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Friday, August 05, 2011

Lupica: Spotlight is off Alex Rodriguez and his poker games as Yankees, Red Sox battle for first

Lupica would make a great saber-dude because he certainly doesn’t watch the games. Oh…plus some choice Larry Lucchino-no’s.

When asked about the money the Red Sox spent this winter, Larry Lucchino, the president and CEO of the Red Sox and the guy who sets the tone there, said this:

“Every once in a while, you’ve got to prime the pump.”

Then Lucchino said, “We don’t spend money on free agents with any sort of frequency or regularity the way some East teams do. We rely primarily on homegrown players and the players we trade for (Gonzalez came in a trade with San Diego). But you can never eliminate any source of acquisition, including free agency, and we dip into the pool from time to time when we feel we must.”

...“I like the idea of putting a banner out front that says division winners,” Lucchino said.

Nobody wins the division this weekend. Maybe the Red Sox come out of Sunday night in first place, maybe the Yankees do. But if somebody had told you in April that the records would look like this in August and the standings would look like this and the matchups would look like this, any baseball fan from either city would have signed up for all of it in a heartbeat.

Repoz Posted: August 05, 2011 at 11:18 AM | 83 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: business, media, red sox, yankees

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   1. Joey B.: posting for the kids of northeast Ohio Posted: August 05, 2011 at 01:00 PM (#3893277)
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.
   2. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: August 05, 2011 at 01:06 PM (#3893279)
I would think the Yankees/Red Sox matchup means A-Rod will get MORE attention, not less. I think it's a safe bet that the Fox guys spend at least an inning if not more talking about the A-Rod situations and I'm sure at least a good portion of the ESPN pre-game show will be devoted to this thing as well. If the Yankees were in Seattle or some such place at least the eyes of the baseball world wouldn't be on them. Instead, it's National TV weekend.
   3. BDC Posted: August 05, 2011 at 01:14 PM (#3893282)
Great headline. I want to see more like this: SPOTLIGHT IS OFF WHAT AN INSUFFERABLE #####-BAG MITT ROMNEY IS AS REPUBLICAN NOMINATION BATTLE BEGINS
   4. TerpNats Posted: August 05, 2011 at 01:21 PM (#3893284)
And we can only hope that come October, Texas or Detroit or the Angels or even possibly Cleveland can make all this navel-gazing irrelevant.
   5. AROM Posted: August 05, 2011 at 01:30 PM (#3893290)
So, has the conspiracy theory of A-Rod's poker games being tipped to MLB investigators by the Steinbrenner family been mentioned? Or am I inventing it?

Take a family history of questionable/outright illegal dealings, plus the prospect of paying the player for 6 more years while the injuries become more frequent and production declines from great to merely good. I wouldn't be surprised if they were looking for an out.
   6. Justin T., Director of Somethin Posted: August 05, 2011 at 01:30 PM (#3893291)
Maybe Selig will send Buck down to the field in BP to say hi to A-Rod just before a ball flies at his head and then Buck can spend the whole game crowing about how it was him who distracted A-Rod.
   7. villageidiom Posted: August 05, 2011 at 02:02 PM (#3893301)
But if somebody had told you in April that the records would look like this in August and the standings would look like this and the matchups would look like this, any baseball fan from either city would have signed up for all of it in a heartbeat.
I don't think in April that anyone in Boston would've signed up for the matchup of Sabathia vs. Lackey, unless somehow the players had been traded for each other.
   8. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: August 05, 2011 at 02:12 PM (#3893306)
I feel like I made this post at this time last year:

If the Yankees had gone a more-normal 5-4 against the Sox head-to-head earlier this year, first place wouldn't even be on the line in this series. And a Yankee sweep over the next three would likely put the Sox away in the AL East (until October, because second place is good enough).
   9. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: August 05, 2011 at 02:21 PM (#3893313)
If the Yankees had gone a more-normal 5-4 against the Sox head-to-head earlier this year, first place wouldn't even be on the line in this series. And a Yankee sweep over the next three would likely put the Sox away in the AL East (until October, because second place is good enough).


It does seem to be a regular thing (2009 was the year the Sox went 8-0 or something like that then the Yanks went 8-1 in the second half). Not to be ###### but I've always found that to be a silly point of discussion though because the argument comes down to "if the Yankees won some of the games they lost they'd have a better record" which is kind of a "no ####\" thing. It's kind of like dismissing the Sox 2-10 start. If they had started a more reasonable 6-6 they'd be in the same boat with a sweep putting the division away.
   10. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: August 05, 2011 at 02:22 PM (#3893315)
Then Lucchino said, “We don’t spend money on free agents with any sort of frequency or regularity the way some East teams do. We rely primarily on homegrown players and the players we trade for (Gonzalez came in a trade with San Diego). But you can never eliminate any source of acquisition, including free agency, and we dip into the pool from time to time when we feel we must.”

