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— Where Thinking Red Sox Fans Obsess about the Sox
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
Opening Day is Never Our Day
The Red Sox have apparently lost the 6 of the last 7 opening days, so this one was no surprise, I guess. Still, if you watched the game without knowing who was who, which team would you have guessed had been picked to lose 100 games, the one saddled with a #1 starter whose contract is a punchline? Which team would you say had the $150 mil. payroll, with a potent lineup and good starting pitching? It was just one game, but man, was it ugly. A couple of quick observations:
—Schilling looked a ...Read More...
Saturday, March 31, 2007
Matsuzaka, Please Just Be Nomo
The Globe has a nice Red Sox season preview up, which includes a big section on Matsuzaka. As the season is set to commence, I’ve decided to be modest in my hopes. I am only asking that everyone perform about as expected. Drew plays only 115 games with good defense and a strong bat—fine with me. Manny and Ortiz chime in with 1.000 OPS? Great. Beckett in the mid-4s in ERA? Okey dokey. If everyone does what they’re supposed to, more or less, this team will be very likely to win 95 games.
For ...Read More...
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
MDC to AAA, YYY???
According to Bradford’s blog, Manny Delcarmen is headed for AAA to start the season. To me, this is a continuation of a head-scratching pattern by the front office.
If there was one non-Papelbon reliever who I felt reasonably confident about coming into this year, it was Delcarmen. His peripherals have been very good. He has two pretty good looking pitches. He’s young and has been fairly durable and consistent the past two years. His ERA and WHIP were bad, but his XFIP and other factors ...Read More...
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Preview Thread V: The Front Office
The Red Sox are expected to contend during the season, and to some extent the front office is expected to make moves during the season to help keep the team in contention. This thread isn’t about what the front office does building a team in the offseason, but whether the moves it makes during the season are likely to be effective.
I look at the body of work of this front office during the season and I have to say it doesn’t grade out well. What I wanted to do was track the Win Shares ...Read More...
Spring Is in the Air
Yesterday was the first time I actually caught some spring training action on TV. I saw Beckett looking very, very good against a mostly Major League lineup. This spring he’s got 24 K, 4 BB, and 1 HR allowed (!) in 23.2 IP. It’s performances like that that make me sad that ST results usually mean very little. On the flip side, that means I don’t have to get too worked up about Lowell, Pedroia, and Ortiz at the plate, or Kevin Youkilis’s repugnant facial hair.
Have any of the players’ ...Read More...
Sunday, March 25, 2007
Pap to the Pen: A Quick and Dirty Look
There’s been a lot of conjecture about whether the move of Papelbon to the pen will have a positive or negative effect on the Red Sox 2006 season. Some have suggested that the move has handed the division to the Yankees, while others have said it has sured up a former weak spot. I think it might provide some insight to look at David Gassko’s THT chaining article, which he used previously to discuss Papelbon’s move to the rotation.
I’ll handle this a little differently than David, though. ...Read More...
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
A Closer Look
How many threads have there been on here about the closer situation? A lot, but that won’t stop me from posting one more. There are a couple of interesting developments on this front, but it’s still a mystery who will be closing out games for the Sox this year.
Interestingly, this Projo article by McAdam says Timlin “had been hand-picked to start the season as the team’s closer.” But it says it in a matter-of-fact way, as if this were common knowledge. There is no quote from anyone on the ...Read More...
Monday, March 19, 2007
Preview Thread IV: Manager & Coaches
Terry Francona enters his fourth season as Red Sox manager. He has gone from 98 wins to 95 wins to 86 wins, and from a World Series title to a first-round playoff ouster to a third-place finish. Not a good trend. He is 279-207 for Boston, and 564-570 overall.
Traditionally, the fourth season is not a good one. The track record of recent Red Sox managers who completed three full seasons:
* Jimy Williams, completed 4th season, replaced during 5th season
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Preview Thread III: The Defense
Because the bullpen is in a state of flux, I want to do a thread about it. But because the bullpen is in a state of flux, it’s probably best to put it off till IV or V.
And so let’s ponder the defense. Using defensive efficiency as a measure, last year’s team was not good: .683, 27th out of 30 teams. Most of last year’s defense is back, so will it be more of the same?
The personnel changes are at rf (Drew for Nixon), ss (Lugo for Gonzalez), and 2b (Pedroia for Loretta). We may also see some ...Read More...
Saturday, March 10, 2007
Preview Thread II: The Lineup
Here’s your chance to put down in pixels exactly what you think the Red Sox offense will do this year. I won’t go into great specifics here (I’ll add mine in the comments later), but I think this team looks like it’s headed back into 900+ runs territory, and average defense. I also think the lineup is set at 1-5 and 9:
I think Pedroia set at #9 to keep the pressure off and to have a sort of second leadoff. He’s in for a good year, so he may not ...Read More...
