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Quitting Spectator Sports

He was an American guy, fresh out of university, doing some mix of public relations and something like espionage for the Chinese government in Shanghai. Interesting guy - I'd been shooting pool by myself and he asked if I'd be up for a game. Sure.

So we chatted - he was in Shanghai to go through the Expo and talk to everyone foreign about their experiences. Being a young, white, American guy with a light East Coast accent, he blended in and was basically invisible. He was able to get an impression of what journalists really thought and people at the Expo really thought. He was getting paid decently for this and having a really fun time.

He added that he wasn't just there to make sure the publicity for the Expo was good: When he reported in that a number of people felt that workmanship setting up their display areas was shoddy and the local contractors had cheated them, Shanghai officials reached out to them, made it right, and took the contractors to task.

He seemed like a solid guy, athletic, hard working, smart, well read - kind of guy that's going to do a lot in life. I used to live in Boston, so I asked him if he followed the Red Sox or Celtics.

I still remember his answer. "No, I don't like spectator sports. Playing sports, sure. Spectator sports, no."

Sox Deadline Moves are Telling

On Boston Sports Daily

The MLB trade deadline has come and gone. Before a semi-disappointing three game set with the Yankees in which the Red Sox took only one contest, the Sox shook up their defending world champion roster. In the week leading up to the deadline, the Red Sox abandoned 4/5 of their pitching rotation, 2013 hero Jonny Gomes as well as their everyday shortstop.

All the departures didn’t come without a solid return however, as the Sox got back two starting outfielders and a good young arm from Oakland and St. Louis respectively.

First and foremost the Red Sox said a (possibly temporary) goodbye to staff ace and 2 time World Series champion Jon Lester. After coming up through the system and overcoming cancer in 2006, Lester became a staple in the Red Sox rotation, amassing 110 career wins and a sparkling 2.11 postseason ERA. He was a key part of the 2013 Red Sox and a leftover from the infamous 2011 disaster. The Red Sox acquired Oakland outfielder and home run hitting all-star Yoenis Cespedes who will be under club control through 2015 while also moving Jonny Gomes in the deal.

The Sox also let go of two key cogs in the 2013 rotation down the stretch in Jake Peavy and John Lackey. Peavy was a deadline addition in 2013 and was a huge clubhouse factor during this season and last. Lackey, signed prior to the 2010 season, seemed like a contractual disaster after two subpar seasons and a lost 2012, but resurged in 2013 and 14. In the Peavy deal the Red Sox acquired a couple prospects from San Francisco and in the Lackey deal the Sox acquired outfielder Allen Craig and fireballer Joe Kelly from St. Louis.

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