I guess that's the kind of laughable horseshit you can lay on when it's Lupica doing the scribing.(**)

(**) There's no way I'm clicking through to that breathless twerp; did he resort to his "that's life in the big town" bit, or compare Lucchino to Sinatra or somesuch?
   11. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: August 05, 2011 at 02:33 PM (#3893323)
“We don’t spend money on free agents with any sort of frequency or regularity the way some East teams do.


Oooh, take that Baltimore! How do those Derek Lee, Vlad Guerrero, Cesar Izturis, Kevin Gregg, and Justin Duchscherer signings look now?
   12. Cowboy Popup Posted: August 05, 2011 at 02:40 PM (#3893330)
It'd be nice if these games actually mattered. I mean, I guess getting the AL Central winner is better than Texas, but that's hardly enough to get my heart pumping. I've really only known Wild Card baseball, and originally liked it, but it has sucked the excitement out of the end of the regular season in the AL East for a few years straight now.

That said, I will likely watch most if not all of the 15 hours these teams will play this weekend. I'll be happy with one lousy win and would love to see them shut Pedroia down this weekend (fat chance, I know).

Ugh, a Fox game. That sucks.
   13. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: August 05, 2011 at 02:51 PM (#3893337)
It'd be nice if these games actually mattered.

Throw out the records. These teams hate each other. Red Sox/Yankees always matters.
   14. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: August 05, 2011 at 02:51 PM (#3893339)
Then Lucchino said, “We don’t spend money on free agents with any sort of frequency or regularity the way some East teams do. We rely primarily on homegrown players and the players we trade for (Gonzalez came in a trade with San Diego). But you can never eliminate any source of acquisition, including free agency, and we dip into the pool from time to time when we feel we must.”


I think of this as intentionally misleading, and designed to make the "other side" apoplectic and crazy with rage, like when FOX News smirks "Fair and Balanced".

Arguing the case point-by-point is foolish, time-wasting, and likely only to get your blood pressure up. And walking away lets the person stating this crazy-ass viewpoint say "My position is inarguable."
   15. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: August 05, 2011 at 02:56 PM (#3893343)
Throw out the records. These teams hate each other. Red Sox/Yankees always matters.


Wrong tense. When these teams used to regularly compete for something, they had personal feelings. But do you really think Brett Gardner can't stand Jacoby Ellsbury? That Ivan Nova and Andrew Miller wouldn't bother extending a hand if the other was about to fall off a cliff?

The Yankees are more likely to be eliminated from playoff contention by the Angels than by the Red Sox this year. Entry into the tournament won't be decided on the field between these two rivals, but on the other side of the country, in (non-NY) games that end long after the New York fanbase has already gone to bed.
   16. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: August 05, 2011 at 02:59 PM (#3893346)
I'll be happy with one lousy win


So Cowboy Popup and I are competing pants pissers. I feel the same way as he does. Intellectually I know the likelihood of a 2006 style collapse is terribly low but logic has nothing to do with it.
   17. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 05, 2011 at 03:13 PM (#3893356)
Then Lucchino said, “We don’t spend money on free agents with any sort of frequency or regularity the way some East teams do. We rely primarily on homegrown players

You mean like Jeter, Posada, Rivera, Cano, Gardner, Hughes, Nova, Robertson, Cervelli, Nunez and Chamberlain?

and the players we trade for (Gonzalez came in a trade with San Diego).

You mean like A-Rod, Granderson, and Swisher?

Arguing the case point-by-point is foolish, time-wasting, and likely only to get your blood pressure up. And walking away lets the person stating this crazy-ass viewpoint say "My position is inarguable."

I gave myself a one minute look at the Yankees roster, which is about all it takes to put Lucchino's comment into the right perspective.
   18. Cowboy Popup Posted: August 05, 2011 at 03:13 PM (#3893357)
Throw out the records. These teams hate each other. Red Sox/Yankees always matters.

Do they? Joba and A-Rod are out. That should take a lot of the animosity out of the games. Beckett will still pitch, but that's not until Sunday so him throwing at people won't ratchet up the tension until the end of the series. And they are both something like 8 games up on the wild card runner up. This is as anti-climatic as a series with these two teams tied for first can get.

So Cowboy Popup and I are competing pants pissers.

I wouldn't say I'm pants pissing, although maybe I don't know what the term means. I strongly dislike this Red Sox team and I really like this Yankee team. The only time I haven't enjoyed the season so far has been when the Yanks have played the Sox. So rather then get my hopes up for a three game set in Fenway with the Lazarus twins starting two out of the three games, I'll just be happy if they can beat these miserable bastards once over the weekend.
   19. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: August 05, 2011 at 03:15 PM (#3893360)

I think of this as intentionally misleading, and designed to make the "other side" apoplectic and crazy with rage, like when FOX News smirks "Fair and Balanced".


