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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Full Count » Red Sox to call up right-hander Alex Wilson, option Daniel Nava

Nava had a great year in 2013. This year he has looked just awful on both sides of the ball. Still, I’m surprised they sent him down. Having options left is not good.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 24, 2014 at 06:47 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: daniel nava, red sox, shane victorino

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Michael Pineda ejected from Red Sox game after pine tar discovered on neck

No pine tar barren episode here.

Yankee pitcher Michael Pineda was ejected from his start against the Red Sox Wednesday night after umpires checked him for a foreign substance at the request of Boston manager John Farrell.

Pineda could face a suspension from Major League Baseball, especially since Joe Torre, MLB’s VP of baseball operations, talked to Yankee GM Brian Cashman after Pineda was spotted with a similar substance on his palm during his last start against the Red Sox on April 10.

Pineda obviously had a brown goop on his neck at the start of the second inning Wednesday. In his previous start against Boston, Pineda had a similar substance on his right palm, but the Red Sox never protested.

Repoz Posted: April 23, 2014 at 08:29 PM | 128 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox, yankees

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Baseball games still take too long. Blame the Red Sox.

With beer going for $9.00 a pop, every extra minute increases concession sales. But more money can’t be the cause. Right?

Jim Furtado Posted: April 22, 2014 at 03:21 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox, time of game, yankees

Baseball games still take too long. Blame the Red Sox.

With beer going for $9.00 a pop, every extra minute increases concession sales. But more money can’t be the cause. Right?

Jim Furtado Posted: April 22, 2014 at 03:20 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox, time of game, yankees

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Chris Resop - The Most Interesting Reliever in the World

As some of you may know, I am quite fond of ridiculously lopsided batter-pitcher match-ups. The match-up that everyone’s been freaking out about lately is Paul Goldschmidt vs. Tim Lincecum, and rightfully so. It’s completely ridiculous. Anyway, I was recently checking out Starlin Castro’s most lopsided match-ups. Sure enough, there was Resop. Castro is 6-8 with three home runs, zero walks, zero strikeouts, and one hit-by-pitch against Mr. Resop. Interesting! Sorta. Using our buddy Daren Willman‘s amazing Media tab on Chris Resop’s player page over on baseballsavant.com, I went back and found video of the three dingers he gave up to Starlin.

Wait. What? I went looking for these videos in search of a pattern; maybe a pattern of pitch location, or pitch type. What I found was something far more fascinating.

Howie B. Posted: April 17, 2014 at 09:06 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: chris resop, junk, pawtucket sox, red sox

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Joe Torre: John Farrell Will Be Fined By MLB For His Replay Criticism

Unfair to our rights! The hell with Cask’n Flagon call in Cliven Bundy!

Joe Torre, MLB’s executive vice president of baseball operations, told the New York Daily News on Monday that the Boston Red Sox manager will be fined for comments he made after Sunday’s loss to the New York Yankees.

“I’m not going to suspend him. It will be a fine,” Torre said. “I’m sorry about what he said. What I try to do in whatever I do in this job that the commissioner has imported me to do is basically never forget what it’s like to be a player or a manager. Part of that never forgetting are the feelings, especially when you’re dealing with Red Sox-Yankees games. There is nothing that is insignificant about anything that happens in those games.”

Torre also echoed the sentiments of Tony LaRussa, who urged managers Monday to give the system time before passing judgment.

“This (replay system) is a three-year rollout,” Torre said. “It’s probably going to take that long where you get it to where you want it to be. And the only way we’re going to find that out is to do what we’re doing. It’s not perfect.

“I’m not sure it’s ever going to be perfect. We feel for the most part, it’s going to get a lot of the plays right that are going to be game-changers. That could be two-out, nobody on, ground ball to first base. There’s nothing insignificant about any play because it could turn into something.”

Repoz Posted: April 15, 2014 at 12:39 PM | 40 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox, yankees

Monday, April 14, 2014

John Farrell: ‘It’s hard to have any faith in the [replay] system’

I sooo look forward to to every team having a Pelekoudas in the announcers booth explaining ####. #DOOM

“We felt that it was clear that the replay was inconclusive,” Farrell told reporters in New York. “The frustrating part is when this was rolled out and explained to us, particularly on the throw received by the first baseman, we were instructed that when the ball enters the glove, not that it has to hit the back of the glove, is where the out is deemed complete. At the same time, any angle that we looked at, you couldn’t tell if the foot was on the bag behind Mike Napoli‘s leg. Where this became conclusive is a hard pill to swallow. On the heels of yesterday, it’s hard to have any faith in the system, to be honest with you.”

