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Some criticism of the BoSox?

The reviews of Boston's acquisition of Josh Beckett have generally been pretty positive, but there are a few naysayers out there...

ESPN's Rob Neyer weighs in with this:

I don't know what the Red Sox are doing. Really, I don't. Unless they're 1) absolutely convinced that Mike Lowell's 2005 performance was essentially a fluke, and 2) absolutely convinced they can solve Josh Beckett's blister problems, this deal just doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

Looking at the last three seasons:

  • Fenway Park was the third-friendliest ballpark in the American League for hitters.
  • Dolphin Stadium was the third-friendliest ballpark in the National League for pitchers.
Does that mean Beckett's going to turn into a pumpkin the moment he dons a Red Sox uniform? Hardly. But Beckett's road ERA over the last three seasons is 4.07, and Fenway is tougher than the average road ballpark. So you've got the durability question -- in those same three seasons, Beckett averaged only 159 innings -- and you've got the home/road question ... and you're going to trade two top prospects and commit $18 million to Lowell, when you've already got a fine third baseman (Kevin Youkilis) on the roster?

Yahoo's Ryne Sandberg is also wary of the deal...

The Boston Herald is reporting, meanwhile, that the trade still hasn't been finalized:

A deal is still more likely than not, but the trade of starter Josh Beckett and third baseman Mike Lowell from the Marlins to the Red Sox in exchange for three prospects was still in the process of being finalized last night.

A 6 p.m. deadline tonight looms as the cut-off time for the 72-hour window the teams agreed upon when the deal was first tentatively struck on Monday. Since then, the Red Sox have been poring over Beckett's medical records, focusing on the shoulder stiffness and tendinitis problem he experienced in September that led to a pair of MRIs in October.

The well-known blister problems on Beckett's right middle finger that have landed him on the disabled list six times in his career are not thought to be an issue at this time.

My gut reaction is that this is probably just Boston making sure they do their due diligence, combined with the Boston media's incessant need to engage in pot-stirring. I'd be shocked if this deal didn't go through under the original terms...