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Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Red Sox part ways with A.J. Pierzynski

Cold Pierogi?

The Red Sox decided to move on from A.J. Pierzynski on Wednesday when they designated the catcher for assignment. The team called up prospect Christian Vazquez from Pawtucket to take his place.

eddieot Posted: July 09, 2014 at 02:53 PM | 81 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: a.j. pierzynski, christian vazquez, pawtucket sox, red sox

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   1. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 09, 2014 at 03:09 PM (#4747138)
Lisa: Dad, do you know what Schadenfreude is?
Homer: No, I don't know what "shaden-frawde" is. [sarcastic]
Homer: Please tell me, because I'm dying to know.
Lisa: It's a German term for "shameful joy", taking pleasure in the suffering of others.
Homer: Oh, come on Lisa. I'm just glad to see him fall flat on his butt!
   2. Sonic Youk Posted: July 09, 2014 at 03:10 PM (#4747139)
I've seen worse players, but none of them checked every single "I don't want to watch this guy" box like AJ.
   3. stanmvp48 Posted: July 09, 2014 at 03:15 PM (#4747143)
I once looked up left hand hitters who had more GIDPs in a season than walks. There weren't many (I remember Don Mueller) AJ has done it 5 times.
   4. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: July 09, 2014 at 03:17 PM (#4747145)
I'm a big A.J. fan, but I'm not surprised he didn't have much left.

   5. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: July 09, 2014 at 03:22 PM (#4747151)
Don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out. A.J. probably hasn't been as bad as it seems but he was just a player I had no interest in rooting for and he did nothing to make me change my mind. If nothing else watching Vazquez behind the plate is going to be a treat.
   6. Davo Dozier Posted: July 09, 2014 at 03:23 PM (#4747153)
Good riddance--hope this is the end.

You had a 17-year career, AJ, and there's not a single person--fan or teammate--who will miss you.
   7. madvillain Posted: July 09, 2014 at 03:24 PM (#4747154)
The White Sox should sign him, seriously. Tyler Flowers, over his last 100 or so ABs, has struck out in over 50% of his ABs (OMG) and has a wRC+ of 6.

AJ would be an upgrade, as pathetic as it sounds.
   8. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: July 09, 2014 at 03:32 PM (#4747167)
I for one look forward to receiving A.J.'s wisdom on TV for the next 30 years.
   9. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: July 09, 2014 at 03:33 PM (#4747170)
I can only assume Michael Barrett approves of this message.
   10. Spahn Insane Posted: July 09, 2014 at 03:40 PM (#4747174)
I can only assume Michael Barrett approves of this message.

Kind of surprising A.J. lasted so much longer than Barrett (they're about the same age, and Barrett was a pretty good hitter at his 3-year peak). Neither guy was very likeable, which probably didn't help Barrett out much.
   11. Spahn Insane Posted: July 09, 2014 at 03:40 PM (#4747175)
I can only assume Michael Barrett approves of this message.

Kind of surprising A.J. lasted so much longer than Barrett (they're about the same age, and Barrett was a pretty good hitter at his 3-year peak). Neither guy was very likable, which probably didn't help Barrett out much.
   12. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: July 09, 2014 at 03:40 PM (#4747176)
If "Most Stab-able" were a thing, Pierzynski would be that thing.
   13. Dale Sams Posted: July 09, 2014 at 03:42 PM (#4747181)
Thassa one exspeeensive placeholder
   14. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: July 09, 2014 at 03:43 PM (#4747182)
You had a 17-year career, AJ, and there's not a single person--fan or teammate--who will miss you.


