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— Where Thinking Red Sox Fans Obsess about the Sox
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
The Weird Week That Was Weird
On the surface, this was a very successful rebound week for the Boston Red Sox. They came in at 4-9 and took back to back series from the Rangers and Orioles, then won their first game at Toronto for a 5-2 record since being swept by Tampa. The Rays and Yankees continued to play well, but the Red Sox at least managed not to lose more ground on the league leaders.
Anyone who watched the games, though, knows the week was, well, weirder than all that. Six of the seven games were decided by one ...Read More...
Thursday, April 22, 2010
How Should Tito Manage the Slump?
We all believe that 15 games generally cannot amount to sufficient data for any confident conclusions about teams or ballplayers. . It seems pretty evident that Theo Epstein and Terry Francona agree with us on this score.
It doesn’t follow from this, though, that the manager should do nothing. He shouldn’t do anything stupid like swap one of his best pitchers out into middle relief, but clearly Epstein and Francona decided, before the Texas series, to make a show of aggressive ...Read More...
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Minor League Thread: Pulling Me Back In
Ten games into the season is no time to be making dumb extrapolations from minor league statistics, but from another perspective, it is the perfect time.
Three of the Red Sox top prospects of 2008 have been encouragingly not terrible, even kinda great, over the first games of 2010. Lars Anderson is the biggest – he has three homers in the first ten games, after knocking only nine all of last season, en route to a nice 316/381/632 line. The Dominican bonus baby pair of Oscar Tejeda and ...Read More...
Monday, April 19, 2010
What’s Wrong? Everything.
They say that failure is an orphan, but in the case of the Red Sox 4-9 start to the season, failure is like some sort of test tube clone freak spliced from the DNA of dozens of different people. And it is like other, better similes as well.
The Sox have been outscored 69 to 50, which projects to a record closer to 5-8 than 4-9. So they’ve been marginally poor at turning runs into wins. The Sox have a .329 wOBA, 5th in the AL, but they’re 10th in the league in runs scored. So they’ve ...Read More...
Sunday, April 11, 2010
If someone can explain to me how the Red Sox playing time and positional assignments are being determined, I’d love to hear it. David Ortiz starts for the first four games, two of them against lefties, and then sits against a righty. Mike Lowell, whose strength is hitting righties and obvious weakness is defense, finally gets a start and it’s against a righty and playing the field (when he could easily have DH-ed). Jason Varitek, who also mashes lefties, gets his first start against one of the ...Read More...
Tuesday, April 06, 2010
How Good Is Josh Beckett?
There appears to be a developing BTF consensus that Josh Beckett’s 4/68 extension is perfectly fair, and probably somewhat favorable to the Red Sox. John Lackey, whose ERA+ numbers have been functionally equivalent to Beckett’s the last three years, got a bit more from the Red Sox. Walt Davis mentions Carlos Zambrano (5/91), AJ Burnett (5/82) and Derek Lowe (4/60) as comparables. That all looks reasonably good.
But we’re statheads, right? We stopped caring about actual runs prevented years ...Read More...
Sunday, April 04, 2010
What’s the deal with this? It’s opening day and it’s 75 degrees out and it’s a night game. Consider this an open thread to draw far-reaching and panicky conclusions about the Red Sox after just one game, and then consider this an open thread to perform your emotional and intellectual superiority as represented by your lack of concern and/or tempered excitement about the events of the game.
In unimportant news, Terry Francona’s lineup matches almost exactly what I projected in one of the ...Read More...
Sunday, March 28, 2010
I Haven’t Been Watching Spring Training
For a variety of boring reasons, I’ve watched only a handful of innings this spring. I think this lack has also shaped my expectations, in that I haven’t really changed any of the opinions I held after watching the team in ’09 and then seeing the projection spreadsheets in February. The two major divergences between my expectations and those of the broader March-baseball-watching Therapudlian population seem to be David Ortiz and Josh Reddick.
The following are their projections ...Read More...
Saturday, March 27, 2010
Your Two Thousand and Ten Boston Red Sox
We’re a week away from opening day against the Yankees, so it seems like a good time to look at the roster.
C: Martinez, Varitek
SP: Beckett, Lester, Lackey, Wakefield, Buchholz
Mike Lowell is the 25th man if he can play baseball, but that appears doubtful. While Lowell’s role would be to back up the corners and ...Read More...
Saturday, January 30, 2010
The Red Sox Offseason Shopping With the Benefit of Hindsight
Let’s take a look at what the Red Sox have done this offseason, acknowledging of course, that we have the benefit of hindsight. Here are most of the annual salaries they’ve committed to since the season ended (all numbers are 2010 AAV salary, from Cot’s Baseball Contracts):
John Lackey, $17.5M
That is a pretty hefty chunk of change that the Red Sox were willing to plunk ...Read More...
