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Monday, August 13, 2018

If you need a consistent, even-keeled manager, Red Sox bench coach Ron Roenicke is the guy

Isn’t this the point of the deadline? It’s supposed to be difficult.

1. There’s a movement within baseball to get rid of the waiver trading period and extend the non-waiver trade deadline until about mid-August. While there are trades made during the waiver period, the exercise is time-consuming and creates a lot of administrative paperwork that even Major League Baseball would love to eliminate. “It’s just a stupid exercise,” said one National League official. “You pass players through waivers that you have no intention of ever trading. Ninety-nine percent of the good players that get claimed are pulled back, and the ones you do want to move you find what the claiming team is offering is just 25 cents on the dollar. The simple solution is to just extend the non-waiver deadline so that teams can figure what they have at the beginning of August — if they have an injury or if some player is underperforming then you look to improve your club. The way it is now is just futile. If you’re a good team, you constantly get blocked for players that could be useful to you.” This is a negotiated issue between players’ union and owners, so there would have to be mutual agreement to change it.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 13, 2018 at 02:22 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox, sunday notes

Fangraphs: Jackie Bradley, Jr. and the Error Rule

To summarize:

1. The MLB rules state that the part of the error rule about ordinary effort is an objective standard.

2. The part of the error rule that says it’s all dependent on the judgment of the official scorer establishes a subjective standard.

3. Statcast is more 1. than 2.

IMO the standard of “ordinary effort” applies to any part of the fielding process, not the sum total. If a fielder gets an extraordinary jump, runs with extraordinary speed on an unusually efficient route, and then botches the catch, it doesn’t matter that ordinary effort wouldn’t have put him in position to make the catch. A fielder in position to make the catch will, in ordinary effort, make the catch. Failing to catch it, after getting into position, is an error. Failing to get into position to make the catch - through ordinary effort - is not an error.


Sunday, August 12, 2018

10 Yrs Later - Reflecting on maybe the Craziest Red Sox Game Of All

Consider the basics:

- In the bottom of the first inning, the Red Sox took a 10-0 lead over the Texas Rangers, sparked by two 3-run home runs by David Ortiz.

- The Rangers rallied to take a 16-14 lead.

- The Sox responded, ultimately prevailing on a Kevin Youkilis 3-run home run with two outs in the 8thinning for a 19-17 win.

- The 36 runs scored tied a 58 (now 68)-year-old record for most runs scored in an American League game.

But what made this night truly bizarre, singularly weird under the baseball zodiac, Zany with a capital Z?

That would be the Red Sox starting pitcher.

The guy named Zink.

Charlie Zink.

This is a really cool piece that touches on the crazy game and Zink’s life since the game (he is a car salesman and seems content and happy).

 

Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: August 12, 2018 at 02:17 PM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: knuckleball, rangers, red sox

Saturday, August 11, 2018


Saturday, August 04, 2018

WaPo: The 2018 Red Sox bring to mind the ’17 Dodgers, but can they write a different ending?

The two best regular-season teams of the past half-century remain the 2001 Mariners, who went 116-46, and the 1998 Yankees, who went 114-48. But only one of them is in the discussion as the best team in modern history. 

...

Many factors could go into the discussion of whether a team can be called the best ever — including win-loss record, run-differential and even the number of future Hall of Famers on a roster — but unless the Red Sox win their final game, and lock down another World Series title, they will be just another would-be contender that wasn’t quite great enough.

ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: August 04, 2018 at 11:42 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball history, red sox

Red Sox pitcher finds Tony La Russa’s lost World Series ring in surprising place

[Insert joke concerning 2004 World Series here]

Hall of Fame manager Tony La Russa has enough rings from his baseball career to nearly fill one hand. He was a three-time World Series champion as a manager, winning one with the Oakland Athletics in 1989 and two more with the St. Louis Cardinals during the early 2000s. Of course, his Hall of Fame induction in 2014 came with a ring too, bringing his total to four.

