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Sox Therapy
— Where Thinking Red Sox Fans Obsess about the Sox

Sunday, December 04, 2016

Wintry Mixing

With the winter meetings kicking off it is likely that we will see some activity on the Red Sox roster front.  This will of course come with a whole bunch of really stupid rumors being kicked around and probably at least one rumor that seems really stupid but actually comes true.  For now I have a few thoughts about potential moves and activity.

The Incomings;

Edwin Encarnacion - If he is getting a Yoenis Cespedes type deal, sign me right the heck up.  I realize the arguments for not signing ...

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Jose Remains The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: December 04, 2016 at 03:59 PM | 18 comment(s)
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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Leftover Turkey

Yesterday I had a turkey sandwich for lunch, after which our turkey leftovers from Thanksgiving were gone. That meant we could restock the fridge with new foods and look forward to the next meals. Although it was not a terrible sandwich, I am glad it’s in the past.

This seems like a good time to look back on the 2016 Red Sox season, dig out all the metaphorical leftover turkey - the bad plays, the bad games, the bad attitudes, the bad performances, the bad decisions - and dispose of it so we ...

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Monday, November 21, 2016

Back In The Saddle

So after a bit of vacation (and returning to the first snow fall of the year last night) I am back with some thoughts on what has been a fairly quiet off-season so far.  Last year at this time the Sox had traded for Craig Kimbrel and the year before the Sox had signed Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval.  So far the Sox do seem to be living up to the reports that suggested they would take a more low-key approach to things.  That does not meant that nothing is happening or nothing will happen.  ...

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Jose Remains The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: November 21, 2016 at 11:04 AM | 5 comment(s)
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Thursday, November 03, 2016

Time To Make Decisions

So congrats to the Cubs.  Certainly as Sox fans we know the experience of breaking a long drought and I hope Cub fans enjoy it as much as we did twelve years ago.

But now it’s on to important things and that of course means the Red Sox.  The Sox return the vast majority of the team from last year but that doesn’t mean there are no decisions or moves to make this winter.  Dave Dombrowski has some work to do and it will be interesting to see how he does it.  Here are my thoughts on what I would ...

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Jose Remains The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: November 03, 2016 at 08:42 AM | 16 comment(s)
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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Half Full or Half Empty?

In a year of almost uniformly good news one of the most confusing seasons by a member of the AL East Champion Boston Red Sox! was had by one Xander Jan Bogaerts.  A 23 year old shortstop who posted 3.7 WAR and a career best OPS with career highs in a variety of categories is a guy who sounds like he had a great year.

But if you are a Red Sox fan you are forgiven if the shape of Xander’s season has you a bit unsettled.  After a blazing start Xander hit the skids in the second half.  To wit;

...Read More...
Jose Remains The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: October 25, 2016 at 11:48 AM | 1 comment(s)
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Friday, October 21, 2016

The Post Mortem Concludes - Not Players

Last and certainly not least let’s look at the non-player portion of things.

John Farrell and the Coaching Staff – I think it is a safe assumption that you have an opinion on John Farrell, everyone seems to and none of them are half and half.  I am admittedly a fan of Farrell for a couple of key reasons;

1. I think he deserves credit for the development of young players.  Between Bradley in 2013 and Shaw and Benintendi this year he has shown a willingness to shove a kid into the lineup.  ...

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Jose Remains The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: October 21, 2016 at 09:51 AM | 6 comment(s)
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Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The Post Mortem Contines - The Bullpen

Continuing with probably the most interesting part of the off-season.  While it is likely that the Sox are going to make some moves elsewhere I would argue the one place they HAVE to make some moves is in the bullpen.

General Thoughts

Having said what I said above I like the raw materials here.  I expect Kimbrel to be better and I am hopeful/optimistic about Barnes.  I don’t trust Kelly but I do believe Scott will be a solid LOOGY.

The Return Certainties – Craig Kimbrel, Matt Barnes, Joe ...

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Jose Remains The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: October 19, 2016 at 08:56 AM | 0 comment(s)
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Sunday, October 16, 2016

The Post Mortem Continues - The Rotation

Continuing with the look back at the year, focus on the rotation today.

General Thoughts

I didn’t love the Pomeranz deal but even if he is just what we saw in 2016 that’s a good 4th/5th starter.  The Sox should head into 2017 with a lot of confidence that the rotation will be good and able to withstand some attrition.  The one concern is beyond the six starters there does not appear to be a lot behind it.  A Sean O’Sullivan sort that can be stashed in Pawtucket would be a good pickup. ...Read More...

