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Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Judas!

Damon’s going to the Yankees. It’s been a great four years with him on the Red Sox, and though it’s sad to see him go, it’s hard to begrudge him the 30 pieces of silver. But will that extra dough cover all the haircuts? (Maybe Samson will be a better comp!) :)

I wish I could say that this contract will cripple the Yankees, but it won’t. Damon’s still a good player, and according to WARP is currently worth his contract. Chances are just as good that he will age like Kenny Lofton (a better comp IMHO) as Bernie Williams. He’ll likely remain good enough that he will only be a little overpaid and won’t be a large liability in the field.

Update: Wok’s take

Darren Posted: December 21, 2005 at 01:44 PM | 126 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: red sox

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   1. Darren Posted: December 21, 2005 at 02:09 PM (#1787919)
I should also note that this gets Boston the Yankees 1st round pick. That's good at least. Too bad the Yanks continue to luck out in who signs their FAs.
   2. BDC Posted: December 21, 2005 at 02:28 PM (#1787931)
Johnny 16:16:
"A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me."
   3. JC in DC Posted: December 21, 2005 at 02:33 PM (#1787939)
Too bad the Yanks continue to luck out in who signs their FAs.


To what does this refer, Darren?
   4. Darren Posted: December 21, 2005 at 02:37 PM (#1787943)
The Phils signed Leiber last year, giving the Yanks the #17 pick. The Phils signed Gordon this year, giving them the #21 pick. Those are very high picks to get, and could easily have turned out to be 2nd or 3rd rounders, as Mueller and Pedro did for Boston.
   5. JC in DC Posted: December 21, 2005 at 02:39 PM (#1787948)
I had forgotten that. Thanks.
   6. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: December 21, 2005 at 02:43 PM (#1787951)
I know exactly how Boston fans must feel. I could hardly hold back the tears when I saw Mike Stanton in a Red Sox uniform. At least this is a bit of a consolation for that bitter moment.
   7. NTNgod Posted: December 21, 2005 at 03:01 PM (#1787966)
Judas!

Was Damon a Judas when he bolted Oakland for the team that Boras extorted the most money from? :)
   8. Kevin Sweet Child Romine (aco) Posted: December 21, 2005 at 03:09 PM (#1787989)
When will the massive re-branding campaign begin? It won't be long until we see a neatly groomed Damon hawking overnight shipping and donuts.
   9. Addicted To Glove Posted: December 21, 2005 at 03:11 PM (#1787994)
NTNgod-

Think about how Yankee fans would feel if Jeter left for Boston for more money, and say, divide it by two, and that's how Boston fans are feeling right now. Damon's insane, but he was a big part of the face of this franchise for the past few years.
   10. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: December 21, 2005 at 03:11 PM (#1787995)
http://whiterthanrice.blogspot.com/2005/12/jesus-judas-or-fellow-yellow-cashing.html

Anybody with keys want to post this, or attach it to this thread?

Thanks.
   11. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: December 21, 2005 at 03:13 PM (#1787999)
When will the massive re-branding campaign begin? It won't be long until we see a neatly groomed Damon hawking overnight shipping and donuts.

Yeah, because unshaven Damon can only pitch Iced-Frappuchinos.
   12. NTNgod Posted: December 21, 2005 at 03:14 PM (#1788003)
Think about how Yankee fans would feel if Jeter, and say, divide it by two,

Jeter's a homegrown guy, though.

Maybe Giambi? Damon and Giambi both signed the same off-season, if I recall correctly.
   13. PJ Martinez Posted: December 21, 2005 at 03:24 PM (#1788026)
Not Giambi... Paul O'Neill, once upon a time? Tino Martinez? Those guys weren't homegrown.

"When will the massive re-branding campaign begin? It won't be long until we see a neatly groomed Damon hawking overnight shipping and donuts."

You know, it's just occurred to me that Damon's stature as a pitch man has to drop, at least for now, right? I mean, without the hair and beard and the Red Sox uniform, he's just another ballplayer, isn't he? It seems counter-intuitive, but I'm not sure Damon's media status is helped by New York as much as, say, Reggie Jackson's was.
   14. Kevin Sweet Child Romine (aco) Posted: December 21, 2005 at 03:33 PM (#1788045)
PJ - I think the metamorphosis from caveman to clean-cut will be played up as a marketing angle. I'd be surprised if Damon did not take this into account when signing a new contract.
   15. Joel W Posted: December 21, 2005 at 04:01 PM (#1788104)
One big plus for the Red Sox: New merchandise sales!

How many girls will have to buy new pink red sox jerseys? When I lived in Boston not so long ago, lots of girls sported their Damon jerseys, pink, powder blue, etc. Now, they have to buy new ones. I'm going with...Tek? Maybe they'll go with Beckett? I don't know.

Also, I'm envisioning the shirt sellers next year are going to have a field day next year with Damon.

"Get your Jesus to Judas shirts heah"
Or how about a shirt that says something like:
"Damon's a Scientologist"
Or:
"Jeter is 2nd Gayest Yankee" (I'm not saying I endorse that, but there will be something)
   16. Rick Vaughn Posted: December 21, 2005 at 04:02 PM (#1788106)
Judas Was My Homeboy. :(
   17. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: December 21, 2005 at 04:12 PM (#1788120)
I know I'll haev to buy new Sox Merchandise.