As we learned on Friday, it can be a chore to keep track of that much precious jewelry. Though the place where La Russa essentially lost one of his Cardinals World Series rings was pretty shocking.

Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Joe Kelly took to Twitter Friday afternoon to reveal La Russa’s World Series ring was actually wedged inside his glove.

QLE Posted: August 04, 2018 at 10:36 AM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: count da ringz, joe kelly, red sox, tony la russa

Thursday, August 02, 2018

Owner John Henry: Now Red Sox need to produce in postseason

Of course that staff included Chili Davis and Brian Butterfield who are getting very positive reviews in Chicago.

“If you remember during spring training I got frustrated initially with writers’ negativity that we hadn’t done much,” Henry wrote in his first public comments on the team since spring training. “I pointed out how bad our approach was last year and how a clean sweep of staff was a major change. Alex and his staff have had a clear approach that is quite different from what we had before, different on a number of levels.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 02, 2018 at 01:57 PM | 68 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Sale placed on DL with shoulder inflammation

The Red Sox placed ace Chris Sale on the 10-day disabled list on Tuesday (retroactive to Saturday) with mild left shoulder inflammation and recalled right-hander Brandon Workman from Triple-A Pawtucket.

Sale was originally set to start Thursday vs. the Yankees, but instead Brian Johnson will take the ball when the American League East rivals square off at Fenway Park.

This kinda feels like a move that’s just meant to give Sale some extra rest.

Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: July 31, 2018 at 06:47 PM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: chris sale, disabled list, red sox

Thursday, July 26, 2018

J.D. Martinez’s Defense? What The Numbers Really Say

The graphics are goofy; the videos are useful; the conversation is fantastic. A moderate-depth piece from Alex Speier on why some advanced defensive metrics aren’t advanced enough.

“Statcast data has changed the way that internally teams are doing defensive evaluations,” Stern told Martinez. “But to the best of my knowledge, I don’t think very much of that is public, so it hasn’t really changed any of the public-facing numbers that people have access to.”

Martinez had heard similar feedback last year after he was traded from the Tigers to the Diamondbacks. With Detroit, Martinez had graded as well below-average. After his trade, UZR and DRS offered favorable numbers for his work. Martinez recalled a conversation with Arizona head of analytics Mike Fitzgerald in which he discussed the disparity.

“My [UZR] has always been a negative in the outfield,” recounted Martinez. “Then I go to Arizona and my [UZR] is positive. I go, ‘What’s the difference?’ He said, ‘Now we’ve got you positioned right.’ ”


Monday, July 23, 2018

PBS American Masters: Ted Williams

Showing tonight, at 9 PM local time for me. YMMV; check your local listings. (EDIT: link to online version here, h/t to Jim Furtado. Link says the video expires 8/20/18.  -vi)

In honor of the centennial of Baseball Hall of Famer Ted Williams, American Masters presents a new biography of the Boston Red Sox player who may have been the greatest hitter who ever lived.


Tuesday, July 17, 2018

J.D. Martinez open to making more permanent relationship with Red Sox | WEEI

Let’s enjoy the rest of this season, next season, and get Mookie signed before we worry about getting J.D. extended.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 17, 2018 at 02:50 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: j.d. martinez, red sox

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Who Ya Got? An MVP Primer

The MVP goes to the best player on the best team — except when it doesn’t.
Players from bad teams never win the MVP — except when they do.
MVPs are players who show up for work every day — except when they’re not.
MVP voters hate second basemen like an underemployed son-in-law…

gehrig97 Posted: July 14, 2018 at 08:57 AM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: mike trout, mookie betts, mvp, red sox

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Alex Cora: Dustin Pedroia to rehab in Arizona, but still expects him back this season

It’s not looking good for his return.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 12, 2018 at 01:08 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: dustin pedroia, red sox

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Report: Cops Looking Into Hanley Ramirez’s Possible Connection To Fentanyl Trafficking Ring

ABC investigative journalist Michele McPhee says authorities are looking into Hanley Ramirez’s possible relationship to a large fentanyl distribution case in Massachusetts.