Boston Red Sox - the Fox News of the sporting world? I can see that.
   20. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 05, 2011 at 03:20 PM (#3893363)
Then Lucchino said, “We don’t spend money on free agents with any sort of frequency or regularity the way some East teams do. We rely primarily on homegrown players and the players we trade for (Gonzalez came in a trade with San Diego).”


This is a bit misleading, at least with regard to Gonzalez. They did trade for him, of course, but they still needed to throw a ton of money at him to sign him.
   21. Nasty Nate Posted: August 05, 2011 at 03:21 PM (#3893365)
The Yankees are more likely to be eliminated from playoff contention by the Angels than by the Red Sox this year.


I've been getting the feeling that the path of this season is heading towards another Sox-Yanks ALCS.
   22. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 05, 2011 at 03:27 PM (#3893371)
way some East teams do. We rely primarily on homegrown players

You mean like Jeter, Posada, Rivera, Cano, Gardner, Hughes, Nova, Robertson, Cervelli, Nunez and Chamberlain?


You have a fair point, Andy. On the other hand, the Yanks did have to throw a lot of money at their homegrown veterans to keep them. I'd classify the two "homegrown" groups as:

1 - Jeter/Posada/Rivera

2 - Cano/Gardner/Hughes/Nova/Robertson

We're counting scrubs like Nunez and Cervelli? I'd rather talk about the players who are adding value, or at least playing significant roles.
   23. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: August 05, 2011 at 03:35 PM (#3893377)

I've been getting the feeling that the path of this season is heading towards another Sox-Yanks ALCS.


And it's about damn time! Seriously though, I thought the same thing in 2009, 2007, and 2005. Someone manages to always get dusted in the first round.
   24. Cowboy Popup Posted: August 05, 2011 at 03:36 PM (#3893378)
We're counting scrubs like Nunez and Cervelli? I'd rather talk about the players who are adding value, or at least playing significant roles.

Nunez is so silly bad in the field it's ridiculous. I understand some players are going to commit errors, but when it is such a HUGE issue you think it be fixed somewhat by coaching. To add to Ray's point, Nunez and Cervelli have both been worth -.1 WAR so far this year, I'm not sure the Yanks want to claim they "developed" them.
   25. Bug Selig Posted: August 05, 2011 at 03:47 PM (#3893389)
You mean like A-Rod, Granderson, and Swisher?


He means CC. Count da chinnnnnnnnz...
   26. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 05, 2011 at 03:54 PM (#3893394)
This doesn't exactly go to Lucchino's "point" - as TVE points out, Lucchino is trolling, not making an argument - but I thought it was interesting.

The Boston Red Sox have gotten all of their good performances from players acquired either through free agency or trades. Players acquired as free agents have contributed -0.7 WAR to the 2011 Boston Red Sox.
   27. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 05, 2011 at 03:54 PM (#3893396)
We're counting scrubs like Nunez and Cervelli? I'd rather talk about the players who are adding value, or at least playing significant roles.

I was responding to Lucchino's comments, and not trying to make a comparative evaluation of the two farm systems. Obviously production varies no matter where the player comes from. The fact that Burnett and Crawford are stinking up the joint doesn't mean that the Yankees and Red Sox aren't trying to acquire free agents, and the fact that Nunez and Cervelli aren't Jeter and Posada doesn't mean that the Yanks aren't trying to develop their farm system.

And while this comment applies even more to the Yankees than to the Red Sox, it's a bit disingenuous to talk of contract-driven salary dumps as if they were trades in the old-fashioned sense. Obviously teams like the Yankees and Red Sox benefit from these "trades" far more than the teams below them, since those teams aren't able to be on the receiving end and wind up with the premium players.
   28. Best Dressed Chicken in Town Posted: August 05, 2011 at 03:56 PM (#3893397)
Nunez can play.
   29. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: August 05, 2011 at 03:59 PM (#3893398)
Is it really fair to count AGon as acquired in a trade when the Red Sox actually only acquired one year of him and signed him to a bazillion dollar extension?
   30. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 05, 2011 at 04:05 PM (#3893399)
The Yankees, by contrast, are tilted a bit more toward free agency, with 11.5 WAR from homegrown players, 10.4 WAR from players acquired in trade, and 16.8 WAR from players acquired in free agency.

As has been pointed out, these aren't simple categories - the Yankees resources and structural advantages played a much larger part in their acquisition of Curtis Granderson than in their acquisitions of Colon or Garcia. I think that mostly balances out, though.
   31. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 05, 2011 at 04:25 PM (#3893401)
Here's a much more complicated depiction.