F!@#
   18. Danny Posted: December 21, 2005 at 04:15 PM (#1788125)
FWIW, Damon's comp picks last time turned into Swisher and Teahen.
   19. JB H Posted: December 21, 2005 at 04:16 PM (#1788127)
I wish I could say that this contract will cripple the Yankees, but it won’t. Damon’s still a good player, and according to WARP is currently worth his contract.

ZIPS has Damon with just a 778 OPS next year. His defense may already be below average, depending on what you believe. I think he's a decent sized underdog to be an average player for the life of the deal.

The Yankees are willing to pay eight figures at every position. Given that, for them to be stuck with likely mediocre production at CF for four years is a coup for the Sox
   20. Kevin Sweet Child Romine (aco) Posted: December 21, 2005 at 04:21 PM (#1788140)
FWIW, Damon's comp picks last time turned into Swisher and Teahen.

We need guys with macho-er names than those.
   21. Danny Posted: December 21, 2005 at 04:32 PM (#1788149)
We need guys with macho-er names than those.


Like Annabelle and Petunia?
   22. AROM Posted: December 21, 2005 at 04:33 PM (#1788153)
Red Sox have no reason to complain about draft picks. They may have only gotten a #2 for Pedro, but got a #1 for Orlando "watch me block Maicer Izturis, Eric Aybar and Brandon Wood and force the release of Eckstein" Cabrera.
   23. chris p Posted: December 21, 2005 at 04:38 PM (#1788166)
we traded annabelle.
   24. Josh Posted: December 21, 2005 at 04:44 PM (#1788171)
And we don't have a Petunia!
   25. Danny Posted: December 21, 2005 at 04:47 PM (#1788177)
Yeah, yeah. Just making a Levski.
   26. Dizzypaco Posted: December 21, 2005 at 04:57 PM (#1788193)
ZIPS has Damon with just a 778 OPS next year. His defense may already be below average, depending on what you believe. I think he's a decent sized underdog to be an average player for the life of the deal.

The Yankees are willing to pay eight figures at every position. Given that, for them to be stuck with likely mediocre production at CF for four years is a coup for the Sox


Johnny Damon's numbers over the last two years are nearly identical to Derek Jeter's, although Damon has played in a better hitter's park. He is the same age as Jeter, just as durable, and plays the position that everyone thinks Jeter should play. They are two of the most similar players in baseball. I don't think Jeter will be mediocre over the next four years, and I don't think Damon will either.
   27. Joel W Posted: December 21, 2005 at 05:00 PM (#1788202)
Could we get Macier Izturis?

His ZiPS:
Izturis .286/.350/.366 is really not bad, a nice lineup turner
   28. PJ Martinez Posted: December 21, 2005 at 05:07 PM (#1788222)
"Johnny Damon's numbers over the last two years are nearly identical to Derek Jeter's..."

Have you looked at OBP? Not identical.
   29. PJ Martinez Posted: December 21, 2005 at 05:10 PM (#1788231)
Also HRs: Jeter went from 23 to 19 the last two years, Damon from 20 to 10.
   30. PJ Martinez Posted: December 21, 2005 at 05:12 PM (#1788235)
Actually, just saw that Jeter's 2004 OBP was much lower than I thought (.352), but that's pretty out of line with his career.
   31. Dizzypaco Posted: December 21, 2005 at 05:15 PM (#1788241)
Have you looked at OBP? Not identical.

Over the last two years, Damon's on base percentage was about .373, and Jeter's was .371. I made be off a point or two.

I suppose that's not identical. Pretty damn close?

As for HRs, Jeter hit more, but their slugging percentages were nearly identical as well, because Damon's average was slightly higher. Their SB/CS numbers are identical over the past two years (37/9).
   32. Joel W Posted: December 21, 2005 at 05:17 PM (#1788250)
The difference is that underlying whatever Jeter does at the plate is a guy with a career .314 batting average, whereas for Damon it's .290. Since Damon's numbers the past two years have been significantly above that batting average, while Jeter was below it by 20 points two years ago his numbers that year looked worse.
   33. Dizzypaco Posted: December 21, 2005 at 05:19 PM (#1788254)
By the way, I understand that Jeter was a better hitter prior to 2004, and played in a tougher park, and therefore may be projected to do a little better in the future.

The main point is that the numbers were so close over the past two years, that it doesn't make sense to think of one as likely to be a very good player and the other to be mediocre over the next four years, as some seem to think.
   34. PJ Martinez Posted: December 21, 2005 at 05:32 PM (#1788287)
"The main point is that the numbers were so close over the past two years, that it doesn't make sense to think of one as likely to be a very good player and the other to be mediocre over the next four years, as some seem to think."

I agree with your general point, and looking over the numbers more closely, it's clear I spoke too soon. That said, Damon's numbers declined last year, which could be a blip, or might be the sign of things to come.

I do think Damon may steal more bases with the Yankees than he did with the Red Sox, which has some value, of course. Jeter has a much better arm, obviously, although that doesn't seem tremendously important.

On a separate note, I assume the Sox based this decision on scouting as well as numbers-- I keep seeing comments that the Sox believed Damon's defense had declined, for instance.

