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Oh, Ben Lively, We Hardly Knew Ye

For a while you were the Byrd with the word.

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Yesterday, Charlie Scrabbles wrote a wonderful article about the abysmal situation the Reds had in left field and if Marlon Byrd could or could not solve that problem.  Walt Jocketty was prompt with his trolling of Red Reporter when he traded for Marlon Byrd literally like an hour later.  If I was Charwry Scrabs I'd be sending shitty emails to the Jockster.  I might even piss in his yard, but I'm not the man to gauge Senor Scrabbles actions.

What we do know is the Reds traded Ben Lively for Marlon Byrd and 4 billion million dollhairs.  I'll play the nice guy and agree with some people for a bit.  Everyone kept saying in a vacuum (who knew that had two "U's"?) that the trade wasn't bad.  On paper, which will be valued more than gold after the fall of civilization, it looks okay, I guess.  I don't think it makes a lot of sense for the Reds because vesting options, he old, and he'll probably hurt himself on Opening Day.  However, in a sweeper sucker, it wasn't the worst deal in the history of the Reds.

You know what?  Screw that.  If you guys wanna live in a vacuum more power to you.  I like to breathe because oxygen makes my lungs feel good.

I liked Ben Lively.  I liked him a lot.  Now he's probably gonna end up playing for the stupid Phillies.  With our luck, he'll probably end up being a very dependable #3 starter because 2014 was a thing.  It's not anymore, and that is the last time I'll bring it up.   Stick out your tongue and shoot spitty raspberries at it.  It was stoopy dumb, and this year will be stoopy awesome.  I declare it.

I just wanna reflect back on the man we gave up.  First, he has one of the best pictures ever, and please direct your undying attention back to the top of the page.  Did you look?  Good.  He looks like a puffer fish, and I'm pretty sure that ball went behind the batter.  Or, maybe, it was just a crappy camera angle.  Nope, he's a puffer fish.  We could also go off this inquisitive look he liked to give us.

He was thinking about how good he'd look in the good Red.  Not the stupid Philly Red.

Ben Lively was a 4th round pick of the 2013 draft out of the University of Central Florida.  He was considered a safe pick at the time, using a four pitch arsenal, and wisdom the Dalai Lama envied, to put up some snazzy college numbers.  He never had a high ceiling with scouts seeing him as a #4/5 starter or a reliable bullpen arm.  Not a bad rating for a 4th rounder.  It looked like at worst he'd a be a Sam LeCure.  Maybe he'd even grow a mustache, and we'd swoon!  Ben Lively decided not to be a Sam LeCure and took the minors by storm and we still swooned.

Before the season, this elitist clique was smart enough to give him the #10 spot on our Community Prospect Rankings, right behind The Good Sir Michael Lorenzen.  Which, if you think about it, is kind of a high ranking for a guy that was a 4th round pick and threw only 41 professional innings.  He rewarded our intelligence by putting up arguably one of the best seasons by a pitching prospect for any team and running away with the Reds Minor League Player of the Year award.  The reward for such award is being traded to the stupid Phillies.  

Lively started the year at A+ Bakersfield and posted a 2.28 ERA in 79 innings with a 10.8 K/9 and 1.8 BB/9.  He showed that kind of stuff the year before but everyone said he was old for those levels.  We were waiting to see what he'd do against more accelerated talent, and did he ever deliver with a sterling 5.94 K/BB ratio in 2014.  Whoops, I said that number again.

Finally, Lively was promoted to basically a hometown AA Pensacola.  Compared to his dominance of the California League, AA was a bit of a speed bump.  If you call a  3.88 ERA and a 9.5 K/9 a speed bump.  He was hampered by a 4.5 BB/9 and some bad luck, but come on, good for Benjamin Lively.  I gotta quit looking at his stat line or I'm gonna get a sobby and stuff.

With the 2015 RR Community Prospect Rankings (Hold on to your butts) coming up, I was prepared to make a vigorous argument that Lively deserved to be ranked at #5.  Maybe that is too high, but I was in prospect love.  It doesn't matter.  Walt Jocketty looked me in the eyes and told me he didn't love me.  My heart is shattered on the floor and I lost my broom.  Who's gonna pick up the pieces?  Alex Blandino, probably, and I'm calling it.  He's my prospect.  I'm putting him up on a mantle with Juan Silva.  

Good luck in the Philadelphia Mr. Lively.  This guy, and I'm sure the contingency that is Red Reporter, won't forget the fun ride you gave us in 2014.

PS: Saying "stupid Phillies, who are very stupid" is not an intended slight towards our brethren at The Good Phight.  They just root for a stupid team that took one of my favorite prospects, and I'm totes upset about it.