Thursday April 07, 2011 | 07:52 AM

So, Red Sox fans are glum. Well, you could be Pittsburgh Pirates fans.

While Pittsburgh is off to a 4-2 start this year (as opposed to the 0-5 Red Sox), the franchise is well into its second decade of losing. And deals like the 2008 trade, which involved former Sea Dogs Brandon Moss and Craig Hansen, show why.

Back then, Boston needed to get rid of Manny Ramirez. The Pirates were looking to get something for Bay, who was going to become a free agent after the 2009 season.

Boston sent Ramirez to the Dodgers. Pittsburgh sent Bay to Boston. In return, Pittsburgh received Moss and Hansen from Boston, and Bryan Morris and Andy LaRoche from Los Angeles.

After releasing Hansen on Wednesday, all the Pirates have left is Morris, 24, a promising pitcher who will begin the year in Double-A.

Moss, 27, played two full seasons for Portland, capping his time here with the MVP award in the 2006 Eastern League Championship Series. He played briefly with Boston, but got a full-time chance with Pittsburgh in 2009, playing 133 games. But Moss batted .236 with seven home runs. he spent most of 2010 in the minors and was allowed to walk. He is now with the Phillies Triple-A team.

LaRoche, a third baseman, batted .258 for Pittsburgh in 2009, then .206 in 2010. He was let go and then signed with the A's.

Hansen, 27, was a first-round pick of the Red Sox in 2005 and arrived in Portland at the end of the season. He also began 2006 at Hadlock Field. Hansen made sporadic, unsuccessful appearances at Fenway before he was traded. He had a 7.47 ERA for the Pirates in 16 games in 2008, then a 5.68 ERA in five games in 2009.

He was shut down early in April with a nerve condition that caused spasms in his neck. He appeared in a handful of minor league games in 2010.

I will check back later this afternoon, after the Sox game - and before the Sea Dogs' opener.

See today's story in the Press Herald, which includes the opening lineup.




About this Blog

Kevin Thomas covers baseball and basketball for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram. He wisely moved to Maine in 1994 after working for the St. Petersburg Times. He is married to Nancy and they have nine children.

Follow his thoughts on the Boston Red Sox and Portland Sea Dogs on Clearing the Bases

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