I think Damon makes the Yankees the favorites, for now (I think they were already, honestly), but it's easy to forget that one player, if he's not HoF caliber, doesn't make that big a difference.
   35. Dizzypaco Posted: December 21, 2005 at 05:38 PM (#1788300)
I think Damon makes the Yankees the favorites, for now (I think they were already, honestly), but it's easy to forget that one player, if he's not HoF caliber, doesn't make that big a difference.

True, except that Damon's signing with the Yankees does two things: It simultaneously plugs an obvious hole for the Yankees, while creating an obvious hole for their chief rivals, which magnifies the importance of the signing.
   36. Dizzypaco Posted: December 21, 2005 at 05:41 PM (#1788303)
I think Damon makes the Yankees the favorites, for now (I think they were already, honestly), but it's easy to forget that one player, if he's not HoF caliber, doesn't make that big a difference.

True, but remember that Damon's signing doesn't just plug a hole for them, it also creates one for their biggest rivals, which magnifies the effect.
   37. Joel W Posted: December 21, 2005 at 05:44 PM (#1788308)
Dizzy, I'll stand by my point: over the past two years, Damon has overperformed on his batting average significantly. If we think that there's a 30% chance of that happening for any player each year, then I think damon was one of those 10 that had it happen twice. Jeter however didn't have it two years ago. And was actually below his career line this year. I just think Damon won't be a .305 hitter, but instead a .285-.290 hitter.

Damon's career line at age 32:
.290.353.431
Jeter at 31
.314.386.461

Big difference I think, and I think next year we're more likely to see it look like that. 30 points of obp and 30 points of slugging.

Also, if the park factors are equal for left and right (i know they aren't, but i don't know where they are), Johnny is going to lose a lot of doubles by going to New York. Fenway is 1.38 and Yankee is .88. That's 25% fewer doubles next year, or the difference between 31 and 23.
   38. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: December 21, 2005 at 05:48 PM (#1788313)
Yeah, Damon's not Derek Jeter. He must suck, then.

Tip of the hat to Darren for being objective about this.
   39. Dizzypaco Posted: December 21, 2005 at 05:52 PM (#1788319)
Dizzy, I'll stand by my point: over the past two years, Damon has overperformed on his batting average significantly.

Which suggests that Damon has not approached the decline phase of his career, at least offensively, while the same cannot necessarily be said of Jeter. Jeter is not the same player he was five or more years ago, while Damon is at least as good as he was several years ago.

Hey, I'd take Jeter over Damon at this point, but its much closer that most people suspect.
   40. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 21, 2005 at 06:01 PM (#1788336)
This sucks a lot. I love Damon. Seeing him shorn, in those Young Fascists of America pinstripe brownshirts, damn, this is gonna suck.

How this works for the Red Sox depends on if they get a good CF or not. IF they do, then I'm fine with letting Johnny go at this price. But I fear we're looking at an 87-win season and retooling for '07, an annoying season which I think can still be averted.

Greatest Damon line ever: Asked about those goofy comparisons to God and Jesus Christ, Damon replied, "It's incredible. . . . What more can you ask for? Even being mentioned in the same sentence as Jesus or God. . . . I mean, those guys are awesome. I'm just a knucklehead."

Tip of the hat to Darren for being objective about this.
I love how "objective" = "agreeing with me."
   41. Joel W Posted: December 21, 2005 at 06:02 PM (#1788338)
Larry,

I said nothing about him sucking anywhere there. Did I? No, no I didn't. I think Johnny will be a huge upgrade at first in 2006 as I said in an email to my Yankee fan friend. Then, we'll see.

The point is simply that Damon benefits from the doubles boost in Fenway, and that his average was probably over his head the last few years. Therefore, while Darren is right that according to WARP Damon is worth his contract, what would that WARP look like if you regressed his BA a bit? I think we should regress his BA a bit, but if somebody can argue we shouldn't I'll believe them.
   42. Darren Posted: December 21, 2005 at 06:07 PM (#1788359)
Objective? Crap, I didn't mean to come off as that! Stupid idiot Damon jerkface poops in his pants!

Here's a funny/painful thought about all this. One of these years, the Yankees will win it all again. When that year comes, if it's before another Red Sox championship, the meme in the press will be that the Yankees did X, Y, and Z, and returned the team to greatness, claiming their rightful place ahead of the flukey Red Sox.

If that year is 2006, the Damon move will be X in the list. The Yankees will have cunningly snuck in and stole one of the Red Sox best players, just like they did with Ruth, Lyle, Boggs, Clemens... Meanwhile, the foolish Red Sox were so dumb that they let him go, bumbling the negotiations on an important player.

It will be funny/painful to know that in fact the Red Sox were making a pretty sound decision that will be lambasted.

I already heard some dope on NY radio (a print reporter) saying that Damon took a look at what the Red Sox were doing, and saw that every move they've made this year has made the team worse, except for the Beckett trade.

One more interesting thing: funny that this is the offseason the Yanks are economizing and they've already spent $6 mil/year on Farny, $13 mil/year on Damon, and maybe $5 mil/year on Dotel.
   43. OlePerfesser Posted: December 21, 2005 at 06:10 PM (#1788363)
The hardest-working man in sports journalism says the Sox are crumbling, and that this might increase the chances Manny goes.

