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

Thursday, May 12, 2016

In Praise of the Coaching Staff

The Red Sox made it 14 out of 19 with a third straight vaporizing of the Athletics.  In that stretch they are averaging 6.4 runs/game and on the season only the Cubs are averaging more than the Sox’ 5.8 runs/game.  On the mound the Sox are not quite as effective but it seems that there are good performances more than bad with just a couple of weak links ($45 million worth of weak links in Buchholz and Price) dragging the outcomes down.

What strikes me looking at this team is that I feel like I ...

Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: May 12, 2016 at 09:29 AM | 3 comment(s)
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Sunday, May 08, 2016

It Ain’t Never Dull in the Bronx

The Sox had a frustrating weekend finished off with a terrific victory on the back of an absolute gem from Steven Wright.  It was not a weekend without talking points and to get us rolling to start the week I thought I’d address a few things;

- Friday was as frustrating a loss as the Sox have had in an awfully long time.  They left 13 men on base and to say they were frustrated with the strike zone is an understatement.  On the whole I think Kulpa was consistent though not particularly good ...

Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: May 08, 2016 at 10:42 PM | 6 comment(s)
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Thursday, May 05, 2016

Talkin’ Baseball

With a month of baseball in the books I thought this might be a useful time to dig into the biggest decision the Boston Red Sox have made in the past nine months; that’s right, the decision to replace Don Orsillo with Dave O’Brien.  Obviously we all have our opinions of the people involved and with the season rolling I’ve got some observations and thoughts.  I’m sure you do too.

Dave O’Brien: Let’s start with this, Obie is very very good as an announcer.  If you built a generic announcer you ...

Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: May 05, 2016 at 01:30 PM | 12 comment(s)
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Monday, May 02, 2016

Three Questions: May 2016

Three Questions: May 2016

1. Is it time to cut Buchholz loose?

2. Who are the 2016 All-Stars among position players on this team?

3. Which is more likely this season: the Red Sox remain in first place, or the Yankees remain in last place?

Sunday, May 01, 2016

Gettin’ It Done

OK, so the Sunday night games were a bit harrowing and not all is perfect but your FIRST PLACE RED SOX (going to enjoy it while I can) wrapped up a nice stretch of 8-2 baseball with a thriller on Sunday night.  It is easy to say the competition, the slumping Astros, the pitiful Braves and the last place Yankees (going to enjoy that one while I can too), was not good but 8-2 is 8-2.

What is encouraging is the contributions are getting throughout the roster.  Guys like Mookie, the red hot ...

Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: May 01, 2016 at 11:29 PM | 28 comment(s)
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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Happy (Belated) Anniversary Tim

21 years and 1 day ago the Boston Red Sox signed a guy who posted a 5.84 ERA in AAA Buffalo the previous season.  All Tim Wakefield did is dominate the American League for the next several months and by the time he was done he had won more games than all but two Red Sox pitchers in the 111 year history of the club.

Wednesday the Sox sent Wake’s spiritual descendant to the mound in the form of Steven Wright.  All Wright has done in 2016 is be arguably the best pitcher on the club.  With David ...

Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: April 27, 2016 at 09:34 PM | 16 comment(s)
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Sunday, April 24, 2016

Guys Who Are Not Major Leaguers

I figure we need a bit of a minor league thread to go along with the Major League one, don’t you?  Today I’m going to go with a bit of a gimmick and just pick a guy at each position I feel like focusing on.  In all seriousness I could just say “hey, look at Hi A Salem” because the collection of talent there is pretty amazing but I’m an equal opportunity guy (all stats through Saturday).

1B - Josh Ockimey - Greenville - I saw Ockimey a few times in Lowell last year and at the very least he ...

Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: April 24, 2016 at 06:14 PM | 76 comment(s)
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Thursday, April 21, 2016

We Still Know Nothin’

No I didn’t go anywhere, why do you ask?