Thursday, December 24, 2009
A Festivus Miracle?
Maybe it’s a gift from three wise men (Larry, John, and Tom?) or maybe it’s just a nice bit of PR as they try to unload tickets this holliday season, but the Red Sox are making noise about continuing to spend even though they’ve already upped their budget substantially. This Bradford article suggests that they are considering increasing payroll to make an offer to Jason Bay. Putting aside the wisdom of going after Bay, this makes sense and should be a welcome sign to Red Sox fans.
It makes ...Read More...
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Lowell Dealt for Max Ramirez?
Robothal says Lowell + $12 mil to the Rangers for Max Ramirez is a done deal, pending physicals and owner approvals (???).
Wow, they ate lot—I hope that means they think a lot of Ramirez. Then again, maybe they think Beltre will be under-priced by at least $12 mil.
Saturday, December 05, 2009
Putting Scutaro in Context
Because there just haven’t been enough articles about the Scutaro signing on this site, I’ve decided to add one more. I’ve been pretty surprised about how negative (or indifferent) some posters here have been toward this move. This is understandable, I suppose, in light of how other recent shortstop signings have worked out. Both Edgar Renteria and Julio Lugo looked liked solidly good players when they were signed only to perform below expectations and be dealt away (with cash added).
But I ...Read More...
Thursday, November 26, 2009
The 2009-2010 Offseason, Theo Style Part 4: The Big Deal that Is Really Going to Happen (or not)
I hadn’t thought of this piece of the offseason puzzle when I came up with this idea for an offseason series, but the big deal is a part of every offseason. ARod was the first, IIRC. Weeks of fevered speculation followed by the news that the darn players union hadn’t allowed it to go through. Curse you, organized labor for not bowing to our needs! For several years, Manny Ramirez filled this role with aplomb. Manny was always about to be dealt. Things had finally reached a boiling point and the ...Read More...
Saturday, November 21, 2009
The 2009-2010 Offseason, Theo Style, Part III: The Rotation
Last offseason, the Red Sox took some quite large risks in the rotation by shelling out moderate contracts to Brad Penny and John Smoltz, neither of which provided them with much value at all. The one nice thing about those deals was that they were only for one year, allowing the Red Sox to have some money freed up for the rotation this year. And with Beckett, Lester, Matsuzaka, Buchholz, and Wakefield in the rotation, there’s certainly room for another starter. That’s especially true in light ...Read More...
Friday, November 13, 2009
The 2009-2010 Offseason, Theo Style, Part II: SS
Remember, the key here is to pile up a depth of decent to good players. Because this is the case, there’s just no way that the 2010 season can start with Jed Lowrie as the starting SS and only a utility infielder behind him. He’s just too risky in the health (and possible talent) department. Option 1 would be to trade for a SS who’s established himself as a good Major Leaguer, pushing Lowrie into a utility role. Hardy would have been a good fit but he’s already been dealt. Another option would ...Read More...
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
The 2009-2010 Offseason, Theo Style
It’s taken me a couple years but I’ve finally come to terms with how this team operates. They place an extremely high priority on reaching 95-ish wins and very little importance on winning the division. I’ve found this frustrating and often disagreed with some of the ways they went about it, but now I’ve realized that there is no point in getting all bent out of shape about it. They’re not going to change their tactics to please a small minority of fans (I think there are 2 of us) who want ...Read More...
Monday, October 12, 2009
Hot Stove Already?
[MCOA at it again, figuring what to do this offseason.]
There are already three threads with Red Sox off-season talk ongoing. My quick take is that a lot of these discussions center on the Red Sox acquiring Joe Mauer, Felix Hernandez, Albert Pujols, or Mecha-Pedro. Suffice it to say that I support Theo Epstein’s ongoing effort to construct a Mecha-Pedro out of muffin tins and VCR chips, and I would whole-heartedly sign off on any similar acquisitions. There’s not really much further ...Read More...
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Well, That Sucked
[MCOA chimes in the the postmortem.
I just got back from the ballgame, and I thought it might be interesting to post
There were so many ways that the Red Sox could have not lost this game.
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Back to Boston, Down 2-0
Someone didn’t send the Angels the message that they are supposed to be losing. Heading back to Boston, the Red Sox have their work cut out for them. They’ve burned their two best starters and now must hope for their lesser lights to get the job done. Here’s hoping.
Tuesday, October 06, 2009
Why the Red Sox Are Going to Be Totally Awesome in the Postseason
[MCOA breaks out the CFBPS to size up the Red Sox’ chances in the postseason.]