It's a pretty momentous deal. Position-wise, the MFY have satisfied their greatest need by going out and getting the player who's most likely to fill that need in '06, and didn't have to sacrifice anything but money to do it. As to Joel's point about J.D.'s power output being affected, I've brought this up in another thread (in the context of an interesting quote from Neyer), but it would be a mistake to think that performance is fixed: my guess is J.D. will make some adjustments to take advantage of what Yankee Stadium gives you, so forecasting his AVG/OBP/SLG going forward is hard.

Finally, the fact that the Multiple Powers That Be didn't even know the signing had taken place until called by reporters is a bit troubling, and evidence of Darren's (or is it MCA's) Inertia Theory. And damn, I'm gonna miss Johnny. The A.D. (After Damon) Era will be less fun.
   44. Darren Posted: December 21, 2005 at 06:12 PM (#1788367)
Was Damon a Judas when he bolted Oakland for the team that Boras extorted the most money from? :)

Of course not, he didn't have the biblical hair then.
   45. Darren Posted: December 21, 2005 at 06:16 PM (#1788375)
This sucks a lot. I love Damon. Seeing him shorn, in those Young Fascists of America pinstripe brownshirts, damn, this is gonna suck.

This is excellent. But in a way, isn't this the best way to lose him? I mean, to see him cut his hair and beard will be constant reminder that the whole thing was just a put on image. It will be fun to root against him.
   46. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: December 21, 2005 at 06:24 PM (#1788392)
Darren I e-mailed you
   47. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 21, 2005 at 06:33 PM (#1788425)
I mean, to see him cut his hair and beard will be constant reminder that the whole thing was just a put on image. It will be fun to root against him.
Can't do it, sorry.

The longhaired crazy idiot Damon is definitely the real Damon. As I see it, he's taking the money and forfeiting his freedom. A lot of perfectly good people in this country are comfortable with handing over freedom in exchange for security. They're wrong, but it's more about misguided decision-making than malice, and it's our job to show them, kindly, that they shouldn't hate freedom.

So, I feel bad for Johnny, feel bad for how difficult it will be for him to don that pinstripe brownshirt every day. I'll cheer for him when he comes back to Boston.
   48. Bob Loblaw Posted: December 21, 2005 at 06:34 PM (#1788426)
JoelW, Damon's wasn't really beating his career numbers with his batting averages the last two years, he was just playing at Fenway.

In 2005, he hit .334 at home and .298 on the road.
In 2004, he hit .330 at home and .280 on the road.
In 2003, he hit .291 at home and .254 on the road.

2002 was his only season with the Red Sox where he didn't really have a home/road split. His numbers are going to decline with the Yankees next year not because he's getting old (although that may also happen) and not because he had two lucky years (although there's a chance that's true) but rather because he's leaving Fenway.

It's pretty simple, and any Yankee fan who's expecting an .800-.850 OPS is probably going to be disappointed. He'll probably be around .770-.780, and once he does start declining, he could get down into the .740-.750 range or worse.
   49. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: December 21, 2005 at 06:36 PM (#1788432)
I think that when all is said and done, we will look back on Damon's career and decide that his best years were in Boston - no question. I think that there's a wonderful chance that Johnny is below replacement-level in the last year of his deal.

That having been said, I think that this move makes the Yankees measurably better in 2006, and the Sox probably a good deal worse.

I'd have rather the Yankees signed him to a 3-year deal, but that was probably unrealistic. So I give it a mild to medium thumbs-up.
   50. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: December 21, 2005 at 06:39 PM (#1788438)
I'm going to be paying a lot of attention to the fans in Fenway the first time the Yankees come to town.
   51. Joel W Posted: December 21, 2005 at 06:58 PM (#1788486)
I really like Rosenthal, but he definitely overstates his case. He says, "The Red Sox couldn't match 4 for 52?" Well, of course they could Ken, but they didn't think it was worth it.

Yes, not having Damon as compared to some maybe average platoon in center field will make the Red Sox worse for 2006 and the Yankees better. But how much worse/better? Is it worth it for 2007/08/09 etc?

"The Angels could offer shortstop Orlando Cabrera, center fielder Darin Erstad and prospects for Ramirez?"
What prospects? Are they the really good ones?

"Maybe he didn't trust Schilling and Josh Beckett to stay healthy." Instead, he's trusting Randy Johnson, Mike Mussina, Carl Pavano, Jaret Wright, Wang, and Chacon to be healthy and good.

This year, when Diamond Mind projections come out, along w/ PECOTA projections of how the season will go they'll say exactly what they've said the past 3 years: Boston and New York are very good, about equal in talent, and we'll see how the season plays out. I'll stand by that not because I'm fan-boyish, but because it's likely true.
   52. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: December 21, 2005 at 07:00 PM (#1788489)
I guess I pretty much expected that Damon would be gone, and was mostly emotionally prepared for him to sign with the Yankees. Damon is a good player, and I think he'll continue to be valuable for the next few years. Even a 750-780 OPS from a CF isn't that bad, especially considering how little they got from Bernie Williams and still managed to win 95 games. It definitely makes the Yankees better for 2006, and I think they'll be pretty ridiculously good this year. I can only hope that their pitching staff explodes, and that whatever magic dust Small, Chacon, and Wang were using last year has worn off.

