Thursday, August 04, 2005

The Art of the Deal

Although not "officially" a Centennial Conference alum, Josh Byrnes, Haverford College class of 1992, did play baseball for the Black Squirrels just prior to the inception of the Conference in 1993-94. Byrnes had 14 career round-trippers and 106 RBI, while compiling an OPS (on-base percentage + slugging percentage) of .986. He now serves as an assistant general manager to Theo Epstein with the Boston Red Sox. Byrnes was right in the middle of last weekend's hoopla regarding a possible trade of Manny Ramirez to the New York Mets. Peter Gammons of ESPN.com and a brand-new member of the Baseball Hall of Fame picks it up from there:

"The one mess was the six player deal between Boston and Colorado that the Rockies thought was done Friday night. Theo Epstein has long liked Larry Bigbie, and the Rockies did the Bigbie deal with Baltimore to move him to Boston with first baseman Ryan Shealy for Adam Stern, Abe Alvarez, Kelly Shoppach and a minor leaguer.

The offer that was faxed from Boston to Colorado was not signed, or a final document. It was negotiated by assistant GM Josh Byrnes because Epstein was consumed by the Ramirez trade and trying to get Ramirez calmed down and repair his damaged feelings. It never occurred to Epstein that a simple baseball deal that did not involve money was something ownership would consider objectionable. But, indeed, ownership and its assistant, Larry Lucchino, did object, because they were focused on the Ramirez deal.

So Lucchino nixed the deal, which -- rightly -- incensed Dan O'Dowd and the Rockies. But when Lucchino called Colorado owner Charlie Monfort, he threw Byrnes under the bus and did not accept the responsibility of killing it.

By then, there was very little chance of a deal happening for Ramirez, and, fortunately by then, Epstein had repaired much of the damage, with the help of Kevin Millar and David Ortiz."

Read more: Peter Gammons column / Delaware County Times story on Byrnes

1 comment:

Steve Ulrich said...

A follow-up on the Josh Byrnes story from the Lowell Sun.