1) The Red Sox are best at preventing runs of the AL playoff teams. Despite working in the worst pitcher’s park in the American League, they ranked third in runs allowed, behind only the White Sox and Mariners. The playoff staff reflects the season staff – Lester is one of the five best pitchers in the league, and Beckett tops any other club’s #2. Matsuzaka is clearly healthy and back to his old 110 ERA+ ...Read More...
Sunday, October 04, 2009
Through 162—What Say You?
A lot of the focus at this time of year is, for good reason, on the upcoming playoffs. But now is also a great time to take a look back at the season. After all of the ups and downs, the Red Sox came in at 95-67, the third best record in the American League. They got some very exciting performances, including Jacoby Ellsbury’s shattering of the team’s SB record, another sub-2.00 ERA out of Jonathan Papelbon (ho hum), and great partial seasons from trade acquisitions Victor Martinez and Alex ...Read More...
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Playoff Roster Thread: Finally, Our Chance to Talk about George Kottaras
[Matt Clement of Alexandria has volunteered to contribute some content during the playoff drive. Here’s his first entry—it’s quite entertaining. Enjoy.]
The Red Sox clinched the AL Wild Card last night in dramatic fashion, sitting around in their underwear watching Texas lose on the teevee, following a five-game losing streak. Bathos is a kind of drama. The team has used the last two weeks for a specific purpose – not winning games, but determining their playoff roster. So we actually ...Read More...
Monday, September 21, 2009
The Wonderful Year of Jacoby Ellsbury
Jacoby Ellsbury is having just about the type of offensive year that most projection systems expected him to have. His slash line of .304/.356/.423 is just about what ZIPS, James, and company had him for coming into the year. Yet, somehow, I’m very happily surprised at his success. Perhaps it was his mediocre start to the year or his stellar 63/10 SB/CS ratio. But whatever it is, he’s been a lot of fun to watch.
What is baffling about this year is how horrible Fangraphs’ UZR thinks his ...Read More...
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Time to Break the Latest Curse
If the Red Sox are going to go out and pickup a former Red Sox SS, they should get on the phone to Oakland and see if they can reacquire Nomar for one last shot. He played SS adequately for LA last year and put up a 792 OPS. There is at least an outside chance he’ll be a viable bat at the bottom of the lineup. And getting him back may break the string of horrible, awful, SS-related decisions that have happened since his departure.
Saturday, August 08, 2009
So, What Is the Best Lineup, Anyway?
With the additions of Casey Kotchman and Victor Martinez, the Red Sox have a lot of flexibility in their lineups. What’s the best lineup to be putting out there on a nightly basis? If it were up to me, I’d do this:
Install Martinez as the starting catcher with Tek spotting him, playing there about twice a week and pushing Martinez to 1B. Lowell ...Read More...
Thursday, July 30, 2009
How about Putting in the Best Lineup?
Make sure to play Nick Green every other day. Give David Ortiz a day off from his strenuous DH role. Wait until JD Drew starts hitting, then sit him down for a night. Whatever you do, don’t put your best lineup on the field on any given night. This team is acting (again) like they’ve got the playoffs all locked up, when in fact they face a reasonably serious threat from Texas and Tampa Bay (the division is very unlikely at this point). This is not a good idea.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Red Sox Trade Deadline Thread
I like the deal of Lugo, the deal to get LaRoche for very little, and the DFA of Kotsay (who has really been a poor fit for this team since last year, when he took away Casey’s spot). Will anything else happen before the deadline? The Red Sox have a ton of pitching depth to deal and I would love to see some of it put to use on a real difference maker. Halladay fits the bill, but I don’t think they will deal him in the division.
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Chips Are just Worthless Pieces of Plastic if You Don’t Cash Them in
The Red Sox depth in pitching is a great asset, but it could serve them a lot better if they were willing to part with it. They have a rotation that goes about nine deep and a pen that has very reliable relief pitchers throwing mop-up (as well as some decent options in AAA). Meanwhile, it is not uncommon to see a Boston lineup that includes Nick Green, George Kottaras, and Mark Kotsay. The Red Sox really should cash in some of these chips to land a bat that is worth having in the lineup. Give ...Read More...
Thursday, July 09, 2009
Around the Minors: International Signings, Updated BA Top 25 and Staten Island
WEEI.com had a blog entry yesterday announcing that the Red Sox signed a couple of 16 year-old right-handers, and potential kung-fu fighters, Mario & Raul Alcantara, who evidently are not related. Mario went for $500k and Raul for $350k both throw mid-eighties with breaking stuff, and are big framed (6-foot-3), so one would think the RedSox are projecting a lot of growth. Raul is supposedly, one of the better international pitchers on the market this period. Neither pitcher is listed in ...Read More...
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