There's a temptation when your least favorite player of the past few years is traded away--in a trade that seems to be made purely for the sake of getting rid of him--to kinda...go nuts.
And I did. You know, the whole bit...screaming, crying, hugging people I don't know...which is really bad because I work in a hospital and there are codes.
Linebrink threw 159 2/3 innings in three seasons at a 4.29 ERA, and the Sox traded him for a nothing prospect in the form of Kyle Cofield while picking up $3.5 million of the tab for the final year of Scott's contract, so from an outside perspective, it's really hard to imagine what I'm so happy about except that the return for Linebrink could have been a 70lb bag of moldy broccoli and it would still be an awesome trade.
Scott failed in every role he was placed in. He blew games as a setup man, nibbled around the plate and piled up walks with big leads when he should have been aggressive, had impromptu game-ball giveaways with the fans in left-center field, couldn't even close out 8-run blowouts forcing the Sox to use their ace relievers in meaningless game, and if the Fielding Bible awards had an alternative yearly Fielding Necronomicon award, Scott Linebrink would rival Mark Buehrle in hardware.
Of course his stats reflect talent. Linebrink would never have been given the opportunity to fail so big for so long if he couldn't throw 95 and rack up K's. He struck out a batter per inning in 2010, but in a frustrating manner befitting his White Sox career, he gave up an absurd amount of long balls due an extremely low ground ball rate, and his stats have to be taken with a grain of salt because Ozzie didn't trust him to pitch meaningful innings after 2008.
This is a similar situation to Bobby Jenks, where a pitcher with major league talent, for a variety of extraneous reasons, does horrid, horrid work. It doesn't mean his career is over, or that he won't do great work in the future, but it sure as hell means he has to leave. Kenny Williams can't get too much credit here because he picked up Linebrink for big bucks after what still stands out as the worst year of his career, but man, the GM is on fire right now.
*To note, while Linebrink could benefit from a change of scenery, I don't think he will. I watched him for three years, and he's terrible.
J.J. has more on Kenny Williams' incredible hot streak, and if he's going to offer Kanye West $100 to perform at his birthday party (albeit as a way to mock the Orioles), I'm going to offer Kanye $105 to perform auto-tune version of Mannheim Steamroller at my Christmas party.