We opened the 1939 season in Yankee Stadium and Lefty Grove was impressive leading the Red Sox to an Opening Day win over the powerful Yankees. I realized that while Grove was great, he was 39 years old and by far the best pitcher on this Red Sox team. That isn't good. We needed to get more pitching. The great Red Sox teams during the Ted Williams era never had enough pitching. The Red Sox in the Theo Epstein era always made sure to go after pitching. If we were going to re-write history and have a chance at a better outcome we needed to get pitching.
As I mentioned in my last post, I am using Out of the Park Baseball to re-create this history. I am not making it easy on myself. I have trading set on very hard and for it to favor prospects. I also play by one more rule, I can only go after guys in trades that are on the league wide trading block. Now once in discussion with a team on that player I am allowed to ask for other players as long as the original guy on the trading block is in the trade. It is just my way of making it more realistic and more difficult.
There were a handful of pitchers on the trading block but either the teams wanted too much in return or didn't want to trade with me at all. The only exception was the St. Louis Cardinals and their pitcher Bob Weiland. Weiland was on the block and the Cardinals were asking for Joe Cronin in return. Cronin was someone I was looking to move. While he was still a great hitter, his fielding at SS was average and the Sox did have Pee Wee Reese in the minors. Look at my post from yesterday about how the Red Sox in real life traded away Pee Wee Reese in a horrible move.
While I was willing to move Cronin I wasn't going to give him up just for Weiland. I also wanted the Cardinals pitching prospect in the minors by the name of Harry Brecheen. The Cardinals were open to that but wanted some lower tier prospects in return. Eventually we agreed on a huge deal in which I was also able to get Buster Adams who is prospect in AA who can play third base and the outfield. The final deal looked like this:
Weiland, is by no means great but I think Brecheen is the guy who will really help out the rotation in the future. Weiland is good enough or the Sox rotation is bad enough that he becomes the #2 guy in the rotation and he was on the hill in the second game of the season in Yankee Stadium. He was sharp early and had a lead early but one bad inning ruined his day and his day for the Sox. Pee Wee Reese was really good defensively but the lineup definitely is whole lot shorter without the bat of Joe Cronin.
Here is the boxscore from the second game of the season and the new look 1939 Red Sox Remember, follow the progress of this history re-creation here and also follow me on twitter @thepeskypole