Farrell went onto the field to argue the video reversal, prompting his immediate ejection (by rule). The manager admitted that his protest was a reflection of multiple days of dismay.

“I argued the point that it was inconclusive. I know that arguing a challenge play is not allowed, evident by spending most of the game inside. But on the heels of yesterday and today, this is a tough pill to swallow,” Farrell told reporters. “It’s extremely difficult to have any faith in the system, the process that’s being used.

“When you’re talking about something as substantial as replay being brought into the game, there’s going to be a learning curve and everybody becoming familiar with it. You would think that video replay would be conclusive — or there’s plays where it’s not conclusive, which is [Sunday night],” Farrell added. “Unfortunately we’re on the wrong side of it both times. … As much as they’re trying to help the human element inside this system, it seems like it’s added the human element at a different level.”

Repoz Posted: April 14, 2014 at 08:50 AM | 83 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox, yankees

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Robothal: Red Sox’s lowball offer might cost them Lester

This is is looking more and more like left-hander Jon Lester’s last season with the Boston Red Sox.

The Red Sox’s most recent offer to Lester was far below market value—four years for between $70 million and $80 million, according to sources within the team’€™s clubhouse.

Lester, who is eligible for free agency at the end of the season, rejected the offer and will not resume negotiations with the club until the offseason, the sources said.

The Red Sox will have an exclusive negotiating period with Lester between the end of the season and the start of free agency. They indicated a willingness to go higher, sources said, but are almost certain to lose Lester unless they dramatically increase their offer. 

Lester has expressed a willingness to give the Red Sox a hometown discount. But the team’s offer is not in line with recent activity on the starting-pitching market.

The District Attorney Posted: April 13, 2014 at 09:32 AM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: jon lester, red sox

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Closer Koji Uehara of Boston Red Sox held out with stiff shoulder - ESPN Boston

He isn’t an ironman.

Uehara said after the game he could have pitched, but didn’t want to risk aggravating the condition. He said he felt the stiffness in the same area he did while playing catch on June 10, 2012, when he was with the Texas Rangers. That injury was described as a strained latissimus dorsi, a muscle in his upper back, and he missed 66 games. After his return on Aug. 26, he made 17 appearances for the Rangers and posted a 1.23 ERA, striking out 21 and walking 1 in 14 2/3 innings.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 12, 2014 at 08:36 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: koji uehara, red sox

Thursday, April 10, 2014

PHOTOS: Is Michael Pineda using pine tar to shut down Red Sox?

zzz

So, as you read this, Yankees right-hander Michael Pineda is dominating the visiting Red Sox in a big way. However, is he doing so with pine tar illegally smeared all over his pitching hand? Check out the visual evidence from Thursday night’s game ...

Thanks to Wormeye.

Repoz Posted: April 10, 2014 at 09:03 PM | 91 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox, yankees

Granillo: David Ortiz Sets the Record for Slowest Tater Trot

Wow! 32.91 seconds! That’s about 25 minutes in instant replay time!

David Ortiz has always been near the top of the Tater Trot Tracker leaderboard with his classic Papi trots. In 2010, he was the first player to break the 30-second barrier. Since then, he has dominated the “Slowest Trot” lists every year. Last year, for example, Ortiz had 7 of the 10 slowest trots of the year.

Despite all of that, the single slowest trot of the Tater Trot Tracker era (non-injury division) belongs to Bobby Abreu, who took 31.56 seconds to round the bases on his final career trot. And last year, a gimpy (but not “injured”) Todd Helton took the number two spot with his 31.54 second trot in May (number 3 was claimed by Miguel Cabrera in August). In fact, that 30.59 second trot on May 24, 2010, was the only time Ortiz beat the half-minute mark.

That is, until tonight. In the 8th inning of the Red Sox game against the Rangers, Big Papi skied a ball down the right field line, clear over Pesky’s Pole. Ortiz stood at the plate as he waited to see if the ball would land fair or foul before finally beginning his trot six seconds after making contact. From there, he trotted around the bases like normal. But when you’re David Ortiz and you’ve given yourself six seconds at the plate, trotting around “like normal” is going to end badly.

The trot officially clocked in at 32.91 seconds — nearly 1.5 seconds slower than the previous slowest trot ever.

And that’s being generous! Because of the particular set-up of Fenway Park, there were no cameras to give a clear view of which foot touched home plate first. The 32.91 seconds assumes that Papi’s right foot is the one to reach the base first.

