rentino Perez and coach Zinedine Zidane.It’s been


manager Mike Re Pulisic admits he’s upset being left out as he struggles to adapt to life at Chelsea.Pulisic, 21, has started just three Premier League games this season and did not even make the bench for Chelsea’s Champions League win at Lille last week.Pulisic sdmond said Wednesday’s he isn’t sure if prospect will make the opening day roster. With Rob Brantly already tabbed to be the starting catcher, Redmond isn’t sure he wants to have two catchers on the roster with little major-league experience, according to The Miami Herald.

“To have two Crystal Palace and Aston Villa know how much it will cost to Fabino Borini.AC Milan are keen to cut ties with the former Liverpool striker.Calciomercato says the Italian will cost at least €15m.Borini scored just twice in 20 appearances for Milan last season.He has had spells in England with Chelsea, Swansea City, Liverpool and Sunderland.young guys like that is not an ideal situation,” Redmond said. “I feel comfortable with ‘Skipor their clash with Arsenal and David Luiz.Luiz sealed a surprise switch from Chelsea to Arsenal last summer in an £8m deal. He will face his old club next month.“I’ve faced him a few times, he for Chelsea, me for Shakhtar, me for Chelsea, he for py,’ but at the same time I’m nervous having two young guys back there. So we’ll have to see how that plays out. All those are issues and things we have to take into account. That’s why it’s going down to the last day, to make those decisions.”

says te full-back’s proposed £11million move fro


catcher boosted his spring average in Wednesday’s Grapefrhalf-time of their win Ajax in the Champions League semi-final second leg.Spurs were down jaer says they’re on track to close the gap on Prem champs Manchester City.It’s been 10 years since ­ Manchester United last did a ­Premier League double over ­their rivals – and Solskjaer ­reckons that’s way to long. “That stat is not nice t3-0 on aggregate at the break but managed to score three goals in the second half to book their spot in the final. And fullback Kieran Trippier has revealed Kanuit League contest against the Astros. He went 3 for 4 with a run scored in the 6-2 win. Buck singled for all three of his hits, raising his average to .343.The 32-year-old also WORST in his new job at Juventus.De Laurentiis admits there’s little love lost between the pair.“Maurizio’s a good Coach, I saw a lot of him,” he told Corriere dall Sera.“I’m not surprised, football is no longer about icons. He didn’t win anythinhas two homers, seven RBI and a .600 slugging percentage through 15 spring games.

after undergoing a hernia operation.The 28-year-o


reliever was removed from play Saturday when he bruised his middle finger while reaching for a batted ball with his bare hand, but he expects to make his next scheduled appearance Tuesday.

“It’s a little bruise,” he told the Tampa Tribune. “I should be fine.”

Farnsworth s a massive offer on the table from China.The Mirror says Willian was offered a £17.8m move to Shanghai Greenland Shenhua which could have netter him more than £30m.But the Brazil ace, currently at the Copa America, has now interest in accepting thalso indicated that he would have remained in the game had it occured during the regular season. He appears on track tays Villa are pondering a January movre ready to move for Benfica centre-half Pedro Álvaro and left-back Nuno Tavares.Everton boss Marco Silva is a fan of both youngsters, with Alvaro the priority.Alvaro is a ball-playing centre-half, but being tied to Benfica until 2023, Everton will e for Kamara.The 23-year-old Finland international, formerly of Arsenal, has impressed for the Scottish Premiership side this season having joined them from Dundee at the start of the year.He has caught the eye ono be available opening day.

se Mourinho has apologised to Eric Dier after drag


Braves outfielder is having a solid start to his spring and he homered for the first time on Sunday against the Tigers in Grapefruit League act Ham United will spend part of theiAtletico Madrid goalkeeper Jan Oblak is happy to have signed his new deal.The Slovenian goalkeeper recently renewed his contract with Los Rojiblancos, who informed him of their intention to strengthen their squad this summer.”I renewed but a new contr preseason this summer in Australia.Palace will play two matches in the Barcelona last month.The former Everton manager was linked with the job before Barca ultimately confirmed Ernesto Valverde for next season.”FC Barcelona? You never know,” said the Catalan. “But you have to respect the contracts and now I have a Eurostate of Queensland, Australia, this July as part of the club’s pre-season preparations for the 2020/21 campaign, in a first trip of its kindtion. Upton went deep in the fourth inning off for a two-run shot. He went 1 for 3 in the game and is batting .368 on the spring thus far. Upton has five RBI on the spring over seven games.

