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

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Manager Decision - Looking Ahead

What we have known for months became official today as the Sox fired Bobby Valentine.  Of course now the Sox have to set to the business of hiring a new guy.  The John Henry ownership team has engaged in two prolonged manager searches in their tenure (Little was a rush job so I don’t include him).  The first time they hit a home run with Terry Francona and last winter they lined into a triple play with Bobby Valentine.  Presumably neither of those outcomes is likely this time with the hope ...

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Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: October 04, 2012 at 01:27 PM | 48 comment(s)
  Related News: managers, red sox, sox therapy


Surveying the Wreckage One Last Time: Did September Happen?

The season ended in proper fashion over the last six days.  The Red Sox were soundly beaten by the Orioles and Yankees, getting blown out early and coughing up late leads when they managed to start a game well.  Daisuke Matsuzaka ended a terribly disappointing Sox career on a fitting note.  Second-tier hopeful prospects like Lavarnway and Iglesias looked overmatched.  Bench players Nava and Ciriaco and Loney played like future bench players.  I watched the games, and I mostly regret the choice. ...Read More...

Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: October 04, 2012 at 11:27 AM | 37 comment(s)
  Related News: red sox, sox therapy


Saturday, September 22, 2012

Minor League Review - The Pitchers

The Sox should be pretty pleased with the performance of their minor league pitchers.  While the veterans at the MLB level had rough years it was an encouraging year for a few prospects and The Trade added a little more depth.  At the big league level the final numbers were not great but Felix Doubront gave the club cause for optimism. 

What I see here is a farm system that has some guys who can either be contributors down the road or pieces if the Sox elect to go for a big trade.  This gives ...

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Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: September 22, 2012 at 12:35 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Related News: minor leagues, red sox, sox therapy


Friday, September 14, 2012

Minor League Review - The Hitters

With the minor league seasons over it seems like a reasonable time for a look at the state of the system.  I’m going with the hitters for now and I’ll get to the pitchers later in the week.  I figured a position by position look probably makes the most sense.  Any reference to a league (e.g. AAA, AA, etc…) is where the player spent the majority of his season unless otherwise noted.

1st Base
Notables – Mauro Gomez (AAA), Travis Shaw (A/AA)

Not an especially strong position for the Sox ...

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Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: September 14, 2012 at 10:52 PM | 82 comment(s)
  Related News: minor leagues, red sox, sox therapy


Sunday, September 02, 2012

Valentine’s Day Is Over: It Seems Clear Bobby V Will Not Be Back

After reading this in the Globe, it’s hard to imagine that Valentine will be back with the Sox.

Werner’s answer was perhaps telling about what ownership is thinking.

“I don’t really want to get into that today,” he said. “I don’t want to talk too much about him. But he’s had a challenging year. I think, as we’ve said before, he’s doing a good job.”

Will Valentine return in 2013?

“I don’t really want to go there,” Werner said. “I think we all thought we’d ...

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Darren Posted: September 02, 2012 at 12:32 PM | 123 comment(s)
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Saturday, August 25, 2012

Minor League Update - The ex-Dodgers

We don’t need another thread on this trade but…the heck with it.  Plus, if it annoys TVErik a bit, that’s kind of fun (oh we kid because we love). With all the attention on the players we traded and the money gained I think some focus on the players we are getting back is warranted.  I ignored Loney because I think it’s a safe assumption that he’s going to have a Red Sox career about as long as Carlos Pena’s.

Rubby de la Rosa – So the first thing I learned is that it’s pronounced ...

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Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: August 25, 2012 at 02:43 PM | 42 comment(s)
  Related News: minor leagues, red sox, sox therapy


Friday, August 24, 2012

Tossing C4 in the Wreckage: Boom

There are reasonably sourced reports that the Red Sox are trying to give away all of their players to the Los Angeles Dodgers.  The Dodgers apparently placed a waiver claims on Adrian Gonzalez (reasonable) and on Josh Beckett (crazy).  Reportedly the Sox are trying to work out a trade in which the Dodgers also take on Carl Crawford.  This is bugnuts insane, but also totally fascinating.

As with all trade rumors, you can’t evaluate this based only on the players moving from one team to the ...