For the Red Sox, it seems like this year really depends on Schilling, Foulke, and whoever they get for CF/SS. It would really hurt to lose Marte or Lester, but if the Sox are going to compete this year, they may have to make a painful trade.
   53. Darren Posted: December 21, 2005 at 07:01 PM (#1788493)
Sorry, MCoA. I can understand Damon's choice, but there's no way in the world I'm going to feel sorry for him having to wear a Yankees uni. He chose his own hairshirt.
   54. Joel W Posted: December 21, 2005 at 07:02 PM (#1788496)
Sorry, that's not right. The Yankees will likely be a few wins better in those projections. I've been convinced by more reading that Bernie Williams was that bad in center, that Damon won't fall off a cliff next year, etc. But the Red Sox aren't done moving players and filling wholes, and frankly this front office has done a lot of things right this year, especially long term.
   55. John DiFool2 Posted: December 21, 2005 at 07:03 PM (#1788499)
The hardest-working man in sports journalism says the Sox are crumbling, and that this might increase the chances Manny goes.

No, the Red Sox understand, unlike the Yankees, that they need to get younger in a hurry.
This deal might speed the treadmill up temporarily, but since Damon's secondary average is
pretty low a substantial decline in BA is bad news (and he ain't going to hit .317 again,
certainly not in Yankee Stadium). The Sox likely won't get anyone any better than him,
but it's 13 million they can spend elsewhere.
   56. The Original Gary Posted: December 21, 2005 at 07:03 PM (#1788502)
$13 mil for four years is too much for a guy that has already employed a three man cutoff play. The Yanks may benefit in 2006 but I don't think this deal will look so good for them in three years.

We'll see.
   57. karlmagnus Posted: December 21, 2005 at 07:08 PM (#1788518)
Better not to compete this year; the '07 team looks likely to be a lot better than the '06. If they trade Manny as well, they will have lost about $40mm in payroll and it will be a clear sign that henry is desperately cost cutting. There are advantages to having an owner with relatively old Steinbrenner money versus a fly by night hedge fund operator.

Having said that, if they pick up Reed, keepMmanny, don't trade any top prospects, and play Petunia/Graff at SS they may still be pretty competitive. Losing Miller and Bradford and getting the useless Saenez makes the bullpen a worry again, though. The most important thing is to avoid mediocre and aging vets blocking newbies who may also be mediocre in '06 but if given PT in '06 and not traded can be top quality and cheap in '07-10.
   58. OlePerfesser Posted: December 21, 2005 at 07:10 PM (#1788524)
2002 was his only season with the Red Sox where he didn't really have a home/road split.

That's an important point, Bob. But it's also consistent with a point from the other thread about the "endogeneity" of home numbers: players often learn to tailor their games to their home environment. Maybe J.D. was learning how to use Fenway to his advantage over '02; maybe he'll soon learn how to use Bronx Municipal to his advantage as well. We have to wait and see.

A lot of perfectly good people in this country are comfortable with handing over freedom in exchange for security.

Well, let's not make the mistake of thinking that freedom comes only in the 0% and 100% sizes. Lots of perfectly good people are willing to give up their freedom to yell "fire!" in a crowded theatre whenever they want in exchange for the security of not getting trampled when people abuse their free speech rights. I'm no doubt taking your "brownshirt" comments waaaay too seriously, MCA, but when people like Giambi and Damon give up a teaspoonful of "freedom" (or, alternatively, agree to be less self-indulgent) in exchange for very large sums, I ain't gonna throw stones. But I am gonna miss that guy. A lot.
   59. 1k5v3L Posted: December 21, 2005 at 07:15 PM (#1788541)
Rosenthal is my home boy...

The Angels could offer shortstop Orlando Cabrera, center fielder Darin Erstad and prospects for Ramirez. The prospects then could be flipped to the Diamondbacks for Troy Glaus, who could play either third base or first.

Sing it again, Kenny. Sing it again. Music to my ears.
   60. Joel W Posted: December 21, 2005 at 07:15 PM (#1788543)
Just so we're all clear: are we done being Red Sox fans after 2006?

So if we're say 3 or 4 wins worse than the Yankees going into next year, that means...

I think a couple major things are at play w/ the Rosenthal-esque pessimism about the Sox:

1) People don't think Youkilis is that good, when in reality he should be very solid next year.
2) People don't like that we don't know which of our two possible third baseman will be at 3B next year, when in reality they both should be solid over there.
3) People think that the Red Sox have the only pitching staff with health concerns. Maybe Schilling and Foulke are done, maybe not. Maybe Beckett has big shoulder problems. Maybe not. Maybe Clement is going to suck like he did in the second half but all year this time. Or maybe, just maybe some of that is the case and some of it isn't. We'll find out, but there are a lot of talented pitchers on the Red Sox, and in AAA we have pitchers like DiNardo that don't need Aaron Small BABIP pixie dust to be good.
4) People don't think the Red Sox can find anybody to play SS or CF, and don't like uncertainty. Somehow, I don't see the Red Sox going into next year with replacement level SS and CFs. Let's see in March how everything looks.
   61. 1k5v3L Posted: December 21, 2005 at 07:17 PM (#1788554)
So anyhow, the Sox have backed themselves into having to trade for a centerfielder now. I look at the options, and we've heard about Coco/OO/T-bone; Jeremy Spoke in Class Today; and These Pretzels Are Making Me Erstie. There's always Deep Fried Shark Fins, whom the Halos would give up for Pedro's midget. Exciting stuff.
   62. Joel W Posted: December 21, 2005 at 07:21 PM (#1788561)
Why, Levski/Rosenthal would the Red Sox acquire Glaus instead of keeping the prospects or moving them for a player who could, you know, help them at a position where they need help.
   63. Marc Sully's not booin'. He's Youkin'. Posted: December 21, 2005 at 07:22 PM (#1788565)
Rosenthal's article is crap. Crumbling? The Sox won 95 without poop from Schilling, Foulke, 2B, SS or 1B last year. They will almost doubtless get more out of Schilling and Foulke, they have added Beckett, Paps should develop and Hansen too, Loretta will be an enormous upgrade and it would be virtually impossible to get any less out of SS and 1B than they did in 2005, no matter what they do. Damn skippy losing Damon hurts but there are more than enough reasonably expectable improvements coming down the pike for me to wave the white flag.

