too much traffic.

I knew right there that it was happening. I admit it: I started to cry a little.

Aww, who am I kidding. My brother wrote it on facebook anyway, so everyone knows: I was bawling like a baby. The kind of tears that flow without you even knowing, then you rejoin reality and think, “What the heck, I’m crying?”

Yeah I’m a nut. But I can’t help it.

I’ve been hearing about Jesus Montero for God knows how long. The highlight of the 2011 season was the 18 games that Montero played in during September. The .328 avg, the 4 HR (some of which were opposite field line drives, which totally turned me on to the kid), the 12 RBI, the handsome young man with the high socks and the boyish smile, I was swept off my feet. He looked like everything I heard he would be.  And I thought it was just the beginning of what would be a 20-year superstar successful career in Yankee pinstripes. A home-grown, superstar Yankee to be part of a new core of young Yankees. I figured, since they held on to him for this long, he was safe. I penciled him into my 2012 lineup. I said goodbye to Posada, which was tough, but the thought of Jesus Montero eventually catching eased the pain of losing one of my favorite Yankees. In my public presentation class, I even did my persuasive speech on the claim “The Yankees should not trade Jesus Montero,” and I got an A. I never thought he would be traded, because frankly, the Yankees did nothing up to this point in the offseason.

Losing Jesus Montero – I can’t even believe this happened. I just can’t trust Brian Cashman anymore. I never know what’s going to happen. I’m beginning to wonder if we’ll ever see this new generation of prospects play in the Bronx. Everyone knows what his potential is. Shouldn’t we want that kind of talent on our team, especially because he’s home-grown? This trade is an example of the things I don’t like about the Yankees. The immediate-gratification thing, where they don’t want to wait. Sure, Montero’s not a full-time catcher yet, but he can be eventually. Now I heard that the Yankees are thinking about expanding payroll a bit. Although Michael Pineda is at a bargain price, I’m worried now that Montero won’t be the DH, that they’ll go out and sign someone. Like Prince Fielder. Which is exactly what I don’t want: a big free-agent contract, probably ridiculously expensive and around 8-10 years, for a guy who will probably decline soon who we’ll be stuck with. Like A-Rod. Like Teixeira. Partially why I was so into Jesus Montero, was that he was different. Young blood, a new start. He can’t decline. He can only improve. So even if he didn’t start out like the superstar I believe he will one day be, if we wait, he’d learn and improve. I wanted to see that happen to him as a Yankee.

Never in my wildest nightmares did I ever suspect that this would happen. That’s partially why I don’t like this trade, because I’m a little embarrassed. I’ve been saying how he’s going to be on the team in 2012, despite the frequent debates with another Yankees fan. So not only was I upset that the one thing I wanted for the 2012 season was gone, but I was also dreading the remarks of this fellow Yankees fan. I mean it’s not like I’m stupid. No one expected this. I thought Cashman was serious about doing nothing. He let all the other pitchers go by, but little did I know that he’d go for someone that we didn’t even know was on the market. Losing Jesus Montero has left me bombarded with the worst feelings: anguish, dismay, disinterest for the coming season, distrust of the organization, and humiliation for being wrong about it all.

So from a purely emotional perspective, this is the worst trade of my life. And on Friday the 13th, I can’t help but to think it may be bad luck for the Yankees.

But this girl knows that there shouldn’t be any crying in baseball.

I feel bad about feeling bad about this trade. It’s unfair to Michael Pineda. It makes it seem like I hate him. I can’t hate the guy, he didn’t do anything. I mean sure, if asked if I would make the Montero/Pineda trade, I would have said NO (maybe that’s why I’m not in charge of the Yankees). But that doesn’t mean I don’t want Pineda. He’s almost 23 and he had a pretty fine rookie season. Okay, maybe he’s not as cute as Montero on the surface, but maybe he’s got a cuter personality – I heard rumblings of Jesus Montero having an attitude.

And who am I kidding? I know the Yankees needed pitching. I didn’t think they’d get any, but I shouldn’t be upset that they improved in the area that they needed to most. Michael Pineda, as well as Hiroki Kuroda, who I found out was going to be signed about five minutes after the big trade, can definitely strengthen the rotation. And Pineda will be under team control for years to come before he gets to make the big money, which will give him every reason to play heard and reach his fullest potential. I should like that, since I hate the long contracts that I feel create laziness and a sense of entitlement. Another good sign: according to my brother, the Red Sox fans are nervous about the moves the Yankees have made.

That’s always a good sign.

This deal, as with all deals, is a risk. And on Friday the 13th, you know…I can’t help but to think negatively.

