All the Sox needed was Jake Peavy's word. That's all it took. After engineering an unlikely trade (no easy feat) for the Padres pitcher, who has a full no-trade clause in his soon-to-be-very-large contract with San Diego, Peavy had a choice. He could stay with the Padres and wait it out, maybe winding up on a team he has a stated preference for (he's been vocal about his desire to play for the Cubs) somewhere in the National League. Or he could throw caution to the wind, accept the trade, and be the Sox's conquering hero.
Peavy decided, after just a few hours of post-trade deliberation, to stay put. Ouch.
There are non-Sox-related reasons for Peavy's rejection. He wanted to stay in the National League, for one (his numbers in the AL, out of Petco Park, the best pitcher's park in the country, would not be pretty). He just built a house in California, for another; one can forgive him for not just jumping at the first trade offer that crossed his agent's desk.
But Peavy does want to get one thing across, Sox fans: He doesn't hate the White Sox. Don't be mad, OK?
"It was not that Jake didn't want to come to the White Sox," he said. "He felt very uncomfortable being put in the position to have to publicly render his verdict on whether to go or stay. We would rather these things stay private. But that is hard to do these days with blogging and texting and people in the clubhouse. These things always come out. And it did.
"That being said, he didn't say he didn't want to be on the White Sox. What he said was, 'Right now, all things considered, it is better for me and my family to stay in San Diego than it is to accept a deal to the White Sox.'
Always blaming it on the blogging and the texting! Maybe Axelrod should blame it on the Padres' front office, who leaked the information to ensure that Peavy had to make the call in public, thus making him look like the bad guy.
The larger moral here is this: Jake Peavy didn't want to come to the White Sox, at least not right now. We've all been rejected before. We've been laughed at in the bar. It happens. You lick your wounds, stand up, and move on. The girl you eventually strike up a conversation with might be slightly less attractive than your dream girl, but that's why they call her a dream.
Eamonn Brennan is a Chicago-based writer, editor and blogger. You can also read him at Yahoo! Sports, Mouthpiece Sports Blog, and Inside The Hall, or at his personal site, eamonnbrennan.com. Follow him on Twitter.