Thursday, March 08, 2007
Preview Thread I: The Rotation
First in a multi-part series, inspired by villageidiom, in which Therapudlians and others attempt to make objective sense of the 07 Red Sox. Part I, the rotation. This is not about our hopes and dreams or irrational exuberance, but an attempt to be realistic.
Let’s start with the rotation. I am going to throw out some numbers and then tell you where they came from, and you can tell me how wrong I am.
Matsuzaka: 14-8, 3.32 ERA, 176 K, 66 BB in 192 IP
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
Curt Schilling’s new blog, 38 Pitches
It’s called “38 pitches”. He plans to cover baseball, media, family, electronic gaming, you name it.
Aside to Curt: A lot of people here (Sox Therapy, and BTF-wide) don’t seem to care for you much, but I haven’t figured out why. Keep on doing what you’re doing.
Some of the baseball-related tidbits so far:
Thursday, March 01, 2007
The Josh Beckett Storyline
There are a lot of story lines being covered with the Red Sox this year, but one that seems to be getting very little attention is the fate of Josh Beckett in 2007. One article I did find on it was this Beradino piece in the Mercury News. It’s fairly positive and suggests that Beckett will try to cut down on his HR totals by using more breaking stuff. (BTW, when did Julian Tavarez become the voice of the Red Sox?)
But this is a very important question for the fate of the team. If Beckett’s the ...Read More...
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
The Irrationally Exuberant Therapudlian
Drew is healthy. Crisp is mostly healthy. Manny is in camp. Lowell has emerged as a leader. Lugo should be fine. Pedroia should be ready. Youks is Youks. Papi is Papi. Tek—and this, I am not so exuberant about—is Tek. Cora and Hinske and Pena are the core of a real solid bench. Belli, or whoever else will catch Wake, I am not so exuberant about.
Schilling is referring to CHB as CHB. Beckett is rediscovering his change and curve. Dice-K is for real. Wake is Wake. Papelbon is healthy, and easily ...Read More...
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
Bookmarking the Red Sox
How are you going to keep up with the Sox this year?
Besides here, of course.
And besides the standard places—Globe, Herald, Projo, Courant, SoSH ....
For a broader picture, I scan Google News: a simple “red sox” search.
For example, I just learned from a Google News search that Rob Bradford of the ...Read More...
Thursday, February 08, 2007
Truck Day is Feb. 12
According to a recent story in the Herald, the Red Sox equipment van will pack up and leave Feb. 12. That’s just around the corner.
According to the spring training Q&A at mlb.com:
Feb 16—pitchers and catchers report
Key dates not yet firmed up:
Feb ...Read More...
Monday, January 29, 2007
The Lowell down on the Helton trade
There’s been a lot of talk about the Helton trade, and I think there is a key point that a lot of people are missing. Mike Lowell is being discussed as if he is dead weight, just another $9 mil of salary to offset Helton, but is he? Lowell racked up 6.3 WARP1 last year, and will probably be projected in the 5-6 range for 07. On a one-year, $9-mil deal, he’s a bargain. Meanwhile, they are trading him for a guy who’s probably projected to be a win or two better, but is signed for 6 years. ...Read More...
Friday, January 26, 2007
Red Sox Top 20 Prospects Part 4
The grand finale! Thanks again to Temple for his great work:
5. Jason Place (OF); b. 10/8/88: Place endeared himself enough to Boston’s amateur scouting department that the Sox made him the first high school hitter they have taken in the 1st round (27th overall) since Theo has become the GM of the team. He put on a power show in a private workout in Greenville that gave the Sox hope that he could instill some much-needed pop into a light-hitting system. His mature demeanor and dogged work ...Read More...
Monday, January 22, 2007
Red Sox Top 20 Prospects Part 3
We’re starting to get into the really interesting youngsters now. A lot of fresh faces here. Prospects #6-10 from Temple:
10. Lars Anderson (1B); b. 9/25/87: Despite never having registered a PA for the Sox organization, nor being recognizable to even the most ardent prospect follower, Lars has developed himself quite a following in a very short time. As he was gaining helium in the scouting community leading up to the draft, he was seeing an equal gain in the online community—prior to the ...Read More...
Monday, January 15, 2007
Red Sox Top 20 Prospects Part 2
Prospects #11-15 from Temple:
15. Chad Spann (3B); b. 10/25/83: This year, Spann transformed himself from a relatively innocuous Sox prospect to an innocuous prospect with upside. Spann hit well in the very pitcher-friendly Eastern League, though his playing time was limited because of nagging injuries. In 2007, he will need to control the strike zone better and improve his defensive footwork to turn himself into a potential solid regular. As a 23-year old who might play in triple-A, he is ...Read More...