Category 1: players developed by farm system, still under cheap team control
Category 2: players developed by farm system, under team control on favorable pre-FA signed contract
Category 3: players developed in farm system, under team control of free agent contract
Category 4: players acquired in basically normal trades
Category 5: players acquired in salary dump trades, or players extended after trade acquisitions
Category 6: players acquired in free agency on significant contracts
Category 7: players acquired in free agency on bargain contracts

WAR by category for the Red Sox and Yankees.

Category 1: 10.4 Red Sox, 7.0 Yankees
Category 2: 14.5 Red Sox, 2.9 Yankees
Category 3: 0.6 red Sox, 1.6 Yankees
Category 4: 1.1 Red Sox, 0.2 Yankees
Category 5: 10.2 Red Sox, 9.9 Yankees
Category 6: -2.9 Red Sox, 9.0 Yankees
Category 7: 2.2 Red Sox, 8.1 Yankees

The Red Sox, as measured by their contributors, are much more homegrown than the Yankees. This isn't a moral claim, or a claim that the Red Sox are not massively advantaged by the economic structure of MLB, but it's a true thing.
   32. Dale Sams Posted: August 05, 2011 at 04:40 PM (#3893402)
Matt my tiers were going to be as follows:

Home-grown talent: Ellsbury, or Gardner.

Discarded FA's OR players dumped by their teams for practiclly nothing: Ortiz and Swisher (Who admittedly may be the only ones who fall under this header.)

Salary dump trades: ARod or AGon.

Players signed to FA extensions: Beckett, or Jeter. (Yes players would be under two headers)

Pure FAs: Burnett, Drew, Crawford.

Under your system are you counting Ortiz under cat. 7?
   33. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: August 05, 2011 at 04:49 PM (#3893404)
Site's a mess today. Or is it just me?
   34. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 05, 2011 at 05:10 PM (#3893407)
The "spotlight" on A-Rod may be fading. One of the sources for the Star article says A-Rod wasn't at the poker party where cocaine was used and there was a near-fight.
   35.   Posted: August 05, 2011 at 05:11 PM (#3893408)
Here's a much less complicated depiction:

Category 1: Teams who spend more than $150M on payroll
Category 2: Teams who do not.

Teams in category 1: NYY, Phi, Boston
Teams in category 2: everyone else.
   36. Dale Sams Posted: August 05, 2011 at 05:12 PM (#3893409)
I find it awesome that Philly is now in Cat. 1.
   37. Nasty Nate Posted: August 05, 2011 at 05:14 PM (#3893412)
... the poker party where cocaine was used and there was a near-fight.


That sounds like a better party than one where there was a fight and cocaine was nearly used.
   38. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 05, 2011 at 05:26 PM (#3893424)
Matt, your numbers are true, but they're also a snapshot in time. Just two years ago your combined first 3 categories numbers would have been much higher for the Yankees (Jeter 6.5, Posada 2.7, Pettitte 1.8, Cano 5.1, Rivera 3.1, Hughes 2.0) and not as high for the Red Sox. As a general rule the Yankees are almost always going to be more dependent on imported talent, but it's more a matter of degree than of kind, and the gap can change from year to year.

Site's a mess today. Or is it just me?

It's been slow as molasses to load for at least a week or more, about on the level of dial-up. And I haven't been having any problems with any other site.
   39. Joey B.: posting for the kids of northeast Ohio Posted: August 05, 2011 at 05:30 PM (#3893427)
That said, I will likely watch most if not all of the 15 hours these teams will play this weekend.

Are you sure 15 hours will be enough to get them through the first two?
   40. Best Dressed Chicken in Town Posted: August 05, 2011 at 05:34 PM (#3893429)
Don't worry guys, once the three-year-old NBA thread gets closed in favor of monthly threads, the site will run much faster.
   41. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 05, 2011 at 05:37 PM (#3893434)
The Yankees, by contrast, are tilted a bit more toward free agency, with 11.5 WAR from homegrown players, 10.4 WAR from players acquired in trade, and 16.8 WAR from players acquired in free agency.


Does it really add anything to go to the decimal place here instead of rounding? You're adding several players together. I don't think we need to portray these numbers as being that accurate. (Even for one player for one season, going to a decimal place seems like overkill. For a group of players in aggregate, or for a player's career WAR, it certainly is.)
   42. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: August 05, 2011 at 05:37 PM (#3893435)
So, should I start Colon for my fantasy team tonight? My inclination is to leave him on the bench when facing the Red Sox in Fenway rather than risk a negative points outing.
   43. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: August 05, 2011 at 05:41 PM (#3893440)
Wow, I'll grant that three Sox are getting more value from their home grown players, but jeez Cashman has absolutely schooled Theo in both the high and low end of the FA market.
   44. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: August 05, 2011 at 05:48 PM (#3893448)
So, should I start Colon for my fantasy team tonight? My inclination is to leave him on the bench when facing the Red Sox in Fenway rather than risk a negative points outing