There's one, though if he moves into a booth somewhere that will be just fine.
   15. BDC Posted: July 09, 2014 at 03:48 PM (#4747188)
The most similar batting careers to AJP's:

Player            dWAR   PA OPSRbaser        Pos
Joe Tinker        34.3 7153   96    9.5    
*6/54H9
Rafael Furcal     14.4 7237   96   52.3      
*6/H4
Willie Kamm        9.5 6945   97    0.3       
*5/H
A
.JPierzynski    8.3 7032   95  -16.4      *2H/D
Rick Ferrell       5.5 7077   95   
-2.1       *2/H
Mark Kotsay        2.5 7110   96   
-6.1   *89H3/7D
Milt Stock         1.9 6956   97   
-2.6     *54/6H
Eric Young         1.1 6996   92   15.4 
*47H/D8695
Dave Philley      
-6.5 7004   92    8.1    98H73/


Two Hall of Famers! Unsurprisingly, to have a career that long with such a mediocre bat, you have to have some defensive credentials – or alternatively, like Dave Philley, some mystique as a pinch hitter. The one guy I'd never heard of was Milt Stock, a decent 3B (according to dWAR) whose career straddled the deadball/lively-ball watershed. He held his own with the bat, but Stock was what you'd call a "second-division ballplayer": he'd only be one of your better players if your team was not very good.

Pierzynski's year in Texas (2013) was productive enough, though apparently he alienated his best pitcher (Darvish). How much of that was overblown in the media, I have no idea. It's not like AJ got the benefit of any doubts.
   16. just plain joe Posted: July 09, 2014 at 03:58 PM (#4747194)
The one guy I'd never heard of was Milt Stock, a decent 3B (according to dWAR) whose career straddled the deadball/lively-ball watershed. He held his own with the bat, but Stock was what you'd call a "second-division ballplayer": he'd only be one of your better players if your team was not very good.


Stock was also Eddie Stanky's father-in-law; if I'm not mistaken he managed Stanky in the minor leagues.
   17. The Kentucky Gentleman, Mark Edward Posted: July 09, 2014 at 04:00 PM (#4747199)
An overwhelming majority of White Sox fans love AJ and with very good cause. As a Sox fan I don't want them picking him up- Flowers can't hit but he's solid defensively and Neito's been decent enough to keep around. I'd certainly appreciate an AJ Day in the near future, great Sox career.

I definitely didn't like AJ when he played for the Twins but I don't like anybody when they're playing for the Twins. Most of the hatred here comes from what exactly? Allegedly kneeing Conte in the balls? Of course that's shitty if he did that but I'm also not sure that story's true. Getting punched by Barrett? Barrett was the d-bag in that situation. 2005 ALCS? Smart play and Josh Paul should've been a better catcher.
   18. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: July 09, 2014 at 04:00 PM (#4747201)
I for one look forward to receiving A.J.'s wisdom on TV for the next 30 years.


I didn't see him much last year but I'd bet Pierzynski could be a terrific commentator. He's certainly a strong personality and I can see him being a very good tell it like it is type.
   19. Dillon Gee Escape Plan Posted: July 09, 2014 at 04:09 PM (#4747210)
This is the best thing that's happened for the Red Sox all year.
   20. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: July 09, 2014 at 04:09 PM (#4747213)
I didn't see him much last year but I'd bet Pierzynski could be a terrific commentator. He's certainly a strong personality and I can see him being a very good tell it like it is type.


Always possible, but I'd bet my money--with a grimace--on him being John Kruk.
   21. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: July 09, 2014 at 04:11 PM (#4747217)
I didn't see him much last year but I'd bet Pierzynski could be a terrific commentator. He's certainly a strong personality and I can see him being a very good tell it like it is type.


A.J. had a weekly in-season spot on a sports talk radio show in Chicago I used to listen to. He was one of the most engaging, informative and funny active athletes I've ever heard. No guarantee it will translate to TV, but I like his chances better than the average ex-jock.

   22. RJ in TO Posted: July 09, 2014 at 04:14 PM (#4747224)
I would love it if someone else signed AJ, and he found he had enough left in the tank to ####### his way around the league for another few seasons.