Saturday, January 13, 2007
The Red Sox have once again, as has been their habit under this front office, stockpiled quite a bit of depth on their bench. Solid veteran Eric Hinske backs up 1b/3b and OF, there are 4 starting quality OFs, and Alex Cora is probably as good of a utility player as any team has. But when I look at these players, I wonder if they are worth the cost.
The Red Sox will pay Hinske $3 mil in 07, and Cora will likely make a similar amount. The newest OF appears to be making $14 mil and the cheapest ...Read More...
Thursday, January 11, 2007
Red Sox Top 20 Prospects Part 1
It’s the middle of winter and there’s not much going on in the baseball world, so I thought it would be a good time to try something new on Sox Therapy. I’ve asked our very own Temple to compile his list of the Red Sox top 20 prospects. Temple, as many of you already know, is sort of our go to guy here on the state of the Red Sox minor league system, so it seemed like a good fit. I have enjoyed reading these, and I hope you do too. Part 1 is below, with three more installments to come over the ...Read More...
Tuesday, January 02, 2007
Closer to Closing in on a Closer?
As we ring in 2007, the Red Sox find themselves in a very similar situation to the one they faced at the outset of 2006. They have constructed a team that seems poised to compete in 2006, albeit with a large, glaring hole. In early 06, it was a CF; in 07, it’s a dominant reliever. Last year, they eventually made a deal for Coco Crisp. What will happen this year? It’s hard to say but there are a few possibilities that jump out:
1. Go with what they’ve got. This one seems unlikely. They have ...Read More...
Thursday, December 21, 2006
Minor league signings
According to Horrigan in the Herald, the Sox unveiled eight minor-league signings: Joe McEwing, Kerry Robinson, Alberto Castillo, Travis Hughes, Jeff Bailey, Luis Jimenez, Ed Rogers, Bobby Scales. They get invites to spring training with the big club.
Not sure what to say here. More detail on these guys in this MLB.com article. Travis Hughes actually looks pretty interesting to me. Maybe he’s the new closer! ;-)
Friday, December 15, 2006
Our New Revamped Bullpen
In the last few minutes, it seems, the Red Sox have added two arms to their beleaguered bullpen: Donnelly and Romero (per SOSH). I don’t love either of these guys. Donnelly looks like Timlin lite (or heavy) and Romero’s always had pretty cruddy peripherals. Both have gone down hill in recent years. Neither of these guys look to me like the closer that the Sox need. I would much rather have seen them use this money to get Speier, for example.
Let’s hope another big move is on the horizon ...Read More...
Is it just me, or does it feel kinda like Christmas after the presents have been opened?
I for one am happy with the new toys. I guess we don’t need to spend 2007 rebuilding after all. :-) Having said that, I suspect the Drew and Lugo deals are not going to pan out in the long run, but they will be fun to have for a while at least. Matsuzaka I think will be one of the favorite toys for years to come.
All in all, I would be happy going into spring training with this team, as is. I know we ...Read More...
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Offseason Minor League Thread
Since it’s been a while since I put up a Minor League thread, and since I’m on a bit of a roll tonight, here’s Sickels’ Minor League Ball Red Sox Top 20 Prospects. A couple of thoughts:
—The system looks pretty good, but there are a lot of young fellas in the highest spots and no A prospects.
The Drew/Gagne Disconnect
According to this Globe article, the Sox have dropped out of the bidding for Eric Gagne. Reportedly, the Red Sox did not want to risk the $6 mil in guaranteed money that Cleveland or Texas was offering. What strikes me as odd is that they are leery about this small risk, but not about giving JD Drew, whose health is also in question, 5 years/$60-something million guaranteed. Certainly, Drew’s had the better recent health history, but is it $60 million better? Gagne, if even somewhat healthy, is ...Read More...
Which 5’8” 2B? (Non-Tender deadline)
While we’re waiting for the conclusion of the Matsuzaka soap opera, I thought it would be interesting to discuss the Red Sox non-tender situation. Particularly interesting to me is the rumor that Marcus Giles will not be offered a contract. Before the Lugo signing, I was hoping that the Sox might shift Pedroia back to SS and pickup Giles on the cheap, thus creating quite a short middle IF. It also would have freed up money for a reliever or two. But since that won’t happen, what do Sox fans ...Read More...
Friday, December 08, 2006
I don’t get it
Whatever the Red Sox plan here is, I don’t get it. They appear to be about $10 mil shy of the luxury tax threshold, which is probably their spending limit. Let’s assume, charitably, that they get this Matsuzaka deal done and it puts them at their limit. There’s no closer. There’s no reliable setup man. There’s no backup catcher (unless you think Kotteras is ready).
Despite all of these holes, they decided to go out and sign a 4th outfielder for $14 mil. An excellent one, of course, and one ...Read More...
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