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When I learned that Jarrod Saltalamacchia wouldn’t be coming back to the Boston Red Sox, I can’t say I was heartbroken. Sure, Salty had put together a career year, hitting .273/.338/.466 with 14 home runs, 40 doubles, and 65 RBIs.
But you could dig your way to China using the holes in his swing, and despite marked improvement, he wasn’t old reliable behind home plate (highlighted by his disastrous throws in the World Series that got him benched). Plus, his eventual three-year, $21 million deal was a bit much, especially with catching prospects Blake Swihart and Christian Vasquez on the rise in the Red Sox farm system. Throw in reasonable facsimile A.J. Pierzynski on a one-year, $8.25 million contract, and I was perfectly fine with saying goodbye to Saltalamacchia.
Then I read his thank you to Red Sox fans in the Boston Globe on Monday, and, well, I’m going to miss anyone who takes a free shot at LeBron James:
I was going to say that I’ve made the decision to take my talents to South Beach but I heard that someone took that line already. Seriously, I wanted to take this opportunity to sincerely thank the city of Boston, its fans, the Red Sox and especially my teammates for providing me the best three-plus years of my baseball life.
Seriously, how could you not love any Boston athlete
who hires an agent who writes something like that? This is like a whole new side to Saltalamacchia that I feel I never got to know. Now I’m reminiscing about how he was such a key contributor to last year’s World Series run, how he blasted moon shots to right field with that long swing of his, and (mostly) how I’ll miss his jheri curls flopping all over the place as he runs after a foul ball or digs for second on a ball hit into the gap.
We’ll always have the past three years together. We’ll always have our
promise World Series ring. But you’re making this breakup much harder than it had to be, Jarrod.