Klopp has turned down an approach from Juventus.Th

content_img reports Ra admits it will be very hard for his team to qualify for the Champions League next season.The Gunners were knocked out of the Europa League by Olympiacos on Thursday.And qualifying through the Premier League will be tough considering they are ninth ockies starting pitcher (back, neck) is making positive progress after throwing bullpen sessions Monday and Wednesday. “No pain,” Friedrich said. “Everything’s as it should be. I’m recovering well. I threw all my pitches. I couldn’t ask for it to fe pride making a winning Premier League debut against Southampton.The 22-year-old finally made his first league start over seven years after joining the Blues, after returning to the club from PSV Eindhoven in a £5.5million deal in the summer.And thael better.” Friedrich said he needs at least one more side session before facing live hitters. He said he’s possibly 7-10 days from pitching in a game. “I hope I’m not too far behind. I’ll worry about that once I come to it,” Friedrich said of competing for a spot in the team’s rotation. “Everyone else i fourth round Carabao Cup clash with Manchester United.The Blues were drawn at home to United in the next round of the competition, after defeating Grimsby Town 7-1.Instead of fearing getting another big team so early in the competition, Lampard belis hating it, but I’ll take any extra time I can to get past this minor setback.”

title race.The ice-cool Belgian knows the champion


Baltimore outfield hopeful homered late in Saturday’s Grapefruit League opener against Minnesota. Robinson was also solid in the outfield, according to manager Buck Syed enough to earn a move to Real Madrid, according to former Los Blancos winger Steve McManaman.The Frenchman has played in just seven Premier League games this season, and talks over a move to Real have persisted.McManaman told “Hehowalter, reports “He played the elements well today,” Showalter said, referencing the wind blowing out to left field. “Tray had a good day. Hitting a home run is RB Leipzig have made a second offer for Everton winger Ademola Lookman.The German club’s initial bid was worth £13m.The Daily Mail says they have now returned with a £22.5m offer for the English winger.21-year-old Lookman enjoyed a fruitful loan spell with Leipzig in 2017/18.not something Trayvon’s foreign to. We like him.f Lionel Messi leaves LaLiga for… Australia!The Barcelona star was this evening named the Ballon d’Or winner for 2019 – for the sixth time.”The future of Real Madrid depends on Messi going to play in Australia,” Rajoy explained in a book promotion I talked to him about the fact that, just because he came off the (40-man) roster doesn’t change the way we feel about him. He’s going to get an opportunity here to show what he can do. Switch-hitting guys that can play three spots are hard to find, and especially at his age (25). He’s still a young man.”

rced to sell Timo Werner this summer.Kicker says W


A’s pitcher is competing for a spot in the rotation this spring and made a good first impression in his Cactus League debut on Sunt for Erling Haaland ahead of the winter market.Manchester United, Arsenal and German sister club RB Leipzig are among teams chasing the Norway striker.Freund told VG: “At the moment there is no bid on our table. “We are relaxed and Erling is relaxedday agai eyeing Inter Milan striker Lautaro Martinez.The London Evening Standard says Lyon forward Moussa Dembele is currently their top target with RB Leipzig’s Timo Werner among several others under consideration.However, reports in Italy suggest Chelsea cnst the Angels. He worked a scoreless innings, allowing three hits and striking out one. “I’ll take any zero I can get right now, as ugly as it may be,” Blackley said. “It was a tough day to pitch. My cutter was really good today. My pickoff is has no thoughts about leaving the club this summer.The Frenchman enjoyed a breakout season with Spurs after initially struggling to find his feet in north London.Speaking on Canal Football Club, the 29-year-old said: “Today I feel good over there (i still there. It saved me.”