Jose Remains The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: October 16, 2016 at 08:39 PM | 19 comment(s)
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Thursday, October 13, 2016

The Post Mortem Continues - Outfield, Catcher and DH

We spent some time on the infield yesterday.  Today we look at the rest of the position players; outfielders, catchers and that DH guy;

General Thoughts

It’s hard not to love what exists in the outfield.  If the Sox do nothing but renew contracts they have a talented outfield in place through the 2020 season.  That’s a pretty useful situation to be in.  Add in the presence of Chris Young for another year as the almost perfect fourth outfielder for this team and you gotta feel pretty good. ...Read More...

Jose Remains The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: October 13, 2016 at 01:26 PM | 9 comment(s)
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Wednesday, October 12, 2016

The Post Mortem Begins - A Look at the Infield

One of the fascinating things about this team is that after winning 93 games and the AL East title they are set to return virtually the entire roster.  Save for Ortiz (and that’s not insignificant) there is a very good chance the April 3, 2017 Red Sox will look very similar to what the October 10, 2016 Red Sox looked like.

With that in mind I thought rather than laying out a detailed off-season plan I thought it might be worth just looking at the depth chart a bit.

Today, the infield.
...

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Jose Remains The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: October 12, 2016 at 10:36 AM | 19 comment(s)
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Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Not The Ending We Wanted, But The Future Is Bright

Well, I think we can safely say this was not the way we expected or hoped the 2016 season would end but end it did.  The simple fact is that for three games the Cleveland Indians were the better team and that is that.

Despite that this was in my opinion an awfully successful season.  Division titles don’t come that often and doing it while rolling out a lineup featuring a truly impressive group of young talent makes it even better.  The old man in the outfield is 26 year old Jackie Bradley, ...

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Jose Remains The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: October 11, 2016 at 12:56 AM | 32 comment(s)
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Monday, October 03, 2016

Why I Worry/Why I Feel Good

So the American League East champion Red Sox have completed one of the organization’s most entertaining regular seasons in a long time.  They now prepare for a post-season that frankly could end by Sunday or could end with an early November parade.  Even under baseball’s variable circumstances 2016 feels like a very open season.

The Sox head into this post-season with some good and bad things happening.  I want to touch on a few of each;

Concerns:

The Closer – It is not possible to ...

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Jose Remains The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: October 03, 2016 at 03:19 PM | 26 comment(s)
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Thursday, September 29, 2016

A Fan Picks Papi’s Ten Best (Red Sox) Moments

So this list is just meant to be related to his time with the Red Sox.  I don’t feel like getting in a spitting match over his first hit or home run or grand slam (at Fenway!) or walk off and I’m not knowledgeable enough about his Minnesota time to consider any of those events seriously.  In keeping with the low key approach that the Sox will be taking to Papi’s regular season send off this weekend here is one man’s opinion of David Ortiz’ greatest moments (so far);

10 – Catches Jeff ...

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Jose Remains The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: September 29, 2016 at 11:43 PM | 23 comment(s)
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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Ten Moments That Won A Division

After a long season the Sox did what they did in 1986 and 2007 and clinched the division on September 28.  158 games is a lot of games but even in those games there are moments that matter. With that in mind, here are ten key moments from the 2016 season;

Opening Day – John Farrell writes Travis Shaw’s name on the lineup card.

So this was not a surprise obviously but it was important.  Farrell had a similar moment in 2013 with Jackie Bradley though this worked a bit better.  The important ...

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Jose Remains The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: September 28, 2016 at 10:23 PM | 28 comment(s)
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Monday, September 26, 2016

Looking Ahead - Playoff Roster

The Sox have earned themselves at least a berth in the Wild Card game and if all goes well will return home Friday night with the division wrapped up.  In any case, just the fact that they will at least play in the Wild Card game means that it is worth considering a playoff roster.

(Jose rereads intro, nods satisfied that he’s put enough caveats in to not be accused of jinxing anything, moves on)

The Sox rolled with eleven pitchers in 2013 and I suspect there is no reason to expect otherwise ...

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Jose Remains The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: September 26, 2016 at 09:11 AM | 56 comment(s)
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Friday, September 23, 2016

Playoff Farrell

For years we had the treat of watching Terry Francona execute his “Playoff Tito” persona.  Even in the great run of 2013 it seemed that sometimes John Farrell was a bit cautious with his bullpen.  In this nine game winning streak, and even going back to the Toronto series, I think we have started to see a real “Playoff Farrell” at work.

