Welcome to Boston.com’s Sports Q, our daily conversation, initiated by you and moderated by Chad Finn, about a compelling topic in Boston sports. Here’s how it works: You submit questions to Chad through Twitter, Facebook, and email. He’ll pick one each weekday to answer, then we’ll take the discussion to the comments. Chad will stop by several times per day to navigate. But you drive the conversation.
Which single trade in Boston sports history would you undo? Don’t say Babe Ruth to the Yankees. That wasn’t a trade. That was a criminal act. – Jim L.
I like the framing of this question, because I think “undo” differs from what the actual worst trade is. We got into this about a month ago here at Sports Q and determined that the worst trade in Boston sports history was the one that sent Kenny Anderson, Joseph Forte, and Vitaly Potapenko to the Sonics for Vin Baker and Shammond Williams in 2002. Baker had $50 million left on his contract and well-known personal problems. He played 89 games over two season for the Celtics, averaging 7.7 points per game. That’s actually better than I remember. It made zero sense to take that risk and take on that money.
The 1990 trade of Double A third baseman Jeff Bagwell to the Astros for 37-year-old middle reliever Larry Andersen was determined to the be second-worst trade, followed by the Bruins trade in 1964 of young goalie prospect Ken Dryden (along with Alex Campbell) to the Canadiens for Guy Allen and Paul Reid.
That one right there would be my first choice for an undo. Imagine how Bruins and Canadiens history would differ had that deal never happened. Dryden would have emerged in the heart of the Big, Bad Bruins era – heck, he’s the reason they didn’t repeat as Cup champs in ’71. Instead, as a Canadien, he became an all-time nemesis, beating the Bruins all four times he faced them in the playoffs and winning six Stanley Cups in his eight-year career. Gerry Cheevers was a great goalie, but Dryden is the best there has ever been. The Bruins might have won seven or eight Cups in the ‘70s had they known what they had.
Honorable mention for deals I’d undo: I wish the Patriots had worked out a contract with holdout receiver Deion Branch after the 2005 season rather than trading him to the Seahawks for a first-round pick (which became Brandon Meriweather). With Branch, the Patriots would have won the Super Bowl in 2006. Of course, if he’s still here, maybe they don’t load up with Randy Moss and Wes Welker entering the 2007 season.
I also wish the Red Sox hadn’t traded Fred Lynn (and Steve Renko) to the Angels for aging Joe Rudi, sore-armed Frank Tanana, and Quadruple A pitcher Jim Dorsey after the 1980 season. Lynn hit .347 with a 1.021 OPS in 440 career games at Fenway. Had he played his whole career in Boston, he’d be in the Hall of Fame.
But what does everyone else think? Which trade in Boston sports lore would you undo if you could? I’ll hear you in the comments.
Published at Mon, 15 Jun 2020 21:32:25 +0000