And, if not, I'd like him to sign up with the WWE.
   23. tfbg9 Posted: July 09, 2014 at 04:21 PM (#4747236)
Vasquez in AAA: .279 .336 .385
   24. caprules Posted: July 09, 2014 at 04:23 PM (#4747243)
Most of the hatred here comes from what exactly?


I don't about anybody else, but I thought there was a story early in his career when a pitcher came to him to prep for a game, and AJ blew him off because he was playing video games in the locker room. Not worthy of "hate", but not a sign of a player dedicated to helping his team.
   25. Ron J2 Posted: July 09, 2014 at 04:24 PM (#4747245)
"If you play against him, you hate him. If you play with him, you hate him a little less."

Ozzie Guillen
   26. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: July 09, 2014 at 04:26 PM (#4747248)
Vasquez in AAA: .279 .336 .385


If you haven't yet, wait until you see the defense. After Varitek-Saltalamacchia-Pierzynski you are going to LOVE this guy behind the plate. Obviously he needs to hit a bit but like Bradley his defense is game changing.
   27. I am Ted F'ing Williams Posted: July 09, 2014 at 04:27 PM (#4747252)
A 37-year old left-hand hitting catcher in Fenway Park who doesn't walk, signed over over 8 million isn't exactly a recipe for success.

Pierzynski playing for Showalter would be interesting.



   28. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: July 09, 2014 at 04:35 PM (#4747274)
A.J. had a weekly in-season spot on a sports talk radio show in Chicago I used to listen to. He was one of the most engaging, informative and funny active athletes I've ever heard. No guarantee it will translate to TV, but I like his chances better than the average ex-jock.

I feel the same way about Chael Sonnen in the MMA world. He promoted his fights in full on WWE heel mode and fans loved to hate him, but as co-host of UFC Tonight and other mic work he is also engaging, informative, and funny. I hope he's back on TV soon once this whole PED mess blows over.
   29. Ziggy Posted: July 09, 2014 at 04:43 PM (#4747297)
I thought we had agreed that Pierzynski was doing his jerk routine on purpose?
   30. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: July 09, 2014 at 04:44 PM (#4747302)
Well, yeah, but not very many ######## behave like ######## accidentally. In all probability the ####### who sped up from 55 to 75 when you tried to pass him last night did it on purpose.
   31. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: July 09, 2014 at 05:03 PM (#4747336)
Most of the hatred here comes from what exactly?

I was going to ask the same question, but the story that caprules relates in #24 might give me an idea.

But given what he (hasn't) done to the Yankees and the Orioles this year, I can't say I'm happy to see him go. I hadn't realized just how bad he'd been until I looked up the numbers.
   32. DKDC Posted: July 09, 2014 at 05:09 PM (#4747345)
Pierzynski playing for Showalter would be interesting.


I doubt it. Not a big enough (if any) upgrade over Joseph/Hundley/Clevenger to make him worth the baggage.

It's still kind of amazing that he got a bigger contract last offseason than Nelson Cruz.
   33. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: July 09, 2014 at 05:13 PM (#4747351)
Most of the hatred here comes from what exactly?


Didn't he kick his team trainer in the nuts? Maybe Jack Keefe remembers.
   34. bfan Posted: July 09, 2014 at 05:23 PM (#4747362)
Neither guy was very likeable, which probably didn't help Barrett out much.


Wait a minute; Barrett was labeled unlikeable because he got in a fight with Carlos Zambrano. As the story unfolded, in the next few years, it was pretty clear who the nut-job in that 2 man relationship was, as Zambrano flamed his way out of baseball (throwing 3 baseball at Chipper Jones in one AB because Carlos had pitched like crap and gotten bombed being a personal favorite).
   35. Spahn Insane Posted: July 09, 2014 at 05:48 PM (#4747403)
Wait a minute; Barrett was labeled unlikeable because he got in a fight with Carlos Zambrano. As the story unfolded, in the next few years, it was pretty clear who the nut-job in that 2 man relationship was, as Zambrano flamed his way out of baseball (throwing 3 baseball at Chipper Jones in one AB because Carlos had pitched like crap and gotten bombed being a personal favorite).