9/16 - Sox 7 - Yankees 4 - Kimbrel comes in before it is a save situation to finish it in the ninth.
9/17 - Sox 6 - Yankees 5 - Kimbrel 4 out save.
9/20 - Sox ...

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Jose Remains The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: September 23, 2016 at 10:06 PM | 4 comment(s)
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Monday, September 19, 2016

Making Ups of Downs

As the Sox begin a crucial four game stretch in Baltimore it is worth taking a moment to look back at the last week of baseball and some of the concerns that exist there.  It has been said and repeated that you are not as good as you look when you win nor as bad as you look when you lose.  The Sox over the past week have in my opinion been fairly fortunate.

Since crushing Toronto in the first game of the series last Friday night the Sox have played nine games.  In those nine games they have ...

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Jose Remains The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: September 19, 2016 at 04:35 PM | 33 comment(s)
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Sunday, September 11, 2016

That Is How We Do That

That folks is how you handle a road trip.  6-3 overall, 2-1 in each of the three cities.  It’s not glamorous, it’s not dramatic, it’s just steady, solid baseball and the Sox have turned a two game deficit into a two game lead with just 20 games remaining on the season.

There was a lot happening across this trip but for me the most important thing that happened is the effective return of Koji Uehara to the bullpen.  He has looked very sharp in his three appearances and with he and Ziegler in ...

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Jose Remains The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: September 11, 2016 at 05:03 PM | 18 comment(s)
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Thursday, September 08, 2016

It’s Gonna Be Fun

The Sox will play their biggest regular season series probably since 2011 starting Friday in Toronto;

Rick Porcello vs. Marco Estrada
Eduardo Rodriguez vs. J.A. Happ
Clay Buchholz vs. Aaron Sanchez

I can’t say I love those matchups.  The Sox probably come out on the short end of the projection stick in those three games but not by enough that I feel like any of the games is unwinnable.  A few random thoughts;

- There will be at least one game in this series that one of these teams refers to ...

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Jose Remains The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: September 08, 2016 at 12:24 AM | 30 comment(s)
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Wednesday, September 07, 2016

The Most Annoying Man In The World

Over the last decade if you asked Red Sox fans who the most annoying man in the world is I suspect you would be greeted with a rousing chorus of “Clay Buchholz” responses.  Buchholz is unbelievably annoying to root for.  The guy is hurt constantly, he moves at a pace that even Josh Beckett would say “hey dude, pick it up a bit” and dear god if I see one more friggen pickoff attempt when the runner is standing on first base I am going to lose it.  On top of that he just looks slovenly.  I ...

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Jose Remains The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: September 07, 2016 at 09:34 AM | 6 comment(s)
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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Expanding Their Horizons

After a mildly disappointing (3-3) homestand the Sox will hit the road for an important long trip.  They will likely do so with some roster reinforcements and I just want to lay down some quick thought on the relevant players;

Bullpen - Joe Kelly, Noe Ramirez, Henry Owens, Heath Hembree, Chandler Shepherd

The last Red Sox reliever to throw a 1-2-3 eighth inning in a save situation was Matt Barnes…on July 9th.  At this point any remotely healthy arm should be called up and given a look.  ...

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Jose Remains The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: August 31, 2016 at 04:50 PM | 16 comment(s)
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Monday, August 29, 2016

Games With Numbers

This is going to be short, but just a quick guesstimate as to how the rest of the season might play out for the 72-58 Red Sox;

Tampa - 2-1 (2-1)
at Oakland - 2-1 (2-1)
at San Diego - 1-2 (2-1)
at Toronto - 1-2 (2-1)
Baltimore - 2-1 (1-2)
NYY - 2-2 (4-0)
at Baltimore - 2-2 (4-0)
at Tampa - 2-1 (3-0)
at New York - 1-2
Toronto - 2-1
Total - 17-15
Final - 89-73

I don’t think there is anything in there that is particularly outrageous.  I think if they do that the Sox are probably a Wild Card ...

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Jose Remains The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: August 29, 2016 at 12:46 PM | 14 comment(s)
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Friday, August 26, 2016

It Gets Easier…But Not Easy

Faced with a daunting 11 game road trip that started with five games in four cities in a five day stretch they put the hammer down starting the trip 5-1 before stumbling a bit at the end.  By any objective measure a 7-4 road trip is excellent but it feels a bit disappointing given that of the four losses three of them (Detroit last week and the last two days in Tampa) really felt like winnable games.  That the Orioles and Blue Jays have both stumbled a bit certainly was an added bonus.