Repoz Posted: April 10, 2014 at 10:20 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox

Monday, April 07, 2014

Bill James Mailbag - 4/4/14 - 4/7/14

But Eckstein was a clubhouse lawyer...

The issue with the fielding is mostly tied to the spread that the system will estimate. For example, the 114 fielders in 2013 with at least 1000 innings, and including the “positional adjustment”, Fangraphs has those players with one standard deviation = 10.7 runs. http://tinyurl.com/fangraphsFLD2013 I presume that Win Shares is going to be less, probably half of that. So, if Fangraphs has [Manny] Machado at +34 runs, [Andrelton] Simmons at +32 and [Carlos] Gomez at +27 (and [Carlos] Beltran at -21!), this will drive the WAR result for many such players. Win Shares, by giving a fielding estimate a smaller standard deviation allows the offense portion to drive most of the results.

Right. And, to try to move the ball on this just an inch. .. .these discrepancies are caused by two issues. One issue is whether fielding events should be treated as proportional events or marginal events. A single only creates something like 0.29 runs; however, if one adds 100 ADDITIONAL singles to a team, marginal singles, then you’ll add something more than 60 additional runs. The marginal value of an offensive event is more than twice as great as the value of such an event integrated into the whole package. And second, there is an issue as to what is skill and what is luck. It is my view, based on what I know, that the differences between what is attributed to two fielders might equally plausibly be attributed to luck. In the same way that a hitter might hit .370 on balls in play one year and .230 the next, just based on luck; in the same way that a pitcher might give up 220 hits one year and 170 the next, just based on luck, it is reasonable to think that a fielder catching 70% of the catchable but non-routine plays, rather than 40%, might simply be luck. We don’t know. Unless or until we know, I’m using the conservative assumptions.

...I meet Rick Eckstein, when my Dad, took us to watch my nephew play while at UK. Rick was with Georgia. While talking to him I said, “If Boston had kept your brother, David in 2002 and let him play second, they would have won the WS and not the Angels.”... You got there in 2003, did anyone talk about that?

... yes, we would talk quite a bit about Eckstein, because he’s the perfect player to illustrate the need to focus on what players actually can do, rather than on how they look in the uniform. The Red Sox signed Eckstein in 1997; he hit .301 that year, hit .306 and scored 99 runs in 1998, 87-51 walks to strikeouts, hit .313 and scored 101 runs in 1999, 89 -48 walks to strikeouts, and then played decent at Pawtucket his first year at AAA, 2000—and we put him on waivers because he wasn’t athletic enough. It was ridiculous.

Hey Bill, are there pieces of baseball writing that you like to re-read (ostensibly for pleasure) every once in awhile? For me, Roger Angell’s “The Go Shouters” about the ‘62 Mets and their fans is particularly delightful, and of course the one about box scores (I think it’s simply called “Box Scores.” Thanks.

Thanks. But No; I don’t re-read anything. Even my own stuff. The only stuff I ever enjoyed re-reading was the stuff I would re-read to my kids.

...What did the Sox see after 2012 that convinced them that it was OK to let [Jonathan Papelbon] go that the Phils’ didn’t see and wasted $59 million?...

Well, actually, we didn’t let him go after 2012; we let him go after 2011, and it should be pointed out that he had a very good year in 2012 when, as I recall, we didn’t have such a good year and the guys we brought into replace him weren’t really too good. He actually left us. .. .I don’t know if you remember, but after the 2011 season we had a chaotic interval in which our manager and general manager both left, and some other people. Very early in that period, before we could get our feet back on the ground, Philadelphia made Papelbon a generous offer and he accepted it. I’m 99% sure we wouldn’t have matched the offer anyway, but I guess we’ll never know.


Thursday, April 03, 2014


Friday, March 28, 2014

The Last Great Call (ESPN)

[bq]What this really was, when you think it through, was the Last Great Umpiring Call (or Calls) of the Pre-Instant Replay Era, the technology which—beginning in 2014—will permeate the lives of every umpire who ever sets foot on a major league field from now on.

Never again will six men in blue work a World Series game, or any other game, knowing there is no replay machine, no technological wizardry, hovering in the background to serve as their safety net.

Never again will there be quite the same pressure on these men to make life-changing, season-defining, history-altering calls in intense, real-time moments.[/bq]

Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: March 28, 2014 at 03:25 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, obstruction, red sox, umpires, world series

WSJ: Deee-fense: Baseball’s Big Shift Playing the field suddenly is becoming a sophisticated science

Baseball’s approach to defense, long unchanged except for the gloves getting bigger, is undergoing the most radical change in strategy since the Reconstruction Era. Defensive shifting, which started as a trend several years ago, is becoming epidemic. Major League teams “shifted” 8,134 times last season, compared with just 2,357 in 2011. [...]