So the Sox are a couple weeks into the season and so far…I don’t think we know anything particularly new.  When the season began I felt this was an 83-79, third place team.  I like the offense but I had concerns about a few of the down order hitters and I was more troubled about the bullpen than most people.  I was confident in Craig Kimbrel of course but 41 year old guys are always question marks, Junichi Tazawa has slowed down badly in three of the ...

Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: April 21, 2016 at 11:59 AM | 74 comment(s)
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Monday, April 01, 2013

So long

This is an explanation of the disappearing content from Sox Therapy and an announcement of a new blog, Replacement Level Red Sox ( Darren, Jose, Matt(bert) and I have decided to start a blog, and we are moving our blogging over there. It’s been great writing here at Sox Therapy, thanks to Jim for giving up the platform and the opportunity, thanks to y’all for making this community a fun place to write. We just felt that we’d like to take a shot at blogging at a ...

Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 01, 2013 at 08:33 AM | 13 comment(s)
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Monday, March 18, 2013

Opening Day Roster

Lots of Sox Therapy posts lately but I’ll add another one since with Opening Day just two weeks away I think it’s time we had an Opening Day Roster thread.  Things are starting to fall into shape with injuries and performances clearing up some open questions.  David Ortiz’ injury is the one that’s going to get the headlines but with yesterday’s story about Stephen Drew I think we have to acknowledge that our Opening Day shortstop is going to be someone other than Drew.

...
Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: March 18, 2013 at 10:26 AM | 85 comment(s)
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Sunday, March 17, 2013

Now Is the Time to Lock Up Dustin Pedroia

Dustin Pedroia is a 29-year-old second basemen who is signed for the next two years and with a reasonable team option for 2015. Normally, I would be against inking such a player to an extension, but I think I would make an exception for Pedroia. Here’s why:

—First and foremost, Pedroia is the face of the team and a really excellent player. In his first 6 years as a full-time player he’s put up 31.1 fWAR. He’s beloved by the fans, well-liked by his peers, and seemingly has an exemplary work ...

Darren Posted: March 17, 2013 at 12:37 PM | 24 comment(s)
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Friday, March 15, 2013

What Projections Say about the Big Trade

The August 2012 trade between the Red Sox and the Dodgers was one of the most fascinating and important moves in the history of the Boston franchise. As such, it’s hard not to revisit it often. And so…

When the Red Sox unloaded the contracts of Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, and Carl Crawford (and Nick Punto!), they cut about $57 million off their annual payroll (after accounting for the cash paid out by Boston to LA). While it was pretty widely agreed upon that the players were, as a group, ...

Darren Posted: March 15, 2013 at 11:07 AM | 57 comment(s)
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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Our Big Papi Problem

I really don’t want to think about a Boston Red Sox season where our lineup isn’t anchored by Big Papi.  I am currently not going to, because I think the best interpretation of what we know if that this isn’t the biggest problem ever.  The current shut down, as reported, is not either a major new injury or a failed recovery of the same major injury – it looks like an injury cascade where the Achilles pain led Ortiz to change his stride, which then in turn led to heel problem.  This ...

Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: March 12, 2013 at 07:24 AM | 17 comment(s)
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Sunday, March 10, 2013

Jose Ruins Careers at the Fort

I hope everyone in Massachusetts enjoyed the foot of snow last week.  If it makes you feel better it was a bit windy today when I stepped out of the pool and I caught a bit of a chill.  Brrrrr.

I have been able to brave the elements and get to a few Spring Training games so far and as always it is a ton of fun.  The week started on a bit of a maudlin note as I walked through the retired numbers section in front of JetBlue Park and passed Johnny Pesky’s number 6.  John hasn’t been an active ...

Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: March 10, 2013 at 03:52 PM | 19 comment(s)
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Wednesday, March 06, 2013

John Farrell and the Shift Defense

The largest change in baseball strategy over the last decade has been the radically increased use of the shift defense in the past two years.  This was pointed out in a Bill James Online article by John Dewan early in 2012.  Farrell’s Blue Jays were among the earliest adopters of the shift, reportedly due to the influence of 3rd base coach Brian Butterfield.  Butterfield has moved to Boston with Farrell, and we can expect the shift to make the trek east as well.  He may be actually taking it ...

Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: March 06, 2013 at 07:53 AM | 23 comment(s)
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Saturday, February 23, 2013

Spring Training Game Thread

The Red Sox are on NESN and MLBtv.  Right now!

Want to talk about the ballgame?

Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: February 23, 2013 at 01:37 PM | 221 comment(s)
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Friday, February 22, 2013

Shane Victorino and the Stat Heads

Everyone on the internet hates Shane Victorino.  Shane Victorino has a strong statistical profile based on basic stathead number crunching.  This is a conundrum to me.  Let’s take point one as given. For point two, consider VORP.  There is no more perfect stathead stat than VORP.  It reduces all baseball events to simple run value.  It loves OBP and slugging, it doesn’t care about clutch, it only values high-percentage base stealing.  It doesn’t try to quantify defense, but includes a ...

Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: February 22, 2013 at 01:52 PM | 54 comment(s)
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Monday, February 11, 2013

2013 ZIPS Projections for the Red Sox Are Up

Finally, some fake baseball to talk about.

Darren Posted: February 11, 2013 at 02:34 PM | 38 comment(s)
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Tuesday, February 05, 2013

It’s Truck Day!!!

It’s Truck Day!  I know some mock it goshdarn it I love me some Truck Day.  Anything that says “Spring and baseball are right around the corner” is A-OK in my book.

Of course I’m not going to let Spring Training lie.  As always I plan on going down to Ft. Myers to do my part to ruin careers, seasons and even lives.  For the record I was at Spring Training in both 2004 and 2007 so the Sox CAN win despite my jinxing skills.  I’m curious to see how Spring Training is this year. 

Last ...

Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: February 05, 2013 at 03:27 PM | 34 comment(s)
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Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Bourn Possibility

Michael Bourn is still out there, and there’s no telling who’s going to bring him in. Although you always have to be careful making such assumptions when Scott Boras is involved, it’s starting to look like he’s not going to get the kind of megadeal he’s looking for. So, at what point might he make sense for the Red Sox? This is a really, really good player, who’s probably a good bet to give you about 3-5 WAR. If he could be had for 3-5 years for $15M per year or less, he’d be a very nice ...

Darren Posted: January 27, 2013 at 08:31 PM | 73 comment(s)
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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Close Reading Rainbow

The big Francona/Shaughnessy tell-some book on Tito’s tenure in Boston will be available for purchase in a week, so its juiciest sections are getting the usual pre-publication flogging on sports media.  It looks like Sports Illustrated will be publishing longer excerpts soon, but a few bits have been made available already.  (The best run-down is probably in Gordon Edes’ piece on ESPN Boston.)  My reaction is mostly that if this is the worst that Shaughnessy could coax from Tito, then Tito is ...

Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 16, 2013 at 08:55 AM | 23 comment(s)
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Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Minor Help

Not So Nasty Nate made a comment the other day about the Sox’ lack of depth on the corners that resonated with me.  I got to thinking about some players who are a bit off the radar and might contribute in 2013.  I’m pretty geared up for my Spring Training trip (52 days!) so count this as a little list of non-big name guys I’m hoping to check out somewhat closely while I’m there (thus ending their careers in the process).  Plus, a thread that isn’t all-Hall of Fame all the time seems useful;

...
Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: January 09, 2013 at 01:15 PM | 94 comment(s)
  Related News: minor leagues, red sox, sox therapy

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Brock Holt: The Prize at the Bottom of the Box

Of all the people involved in the recent six-player trade between the Red Sox and Pirates, Brock Holt has received the least attention. But Holty, as he’ll surely be called by an unimaginative teammates, deserves some attention, and not just because he sounds like he should be making movies with Chest Rockwell and Dirk Diggler.

Holt’s a middle infielder who, at age 24, hit .338 last year in AA/AAA/MLB. That’s after he’s quickly climbed through the minors while putting up a .317 average (with ...

Darren Posted: January 06, 2013 at 02:53 PM | 29 comment(s)
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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Have a Therapeudic New Year!

