Like many of you, I quickly became dislodged from the seat of my chair when I saw the news of the Reds trading Austin Kearns and Felipe Lopez.
In fact, I merely saw the title on ESPN.com's front page.
"Nats get OF Kearns, SS Lopez in 8-player deal with Reds."
My first and most obvious thought was that the title left out the biggest acquisition...
"Oh my, Cincinnati traded for Alphonso Soriano?" I thought to myself. "But why would they do that?"
Then before I dared to succumb to the shock value of clicking on the headline title, satisfying my morbid curiosity of finding out what the sillly Reds' franchise did "this" time, I pondered other options.
Could they have traded for John Patterson?
"Nope," I realized. "Patterson is on the DL and may not even get back to pitch this season at the rate his progress is going."
Had it not specified SS before Lopez' name, I may have surmised it was some low-level Lopez I had never heard of. But the chances of that were slim.
So when it was all said and done, I could only figure that the Reds got Livan Hernandez, perhaps Chad Cordero or Jon Rauch and maybe a few other prospects as well.
I clicked on the story.
Oh, and the Reds 'threw in' Ryan Wagner.
"They did WHAT?" I blurted out as I threw the existing pencil that was lying in my hand halfway across the room. "These are scraps I would expect to find for Kearns or Lopez, but not both."
I double-checked to make sure I had not fallen victim to some sort of ill-conceived, middle-of-july April Fool's prank by ESPN. Sadly, reality set in and I was not any more a victim than the rest of you.
Although I still felt like there was some bigger piece of the puzzle that wasn't included in the report, perhaps a mystery sixth player from the Nats that the AP just had not yet picked up on, I was simply attempting to nurture my own tormented ego that question whether this was a move made to get better, a move made to clear salary for other and bigger acquisitions or the start of a quasi-fire sale which goes against everything new management allegedly stood for.
The mere course of time has blown away most of my lingering emotions of this trade, however. As of today, some five days later, I am no longer adamant against this transaction.
No longer is the Reds club the worst franchise in sports (post-trade personal observation).
They're good enough. They're smart enough. And doggone it, people like them.
No longer is Wayne Krivsky dead to me (another personal post-trade observation).
Sure, my belief still exists that if Krivsky wanted to carry out the trash, the dead weight or the negative aspect of the clubhouse, he could have done so packaging Lopez and Kearns in seperate trades and acquired much more than they did.
But in principal, I've decided I can live with this trade.
If there's one thing Krivsky has earned, it's a chance. It's another thing that you can actually look at his bold, unafraid moves this season and see what he's doing. He actually has a clue. He's making things that make sense, not that make convenience.
He's doing one thing and following it up with a corresponding thing. He's fitting together pieces and parts while ridding of other spares and unnecessary ones.
Out with the old and in with the new.
This move is still painful in the interim, especially when you consider it was done with a club that was still second place in their division and a game out of the wildcard. But for many reasons, whether they be attitude, salary or ridding of surplusses for much-needed relief pitching help (Team Clark's eloquent and detailed post helped me rehabilitate psychologically on some of these issues), this trade did have some upside to it. It was lopsided, but perhaps the real problem is the lopsided thinking we all have.
Nevermind that the Reds conceivably could still land a Miguel Tejada or Brandon Webb. Most likely, maybe it will just be an Elmer Dessens, Kyle Lohse or Reggie Sanders. That's just the way the trading landscape works.
But I'm guilty of it, and we're all guilty of it - thinking that trades are supposed to work like fantasy leagues where the stats must match up to be considered a good trade.
We can count pennies until we're blue in the face. We can crunch the statistics of the return for whatever player of value given up, but we forget in our lopsided thinking that the real measure of a trade is supposed to be simple.
"Does it make us a better team?"
If Wayne Krivsky believes this step, which may seem like a giant leap back to the masses, is actually a step forward and will in fact make the Cincinnati Reds a better team, forget what the pundits say - he came out of the trade a winner.
Of course, as I give him that generous benefit of the doubt, I am counting on the production to corroborate that theory. If the offense starts tanking badly and the Reds lose games because of it, we will know the trade was not very good in hindsight.
But I don't care if you trade Ken Ray for Ken Griffey - the end justifies the means. If winning is the ultimate goal and any deal is done with that intention, it is a good trade provided it accomplishes that.
Everyone has the right to hate this trade and any subsequent trade. I can't sit here with a straight face and say I am excited about the trade, even if we have been temporarily blinded in the wake of a 4-game sweep of the Rockies.
But in reality, no matter how lopsided I may think the player-for-player compensation was to the Nats-Reds deal last week, I think the real issue is that my mind was too lopsided to notice the bigger picture.
Now like everyone, I'll sit back down into my armchair general manager's seat.