ighted to have Callum Hudson-Odoi back in training


Rockies catcher told .com Thursday that he remains hopeful of making the team — even as the backup catcher. Torrealba signed a minor-league deal in January and will have to work his way behrsenal boss Mikel Arteta has confirmed plans to find a new centre-half signing this month.The manager is hoping Arsenal will do some business in the January transfer market after being struck by a defensive injury crisis.RB Leipzig centre-back Dayot ind , veteran and potentially even ordan Pacheco, who caught on a few occasions last yearlum Hudson-Odoi has provided fans with a positive update after posting footage of himself training on social media.The 18-year-old ruptured his Achilles against Burnley in April.He posted a 30 second video undertaking drills with a member of Chelsea’ and is in camp with the catchers this year. “Obviously, you’re getting older, you don’t move the same, you don’t hit the same, all you can do is just teach young guys — that’s how you become as a backery should move for West Ham midfielder Declan Rice.Robson thinks that Emery is looking for a holding midfield player this summer and thinks Rice would be the perfect addition.“I think Unai Emery will be looking for a holding midfield player,” Robsup catcher,” he said. “I never consider myself a backup because I really believe I can do the job playing every day. But there’s going to be a year where I have to do it, no matter what. Maybe this is it, this is the year to do it.”

asking price for Ryan Sessegnon.Spurs have alread


Mariners manager Eric Wedge reiterated on Monday that will be the primary first baseman this season. , who was acquired from the Angels in the offseason, will see the majority of the time at DH. “It would have to be something drastic” to change that, Wedge told .com. Wedge added that he has liked what he’s seen from Smoak thus far in camp. “Technique wise, just the fundamental side of things,” Wedge said. “Obviously we knew what he was doing for the last 5-6 weeks last year and we want to serit around the club after their 2-2 draw with Manchester City.United fought hard for their point against Pep Guardiola’s men and twice came back from behind at St James’ Park with Jetro Willems and Jonjo Shelvey grabbing equalisers.When asked about te a lot of that. You look at the ball off the bat, how it’s reactchester United.The Nigeria international has been linked with United.”I am flattered when hearing such a thing,” Ndidi s legend Steve Bull says there’s still time to complete the Premier League season.Bull wrote for the Express & Star: “What the staff will be doing is trying to make sure the lads are at a level where they will be ready to go as soon as possible wtold Goal.“It is very good to hear about that interest from big clubs, but there is nothing on the ground so I won’t care about iing and carrying. Really all we have to work on right now is batting practice, but bat speed we’re seeing. There are things we need to see for him to be successful and we’re seeing those.”

d is on track.The Evening Chronicle reports they’v


The Nationals signed former reliever to a minor league deal Wednesday, and according to, they intendchester United defender Harry Maguire has urged fans to judge him over the long-term.Maguire, who became the world’s most expensive defender with his £80m summer switch from Leicester, has endured a difficult start to his United career.”I think it’s to use him as a first baseman. Owings attempted to convert to being a position player last season while on a dBarcelona are moving for SD Aucas wing-back Diego Palacios.The exciting Ecuador U20 international is already the subject of an offer from Barca.Mundo Deportivo says Barca have made an opening bid for Palacios – though will have to go higher after Aucas turned the offer down.The youngster can leave for a price of €5m.Palacios spent this past season in Europe on-loan with Willem II in Holland.isabled list stint with the Padres, but elbow surgery ultimately ended his season and his case a top four finish.They play Watford at home on Sunday with the final league game to come after the Europa League second leg. That is away at Leicester.”We are going to take one after the other one,” said Giroud. “We have our destiny in our hands onversion attempt. In 205 career at-bats, Owings has a .283 batting average with nine home runs and 35 RBI.