Having ...

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Jose Remains The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: August 26, 2016 at 09:59 AM | 9 comment(s)
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Sunday, August 21, 2016

A Few Minor League Notes

We haven’t posted anything on the minors in awhile and given that I spent a few hours watching minor leaguers in Lowell today I thought maybe I would jot down a few words as a bit of a placeholder if anyone has any thoughts;

- My second Spinners game of the year and the second time I saw Josh Pennington pitch.  This kid is very impressive.  He reminds me a bit of Stankiewicz when I saw him a few years ago where his repertoire just looks too advanced for the level.  Hitters really look ...

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Jose Remains The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: August 21, 2016 at 12:36 AM | 9 comment(s)
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Thursday, August 18, 2016

One Week Later - Not Doomed but Probably Not Saved

One week after feeling like the Sox were about to crash out of the pennant race things are considerably rosier.  The Sox beat up a disappointing Diamondbacks team (at this point “the disappointing Diamondbacks” may be their officially trademarked name), edged division leading Cleveland then picked up two big wins in Baltimore.  Thursday afternoon was a bit of a downer with the Sox losing/giving away a game that can be pinned on a terrible bullpen and what can most charitably be described as a ...

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Jose Remains The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: August 18, 2016 at 05:08 PM | 41 comment(s)
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Friday, August 12, 2016

The Red Sox Are Not Doomed (But This Garbage Has To Stop)

Ah, the return of Sox Therapy, the crack of the bat, the roar of the crowd and the sounds and smells of the ballpark; roasted peanuts, red hot hot dogs and urine filling diapers everywhere.  The Sox hit a slump and we are doomed, DOOOOMMED.  So let’s start with the cold hard truth, the Sox are not playing particularly well.  They have lost four out of five, six out of nine and 13 out of 20.  That ain’t getting it done for a team that fancies itself a pennant contender.  However, that the Sox ...

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Jose Remains The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: August 12, 2016 at 09:56 AM | 36 comment(s)
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Monday, August 08, 2016

I Don’t Know What To Think

The Red Sox get to enjoy a glorious day off after a grueling 11 day, 11 game road trip that saw them go a somewhat disappointing 5-6.  It was a bit of an odd trip, if you want to see the glass as half full they could’ve been 4-7 if not for the Dustin Pedroia fueled come back victory last Sunday in Anaheim.  Conversely they could’ve gone 7-4 if they had held on in the first two David Price starts (the Hanley error game and the Cano homer game).  In the end I think it’s fair to say they left a ...

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Jose Remains The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: August 08, 2016 at 11:29 AM | 3 comment(s)
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Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Thoughts on Andrew Benintendi

As you likely know by now the Sox have called up outfielder Andrew Benintendi with Michael Martinez being DFAd to make room for him.  According to WEEI Benintendi and Bryce Brentz will share time in left with Brock Holt returning to his more productive utility role.  The Mariners send lefty Wade Leblanc to the mound tonight so presumably Benintendi will spend the first couple of hours of his big league career as a well paid spectator.

I have had the opportunity to see Benintendi in person on a ...

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Jose Remains The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: August 02, 2016 at 09:56 AM | 39 comment(s)
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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

The Tire Fire Brigade

I shared this little bit of data in the OmniChatter after Ziegler surrendered the homer to Cabrera.  It seems like a relevant discussion point at the moment as the Sox embark on a long and crucial road trip.  This is the list of Red Sox relievers in 2016 and their current streak of games pitched without allowing a run (the bold are on the active roster);

Koji Uehara (DL) - 4
Junichi Tazawa - 3
William Cuevas - 2
Matt Barnes - 1
Noe Ramirez - 1
Joe Kelly - 1
Clay Buchholz - 1

Craig Kimbrel - 1 ...Read More...

Jose Remains The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: July 27, 2016 at 04:53 PM | 7 comment(s)
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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

How Good Does Pomeranz Need To Be?

Boston is 1.5 back of the division lead, 2 up (3 in the loss column) on Toronto. They’ve added Drew Pomeranz for the stretch run. How good does he need to be for them to take the division?

I’m going to look at this somewhat simply because I’m crunched for time.

villageidiom Posted: July 19, 2016 at 03:23 PM | 23 comment(s)
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