Last season, the Pirates “shifted,” meaning they had three infielders on one side of second base or in significantly nontraditional positions, 494 times, compared with 105 in 2012. [...]

The Pirates defense “saved” 77 runs in all, or 77 runs better than an average defense, third-most in Major League Baseball.The Pirates also finished above .500 and made the playoffs for the first time since 1992. The Boston Red Sox shifted 478 times in 2013, compared with 199 in 2012. Those shifts saved the Red Sox 15 runs during the course of the season, second-most in baseball. They won the World Series. (The Rays were first in runs saved by shifts.) [...]

Still, not everyone is on board. The St. Louis Cardinals, the game’s model franchise of late, shifted infielders just 107 times last season, about 50% more than 2012, but nothing on the scale of the Orioles (595 shifts), Rays (556 shifts) or Brewers (538 shifts).

 

bobm Posted: March 28, 2014 at 09:20 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, cardinals, orioles, pirates, rays, red sox, shift

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Rocco Baldelli understands ordeal Grady Sizemore faces in comeback | Boston Herald

Although it’s a great story, I will be shocked if Sizemore gets more than 300 PA.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 27, 2014 at 09:04 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: grady sizemore, red sox

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Shane Victorino dislikes new MLB rule: Only 15 seconds of intro music allowed

Damn…this will chop off the last second of The Descendents’ “I Like Food”!

The loudspeakers at Fenway Park play a little Bob Marley music to introduce Shane Victorino whenever he comes to bat for the Boston Red Sox. For a lot of major leaguers these days, intro music has become a routine part of the aesthetic experience at the ballpark. A famous example would be Metallica’s “Enter Sandman,” played for Yankees closer Mariano Rivera, until he retired. Mute the music and it’s still baseball — it’s just a little less cool.

On that note, MLB in 2014 is going to limit, to 15 seconds, the amount of time a “walk-up” song gets to be played. This doesn’t affect sing-a-longs such as “Sweet Caroline,” or “Take Me Out To The Ball Game,” or whatever music is played between innings at your local MLB stadium. And, presumably, if your closer wants to have “Enter Sandman” or “Hells Bells” played, they’ll get the full allotment of time. But the walk-up songs, the songs played for every at-bat, they’re about to get cut off like an Oscar’s speech.

For Victorino, that means “Three Little Birds” by Bob Marley is going to end before all of the chorus can be sung — which fans at Fenway have taken to doing. It needs at least 20 seconds, probably 25, for the gist to be heard. It might sound silly to someone from, say, Bobby Doerr’s generation, but Victorino thinks the truncated music situation will damage the experience for fans and players.

“Everybody has their own rhythm and way they go about an at-bat,”€ Victorino said. “If over the course of a season there’s a problem then Major League Baseball should tell Mr. So-and-So they’€™re taking way too long between pitches and this needs to stop or fines will come your way. I just don’€™t think everybody across the board has to [punished].”

Repoz Posted: March 25, 2014 at 06:45 PM | 48 comment(s)
  Beats: music, red sox

Contract works well for Red Sox and David Ortiz - Sports - The Boston Globe

This isn’t as bad as I feared.

Ortiz, 38, will earn $15 million this season and $16 million in 2015, and there are club options for 2016 and 2017. The option for ’16 vests based on plate appearances, and there are different levels. He makes $11 million for 425 plate appearances, $12 million for 475, $13 million for 525, $14 million for 550, $15 million for 575, and $16 million for 600. The 2017 option would vest at whatever level Ortiz achieves in 2016.

This means Ortiz has to remain healthy, and produce enough to play a lot.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 25, 2014 at 11:52 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: david ortiz, red sox

Monday, March 24, 2014

Bradford: The reality of David Ortiz: Why it made sense to execute this extension

The argument is a convenient one for those believing Sunday’s news of David Ortiz’s extension should have never come: Just let the designated hitter play out another season and worry about re-signing him after that.

They will say, “He is 38 years old, so you need all the cost certainty you can get. Also, he will never sign with another team other than the Red Sox, so you won’t have to worry about that.”

The line of thinking certainly is easy to reach, but still so misguided.