a move away.The Manchester Evening News says repor


Pittsburgh and pitcher still have not finalized the re-working of a contract. Liriano agreed to a two-year deal with Pittsburgh in December, but the deal was revised after the lefty broke his non-pitching arm in a home-related accident. “The proar-old, who signed from Southampton in July 2014, will be available on a free transfer and a series of clubs have already begun to register an interest, says the Liverpool-midfielder-Adam-Lallana-set-leave-Arsenal-Tottenham-interested.html” target=”_cessBournemouth manager Eddie Howe has planned talks with Harry Arter.The midfielder spent last season on loan at Cardiff City.The Mirror claims Arter is being chased by the Bluebirds and Fulham.But first Howe wants to sit down with Arter to discuss his future.The Republic of Ireland international has been at the Cherries since 2010. continues,” GM Neal Huntingtonchester City attacker Leroy Sane admits his injury recovery has been a battle this season.Sane has been out of action since suffering knee ligament damage against Liverpool in the Community Shield last August. “It was the hardest and longest injury t said. “We have ongoing conversations. I’m not an oddsmaker, so I don’t know if it is likely or unlikely that we will add another pitcher.”

es the club had developed Goodison Park sooner.Moy

content_img Baseball Insider Jon Heyman reported on Friday that the Seattl Sane.Sane was heavily linked with the Bundesliga giants over the summer, but a move fat” when his side scored a late winner to reach the Carabao Cup final.Villa were on the verge of a penalty shoot out with Leicester City at home.But attacker Trezeguet got them a 2-1 win in the second leg, which put them through 3-2 on aggregate.Smithiled to materialise after he was ruled out for seven months in August with an ACL injury.SPOX says the Bundesligained to hold onto his key players this summer.The Blades are one of the most impressive teams in the Premier League this season.They have held their own in the first season after promotion, and they are in with a shout of a Champions League or Europa giants are still hopeful of bringing the Germany e Mariners have agreed to a one-year, $5.25 million deal with first baseman . The Mariners acquired Morales in a January deal for pitcher .

Mat Latos ready for Game 5 start


(US Presswire)

CINCINNATI — Last December, Walt Jocketty traded three of the Reds’ top prospects to for a pitcher he thought could put the team over the edge — the type of pitcher that you can count on in the postseason if you have just one game to win. will have his chance to prove he’s that guy on Thursday.

Latos will start Game 5 of the National League Division Series against the Giants for the Reds at Great American Ball Park on Thursday afternoon with the chance to send to the National League Championship Series for the first time in 17 years.

Latos, 14-4 with a 3.48 ERA, came into Game 1 in relief for the injured and pitched four innings of one-run baseball. He was 2-0 with a 0.56 ERA against during the regular season and has quite the history with the team. To say he’s fired up, one teammate said, would be an understatement.

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After the Game 4 loss, Latos was brought into the interview room for a postgame news conference. Manchester United team of the Premier League era.The Red Devils lost 2-0 to West Ham United on Sunday, leaving theme with eight points from their first six matches in the Premier League.”This is the worst group Manchester United have ever had since tHis responses were terse, but he said he was certainly up for the task, especially pitching on regular rest.

“I’m just looking at it as another start,” Latos said. “I just got to go out there and pitch my game.”

The last time Latos faced a Giants team in a do-or-die situation, the Giants beat Latos and the Padres on the final day of the 2010 season — “2010 was in 2010. 2012 is a little different,” Latos said. “It’s two years ago, so …”

He’ll be facing Giants ace , the loser of Game 1.

“All four games have been pretty mentally tiring, well-played games on our end there and well-played games on their end here,” Reds left fielder said. “It’ll be a good matchup, Latos, Cain, that’s two pretty-good pitchers.”

Despite the Reds’ two losses, the team remained confident, especially in Latos.

“I’m excited he’s getting the ball, I have a lot of confidence in him, he’s got a lot of confidence,” catcher said. “He’s going to be Mat, he’s going to be aggressive and come at guys and do what it takes. He’s pitched well for us, he’s been hot. That’s all in our favor.”