I would say don't start him. I think the best bet is a decent start (6 IP, 3 runs) while there is a possibility of something ugly. Additionally, a good start is not a guaranteed win with the Sox throwing Lester. Unless you have an absolute need to role the dice I wouldn't see any benefit of starting any but the absolute best of the best against either of these two offenses.
   45. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 05, 2011 at 05:49 PM (#3893449)
Does it really add anything to go to the decimal place here instead of rounding?
Certainly it doesn't. I was just copying from the spreadsheet, and it was less work to not round.
   46. Dale Sams Posted: August 05, 2011 at 06:09 PM (#3893465)
I'd start Colon if you're looking for K's.
   47. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: August 05, 2011 at 06:27 PM (#3893482)
There is absolutely no reason you should start Colon. The best case scenario is something like 6 IP, 3 ER and 4Ks.
   48. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 05, 2011 at 06:29 PM (#3893485)
I mean, it all depends on how deep the league is.

Of the two Yankee reclamation projects, I'm quite convinced that Colon is for real. His stuff is completely different from what he was throwing three years ago, and resembles pretty closely what he had at his peak. I think this is vastly unfair, but it's what it is. As long as he's healthy, Colon's a good pitcher.

The Red Sox score 5.5 runs per game, compared to a league average around 4.4. Fenway increases offense by about 5%, but so does Colon's home park. Colon's ERA is 3.30, so adding all those figures together, if you see Colon as a true 125 ERA+ pitcher, you'd expect him to pitch like a 4.25 ERA pitcher against the Sox.

Would you use a 4.25 ERA guy? Depends on the league, matchup (in head-to-head), and so on.
   49. Srul Itza Posted: August 05, 2011 at 06:29 PM (#3893486)
Cashman has absolutely schooled Theo in both the high and low end of the FA market.


As regards Colon and Garcia, that is called making a virtue of necessity. I am very glad that they Yankees picked these two up for a song, and how well they have pitched, but this was a case of a desperate need for pitching coinciding with two unlikely revivals from guys who were desperately seeking work.
   50. Cowboy Popup Posted: August 05, 2011 at 06:29 PM (#3893487)
So, should I start Colon for my fantasy team tonight? My inclination is to leave him on the bench when facing the Red Sox in Fenway rather than risk a negative points outing.

I think I'm going to start him. He's pitched well since getting rocked and he's throwing his slider a bit more often. That might keep the Sox off balance and he's pitched decently enough against the Sox this year. It'll depend on whether the ump will give him the extra inch or two on his two-seamer.

Of course, I'm generally of the attitude that if you got em, throw em unless it's late in a tight week. It's a riskier than normal start for sure though.
   51. robinred Posted: August 05, 2011 at 06:41 PM (#3893492)
And we can only hope that come October, Texas or Detroit or the Angels or even possibly Cleveland can make all this navel-gazing irrelevant.


As I said yesterday, this series is pretty much irrelevant, except to ESPN, FOX, and to YankSox Fanboys. Both teams are basically playoff locks, and since this series is unlikely to be a sweep, the loser will be one whopping game down in the epic battle for playoff seeding. It also of course does not affect World Series HFA if either of these teams gets there.

OTOH, I personally would not mind another NYY/BOS ALCS (although I can see the opposite view). The games are good baseball and great theater. The only problem is that they will take 4+ hours each.

Edit: And Lucchino remains as self-righteous, manipulative, successful, smart, savvy, and as full of sh1t as ever.
   52. Lassus Posted: August 05, 2011 at 06:44 PM (#3893493)
Site's a mess today. Or is it just me?

It's been slow as molasses to load for at least a week or more, about on the level of dial-up. And I haven't been having any problems with any other site.


This will probably get me in trouble, but someone's emulating Angelos, it seems.
   53. Nasty Nate Posted: August 05, 2011 at 06:46 PM (#3893495)
Of course, I'm generally of the attitude that if you got em, throw em unless it's late in a tight week. It's a riskier than normal start for sure though.


My leagues aren't H2H, so it seems odd that you can change lineups daily for a weekly scoring thing. I don't play fantasy football, but can you adjust your lineups in between the Sunday day games and the Sun/Mon night ones?
   54. Dale Sams Posted: August 05, 2011 at 06:46 PM (#3893496)
Cashman has absolutely schooled Theo in both the high and low end of the FA market.


