Yesterday I mentioned that the media spotlight that comes with playing in Boston will be one of the factors that will determine how good or bad the Jason Bay/Manny trade is for the Red Sox. When I say media spotlight, however, I don't just mean the greater number of beat reporters hanging around his locker after a game. In addition to that, there's the talk radio, and the fact that people on the street in Boston are way more likely to say something to a player than people in Pittsburgh, and a whole host of other things that, while no big deal in and of themselves, add up to create a different playing environment for a guy.
Here's an example: As Jason Bay rides in a cab to Fenway this afternoon, he can read the "(More than) 30 things" to know about the newest Sox slugger." Obviously it's not a list of obscure hyper-personal facts -- writer Matt Porter had to put it together pretty quickly -- but ask yourself: wouldn't you be at least the slightest bit weirded out by the knowledge that some guy you've never met stayed up all night to put that together? Wouldn't you get a little distracted reading an article like that about you -- an article much bigger, mind you than anything that ever appeared in Pittsburgh -- before you even donned a Boston uniform?
The thing is, there's going to be something like that every day. I know Bay is a pro and has been around a while, but (and I just learned this in a wicked profile of the guy in da Globe!) he's from Trail, B.C., Canada (population 7,237), and this all has to be different for him. Will it affect his hitting? Will that in turn intensify the scrutiny? Those, to me, are the key questions about this trade.