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Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 24, 2012 at 07:10 PM | 331 comment(s)
  Related News: red sox, sox therapy


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Surveying the Wreckage II: Underperformance of Stars

When we discuss the stumbling embarrassment that is the 2012 Red Sox, we often start talking about Bobby V, about the dumb trades by the front office, the unprofessionalism of the coaches, the incompetence of the training staff, the Pythagorean record, and so on.  And then someone pipes up and says, hey, if Josh Beckett and Jon Lester had ERAs around 3.50, the Sox would be in contention.  And they’re mostly right, it’s certainly a good point.  My question in this post is, first, how much ...

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Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 23, 2012 at 09:13 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Related News: red sox, sox therapy


Saturday, August 18, 2012

Surveying the Wreckage I: Introductory Thoughts, Injuries

The Red Sox escaped the Orioles series without a sweep, but also without a meaningful chance at making the playoffs.  After starting off the decade with two seasons that ranged from boring to painful, the Red Sox have topped (bottomed?) themselves with a truly dire 2012.  I am generally the sort of person who responds to bad sports outcomes by going and doing something else, but in this case, I think the crapulence of 2010-2012 is an interesting intellectual problem.  These clubs were ...

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Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 18, 2012 at 01:19 PM | 49 comment(s)
  Related News: red sox, sox therapy


Sunday, August 12, 2012

Now What?

I imagine for a lot of us the interesting portion of the 2012 Boston Red Sox season came to a screeching halt right about the time an Esmil Rogers fastball smashed into the wrist of Will Middlebrooks.  While it feels like the good news is gone there is still quite a bit of importance to come.

The fact is that the 2013 Red Sox are heavily represented on the 2012 club and that club should be expected to compete.  With that in mind a few things I think are important to pay attention to the next ...

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Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: August 12, 2012 at 07:06 PM | 61 comment(s)
  Related News: red sox, sox therapy


Wednesday, August 08, 2012

The Long Nothing

The Red Sox currently stand five games out of the second wild card slot.  Previous to today’s game, BP gave the Sox an 11% chance at making the playoffs.  This number is slightly misleading, though, because most of that 11% chance is comprised of the 10% chance the Sox have of making the wild-card play-in game.  I don’t think most fans would consider a one-and-done in the play-in game to be a particularly worthy goal.  So if you give the Sox a roughly 50% chance at winning the play-in game, ...

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Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 08, 2012 at 06:51 PM | 127 comment(s)
  Related News: red sox, sox therapy


Thursday, August 02, 2012

Minor League Update

The trade deadline cameth and wenteth and while the Sox were generally (and prudently) inactive we can now rest assured that the guys on the farm are going to be there the rest of the year.

The impetus for the Sox’ moves seem to have been freeing up some room on the 40 man roster.  With that in mind I spent a bit of time at www.soxprospects.com looking at players who would need to be protected this coming winter.  Among their top 40 prospects the Sox feature three players who will need to be ...

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Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: August 02, 2012 at 09:43 PM | 40 comment(s)
  Related News: minor leagues, red sox, sox therapy


Monday, July 30, 2012

Trade Deadline Precriminations

After blogging the Sox for a few years, I’ve noticed a few flaws in my analysis that I’d like to fix.  The biggest problem is that I have a tendency to like Red Sox moves after the fact that I would not have supported or advocated for before the fact.  My partial embrace of the Crawford contract after saying he wasn’t worth more than $90M is tops on the list, my “eh” reception of the Reddick trade is second.  I’m pretty sure I’d have liked the Lackey contract and been entirely ...

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Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 30, 2012 at 09:56 AM | 146 comment(s)
  Related News: red sox, sox therapy


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Jon Lester: Why Isn’t He Good?

For the last few years, Jon Lester has been a consistently good but lightly frustrating ace, a pitcher with the stuff to truly contend for Cy Youngs who ended up merely winning 15 games with a 3.30 ERA in a hitters’ park.  Last summer, he failed to pick up the Red Sox down the stretch when the rest of the rotation dissolved into a glistening cone of jelly with a 6.5 FIP.  He pitched well enough to win in Game 162, but two runs in six innings was his first quality start in three weeks and not ...

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Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 24, 2012 at 01:51 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Related News: red sox, sox therapy


Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Selling Deadline

I have always felt that the labels of “buyer” and “seller” used at the trade deadline are too simplistic.  Every team should approach trades as “buyers” with the understanding of what they are buying for.

I do not think “blow it up” is a wise mantra as this team should expect to compete in 2013 (if not still this year despite the way it feels today).  For that reason the goal should not be a simplistic “unload veterans” but to begin the work of constructing the best 2013 roster ...