For more baseball nhe career plan.The ex-midfielder, who has retireyang is too selfless to play for an elite club.Aubameyang has been linked with Real Madrid and Barcelona throughout his career.But former Gunners scout Mislintat, who signed the striker from Borussia Dortmund, was quoted by The Athletic saying: “He id and is now the coach of Al Sadd in Qatar, has recently completed his UEFA Pro Licence at Las Rozas in Madrid. And his goal remains to make it back to Barça as the club’s first team coach one day. “Myews, rumors and analysis, follow on Twitter, subscribe to the and .

AL Manager of the Year Watch


(US Presswire)

So, our tour of the BBWAA award races ends here, with the big daddy of them all — the American League Manager of the Year. This is the one I know you have spent hours debating at the bar, so let’s just get to it…

The Orioles have allowed 46 more runs than they’estored confidence to Tottenham Hotspur’s playing group.That is according to Spurs legend and club ambassador Ledley King.The North London club have won four out of their last five Premier League fixtures since Mourinho’s appointment.”Confidence playve scored, that’s worse than the , and only six runs better than the . Of those teams, only the Orioles are within 3 1/2 games of the lead in their divisioSchalke sports director Jochen Schneider admits they’re delighted with the impact of Jonjoe Kenny.The fullback is on a season-long loan from Everton.”We are happy that we have him. Not only as a player, but also as a person and as a type he suits Schalke,” said Schneider.”I hope that we will have the chance to keep him longer.”Kenny’s loan deal does not include a buy option.n. While their Pythagorean record is 60-69, their real record is 71-58. There has to be a reason, and the manager’s influence may be as good of a guess as any. Showalter’s done a masterful job, and there’s no question about that.

More from Eye on Baseball | | |

The are fading, but the A’s aren’t — and that’s something nobody would have expected a month ago. While not matching their blistering 19-5 pace of July, the A’s put together their second-best month of the season in August. If that continues into September and the A’s make the playoffs and the Orioles miss out, Melvin could swoop in and take the award.

Don’t laugh. Even though the Mariners are 63-68, the Mariners are 27-17 in the second half of the season and 21-13 since was traded. Wedge should be in consideration, even with his team’s last-place standing. By going under the radar the second half of this year and joining the AL West next season, he’s a good sleeper pick for the 2013 Manager of the Year Award.

The White Sox are still leading the AL Central, even though the perception still may that they’re only there because has sputtered.

He’s arguably the best manager in the game, but there’s no overwhelming narrative that boosts his case — and while bloggers love to blast voters over narratives for other awards, this is the one where that actually does account for votes. The Rayhero Andrea Pirlo insists they’re capable of upsetting derby rivals Inter Milan on Sunday.Pirlo is adamant form goes out the window in such games.”Despite the 19 points difference in the standings, I don’t think it is a one-way match, in fact, it wils are at their sneaky best, pitching well, scoring enough runs and within striking distance entering the final month of the season.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow on Twitter, subscribe to the and .

Big Deal: Veterans thrilled, Red Sox hailed, Dodgers criticized (by some, anyway)


(Getty Images)

One of the craziest, wildest and costliest (at least for one team involved) trades just went down, and many folks around baseball were left either admiring the sheer gall of the team that spent a quarter of a billion dollars (and about half of that on contracts that could only generously be called bad contracts), or wondering about the sheer craziness of it. Or maybe they were simply scratching their heads over the enormity of a trade in a month that’s known more for acquisitions of a more complementary nature.

Late August trades usually produce a back-of-the-rotation starter, a spare reliever or bench player, not two players signed to nine-figure deals ( and Carl Crawford) and another who was twice a World Series hero ().

More on Red Sox-Dodgers dealAnalysisRelated links More coverage | | |

When it was finished, you could imagine the principals on both teams celebrating. You could see the exuberant new  group fronted by Magic Johnson, the sunniest superstar in sports history, going nuts in the California sun. One observer said there were high fives and hugs all around in the aftermath of the July 31 trade that netted the new Dodgers group outfielder , whose Dodgers future surely is limited to weeks now that Crawford and his $100-million nut have been imported.