Cough...Ortiz...cough..
   55. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 05, 2011 at 06:58 PM (#3893504)
Theo did an amazing job acquiring bargain free agents for his first clubs (Ortiz, Millar, Mueller, Bellhorn, Timlin, Embree, Arroyo), but his free agent record drops off like a stone after 2004. Luckily, within a year or two, the farm system became the very best (or second best) in baseball at producing major league talent, so the regression on free agent acquisitions hasn't hurt the team too much.
   56. Cowboy Popup Posted: August 05, 2011 at 06:58 PM (#3893505)
My leagues aren't H2H, so it seems odd that you can change lineups daily for a weekly scoring thing. I don't play fantasy football, but can you adjust your lineups in between the Sunday day games and the Sun/Mon night ones?

I used to do the season competition. Started doing H2H last year and I am so much more into it.

You can change you lineup anytime before the game starts but you can't replace guys in the lineup who have already played. I just put Colon in the starting lineup during this thread even though the Sox game started, but I couldn't use him to replace Dempster or Garza (K/9 count and I've had a bunch of injuries) since the Cubs game had already started. You basically have to change your lineup every day.
   57. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 05, 2011 at 07:09 PM (#3893518)
Head to head is so much better than traditional roto. It's exciting every week as the matchup ends, and you can play little strategies based on your opponent.

I also think it's better for separating the best from the worst teams. One thing that's dumb about traditional roto is that there is zero value in having a good ERA beyond the 2nd best team's ERA. In a head-to-head league, if you build an awesome offense, you win points in offensive categories every week with much greater regularity than if you'd built a good-enough offense. Having each week be like a "game" is more true to baseball in a number of good ways.
   58. andrewberg Posted: August 05, 2011 at 07:10 PM (#3893519)
Site's a mess today. Or is it just me?

It's been slow as molasses to load for at least a week or more, about on the level of dial-up. And I haven't been having any problems with any other site.


It's because nobody is posting on the NBA thread.
   59. Nasty Nate Posted: August 05, 2011 at 07:12 PM (#3893523)
One thing that's dumb about traditional roto is that there is zero value in having a good ERA beyond the 2nd best team's ERA.


What do you mean by this?
   60. robinred Posted: August 05, 2011 at 07:14 PM (#3893526)
It's because nobody is posting on the NBA thread.

Well, get over there and get to work.
   61. BDC Posted: August 05, 2011 at 07:29 PM (#3893534)
Matt and Dale (# 31 & 32): your categories are useful but revealing. In some thread yesterday I was musing on the number of Texas Rangers who came to the club on the other side of salary-dump/deal-'em-while-you-can trades: Feliz, Andrus, Murphy, Young – even Nelson Cruz was a prospect thrown into such a trade on the dumped-upon's side. When did the Red Sox or Yankees last make such a trade? Rickey Henderson back to the A's in 1989?

I've sometimes thought that if a rich club could dump guys for prospects, it would be the best of all worlds: continual restocking as you go, and shedding of useless lumber. But of course they sign guys for too insanely much. Nobody's going to take Jason Giambi or JD Drew off their hands once they outstay their welcome. (Not to be construed as a slap on either Giambi or Drew, who played well through much of their big contracts, BTW. But nobody trades for such a player on the eve of his next contract.)
   62. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 05, 2011 at 07:30 PM (#3893536)
One thing that's dumb about traditional roto is that there is zero value in having a good ERA beyond the 2nd best team's ERA.
What I mean is that if 2nd place in ERA is 3.27, and you're at 3.01, you've wasted 26 points of ERA. Likewise it doesn't matter how close to 3rd you are in ribbies or how far from 5th, you're still just 4th. A head-to-head league makes your record dependent on your overall quality rather than your quality within the discrete bounds of category rankings.

It's a minor point compared to the "it's more fun" argument.
   63. Cowboy Popup Posted: August 05, 2011 at 07:35 PM (#3893539)
I've sometimes thought that if a rich club could dump guys for prospects, it would be the best of all worlds: continual restocking as you go, and shedding of useless lumber. But of course they sign guys for too insanely much.

I wish the Gary Sheffield deal (dumped on Detroit) had worked out. Kevin Whelan might still make it to the Majors but Humberto Humberto ate himself out of baseball (I assume). That's the only time I can think of where the Yanks did something like that, at least recently.

It's a minor point compared to the "it's more fun" argument.

So much more fun!
   64. Nasty Nate Posted: August 05, 2011 at 07:37 PM (#3893541)
It's generally thought that the problem you mention is much much worse in head-to-head, where you can kill an opponent but get just as much credit if you squeaked by, or you can have the 2nd-best team in a week, but happen to be playing the best team so you get no credit for your quality.
   65. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 05, 2011 at 07:40 PM (#3893543)
The Red Sox traded David Wells to San Diego for George Kottaras in 2006.

