For parts of ten seasons, Matt Williams manned the hot corner for the San Francisco Giants. But a confident rookie general manager had seen enough and with the addition of Barry Bonds a few years prior, Brian Sabean felt it was time to move on from Williams.
Thus, the powerful third baseman was traded to the Cleveland Indians for the 1997 season for a volatile and somewhat unknown second baseman in Jeff Kent.
That trade of course worked out beautiful for the Giants as Kent became an MVP and formed an impressive duo with Bonds in the middle of the Giants’ lineup. But before Kent turned into the slugging second baseman that he became, Sabean says he received death threats for trading the fan favorite.
Sabean, reminiscing about trading Matt Williams as a rookie GM, said he actually received death threats at home. Had to shut off voicemail.
Sabean also said it fan reaction was as if he shot the Easter Bunny:
Sabean on reaction to trading Matt Williams: “That was like shooting the Easter bunny.”
And you thought your job was difficult.