Meantime, you could easily imagine Messers. John Henry, Tom Werner and Larry Lucchino enjoying a more low-key celebration in some blue-blood Back Bay club (no chicken and beer for this threesome). Having just ridded themselves of the worst contract in Red Sox history (Crawford’s), a growing thorn even if they wouldn’t admit it (Beckett’s overbearing presence among an impressionable underachieving younger rotation), and received two very nice pitching prospects in the process.

Everyone understood why the Red Sox, suffering through their unluckiest season in years, hit the reset button. But several baseball executives, who are only getting accustomed to the ways of the new Dodgers  ownership group, were having trouble coming to grips with the calculation that led the Dodgers to take $130-million in bad deals (and surrender the pair of righthanded prospects) just for the privilege of one fair superstar deal, the Adrian Gonzalez contract. “Insane,’’ one rival National League executive called the Dodgers’ end of the trade.

You’ll excuse competing execs for hyperbole attached to this outsized deal, as they struggle to come to grips with what just went down. The deal — which sent Gonzalez, Beckett, Crawford and feisty little utilityman west to the Dodgers for underachieving first baseman plus pitching prospects Rubby (pronounced Ruby) De La Rosa and Allen Webster, outfield prospect Jerry Sands and infield prospect Ivan De Jesus Jr. – was shocking  from both ends.

No one has ever witnessed spending like the Dodgers in baseball (it’s like a mid-‘80s Steinbrenner on steroids, if you’ll pardon the analogy). And rarely has anyone seen a financially healthy club like the Red Sox, with baseball’s second highest revenue, conduct a late-August fire sale on the fly.

 Here’s a closer look at how this affects the main players.

Dodgers people got the ball rolling, originally calling Red Sox president Larry Lucchino with one question in mind: would the Red Sox consider trading Gonzalez, the quiet hitting star whose recent occasional complaints about the soap-operatic nature of the Red Sox scene had begun to seep into the media. The $2.15 billion spent to buy the team by the new Dodges ownership team – officially the Guggenheim Partners – was only the beginning, as new president Stan Kasten insinuated when he told soon after the purchase of the team, “You think that’s (the new owners’) last $2 billion?’’

Kasten had been known as an overspending critic as president of the , but sources suggest the directive to spend is the brainchild of the money men above Kasten. The unusual strategy seems to be to improve the team, no matter the cost.

The Dodgers took the entire $38 million remaining on ’s contract at a time when Ramirez was batting .240 something over a year and a half period (that moves seems prescient today as Ramirez has unearthed his old enthusiasm and found his old stroke, with an RBI a game in L.A.) and put in a claim on , which would have obligated them to $95 million through 2015 had the simply said “take him.’’

“This is what happened when you have other people’s money to spend,’’ one competing owner said about the Dodgers, referring to the group’s insurance monies, while at the same time admiring their aggression. About this trade, that very same exec said, “This makes them the favorite in the National League to get to the World Series.’’

Unquestionably, they are the new financial bully on the block. But in the case of Lee, the Dodgers failed to persuade the Phillies to give him up, despite offering to send players (presumably prospects) to Philly to make it happen. The Phillies wanted to keep their big trio of starting pitchers together, and may have had an aversion to selling such a sale to fans that regularly jam Citizens Bank Park. The Red Sox, exhausted by a year of heartache, had no such qualms.

After Lucchino got the call from Dodgers people expressing interest in A-Gon, it seems Red Sox higher-ups quickly figured out their best play was to use the Dodgers, a team with lower revenues, as their new piggy back. Even with sending them about $12 million, the Red Sox will save upwards of $250 million with this deal.

De La Rosa and Webster give the Red Sox two strong arms (’s old GM Theo Epstein tried hard to pry Webster from L.A. for , but the Dodgers wouldn’t do it). The key to this deal for them, though, is what baseball people call “financial flexibility.’’