Last night in the midst of my meltdown, I was seeking distractions from the news. I had 5 conversations going on facebook, I was blasting Guns N’ Roses in my headphones, hoping the song “Don’t Cry” would actually help my cause (“…there’s a Heaven above you, baby…”), I was contemplating hitting the liquor cabinet (kidding, underage over here!), and I was just trying to avoid reality. Then Grandma comes in my room (brave of her when I’m unstable), and asks if I’m busy, and if not, if I could check to see what the numbers were to see if she won.

She didn’t win, but the number made me a little happy anyway. It was 777.

A sign of things to come? Maybe this is a lucky trade for the Yankees. Maybe the good can counteract the bad here. Maybe I can like, get over this? Maybe there was something about Jesus Montero that I just didn’t know, and maybe this was for the better. Maybe I should trust Brian Cashman, after all, he’s done pretty well for me in my lifetime.

And maybe I should get excited for this upcoming season again. Maybe Pineda will help my boys reach their next goal: #28. And maybe Michael Pineda can be one of “my boys” the way I thought Jesus Montero would be.

Maybe this’ll actually be the best thing that’s ever happened in my lifetime for the Yankees.

We’ll see.

12 Comments

The no crying in baseball thing? Much like “This is a very simple game…” it’s a great line from a wonderful movie with no more truth to it than that. There is absolutely crying in baseball. Baseball has the power to make grown men and women cry like little babies sometimes, so deep is our passion for the game…and that’s even before we get to the players and their often tear filled reactions to falling short of the mark come October. Cry away until you feel better. It always hurts to lose a player we especially like, even when we like what we got in return.
– Kristen

Thank you for your reassuring words Kristen! I feel like others think I’m some kind of nut.

I feel your pain, Virginia. I’ve had to say goodbye to one of my favorites this offseason too (Albert). All I can offer is that time DOES heal all wounds and the only thing we, as fans, can do about our clubs’ decisions is accept them as best we can and trust in the team over the individual. I know it doesn’t always help, but it’s the best we can do.
–Jeff

Thanks Jeff! I hope you are doing well, I was upset when I heard about Albert, I can’t even imagine what his own fans and team had to go through.

Virginia,
I hope you feel better. Is so hard to say goodbye to our favorite players. Hope it works for the best of both teams and the players. Also Kuroda-san is s good pitcher. He ran into some hatd luck with the Dodgers with lack of run support. Good luck

Thanks Emma. I’m looking forward to seeing Kuroda. The Yanks had their eye on him for awhile now.

You’re going to love Michael. All the things you enjoyed about Montero, Pineda has, too. That smile, that personality. You’re going to have a blast watching this kid develop.

You’ll love your future ace.

I hope you’re right Adam! Thanks for the reassuring words :) Above all, the kid can obviously pitch, and the Yankees needed pitching.

At last some rtainaoilty in our little debate.

Believe it or not, on Friday evening when I saw the news flash the bottom line ticker on MLB Network, I had two thoughts. The first was “Sh!t, the Yankees are making deals (because they posted the trade and Kuroda signing at the same time)..” and the second was “Virginia kept mentioning how the ‘Bombers kept tradig their best young talents away.” Really, you were my second thought on it.

I just found it interesting, after Jorge retired and Big Papi went back to Boston, the Yanks traded Jorge’s replacement and suddenly required a DH.

If THIS is the worst thing you’ve gone through as a Yankee fan, you either aren’t being truthful or you are being overdramatic. You were old enough for the 2004 collapse. THAT was a million times worse than this. Nothing is worse than that, though 1995′s loss to Seattle still haunts me. 2004′s collapse is the worst ever and it was to the Red Sox. Losing a kid who played 18 games in Pinstripes hardly compares, especially when something very, very good was received in return.

Once the Yankees lost their first game in the 2004 ALCS, I knew they weren’t going to win. The rotation SUCKED then, I couldn’t trust them. So even though that was heartbreaking, I expected it. I didn’t really cry for that, I was just angry. I do remember back in 04, I was in 6th grade, and my English teacher was a Red Sox fan, and I was being SO obnoxious after the Yankees won the first three…then when they lost, I was afraid to go to class. But he was a real gentleman, he stood outside the classroom door the day after it happened and didn’t say anything, he just shook my hand. God Bless Mr. Sniffen. I’ll never forget that.
But yeah, everyone who was on facebook that night or in my house knows that the Montero thing tore me apart. I was excited that he would be a Yankee superstar, a homegrown YANKEE star. Yankee Stadium was built for his swing it seemed. It’s horrible that he’s gone. Pineda has the potential to be something great, we’ll see. Pitching in Safeco is a little different than Yankee Stadium, but we’ll see…

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