It wasn't just the Zambrano incident; see above regarding his punching Pierzynski for no particular reason** (as also noted above, achieving the noteworthy feat of being the greater d-bag in a confrontation with A.J. Pierzynski). Seems to me Barrett had a general reputation for being a redass. Those types of guys tend not to get multiple chances once they start declining.

**Yes, yes; simply being A.J. Pierzynski's arguably reason enough...was it Shooty who commented at the time the Red Sox signed Pierzynski that with that signing, on top of the re-signing of Napoli and others, Boston's backpfeifengesicht quotient had gone through the roof? That comment was hilarious, and spot-on.
   36. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: July 09, 2014 at 06:04 PM (#4747426)
Didn't he kick his team trainer in the nuts? Maybe Jack Keefe remembers.


The story, as I may incorrectly remember it, was that he got hit by a ball around that region while catching during a ST game. The trainer comes out, asks him how he feels, AJ slaps the trainer in the junk, presumably to show him how he feels.

re: Barrett. I seem to recall he had some issues with Roy Oswalt during that magical team-wide self-destruction in late 2004.
   37. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: July 09, 2014 at 06:07 PM (#4747428)
As a Red Sox fan, I am so happy about this move. We're not going anywhere this year, and we won the whole thing last year out of nowhere, so I (and virtually all of fellow Sox fans here in New England) are totally cool with doing about six more moves like this in the next three weeks. Vazquez plays crazy defense - his arm is amazing.

Other moves to make along these lines:
1) Do whatever you have to do to get rid of Drew. I don't expect him to fetch anything, and we'll have to pay most of the rest of his salary. Whatever. Get AAA shortstop Deven Marrero, a defensive wiz hitting surprisingly well as a 23-year-old, up for the rest of the season. Tell Xander he is playing third, and hep him get out of his funk.

2) Jonny Gomes? You need a guy to hit against lefties who is a "winner"? You can have him, and we'll pay for that, too. Tell Nava he is playing every day in left field, Bradley in center, and Betts in right. If and when Victorino comes back, we'll deal with it.

3) Bullpen veterans pitching well? Got them, too! Andrew Miller may be the best LOOGY in the league, is 29 years old, and a FA after the season. He is making $1.9M this year. He is striking out almost 15/9 IP, walking about 2.3/9 IP. He could actually fetch you something useful. Need a closer? Uehara has been otherworldly for about a year now, and is also a FA after the season. If somebody wants to do for their bullpen what the A's did for their rotation, they offer the Red Sox legit stuff for both of these guys.

4) Starting pitching? Yup, got that, too! John Lackey is generally pitching very well, and is making 500K all of next year. Peavy has pitched generally well, also, but has the worst run support in the league, and has been left in a little too long on a few cases. But a reliable, healthy veteran who will give you six strong innings most of the time? All yours! (By doing this, we can go Lester, Buchholz, De La Rosa, Workman, and Ranaudo, slide Doubront into the bullpen, and it will let us bring up Johnson and Owens to AAA, where they belong this year).

Am I giving up on 2014? Of course...but they are 39-51, with a ton of teams ahead of them in the playoff standings. This season is cooked.
   38. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: July 09, 2014 at 06:30 PM (#4747452)
Yes. Sell. Sell. SELL!!!!
   39. Dale Sams Posted: July 09, 2014 at 06:40 PM (#4747471)
Steve, you're benching Holt??
   40. Davo Dozier Posted: July 09, 2014 at 06:42 PM (#4747474)
Red Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski wasn't too happy with young umpire Quinn Wolcott's strike-zone judgment in a game earlier this month, and he made his point in a way that only A.J. can.