First of all, none of the arguments to commit to Ortiz for any years beyond 2014 should have anything to do with what he has done in the community, his iconic status as a Red Sox or even the World Series championships he helped bring to Boston. Judging by some of the comments made in the press release by principal owner John Henry, sentimentality was factored in, but it need not be.

Like it or not, this is the business of baseball, and for the Red Sox, giving Ortiz this extension – paying him $16 million for 2015 with a team/vesting option for ’16 and a club option for ’17 – is good business.

...Until proven otherwise, Ortiz is still this lineup’s anchor. He was right when he bemoaned being pitched around. Yet, even with such a dynamic (which may change with a more consistent Mike Napoli) he produced as well as anybody in such a situation.

Of all qualifying three or four hitters, Ortiz saw the highest percentage of pitches away (57.6 percent). And when he did have an opportunity with men on base, the DH saw the fewest pitches in the strike zone of all middle of the order hitters.

Comparing Ortiz to left-handed hitters, when runners were in scoring position, only San Francisco’s Pablo Sandoval saw fewer pitches in the strike zone. He also managed the second-most homers (15) of lefty hitters with men on base despite seeing the fifth-fewest percentage of pitches in the strike zone.

He is important … very important. And Sunday the Red Sox showed just how much they understand that.

Thanks to Los.

Repoz Posted: March 24, 2014 at 06:49 AM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Moneyball … But With Money «

A lot of good stuff here, including this tidbit.

The similarly revenue-challenged Rays have ranked among the American League’s elite teams for most of the past six seasons, thanks in part to using even more nuanced platoons than simple lefty-righty splits. Manager Joe Maddon won’t hesitate to start certain players based on the ground ball–to–fly ball tendencies of an opposing pitcher. One of Tampa Bay’s most contrarian moves has been its occasional use of a nearly all-righty lineup against a right-handed pitcher, or a nearly all-lefty lineup against a left-handed pitcher. When the team’s number crunchers realized a few years ago that righty Mike Mussina was killing the Rays’ lefty batters, Maddon trotted out a lineup consisting almost entirely of right-handed hitters instead … and it worked. Maddon has implemented the same strategy against other pitchers, including starting an armada of righties against Tim Wakefield and his knuckleball, and mostly lefties against Ricky Romero and his once-tricky changeup.

This is one of those things that any smart sim player has known for years.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 15, 2014 at 09:17 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox

Friday, March 14, 2014

Belligerent Red Sox Prospect Arrested While “Looking To Get Some Pussy”

Not just another cat lover.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 14, 2014 at 08:28 PM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox, young stupid kids

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Great Expectations, Great Variations «

Jonah Keri checks in from spring training.

Every team wants to develop its own Mike Trout or Clayton Kershaw. Not every team tries to do that in the same way, however. To better understand baseball’s competing prospect philosophies, we hit the spring training circuit.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 12, 2014 at 11:01 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: marlins, rays, red sox, spring training, twins

Red Sox spring training progress report: Updates and observations - Sports - The Boston Globe

Spring training tidbits from Red Sox spring training.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 12, 2014 at 09:46 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox

Friday, March 07, 2014

Red Sox field substandard spring lineup versus Marlins - Sun Sentinel

The Red Sox did not send out a great team. The Marlins, however, did send out a much better lineup. With the knowledge that most veterans don’t usually make this type of trip, aren’t the Marlins more culpable?

For the first and only time this spring, “super premium” ticket pricing was in effect for a Miami Marlins’ Grapefruit League home game. Thursday, fans per ticket paid $12 more for field box seats, $11 more for loge and $10 more for bleachers than they would for a weekday game.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 07, 2014 at 09:34 AM | 46 comment(s)
  Beats: marlins, red sox, spring training

Thursday, March 06, 2014

OtM: Don Orsillo takes batting practice, is predictably awkward

As Howard Cosell once said when a camera shot showed Chuck Tanner picking his nose…“Not a pretty sight.”

Don Orsillo is a wonderful announcer. For my proverbial money, he’s one of the best in the baseball, and I’m continually shocked he hasn’t moved on from NESN and the Red Sox to a more high-profile, permanent national gig. It’s good that he hasn’t, though, because now we have this Vine of Orsillo taking batting practice down at JetBlue Park in Fort Myers…

...He looks like he’s dressed for golf, not the batting cages—I’m suddenly glad polo shirts are not part of any team’s uniform—but hey, he’s got a wooden bat, made contact on multiple offerings, and even sent a few of them into play. Plus, he’s got the frustrated grunt necessary to be a big-league slugger down to a science already.

Repoz Posted: March 06, 2014 at 02:25 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: media, red sox

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