Onward, fellas. Onward.
   64. 1k5v3L Posted: December 21, 2005 at 07:27 PM (#1788579)
Hey, Joel, complain to Rosenthal, not me. I'm not his editor.
   65. Josh Posted: December 21, 2005 at 07:30 PM (#1788589)
Well said, Joel.
   66. OlePerfesser Posted: December 21, 2005 at 07:30 PM (#1788592)
Levski is starting to sound more and more like Casey Stengel to me. I thought that was the job of someone who goes by "Ol' Perfesser."

As to why you get Glaus, you've got a lot of old pitchers who are bound to be useless pretty soon, if they aren't already, so you might want to keep the gas pedal to the floor for a while longer.
   67. Rudy Pemberton Posted: December 21, 2005 at 07:32 PM (#1788597)
How can anyone say for certain that the projections will have the Sox and Yankees as very close? Who are you projecting at CF, SS, and 1B? As of right now, the Yankees appear to be vastly superior to the Sox as far as I can tell. The pitching appears to be pretty close, while the Yanks lineup appears much better.
   68. Joel W Posted: December 21, 2005 at 07:33 PM (#1788599)
I just thought "Sing it again, Kenny. Sing it again. Music to my ears." meant you agreed they would pursue it.
   69. Curt Schillings Bloody Red Sock Posted: December 21, 2005 at 07:36 PM (#1788613)
And another one bites the dust. In the 14 months since the Championship, “the greatest Red Sox team ever,” has been dismantled as badly as the 1997 Florida Marlins, though it took the Fish two months as opposed to 14.

C – Tek
1B – Millar (not re-signed)
2B – Bellhorn (released)
3B – Mueller (not re-signed)
SS – O-Cab (not re-signed)
LF – Manny
CF – Johnny (not resigned)
RF – Trot
DH - Papi
BN – Youks
BN – McCarty
BN – Roberts (traded for two bags of peanuts and a coke)
BN – Pokey (not re-signed)
BN – Kapler (gone and back)
BN – Mirabelli (traded for something good)
BN – Eyechart (not re-signed)

SP – Petey (not re-signed)
SP – Schilling
SP – Wakefield
SP – Arroyo
SP – Lowe (not re-signed)
RP – Foulke
RP – Timlin
RP – Embree (released)
RP – Leskanic (not re-signed)
RP – Myers (not re-signed, then re-signed, then not again)


And, after all that crapola, Theo and The Boys have given us the following:

C – Tek
1B – Youks
2B – Loretta
3B – Lowell
SS –
LF – Manny
CF –
RF – Trot
DH – Papi

And a bunch of table scraps for a bench.


SP – Schilling
SP – Wells
SP – Arroyo
SP – Wakefield
SP – Beckett
SP – Clement
SP – Papelbon
RP – Foulke
RP – Timlin
RP – Mota
RP - Seanez
RP – Hansen
RP – Declarmen
RP – Dinardo
And 3 guys in the minors who are ready or close (Lester, Meredith, Alvarez)

TEN freaking guys are all that’s left from the 2004 team!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WTF? And it’s not just bench guys – the whole infield, Jesus, and Embree were key to the Series win. Who in the hell is running the show? (oops, bad question)


At least the pitching staff looks pretty damn strong, though there are just too many of them. Good problem to have, but what the hell are we going to do with 7 starters? Wells, Clement or both need to be moved, but who would take those contracts and give something valuable in return? Seattle’s not giving up Reed, and the Indians aren’t parting with their young talent, either. Ditto for Anaheim.

Unless the GM Gang does something remarkable before April, I have a very, very bad feeling that 2006 is going to be a long, long year.
   70. Joel W Posted: December 21, 2005 at 07:39 PM (#1788619)
Sheehan gets it about right:
The signing is a mixed bag...Damon and his solid bat make for a considerably swing...on the order of eight wins in 2006...Despite all the attention paid to him...Damon...was a consistent five-to-six win player in his four years with the Red Sox, a period that covered his age-28 through age-31 seasons...Damon looks like a lesser version of the center fielder the Yankees recently became so disenchanted with...Damon...got a big boost from Fenway Park, on the order of 50 points of batting average and OBP...they’re getting a .285/.345/.425 guy... Like many free-agent contracts, the problem with this one isn’t the immediate future...The Red Sox could actually end up huge winners here...There’s a rumor making the rounds that they’re trying to deal Matt Clement to the Mariners for Jeremy Reed...If they get Reed, they’ll never miss Damon.
   71. rr Posted: December 21, 2005 at 07:42 PM (#1788624)
I have anticipated this for awhile--it just seemed too obviously symbolic not to happen given the Yankees' intense need for a CF. I am also of the opinion that while the switch from Fenwaty to Yankee will hurt Damon's numbers, he has the foot speed and skills base to age well.