"Give me a new ball," Pierzynski said to Wolcott after Asdrubal Cabrera had drawn a walk. "One you can see."

Funny line. But instead of a "haha," it earned Pierzynski the ol' heave-ho.

(Link.)
   41. Jack Keefe Posted: July 09, 2014 at 07:12 PM (#4747523)
AJ did not never kick nobody in the Unmentoinabels. Once he did slip on a bit of Ashtroturf and kind of slide upended so that his cleats toucht Carl Everetts Priceless Pair but that was ruled an Axe a Dent.
   42. madvillain Posted: July 09, 2014 at 07:32 PM (#4747542)
The legend of AJ has eclipsed the reality of AJ at this point. The blowing off the young pitcher stuff early in his career is almost certainly true given how widely it's been reported, but the Rochambeau stupidity never happened and the Barrett incident had been brewing for awhile, it just happened to boil over at that plate collision, it could have happened to most players at that moment of competition.

{It's hard to believe, but back in 2006 both Chicago teams were good, and the rivarly between then was 5x more intense than now. ####, those were fun days for Sox and Cubs fans, obviously a bit more fun for the Sox coming off the WS victory.)

On TV, he's quite entertaining and isn't overly negative or have a complete lack of self awareness (hello Reynolds and Kruck).
   43. PreservedFish Posted: July 09, 2014 at 07:37 PM (#4747549)
My impression of his TV stints is that he's been awkward and unnecessary.
   44. Bunny Vincennes Posted: July 09, 2014 at 07:53 PM (#4747564)
4. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: July 09, 2014 at 03:17 PM (#4747145)

I'm a big A.J. fan, but I'm not surprised he didn't have much left.


You would be his only fan.
   45. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: July 09, 2014 at 09:18 PM (#4747620)
You would be his only fan.


Hardly. As mentioned, White Sox fans are quite fond of him, for obvious reasons.

But given many Primates stated preference for guys who are more colorful, I am surprised that so many dislike him so much. Baseball is more fun with guys like A.J. in it.

   46. bobm Posted: July 09, 2014 at 09:32 PM (#4747626)
I once looked up left hand hitters who had more GIDPs in a season than walks. There weren't many (I remember Don Mueller) AJ has done it 5 times.

For single seasons, From 1901 to 2014, Bats LH, (requiring GIDP>BB), sorted by greatest Seasons matching criteria

                            
Rk                  Name Yrs
 1         Steve Carlton   6
 2       A.J. Pierzynski   5
 2            Jon Lieber   5
 2   Fernando Valenzuela   5
 2             Al Brazle   5
 2          Thornton Lee   5
 7         Sid Fernandez   4
 7          Pete Falcone   4
 7           Joe Nuxhall   4
 7           Clyde Shoun   4
11           Mark Redman   3
11         Jason Marquis   3
11           CC Sabathia   3
11          Denny Neagle   3
11          Dave Roberts   3
11             Ken Brett   3
11           Bobby Tolan   3
11           Gary Peters   3
11      Johnny Antonelli   3
11           Don Mueller   3
11          Chuck Stobbs   3
11          Billy Pierce   3
11          Earl Johnson   3
11          Atley Donald   3
11            Rip Sewell   3
Rk                  Name Yrs
11       Johnny McCarthy   3
11          Woody Jensen   3


Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 7/9/2014.
   47. Scott Lange Posted: July 09, 2014 at 09:33 PM (#4747627)
Baseball is more fun with guys like A.J. in it.


But life is more fun without them.
   48. SteveM. Posted: July 09, 2014 at 09:39 PM (#4747630)
Steve, you're benching Holt??


Steve Holt!!
   49. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: July 09, 2014 at 09:58 PM (#4747639)
White Sox fans are quite fond of him, for obvious reasons.