Remember when someone (Joel, I think) suggested that we needed to rename Sox Therapy because, wait for it, being a Sox fan was so darn awesome? Remember that? Do you freaking remember that? How long ago was that, about 30 years? Wait, what, it was just a couple of years ago? Damn, that sword of Damon-cles sure came down hard!

With all the horribleness of the past year plus, things have been getting pretty heated around these parts lately so I thought it’d be a good time for a fresh start. To ...

Darren Posted: December 30, 2012 at 04:46 PM | 24 comment(s)
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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Why Gonzo Being Gonezo is um…. Goodzo

In a couple of different threads about the big Nick Punto trade, I’ve argued, without a great deal of detail, that the Red Sox being rid of Adrian Gonzalez’s contract was a positive in its own right. With the snow falling outside and everyone in the house under the weather, now seemed like a good time to sneak away into a secluded corner and expand on this a bit (especially since no one asked).

Gonzalez is owed about $132M over the next six years. Looking solely at his WAR numbers, he seems ...

Darren Posted: December 29, 2012 at 03:14 PM | 32 comment(s)
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Monday, December 17, 2012

A Hundred Fifty Million Dollars for This

Feel free to read “this” either uninflected as if followed by a colon, or in italics with a full sneer.

The Sox have pretty much completed their 25-man roster.  There’s a small chance they’ll trade Ellsbury, and there’s a good chance they’ll trade a catcher and a reliever (or relievers) to clear up some logjams.  They might add a 1B/LF type for the last spot on the bench and let Jerry Sands have another year in AAA, and they could add a platoon LF in place of Nava or Kalish.  With ...

Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 17, 2012 at 11:25 AM | 136 comment(s)
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Thursday, December 13, 2012

New Rule: Three Years

With the signing of Ryan Dempster to a 2-year deal, it seems pretty obvious that the Red Sox had one hard and fast rule that guided what they did this off season: no deals of more than 3 years. Every story on Hamilton indicated that the Sox wouldn’t go more than 3 years for him. Anibal Sanchez looks like he’s going to sign a very reasonable 5-year deal, but the Sox never appeared to be in on him. Buehrle/Johnson/Reyes would have almost perfectly filled their needs, but those players instead ...

Darren Posted: December 13, 2012 at 08:07 PM | 40 comment(s)
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Monday, December 10, 2012

Everyone Else in the AL East is Terrible

I figure most of y’all saw that SG did his first run of team projections based on CAIRO and showed a four-team dead heat in the AL East.  The Sox at 84 wins trailed ever so slightly the Yankees at 85 and the Rays and Jays at 86.  While it’s of course too early, it seems pretty unlikely that anyone’s going to project to run away with the AL East.  The Yankees could still remember that they’re the New York Yankees, but they seem pretty locked in to this unnecessary two-year rebuild.  The ...

Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 10, 2012 at 03:57 PM | 173 comment(s)
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Friday, December 07, 2012

Let’s Look at Josh Hamilton and Three Years

So the big rumor is that Seattle and others are trying to get Josh Hamilton to sign for three years. And the big reaction has been, “If anyone signs him for that, it should be my team!” That presents a couple of issues. First, even if Hamilton signs for three years, only one team is going to get him, and everyone else is going to be mad at their team. Second, what would constitute a good three-year deal?

The point of a three-year deal is that you’re getting the best years, and if the player ...

Darren Posted: December 07, 2012 at 09:31 PM | 20 comment(s)
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Tuesday, December 04, 2012

All-Around Players: Still Undervalued

The most recent Sox free agent news on the twitters is that the Sox are the favorites to sign Shane Victorino.  Robothal reports they’ve offered 3/38, pretty much identical to the Napoli contract.  The 2012 free agent market featured a bunch of players who produce value at the plate, on the bases, and in the field, without being particularly elite in any aspect of the game.  Victorino remains unsigned, while Upton and Pagan signed for 5/75 and 4/40, both less than I was expecting. 

...
Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 04, 2012 at 04:33 PM | 38 comment(s)
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