McPhee, who broke the news of Aaron Hernandez’s murder charges in 2013, told WBZ-FM Friday afternoon that during a car stop in which police found a “significant amount of drugs,” the suspect claimed an item found in the vehicle belonged to Ramirez—and then proved by it FaceTiming the three-time All-Star in front of cops. That car stop, according to McPhee, “coordinated with the timing of his release from the Red Sox.”


Saturday, June 09, 2018

Joe Kelly Has the Best Draft Day Story Ever

“I turned 21 the day of the Draft. So double-whammy,” the Red Sox reliever said. “I knew I was getting drafted, obviously, and I turned 21 that day. So obviously that doesn’t mix too well. Let’s just say I was really, really, really belligerently drunk before the draft even started.”

 

Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: June 09, 2018 at 12:14 AM | 44 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, cardinals, draft, red sox

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

How Dwight Evans Overcame a Mid-Career Crisis to Evolve into a Hall of Fame-Caliber Player

In early July 1980, Dwight Evans’ career stood at a crossroads.  For the past seven and a half seasons, Evans had played right field for the Boston Red Sox.  Evans possessed one of the most feared throwing arms in the game and was recognized for his defensive skills which had won him three Gold Glove Awards.  Evans was a decent hitter but had yet to have a breakout campaign at the plate.  After struggling mightily in the batter’s box during the first few months of the 1980 season, Evans found himself platooned with outfielder Jim Dwyer.  Determined to remain Boston’s starting right fielder, Evans sought the advice of Red Sox coach Walt Hriniak.  Evans and Hriniak worked together on the beleaguered hitter’s swing and not only pulled the veteran out of his slump but also helped him evolve into one of the era’s most dominant sluggers and put together a Hall of Fame-caliber career.


Friday, May 25, 2018

Red Sox to part ways with Hanley Ramirez

According to a major league source, the Red Sox informed Ramirez Friday morning that they will designate him for assignment in order to open a spot on the major league roster for Dustin Pedroia, who is returning from the disabled list after his rehab from offseason knee surgery.

The Red Sox are responsible for more than $15 million remaining on Ramirez’s salary through the duration of this season. They will have seven days to trade or release him.

The decision to part ways with the 34-year-old Ramirez may avoid a potentially awkward situation related to his $22 million vesting option for 2019. With a total of 497 plate appearances this year, Ramirez would have been guaranteed another $22 million next season. He’d already accumulated 195, putting him on pace to blow past the required number to secure his salary for next season.

Seems like his recent slump is an excuse to get out of the contract.

Greg Pope Posted: May 25, 2018 at 12:08 PM | 72 comment(s)
  Beats: hanley ramirez, red sox

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

Yanks, Red Sox will take rivalry to London in ‘19

NEW YORK—The most historic rivalry in baseball will break new ground in June 2019, with the Red Sox and Yankees scheduled to meet in London for the first Major League games played in Europe.

The MLB London Series will be played June 29-30, 2019, at London Stadium, site of the 2012 Olympic Games, which will take on a baseball configuration for the event. The estimated capacity of London Stadium for the series will be 55,000. The Red Sox will be the home team for both games, marking the first time that the clubs have met in a city that was not Boston or New York.

I’ll almost certainly go, because hey! MLB in my home city. But Yankees v Red Sox? Bleah.

manchestermets Posted: May 08, 2018 at 10:36 AM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: london, overseas series, red sox, yankees

Thursday, May 03, 2018

This wasn’t a catcher’s balk in Royals’ game, but it was a rarity in baseball history

The play didn’t have an impact on the outcome of the Royals’ wild 7-6 win at Boston on Tuesday, but this was one of the rarest plays you’ll see in a game.

