Friday, August 3, 2012

Now that this is old news...

This post has been one of those good intentions for a week.  I am finally writing it after the gnashing of teeth & cries of jubilation have died down, reaction depending on one's assessment of the trade.

After spending last Friday evening (7/28/12) with some friends at the third annual "Paula's Pals" game at my favorite place (Target Field), I rejoiced heartily when I received the news that FRANCISCO LIRIANO WAS TRADED.  The only thing that kept me from doing a Happy Dance was the fact that I was driving.  I really didn't care that (Interim) GM Terry Ryan had seen fit to send former White Sox players Pedro Hernandez (LHP) and Eduardo Escobar (INF) directly to AAA.  The Frankie Era was over!

In the last week, the trade has been dissected by the lovers and the haters, who have very divergent opinions on the move.  The chief complaint of the critics is that the Twins traded Frankie to a division rival for a discounted price.

While I would have loved to have seen Frankie go outside the division, say, to the Braves, who apparently had interest in him, and for more than the Twins got back in this trade, let's face it; Francisco Liriano of 2006 is a thing of the past.

I've been keeping up with the Liriano trade rumors and trade discussions all season, as I looked for anything that could justify my hope that he'd be in another uniform before season's end.  I started the season by hoping his good showing in spring training would lead to teams sniffing around earlier rather than later.

Throughout the season, nothing in the trade discussions and rumors surprised me more than what many of the Minnesota media and fans thought the Twins should get for Frankie.  It seemed that they thought no one else could see what the Twins organization and Twins fans saw.  It was like a two-year-old covering her eyes and thinking that means no one can see her.

I established my "Liriano Rule"* early in the 2011 season, and I haven't looked back.  While I laud him for the 2011 No-No, his intermittent brilliance, and his nice games of late, I'll never trust him again.  And this trade confirms that the majority of the league needs to see more than just a handful of post-bullpen-demotion games to hold on to any hope that the flailing hurler will return to half of his 2006 form.

(Interim) GM Terry Ryan was very clear that the Twins took the best offer they received for Liriano, and I have no reason not to believe him.  With teams unable to predict whether Frankie will be "effectively wild" or meltdown before the third out, there was absolutely no incentive for a team to take a risk on him.  I also think this shows that teams respect Twins' pitching coach Rick Anderson, who blamed Liriano for much of his gray hair.  Few teams thought their pitching coach could do what Anderson couldn't.

Last Friday, I got the good news, and sent a text to my parents.  Dad summed it up best in his reply:  "I would have taken a hot dog and coke for francisco"


*Paula's Lirano Rule: If he gives up a hit, think about pulling him.  If he gives up a run, for the love of all that is good, PULL HIM!!  There's no stopping the train wreck.

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