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Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: July 22, 2012 at 07:03 PM | 106 comment(s)
  Related News: red sox, sox therapy


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Personal is the Pythagorean

I’ve been arguing all over the damn place about Pythagoras.  The Red Sox expected record by runs scored and runs allowed is 47-39, which puts them in the top tier of ballclubs in the American League.  It is generally accepted that estimates of team quality based on component numbers such as RS/RA and runs created statistics are better predictors of team quality than raw wins alone.  (See eg, Clay Davenport, “Playoff Odds Report, Redux”)

So, we shouldn’t evaluate the Red Sox as a .500 ...

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Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 10, 2012 at 06:33 PM | 35 comment(s)
  Related News: red sox, sox therapy


Monday, July 09, 2012

86ing the First Half

The Sox have played 53.08642% of their season and are sitting at a nifty little .500 record.  There is good and bad in the 43-43 mark and no shortage of talking points.  I have a few thoughts on the first 86…

1. 3 games.

After an awful lot of bad news in the first half the Sox are only 3 games out of a playoff spot, 2 games out if you dismiss Baltimore (I’m not sure we can do that anymore).  Being .500 is not a lot of fun but given that the Sox played the majority of the season with 4-5 ...

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Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: July 09, 2012 at 12:38 AM | 131 comment(s)
  Related News: red sox, sox therapy


Friday, July 06, 2012

Another Medical Failure

When Dustin Pedroia injured his thumb at the end of May, the Red Sox tried to help him rush back.  He got a special brace fitted, he took swings in the cage within a day or two of the injury, and he was back on the field within the week.  Since then, Pedroia has hit like a disappointing version of Nicky Punto (210/280/305).  And now there is word that Pedroia has re-injured his thumb and will have to go on the disabled list.  Who could have predicted it?

I don’t have a lot to offer her ...

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Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 06, 2012 at 07:17 AM | 131 comment(s)
  Related News: red sox, sox therapy


Thursday, July 05, 2012

Minor League Mid-year Update

Our last minor league thread is over a month old so I figure there is no time like the present to get a new one rolling.  Both John Sickels and Baseball America have released updated prospect lists and between those independent sources and any look at the performance of the minor leaguers 2012 is a great year so far for the minors.

Sickels; Bogaerts #11, Bradley #36, Barnes #41, Lavarnway #59, Swihart, #90, Jacobs #105, Owens #119

BA: Barnes #13, Bogaerts #31, Bradley #32, Lavarnway “also ...

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Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: July 05, 2012 at 02:16 PM | 36 comment(s)
  Related News: minor leagues, red sox, sox therapy


Sunday, July 01, 2012

Trade Winds

In just under a month MLB will have reached the non-waiver trade deadline.  The Red Sox are expected to be a fairly active team but that activity seems to be driven by deletions rather than additions as the Sox look to clear up some potential roster logjams.

Inspired by MCoA’s post Friday regarding the coming logjam I started thinking of what the Sox would/could move.  I’m not going to try and figure out what the Sox will look to acquire right now but I want instead to look at what they may ...

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Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: July 01, 2012 at 07:57 PM | 51 comment(s)
  Related News: red sox


Friday, June 29, 2012

Petit Object a(aron cook)

The Red Sox season has been characterized by lack and shortage, up to this point.  Like the desiring subject in Lacan’s psychoanalytic economy, the Red Sox have recognized themselves as incomplete, and sought from all sources those objects of desire that they imagined could make the team complete.  This process got so perverse that they eventually attached themselves to Scott Podsednik for three weeks. 

Many scholars have pointed out that Lacan’s desiring subject not only lacks what will ...

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Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: June 29, 2012 at 10:23 AM | 29 comment(s)
  Related News: red sox, sox therapy


Sunday, June 24, 2012

Remembrance of things not yet past

I love baseball for lots of reasons.  I was reminded of one today when 30,000 fans in Fenway Park demanded an opportunity to say their goodbye to Kevin Youkilis, who likewise treated this curtain call as a farewell.  People sometimes criticize baseball movies for sentimentality, but I think such films are trying to re-create something entirely read about the game.  Baseball is unmatched for its ability to produce honest moments of mass collective sentimentality.  I’ll remember this one, and ...

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Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: June 24, 2012 at 05:12 PM | 28 comment(s)
  Related News: red sox, sox therapy


Saturday, June 16, 2012

Precriminations

The Red Sox are nowhere close to done for the season.  I am hoping that come July 15th, I look dumb (er than usual) for this post. 