The Royals had runners on first and second with two outs and Lucas Duda at the plate. Boston catcher Christian Vazquez blocked a pitch from Carson Smith, and the ball was on the ground next to him. Vazquez used his catcher’s mask to secure the ball, and that’s not allowed.

Zach Posted: May 03, 2018 at 11:58 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: catchers, rare plays, red sox, royals

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Joe Kelly Roams Stands During Game

Friday night, the second game of his suspsension, the pitcher had tickets for Green Monster seats but couldn’t sit still, venturing to three different spots in Fenway Park, including the bleachers. Sunday he took it to another level.

“I was in the suite and we weren’t getting any runs and we were losing so I moved and went out to the bleachers. We got a couple of runs,” Kelly said. “I moved to another location and that didn’t work, so I moved to the Sam Adams Party Deck and we ended up getting the runs. Then I watched the rest, when Craig [Kimbrel> came in, from the State Street Pavilion. I had to change locations. I was getting superstitious.”

This is pretty cool.  Kelly the pitcher frustrates me but he has always struck me as a good guy. This is pretty cool.

 

Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: April 29, 2018 at 07:09 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: fans, red sox

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Forget that one call; Sean Manaea deserves our full attention

Rule 5.09(b)(1): Any runner is out when he runs more than three feet away from his base path to avoid being tagged unless his action is to avoid interference with a fielder fielding a batted ball. A runner’s base path is established when the tag attempt occurs and is a straight line from the runner to the base he is attempting to reach safely.

The play: In the top of the sixth, Benintendi hit a slow chopper up the line that was fielded by Oakland first baseman Matt Olson coming in on the ball. Olson picked up the grounder and dove to tag Benintendi, who veered right—with both feet clearly outside the outer edge of the running lane—and then dove back into the first-base bag. Olson never tagged him. At first, Benintendi was called safe before the play was overturned.

Bored Posted: April 22, 2018 at 02:21 PM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, no hitter, red sox, rules of the game, sean manaea

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

About the only problem the Red Sox have is what to do with Blake Swihart

Having talent is not a problem. Because of his injuries Swihart’s stock is down. The Red Sox need to get him into the mix behind the plate to either showcase him for deals or to turn him into a partner for Vazquez. They can keep Sandy Leon around if they want him for insurance to remain as a future backup to Vazquez. He should not be an impediment.

Rick Porcello has now settled in nicely with Leon catching him. Pitchers love Leon behind the plate. Any notion of trying to deal Leon to make room for Swihart is likely not realistic. Nor is the possibility of trading Swihart. The last thing Dave Dombrowski wants is to deal Swihart, have a catcher go down here, and then watch Swihart turn into a star someplace else.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 17, 2018 at 08:53 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: blake swihart, red sox

Friday, April 13, 2018

Jared Banner and the making of a front-office prospect

Here’s something you don’t see every day, an in-depth look at a mid-level baseball exec.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 13, 2018 at 06:43 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox

Thursday, April 12, 2018

A Brawl Erupts, and the Red Sox-Yankees Rivalry Catches Fire

BOSTON — If there was any doubt that the saltiness had returned to the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry, it evaporated late Wednesday night when a 97-miles-per-hour fastball from Boston reliever Joe Kelly found its intended target: Tyler Austin’s ribs.

Austin slammed his bat down, fired his helmet to the ground and charged after Kelly, and soon both benches and bullpens were empty.


Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Bradford: Are players buying what baseball is selling when it comes to analytics? It’s a work in progress | WEEI

It seems to be working.

The Red Sox plan this season was to load up their coaches with a whole new level of analytics, filtering a new level of information to the players. It’s a whole new thing. And it’s one which, judging by an 8-1 start and the lowest batting average on balls in play in years, certainly seems to have some merit.

But, make no mistake about it, the selling of this new way of doing things is, and will be, a work in progress. The information gatherers know it. The coaches know it. And the players, they sure know it.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 10, 2018 at 09:08 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox, shifts

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