The Red Sox and Yankees, during the Epstein/Henry years, have never been out of contention by July 31st, and only really in 2006 were the Sox out of it by August 31st, so they're not going to make deals of talent for prospects - they need that talent. It's a function of the teams being so good for so long. Which I guess was your point.
   66. robinred Posted: August 05, 2011 at 07:41 PM (#3893544)
This isn't a moral claim, or a claim that the Red Sox are not massively advantaged by the economic structure of MLB, but it's a true thing.


I mentioned this in the Beane thread. The main reason is that Sabathia and Teixeira are really good, whereas Lackey and Matsuzaka, (if you are counting him as a FA with a significant contract, and I think you should) and to date, Crawford, have pretty much sucked/been average.
   67. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 05, 2011 at 07:43 PM (#3893545)
It's generally thought that the problem you mention is much much worse in head-to-head, where you can kill an opponent but get just as much credit if you squeaked by, or you can have the 2nd-best team in a week, but happen to be playing the best team so you get no credit for your quality.
That's an issue of randomness, though, which isn't precisely what I was talking about. H-T-H has more randomness, but a better scoring system. Regular roto has less randomness, but a worse scoring system.
   68. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 05, 2011 at 07:45 PM (#3893549)
The main reason is that Sabathia and Teixeira are really good, whereas Lackey and Matsuzaka, (if you are counting him as a FA with a significant contract, and I think you should) and to date, Crawford, have pretty much sucked/been average.
If those guys were good, the Red Sox would be on pace to win 110-115 games.

The main reasons are (a) that the Sox free agent signings have wildly underperformed their contracts and (b) that the Sox farm system has been the most or second most productive in all of MLB over the last six-seven years.
   69. Nasty Nate Posted: August 05, 2011 at 07:48 PM (#3893552)
Oh, I guess you were talking about Points vs Roto (because you can also do Roto H2H). As you said above though, whatever is more fun for the players involved is the best system.
   70. robinred Posted: August 05, 2011 at 07:48 PM (#3893553)
(b) that the Sox farm system has been the most or second most productive in all of MLB over the last six-seven years.


Yes, indeed. They are in fact a $100M player development machine--and gutty, gritty, utterly charming underdogs as well.
   71. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 05, 2011 at 07:49 PM (#3893554)
Oh, I guess you were talking about Points vs Roto (because you can also do Roto H2H). As you said above though, whatever is more fun for the players involved is the best system.
That's not exactly what I meant, but whatever, it's probably the silliest thing I've ever argued about. Well, one of. As you say, the only thing that matters is what's more fun for all involved.
   72. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: August 05, 2011 at 07:58 PM (#3893558)
When did the Red Sox or Yankees last make such a trade?


To MCoA's point, the last time the Sox were truly out of contention at the deadline was 1997 and Dan Duquette delivered in a big way landing Lowe and Varitek for Heathcliff Slocumb. Since then 2010 was their largest playoff deficit at July 31 when they were 5.5 games out and while it isn't quite the same thing they did land Jarrod Saltalamacchia on on that date and that is looking like a winner right now.
   73. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: August 05, 2011 at 09:07 PM (#3893596)
Jose's post led me to Salty's BB-ref page, as I was not really aware of his most recent escapades. Why does he have only 69 games? That's less than Scutaro. Was he hurt?
   74. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 05, 2011 at 09:17 PM (#3893600)
Saltalamacchia and Varitek are sharing the catching duties. Salty's got a huge platoon split, so they're semi-platooning, with Varitek playing against more lefties and Saltalamacchia against more righties.
   75. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 05, 2011 at 09:23 PM (#3893609)
Theo did an amazing job acquiring bargain free agents for his first clubs (Ortiz, Millar, Mueller, Bellhorn, Timlin, Embree, Arroyo), but his free agent record drops off like a stone after 2004. Luckily, within a year or two, the farm system became the very best (or second best) in baseball at producing major league talent, so the regression on free agent acquisitions hasn't hurt the team too much.

So how would you describe this? Has Theo gotten dumber and the scouts gotten smarter? Or is it maybe that he's so anxious to keep certain free agents out of Cashman's hands that he gets panicked into making unwise preemptive signings? Or is it just that he got lucky through 2004 and unlucky after that, while the scouts' luck evened it out? I have no idea what the answers to any of these questions might be.
   76. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: August 05, 2011 at 09:32 PM (#3893612)
So how would you describe this? Has Theo gotten dumber and the scouts gotten smarter?


Dominican milkshakes.
   77.   Posted: August 05, 2011 at 09:33 PM (#3893615)

Site's a mess today. Or is it just me?


Only if by "today" you mean "the last 5 years"
   78. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: August 05, 2011 at 09:49 PM (#3893625)
Matt and Dale (# 31 & 32): your categories are useful but revealing. In some thread yesterday I was musing on the number of Texas Rangers who came to the club on the other side of salary-dump/deal-'em-while-you-can trades: Feliz, Andrus, Murphy, Young – even Nelson Cruz was a prospect thrown into such a trade on the dumped-upon's side. When did the Red Sox or Yankees last make such a trade? Rickey Henderson back to the A's in 1989?