This post is about the failure of Ben Cherington’s offseason plan.  Even if the Sox do come back and put together a legitimate stretch run, I think there will be reason for criticism of Cherington (and the owners, and to a lesser extent Bobby Valentine).  If the Sox do come back, it will not be a function of the late-breaking success of Cherington’s offseason ...

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Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: June 16, 2012 at 08:42 AM | 117 comment(s)
  Related News: red sox, sox therapy


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Meditations in something less than an emergency

The Red Sox didn’t play particularly poor baseball in the last week.  They played close games and were only outscored by a couple of runs in the aggregate.  It’s hard to say they should have played much better – the Sox have gotten very lucky with their depth, and you can’t expect Scott Podsednik to keep hitting the cover off the ball.  Perhaps the starters should have done better, but they kept the club in close games.  They just lost.

According to the numbers on the internet, the Red ...

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Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: June 13, 2012 at 09:29 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Related News: red sox, sox therapy


Sunday, June 03, 2012

Red Sox Draft Thread

I recently completed my traditional draft prep of ignoring amateur baseball entirely for 363 days out of the year, and so with the first rounds scheduled for tomorrow, I went and looked at some talent rankings and mock drafts.  The Sox have two late first-round picks this year (their own 24th pick and the Phillies’ 31st) as well as a sandwich round pick (the 37th), which is also Papelbon compensation.

The establishment of tough new slotting rules means that the Sox will have only about $350k ...

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Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: June 03, 2012 at 05:08 PM | 65 comment(s)
  Related News: minor leagues, red sox, sox therapy


Trading Season

The rumor of the week is that the Sox are looking to trade Kevin Youkilis.  I certainly support the Red Sox trading Kevin Youkilis for better players, and I oppose the Red Sox trading Kevin Youkilis for worse players.  The details are what matter.  The Sox have some very peculiar needs, and they can’t be sure exactly which needs they’ll have in two months.

The one thing the team could really use right now is an outfielder better than Byrd and Podsednik – someone who can cover right or ...

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Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: June 03, 2012 at 01:38 PM | 102 comment(s)
  Related News: red sox, sox therapy


Monday, May 28, 2012

There’s No Place Like Home (Thankfully)

As Red Sox fans we have grown accustomed to the Sox being a great home team over the past decade.  However, the Sox declines in recent seasons is almost entirely a function of home wins while their road records have remained generally constant;

2007 – 51 home wins/45 road wins
2008 – 56/39
2009 – 56/39
2010 – 46/43
2011 – 45/45
2012 – 35/44 (both 81 game pace through Sunday)

Why is this?  Well, the last time they won less than 45 games at Fenway was the year after Duquette ...

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Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: May 28, 2012 at 01:22 PM | 32 comment(s)
  Related News: red sox


Thursday, May 24, 2012

A Winning Ballclub?

A lot of weird stuff is going on with the Sox right now.  Daniel Nava is our best hitter, Felix Doubront is good and Daniel Bard is not, the bullpen is effective, Adrian Gonzalez is not, and Scott Podsednik started a game and hit a crucial home run.  But what does it add up to?  With all the ridiculous moving parts, is this club any good?

On first appraisal, I’d say yes, they’re pretty good.  I plugged some rough estimates of team quality into my log5 spreadsheet – one part BPro 3rd ...

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Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: May 24, 2012 at 08:12 AM | 45 comment(s)
  Related News: red sox, sox therapy


Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Two Dan Bards

I think something is wrong with Daniel Bard.  It could be any number of things – a nagging injury, fatigue, scouting reports getting around – but he looked bad last night, and he looked bad in his start before that.  You can draw a line at the end of April and see two quite different pitchers on either side of the line. 

Through three starts in April, Bard had struck out 19 batters in 19 innings against 9 walks, allowing just one homer.  You could even make the case that Valentine’s ...

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Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: May 19, 2012 at 09:14 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Related News: red sox, sox therapy


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Kids

The Red Sox have been unexpectedly watchable of late, and it’s greatly thanks to three people.  One of them is Adrian Gonzalez, a .gif of whom is linked in the comments.  The other two are the kids on hot streaks, Will Middlebrooks and Daniel Nava. 

You might say that it’s not a good idea to write a blog post about two kids with a combined 70 PA in the majors, Dr. Jinxtable.  While I can’t deny the extent of my nefarious mind powers, Middlebrooks and Nava were hitting just as well in ...

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Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: May 15, 2012 at 08:40 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Related News: red sox, sox therapy


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