White Sox fans also jumped the fence and beat an unsuspecting first base coach senseless which, come to think of it, might explain their predilection for A.J.
   50. Walt Davis Posted: July 09, 2014 at 10:05 PM (#4747642)
With Ozzie and AJ out of the game, is there anybody left to give Keefe a job? Maybe Jack can get a job doing radio for the Astros.
   51. PreservedFish Posted: July 09, 2014 at 11:33 PM (#4747665)
Steve Carlton stands alone.
   52. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: July 10, 2014 at 12:56 AM (#4747692)
the Rochambeau stupidity never happened


Pierzynski has always said that he didn't kick Conte in the pills, but if you go back and check the story at the time of the alleged incident, it said that Pierzynski had kneed him there instead.

Non-denial denials are always interesting.
   53. Rob_Wood Posted: July 10, 2014 at 07:49 AM (#4747739)
AJ was only a SF Giant for one year, about 10 years ago, and he is still hated around here.
   54. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: July 10, 2014 at 08:39 AM (#4747753)
The AJ-Conte story is absolutely true. And there hasn't been a Giant who I couldn't root for like the season AJ was in San Francisco. The guy is an absolute punk and hopefully this is the end of the road for him.
   55. tfbg9 Posted: July 10, 2014 at 08:47 AM (#4747755)
Bradford now reporting on WEEI.com that A.J. was a clubhouse cancer, pitchers much preferred Ross, etc.
   56. villageidiom Posted: July 10, 2014 at 08:57 AM (#4747760)
54. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: July 10, 2014 at 08:39 AM (#4747753)
Maybe I haven't been paying close enough attention, but I haven't seen you around this site in a while. Good to see you back, if you were gone, and sorry not to have noticed, if you weren't.

Regardless, I shouldn't be surprised. When Pierzynski is involved, it's inevitable that we'll see a 6-4-3.
   57. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 10, 2014 at 09:37 AM (#4747789)
Most of the hatred here comes from what exactly?


From the minds of petty, pathetic people who wish misfortune on those they don't know and then, because their lives are so miserable, take glee when it happens. The same sort of folks who stoop to booing players at ballgames and other athletic events.

But that's just a guess.
   58. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 10, 2014 at 09:48 AM (#4747801)
But given what he (hasn't) done to the Yankees and the Orioles this year, I can't say I'm happy to see him go. I hadn't realized just how bad he'd been until I looked up the numbers.


He actually was doing fine through May and then he just cratered. It's not like Ross has done any better. But an AJ-Ross platoon would probably have still worked (not sure why they weren't doing that to begin with). That said, given that the team is DOA this year (*), bringing up the younger catchers seems like a better move anyway.

(*) A lot of people seem shocked at the team's performance this year, but the anomaly for the Red Sox was *2013*, which was (a) unexpected and (b) just a massive fluke as virtually everything went right.
   59. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 10, 2014 at 09:53 AM (#4747804)
Generally agree with #37. Strip the team down and sell off the veterans. Play the young guys.

Except that Xander should be at SS. The Drew signing was entirely unnecessary.
   60. Ron J2 Posted: July 10, 2014 at 10:13 AM (#4747822)
#34 As I recall, Barrett had picked up a rep as far back as his Montreal days. But I don't trust my memory and I can't find anything that confirms this.
   61. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: July 10, 2014 at 10:14 AM (#4747823)
But an AJ-Ross platoon would probably have still worked (not sure why they weren't doing that to begin with).


There have been reports that some of the (expensive, veteran) pitchers didn't like throwing to AJ.
   62. villageidiom Posted: July 10, 2014 at 10:17 AM (#4747827)
He actually was doing fine through May and then he just cratered. It's not like Ross has done any better.


2014 Red Sox Pitching splits by catcher

Pierzynski: 749 OPS against, 4.13 ERA, 19% CS rate
Ross: 690 OPS against, 3.43 ERA, 29% CS rate

For reference, with Boston in 2012 Josh Beckett had a 752 OPS against, and in 2014 Brandon Workman has had a 4.13 ERA.
   63. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 10, 2014 at 10:21 AM (#4747830)
#62 I didn't realize CERA-type analysis was back in vogue, but I consider it generally worthless, especially in small samples.

