If there is one thing that makes it tough for fans to be fans of their favorite sports team it's when the business of the game gets in the way. Whatever move the front office is making probably is for the long term good of the team, but it doesn't mean fans have to like it in the present.
Sometimes we just don't like to say goodbye either. That was the case on Sunday as a fan favorite at Fenway played his last game in a Boston Red Sox uniform. Third baseman Kevin Youkilis was traded to the Chicago White Sox for pitcher Zach Stewart and utility player Brent Lillibridge.
Youk, as he was often called, is not having a good year. In 41 games he was hitting just .225, well below his career average. With all the time he's missed this season, the team was able to give the next generation a tryout with the Major League team. Will Middlebrooks has been impressive to say the least, opening the door for Youk's exit.
The trade itself is understandable, but what the Red Sox got in return doesn't make sense. Stewart has a career ERA of 5.92; not exactly sparkling. Lillibridge is hitting just .175 this season (in 63 at-bats), and is hitting just .215 in 522 career at-bats scattered over five seasons.
If two mediocre players (and I'm being polite in calling them that) were not bad enough, the Red Sox are picking up $5.5 million of his remaining $7 million for this season. So essentially the Red Sox gave up a player that could very well turn it around and return to form for two guys that will probably never step onto the field.
Kudos to you White Sox!
(A collection of Youk's final plays at Fenway including his final at-bat.)