Looking over both teams' rosters and situations, I think the Yankees were right to overcommit to Damon and the Red Sox were right not to. With the additions of Marte and Beckett, the presence of Youkilis, and Pedroia and a couple of other good prospects, the Red Sox seem set up to maintain good teams for the next few years, and, perhaps, make big FA moves in 2006 or 2007.

The Yankees need to try to win the WS while they still can, and I think Cashman has addressed ther needs well, if riskily, upgrading CF, BP, and backup C, and I think bringing back Cairo as a utiliy IF would be useful, too.

So, as I see it today, the Red Sox are clearly in better shape long-term, but the Yankees have a chance to have a really great team--a 105-win team--in 2006 if things break right.
   72. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 21, 2005 at 07:44 PM (#1788629)
How can anyone say for certain that the projections will have the Sox and Yankees as very close? Who are you projecting at CF, SS, and 1B?
I haven't run any projections this winter, so all I've got are vague impressions. I see two teams in the 88-95 win range, with the Yankees a couple wins better than the Sox. I am assuming, for the sake of simplicity in my head, the Sox find some below-average but solid replacements at SS/CF. I tend to think Graffanino could handle the position quite well - I was very impressed with his defensive tools, but I am, of course, ridiculously amateur.

I don't see why 1B always gets lumped in with SS/CF. The Sox have three third-basemen, of whom two should be producing at a very good MLB level next year. One of them will play first. Youks hit 400/405 in the majors with a 420/540 MLE from Pawtucket. I think he'll be quite good at 1B. Francona has said the team is comfortable with him as an everyday first baseman, and I am too.
   73. Joel W Posted: December 21, 2005 at 07:48 PM (#1788639)
"I don't see why 1B always gets lumped in with SS/CF. The Sox have three third-basemen, of whom two should be producing at a very good MLB level next year. One of them will play first. Youks hit 400/405 in the majors with a 420/540 MLE from Pawtucket. I think he'll be quite good at 1B. Francona has said the team is comfortable with him as an everyday first baseman, and I am too."

Amen.
   74. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 21, 2005 at 07:51 PM (#1788647)
Unless the GM Gang does something remarkable before April, I have a very, very bad feeling that 2006 is going to be a long, long year.
I'm concerned about that, too, but I don't see how that relates to the breakup of The 25!!!111oneone

I don't want Millar back, or Cabrera, or Bellhorn at this point (sorry), or Lowe or Big Stupid Swing or Leskanic or Mueller (given the young guys). Roberts would be nice right now, but he didn't fit on the '05 team and the front office did the classy thing in finding him a starting job elsewhere. And Damon I'd like to keep, but I'm skeptical about the contract and hopeful about the backup plans.

Basically, they should have kept Pedro. We'd have run away with the division last year and we'd be a few wins better for next year. (Pedro signed for the same amount as Damon!!) But that's ancient history. I only bring it up becuase, of THE 25, he's the only one the Red Sox really miss at this point.

The problems with the '06 roster - and I still have faith some smart moves are still on the way - are a function of having a relatively old team in '04 in the first place, not a function of breaking up that '04 team (except for Pedro).
   75. 1k5v3L Posted: December 21, 2005 at 07:54 PM (#1788655)
[i[I just thought "Sing it again, Kenny. Sing it again. Music to my ears." meant you agreed they would pursue it.

I think they "should" pursue it. It won't happen though, as I doubt that a) the Angels would give up much, if anything, in terms of prospects to get Manny; and b) the Sox are that interested in getting another 1b/3b/dh type when they have huge holes at SS and CF. But the Sox could always use another legitimate bat with power and .360-370 obp...
   76. karlmagnus Posted: December 21, 2005 at 07:55 PM (#1788664)
The 2004 team got severely lucky, though admittedly the chance had existed ever since Pedro arrived in '98 -- pixie dust worked at the seventh attempt. Surely the best Sox team was 1915, with Speaker and the young Ruth, as well as 5 15-game winners on the pitching staff (Foster, Shore, Ruth, Leonard, Wood)plus Carl Mays as closer who was at least more frightening than Foulke. That team went 101-50, so no bloody wild card needed.
   77. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 21, 2005 at 08:00 PM (#1788674)
</i>Hope that works...

karl, the Red Sox won more games under Theo than under Duquette. They had more postseason success under Theo. You can't waive your hands and make it go away.
   78. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: December 21, 2005 at 08:03 PM (#1788686)
I can only hope that their pitching staff explodes, and that whatever magic dust Small, Chacon, and Wang were using last year has worn off.

Small's almost certainly will. Chacon and Wang should be a perfectly fine 4 and 5, thowing close to 400 slightly-below-league-average innings. They'll win a lot of games with that offense.

There’s a rumor making the rounds that they’re trying to deal Matt Clement to the Mariners for Jeremy Reed...If they get Reed, they’ll never miss Damon.