And if the veteran pitchers were refusing to pitch to AJ more, that would stack the CERA deck against him from the start.
   64. Sonic Youk Posted: July 10, 2014 at 10:26 AM (#4747834)
This is a great example why its mostly useless, since Ross is Lester's personal catcher.
   65. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: July 10, 2014 at 10:40 AM (#4747843)
39. Dale Sams Posted: July 09, 2014 at 06:40 PM (#4747471)
Steve, you're benching Holt??


I didn't mention Holt in #37, but I guess I see his greatest value being in his versatility. He is not as good as he has looked in the last month or so, but I think he is a valuable player, and a lot of that value is that he can cover a lot of spots due to injury, rest, or platoon issues.

Several people above have mentioned that they see Bogaert's future at SS. I love Bogaerts, but I disagree:

1) I think he is likely going to end up being too big for the position (guys like Ripken are the exception, not the rule), and he is not a great SS, anyway.

2) A year ago, I would have said that Boston has a lot of depth in their organization at 3B, including Cecchini and Middlebrooks, and less so at SS. I have become much less bullish about Cecchini, who I fear is not quite going to have the bat to play third base, and the glove has been very uneven so far. Middlebrooks, to me, is nothing much. He simply cannot contact the baseball often enough to be an effective hitter. Meanwhile, at SS, Deven Marrero has made real steps forward offensively (.291/.371/.433 at AA; in a SSS in AAA thus far, hitting for average but no power or walks yet), and his defense is outstanding. Between Vazquez/Swihart, Pedroia, Marrero, and Bradley, I'm not sure any team in baseball is going to have better defense up the middle than that.

3) I think the team needs to tell Bogaerts he is playing a position, and that is the end of the discussion. Which position matters less than simply deciding. He is a fine 3B - let him focus on getting back on track offensively.
   66. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: July 10, 2014 at 10:57 AM (#4747860)
Generally agree with #37. Strip the team down and sell off the veterans. Play the young guys.

Yeah, this team is years away from competing. 2012 was bad and this is even worse. Is it really likely that Napoli, Ortiz, Pedroia, Lackey will be part of the next good Red Sox team?
   67. Bitter Mouse Posted: July 10, 2014 at 11:12 AM (#4747876)
You had a 17-year career, AJ, and there's not a single person--fan or teammate--who will miss you.


I will!

AJ is my favorite player in the world to boo. Baseball without AJ is a sad and empty thing. If you don't love to sports-hate AJ you are doing it wrong. Baseball needs more AJ, not much more, too much is definitely TOO MUCH, but it needs more than none.
   68. TDF, situational idiot Posted: July 10, 2014 at 11:27 AM (#4747894)
Most of the hatred here comes from what exactly?

From the minds of petty, pathetic people who wish misfortune on those they don't know and then, because their lives are so miserable, take glee when it happens. The same sort of folks who stoop to booing players at ballgames and other athletic events.

But that's just a guess.
Pierzynski has never played for a team I even have a passing interest in, nor did he ever play for a big rival of any of the teams I follow closely. I'm also not one to boo players, nor do I "take glee" in the misfortune of others.

However, if the various media reports are true (and they seem to be) he's gone out of his way time and again to be the biggest jerk possible; that's a pretty good definition of a bully, and I hate bullies.
   69. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 10, 2014 at 01:32 PM (#4748009)
Pierzynski has never played for a team I even have a passing interest in, nor did he ever play for a big rival of any of the teams I follow closely. I'm also not one to boo players, nor do I "take glee" in the misfortune of others.

However, if the various media reports are true (and they seem to be) he's gone out of his way time and again to be the biggest jerk possible; that's a pretty good definition of a bully, and I hate bullies.