Lucchino and his Red Sox management team, willing to consider anything in season dominated by injuries and firestorms, surely didn’t take to long to realize that the best thing they could extract from the ill snub the Red Devils’ £350,000-per-week contract offer.He is out contract at the end of the summer and international team-mates reckon he may decide to run his current deal down and talk to other clubs in January to arrange a free transfer in theDodgers’ new largesse was the very cash they have used as a weapon. And they got plenty of spending loot here.

The question is for Boston now is: Where to begin? The free-agent market isn’t exactly stocked with stars, and one may question whether the two best players – and – are right for Boston.

Then again, who knows? No one, except his old team the , realized Crawford wasn’t a fit in Boston after he starred in the American League East against Boston for so long. The Red Sox aren’t going to hoard the cash, and they have no intention to rebuild, so look for them to be a big player this winter.

For now, the deal is being mostly cheered in Boston, where everyone is fan enough to realize the mega gift horse their team just received. As much fretting as there was break his silence on talk of a move to Newcastle United.Vieira, who would command a fee if he is to leave Nice, is due to speak to the press after Nice’s first pre-season training session of the summer on Monday – and will answer questions about hisover the team’s standing this year, there was much more worry about how the Crawford contract might handicap them for six years to come.

There’s no second guessing a trade they had to make. But the trick now for Boston will be in finding where to spending their newfound largesse. They could use an outfielder, a starting pitcher and maybe a first baseman and shortstop. But where will they get tfifth round of the FA Cup is a huge boon for the club.The Premier League side survived a huge scare in Tuesday’s fourth-round replay against League One Oxford United, who came back from two goals down to draw 2-2 and take the game to extra time.Neithhem?

Gonzalez, Beckett and Punto all looked thrilled on a Twitter picture posted on Punto’s account from the Dodgers’ plane, sent special by their new team. You could imagine, of course. This team is first class all the way.

You could also imagine Crawford smiling just as broadly down in Florida, where he was rehabbing after his elbow surgery. Part of the new Dodgers’ excitement could come from the thrill of joining a pennant race. But much of it may come from the wonder of going to a place that seems even greener (as in money). As unhappy as players were to represent old owner Frank McCourt, they are that happy to play for Magic’s team.

After Beckett quickly waived his no-trade rights (“he wanted to leave,’’ one Red sox official said), and so did Crawford, whose inclusion of the Dodgers on his no-trade list of only three teams was interesting, the Dodgers sent the same for the trio.

GM Ben Cherington’s public niceties regarding Beckett may have been partly PR, as even the staunchest Beckett supporter had to wonder whether he was hindering a rotation of kids that followed him around and seemingly had lost its way. He also wasn’t pitching especially well, as his 5-11 record and 5 ERA attest. Said one rival GM:  “If Beckett isn’t Beckett, I think the Dodgers are still in trouble.’’

The excising of the Crawford deal is the biggest benefit to Boston here, as no one could have imagined anyone taking a player with $100 million to go who had just gone under the knife. The Tommy John surgery may still allow Crawford to be ready for the start of the 2013 season. But even if it does open the year in L.A., the Dodgers have to hope, like Ramirez, he finds his pre-2011 Floridian glory.

He’s still young enough to do it, and Southern California may be laid-back enough to allow Crawford’s true talents to surface. For all A-Gon’s recent concerns about the Boston fishbowl, there isn’t any doubt the one it most affected was Crawford. There was reasonable question as to whether he ever was going to play to his potential in Boston, so it’s only right the Red Sox found the one team willing to absorb what’s left of his $142-million, seven-year deal.

No one else would have done it. No one else could have even considered it.

Let’s not forget, though, the Dodgers’ Hanley move has worked wonders despite some doubters. And even without Crawford until next year, the Dodgers’ lineup looks stacked.

The days where was considered mostly alone are long gone. A smiling A-Gon was on the way, perhaps the very one who made impossible PETCO Park seem hitter friendly only a few years ago. Gonzalez wasn’t bad in Boston, but he wasn’t the freakishly good hitter that terrorized National League pitching for seasons in .

 If the Dodgers get that guy, they may steal their division – though the word “steal’’ is being used loosely here, as it came with a quarter-billion-dollar expenditure.