That rumor is ancient. The M's turned it down and signed Washburn instead. Not that this was necessarily wise on Bavasi's part, but he says he's currently inclined to keep Reed. Boston may very well get themselves a good, young, inexpensive CF who will make fans forget Jesus. But they won't get him cheap.
   79. chris p Posted: December 21, 2005 at 08:04 PM (#1788690)
test</i> test
   80. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: December 21, 2005 at 08:08 PM (#1788699)
Thanks a lot, levski.
</i>fixed?
   81. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 21, 2005 at 08:09 PM (#1788701)
Chacon and Wang should be a perfectly fine 4 and 5, thowing close to 400 slightly-below-league-average innings.
400 slightly below innings ~= 40 VORP. I will take the under on that.
   82. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: December 21, 2005 at 08:10 PM (#1788703)
Thanks a lot, levski.
</i>fixed?<i></i>
   83. SABRJoe Posted: December 21, 2005 at 08:15 PM (#1788711)
I need a V8
   84. 1k5v3L Posted: December 21, 2005 at 08:17 PM (#1788713)
Ah, godddammitt... sorry kids.

would this work?
   85. 1k5v3L Posted: December 21, 2005 at 08:17 PM (#1788714)
now?
   86. 1k5v3L Posted: December 21, 2005 at 08:19 PM (#1788717)
Jeremy Reed can probably be had rather cheaply. Bavasi is an idiot.
   87. Joel W Posted: December 21, 2005 at 08:37 PM (#1788761)
Arroyo would definitely work, and he'd be good in Seattle, though he was definitely solid in Fenway. Maybe throw in a mediocre, exciting tools prospect to make it happen, and I think we could have Reed. But I really ahve no idea what I'm talking about.
   88. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: December 21, 2005 at 08:38 PM (#1788766)
400 slightly below innings ~= 40 VORP. I will take the under on that.

I'll take that bet, and I'll back it with $50. How's that sound, MCoA?
   89. JB H Posted: December 21, 2005 at 08:55 PM (#1788806)
I don't get the doom and gloom at all. If we get Reed, we'll have good players at C, 2B, 3B, LF, CF, RF, probably an average player at 1B and probably crap at SS. The rotation should be a strength and the pen might be.

Yeah, we're not going to project to make a run at 100 wins like we have the last few, but I'd be mildly surprised if they projected to be worse than second best in the AL
   90. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: December 21, 2005 at 09:45 PM (#1788910)
It seems like that Reed rumor has been around too long for it to happen at this point. Reed would be great, but the longer we wait, it seems like the less chance there is that it will happen. I'm pretty curious as to what the FO will do. They've made some decent moves so far, but their hands may be tied at this point. If they can make some good deals before Spring Training, I'll be impressed.

I had forgotten that the Red Sox Pythag last year was 90-72, which they outperformed by 5 games. Thet scored plenty of runs, as usual, but the bullpen was horrendous and the starters were middling. The Red Sox problem last year was pitching. Again, depending on who they get for CF and SS, the offense will probably be ok. They may not score 900 runs next year, but with a bullpen that will probably be at least average, they may not need to.
   91. strong silence Posted: December 21, 2005 at 10:27 PM (#1789000)
Bavasi is afraid of trading with the Red Sox.

He is one of the the few to lose a trade with K. Williams (Garcia for Reed, Olivo, Mike Morse). And a trade of Reed would be an admission of defeat.

A Red Sox fan over at USSMariner thought that the negotiations/rumors for Jeremy Reed were intended to scare Damon into signing with the Red Sox.
   92. 1k5v3L Posted: December 21, 2005 at 10:29 PM (#1789006)
jesus has no fear.
   93. JB H Posted: December 21, 2005 at 10:30 PM (#1789008)
It seems like that Reed rumor has been around too long for it to happen at this point.

I don't understand this. They weren't going to trade for Reed while Damon was still out there
   94. Darren Posted: December 21, 2005 at 10:52 PM (#1789046)
Does anyone want to hear an easy but painful way to fill our offseason needs? It goes something like this:

Ortiz+Lowell to the Orioles for Tejada+
Manny to DH.
Arroyo for Reed
Wells for A. Gonzalez
Sign Sanders for LF.

The defense improves dramatically and away we go.
   95. Kevin Sweet Child Romine (aco) Posted: December 21, 2005 at 10:55 PM (#1789053)
I know Darren's idea makes sense; but if the Sox trade Ortiz, I will not root for them for many years.
   96. Joel W Posted: December 21, 2005 at 11:02 PM (#1789067)
Darren,

Yep. Even so, I don't know if I'd like it. My affection for Ortiz really is that strong. I just wish he'd play 1st. Marte could play left at least for a while, and he couldn't be worse than Manny.
   97. The Polish Sausage Racer Posted: December 21, 2005 at 11:03 PM (#1789068)
It occurs to me that I can't remember what Damon looks like without all the foliage. Spring is liable to come as a shock to me.
   98. Schilling's Sprained Ankiel Posted: December 21, 2005 at 11:08 PM (#1789073)
   99. Joel W Posted: December 21, 2005 at 11:29 PM (#1789114)
Olney is on ESPN Radio, with Bill Simmons hosting, (simmons is surprisingly ungodawful) and Olney is such an idiot. He's just talking about letting Damon get away, and never saying if it's a good baseball deal. Ugg, so annoying.
   100. Darren Posted: December 21, 2005 at 11:30 PM (#1789115)
That's the rub. It would give us a + defender/hitter at SS and improve our LF defense by 40+ runs but it would really hurt.
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