Thank you for making my point.
   70. TDF, situational idiot Posted: July 10, 2014 at 01:45 PM (#4748017)
I'm "petty and pathetic" for not liking bullies? Huh.
   71. Bitter Mouse Posted: July 10, 2014 at 02:02 PM (#4748025)
I'm "petty and pathetic" for not liking bullies? Huh.


"Forget it, he's on a roll."
   72. villageidiom Posted: July 10, 2014 at 02:30 PM (#4748046)
#62 I didn't realize CERA-type analysis was back in vogue, but I consider it generally worthless, especially in small samples.
It is worthless as a predictive measure. It is a factual record, and if we're talking about what actually took place then it is relevant.
This is a great example why its mostly useless, since Ross is Lester's personal catcher.
See, now this is a worthwhile critique. Too, AJ is the personal catcher for Lackey and Buchholz.

With one starter doing much better than the rest, and pitching almost exclusively with one catcher, it is bound to skew the numbers. I don't have time to context-adjust completely, but I'll do a simple context adjustment by looking at just the relievers. (After looking...) 702 OPS for AJ, 703 for Ross, 698 for Ross if I throw out Mike Carp's relief appearance. Essentially the same. I'm still interested in context adjustment, because I've lost more than half the sample of PA from both of them by throwing out the starters, and because it looks like Capuano has effectively had AJ as a personal catcher as well. (I would have expected reliever usage to be randomly dispersed by catcher.)

I'll try to look at this later.
   73. Ron J2 Posted: July 10, 2014 at 02:47 PM (#4748070)
#72 If you don't adjust for the mix of pitchers it doesn't tell you anything of the sort.

To get back to Ray, CERA based studies go back at least as far as Craig Wright in The Diamond Appraised. And he used matched innings in his study.
   74. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: July 10, 2014 at 02:59 PM (#4748082)
I'll nitpick Ray's assertion in a different way: I'm not sure that getting fired for sucking at your job and being a dick to your co-workers qualifies as misfortune.

It's a truism in all jobs that you can get away with bad performance or with a bad attitude, but not both.
   75. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 10, 2014 at 03:11 PM (#4748096)
Too, AJ is the personal catcher for Lackey and Buchholz.


So he was Lackey's lackey? Seems like those two were about right for each other.
   76. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: July 10, 2014 at 03:23 PM (#4748105)

So he was Lackey's lackey? Seems like those two were about right for each other.


The funny thing is that everything I've read about Lackey, even back to the bad old days of 2011, is that he was well liked in the locker room. It was kind of interesting that in 2012 when he was out for the year he was in the dugout for just about every game. Despite the histrionics when there was a misplay behind him it seems that he's not disliked. AJ obviously was and while the focus is on this piece there was a similar article written back in May as well. I'm not hunting for it now but this isn't just "kick a guy on his way out" territory.
   77. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 10, 2014 at 03:45 PM (#4748135)
This is a great example why its mostly useless, since Ross is Lester's personal catcher.


See, now this is a worthwhile critique.


? It's exactly what my critique was.
   78. villageidiom Posted: July 10, 2014 at 07:02 PM (#4748327)
? It's exactly what my critique was.
Yours was made in a generic way that the evidence does not support, unless you dubiously consider Lester the only "veteran". His was made in a specific way that the evidence supports, as it is the specific veteran starter Lester who makes the numbers skew toward Ross. So I quoted the better version of the critique.
   79. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 10, 2014 at 11:18 PM (#4748505)
Yours was made in a generic way that the evidence does not support, unless you dubiously consider Lester the only "veteran". His was made in a specific way that the evidence supports, as it is the specific veteran starter Lester who makes the numbers skew toward Ross. So I quoted the better version of the critique.


Please.
   80. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: July 11, 2014 at 06:08 PM (#4749058)
Our long national nightmare is finally over!
   81. The Chronicles of Reddick Posted: July 11, 2014 at 06:18 PM (#4749063)

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