Manny. Ok they didn't exactly trade for prospects, but they did shed salary in the process...


Wow, I'll grant that three Sox are getting more value from their home grown players, but jeez Cashman has absolutely schooled Theo in both the high and low end of the FA market.

How soon they forget.
   79. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: August 05, 2011 at 10:15 PM (#3893641)
So how would you describe this? Has Theo gotten dumber and the scouts gotten smarter? Or is it maybe that he's so anxious to keep certain free agents out of Cashman's hands that he gets panicked into making unwise preemptive signings? Or is it just that he got lucky through 2004 and unlucky after that, while the scouts' luck evened it out?


That's an interesting set of questions. I think it's a few things;

1. I hate to bring it up but I think Theo was on the cutting edge of a lot of the Moneyball type stuff. The guys he nailed in those early days were precisely the types of guys Beane had success with in Oakland and they are the types of players that are not really undervalued anymore. That was a lot of low hanging fruit.

2. Luck has played into it a bit. Focusing on the current squad Lackey was a bit of a known risk but Crawford looked like a fairly sure thing. Even if he wasn't going to be the 5 win guy he was last year I think the Sox would have been content with him in the 3-3.5 win range. I don't think even the biggest doubters predicted this type of year for Crawford. The only other huge

3. I wonder if there is something systematic in the Sox scouting or evaluation process. Theo has been highly successful with the in-house guys he's spent money on; Youk, Pedroia, Lester have all been huge wins for the organization and Buchholz and Beckett have been to a lesser degree. Also, he's done a good job of resisting temptation to deal those guys plus Ellsbury who could easily have been moved for big name packages.

Similarly, he has done well on decisions about who to let walk; Pedro, Bay, Nomar (slightly different) were all much lesser players after they left. I think he got the timing on Manny right too though that of course was a different situation. Damon happened while he was gone though I think it would have been a move he'd have made and of course Derek Lowe and Bronson Arroyo did not work out though I think Lowe was a perfectly sound decision.

It seems like when they see something up close they get it right, but it's the evaluation from afar that they've failed at. That's on Theo as the head of the organization but the scouts and statistical analysts who work for him are on the hook.

4. Money. I know 28 other teams have no sympathy for the Sox but I think Theo's free agent record looks a bit better with Teixeira but he got outbid by the one team that could outbid him. I'm happy with Gonzalez of course and I'm not crying poor but there was one team that could outbid the Sox and they did it. I think the Sox likely jump in on Sabathia a bit more aggressively if they thought they could have landed him as well.

tl;dr - Who the hell knows? #### happens.

slight edit for hyperbole
   80. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 05, 2011 at 10:57 PM (#3893657)
1. I hate to bring it up but I think Theo was on the cutting edge of a lot of the Moneyball type stuff. The guys he nailed in those early days were precisely the types of guys Beane had success with in Oakland and they are the types of players that are not really undervalued anymore. That was a lot of low hanging fruit.
I agree with this. It appears, in retrospect, that the 2003-2004 Red Sox were the tipping point for sabermetrics - there will never be another offseason where a team can get all of Kevin Millar, David Ortiz, Jeremy Giambi, and Bill Mueller for under $10M combined. Most everyone else figured out the basics within a couple years.

Beyond the stuff Jose listed, the other thing I'd add is that since 2003, Theo has been filling the holes of teams he's built himself. In 2003, he had the great good fortune of working with a Dan Duquette roster - Duquette was great at evaluating top-end talent, and he could find some impressive pieces on the scrap heap, but he had no capacity for building a whole roster. Theo had the core of a championship team, but nothing else, and he could do whatever he wanted at a good number of positions. In seasons beyond that, he's rarely had a core quite that good, and he's never had so little complementary talent.
   81. Ron J Posted: August 05, 2011 at 11:00 PM (#3893659)
#73 In addition to the semi-platoon issue mentioned, Salty got off to a brutal start. He was at .203/.250/.266 in the middle of May and only up to .218/.277/.382 by the end of May. No matter what you think of the guy (and the Red Sox were obviously expecting more from him than most) that will take playing time away from a player (particularly one coming off an injury)
   82. Cowboy Popup Posted: August 05, 2011 at 11:08 PM (#3893669)
No chatter tonight?
   83. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: August 06, 2011 at 12:02 AM (#3893783)
I know 28 other teams have no sympathy for the Sox but I think Theo's free agent record looks a bit better with Teixeira but he got outbid by the one team that could outbid him. I'm happy with Gonzalez of course and I'm not crying poor but there was one team that could outbid the Sox and they did it.


Didn't the Washington Nationals have the biggest offer?

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