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

Monday, November 13, 2006

What to do in Naples, besides the Great Matsuzaka Holding of Breath

Granted, the general managers’ meetings this week in Naples are more about laying groundwork for deals and less about finalizing them. But what direction are the Sox taking, and what direction should they take?

I have seen reports that the Sox are shopping to fill holes at 2b, ss, rf, sp, and closer, and also some backup positions (c, of). It’s been said they have expressed interest to outfielders Carlos Lee and J.D. Drew, infielder Rich Aurilia, starter Mark Mulder and reliever LaTroy ...

Toby Posted: November 13, 2006 at 08:04 PM | 170 comment(s)
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Monday, November 06, 2006

Sox Lock Up Cora

Per Rotoworld the Sox have locked up Cora to a 2 year deal. Not a terrible idea, especially if not expensive. ZIPS says he’ll hit .250 .333 .344, making him one of the best 2 middle infielders Boston has under contract right now. Plus he’s so smart, I keep hearing.

Darren Posted: November 06, 2006 at 10:36 PM | 19 comment(s)
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Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The Manny Question… Again

Welcome to the new fall season of “Trading Manny,” (Manny Swap? Super-Manny?) the hit reality show that’s now entering its fourth season!

Once again, when it comes to considering trading Manny, it’s hard to judge any deal unless you can pin down Manny’s defensive value. To that end…

As some of you have probably already noticed, there is some interesting stuff going on over at Dialed In, where Chris has linked to a Rally Monkey’s list of park factors for ZR. There, Rallymonkey finds that ...

Darren Posted: November 01, 2006 at 02:19 AM | 67 comment(s)
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Saturday, October 28, 2006

Let the offseason bull(pen) talk begin

It’s officially the offseason now, so it’s time to start talking about what the Red Sox should be doing. Let’s kick this mother off with a discussion of the pitching needs. MCoA recently wrote that the Sox either need a starter and a reliever or two starters. My feeling is that they need to add something like a #1 starter and two top relievers. In the rotation, I’m a lot more comfortable assuming Schilling’s a #2, Beckett’s a #3, etc. In the pen, I don’t think there’s anyone there that you can ...

Darren Posted: October 28, 2006 at 04:48 PM | 107 comment(s)
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Friday, October 20, 2006

My Awards Ballot: What Would a Reasonable Therapudlian Do?

I had the privilege of casting a ballot for BBTF’s postseason awards. On a mailing list I’ve discussed my overall ballot, but here, in Sox Therapy, I thought I would explain the Red Sox who made, and didn’t make, my ballot and why, so you can all lambaste me for failing to do you proud.

For AL MVP we voted for 10 candidates. I had Papi #1 and Lil Papi #10. I left Manny off the ballot. If the MVP were a “best player” award, I would have filled out the ballot differently, but to me the MVP is ...

Toby Posted: October 20, 2006 at 02:59 PM | 35 comment(s)
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Monday, October 16, 2006

Red Sox Welcome Two Mystery Coaches into the Fold

As already noted in a news thread, the Red Sox are ‘close’ to hiring John Farrell to be there pitching coach. There is also a report in the Globe that they have inked Dave Magadan as some sort of coach, although no one seems sure what yet.

I have virtually no opinion on these two moves. The only thing that sticks out is that one guy (Farrell) seems to be a Francona guy while the other (Magadan) isn’t. I think that indicates that the FO is using his input, but not giving him free reign. ...Read More...

Darren Posted: October 16, 2006 at 01:35 AM | 16 comment(s)
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Thursday, October 12, 2006

Philly’s Big Study of Pitcher Durability

Over on SOSH, our pal Philly has posted a very illuminating study of durability among FA pitchers. He starts with Derek Lowe and then moves into a discussion of other guys who have been signed to multi-year deals in recent years. There’s also a section on pitchers that will be available this coming offseason.

I’m not sure what conclusion to draw from the work. One think I think it shows is that Clement was a very reasonable signing at the time. And Philly’s point, that durability may be a bit ...

Darren Posted: October 12, 2006 at 02:09 AM | 4 comment(s)
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Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Kill (Okay, fire) ‘em All, Let God Sort Them Out!

According to several articles, like this MLB one, the Red Sox have gotten rid of both hitting coach Ron Jackson and pitching coach Dave Wallace.

As outsiders, it’s very hard for us to determine if these are good moves. Was Jackson really a big help to Ortiz, or would Ortiz have done well without him? Even if he helped Ortiz, did most players find him helpful as well? Was Wallace a good pitching coach saddled with a bunch of guys who were poised for collapse? Or was his health a major hurdle? ...

Darren Posted: October 03, 2006 at 09:36 PM | 39 comment(s)
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Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The Amazing Year of David Ortiz

Big Papi hit his 54th HR tonight, which is just an amazing feat for a lefthanded dead pull hitter who plays half his games in Fenway. He currently has 32 HR in 77 road games vs. only 22 in 70 home games. His splits were 20/27 in 05 and 17/24 in 04.

Maybe should be looked at more closely when considering his value in the MVP race. And then again, maybe not. Maybe it should just be part of our appreciation of him as an awesome DH. I just thought it would be nice to have a thread looking back on ...

Darren Posted: September 27, 2006 at 12:27 AM | 64 comment(s)
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Monday, September 25, 2006

Francona urges changes in playoff format

I’m putting this in Sox Therapy because I don’t have the keys to put it elsewhere, but everyone’s welcome to chime in.

The Worcester Telegram & Gazette has a Red Sox notes that includes an interesting item. It says that Terry Francona favors two changes to the playoff setup:

One would add a second wild-card team in each league. The wild-card teams would have a play-in game, giving the division winners three days to set up their pitching.

The other change would have every team playing two ...

Toby Posted: September 25, 2006 at 05:40 PM | 60 comment(s)
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Saturday, September 23, 2006


Well, according to Edes’s most recent anti-Manny tirade (RR), Manny has again asked to be traded:

...he had the audacity this week, through agent Greg Genske, to reiterate to the Red Sox his desire to be traded this winter.

Although I don’t agree with Edes here, I do think that there’s some merit to trading Manny. Take a look at the defense rankings posted on Dialed In. Manny comes in at -41 R/150 games, which Chris attributes largely to park. But even if you give him 10 runs Manny is still ...

Darren Posted: September 23, 2006 at 01:17 PM | 55 comment(s)
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Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Portland Wins the EL title

MCoA points out that Devern Hansack won the deciding game in the Eastern League Series to propel the Sea Dogs to the championship. The 28-year-old had a nice year for Portland and will likely get a callup (or maybe he did already?).

Darren Posted: September 19, 2006 at 03:53 AM | 10 comment(s)
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Sunday, September 17, 2006

The Coaching Question

I know this has been touched on in Toby’s thread, but that was so all-encompassing as to make all other threads pointless. Here, I just want to talk about what people think should be done with the coaching staff. Bring ‘em all back? Fire ‘em all? Something in between?

I’ve been a little kinder to Francona this year, mainly because he made two decisions (Pap as closer, Youk as fulltime starter) that I didn’t think he was capable of. But overall, I don’t think he’s a good manager. He doesn’t ...

Darren Posted: September 17, 2006 at 03:30 AM | 48 comment(s)
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Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Is Theo morphing into Duke?

I started pondering this question as I read through the Dear Theo thread.

The general sense from that thread, I think, is that few of us think the front office really knows what it is doing. (Perhaps they did know what they were doing at one point, but that point is in the rear-view mirror.)

I don’t want to turn this into a thread about Theo vs. Duke, but I have to say that the current regime is starting to remind me of the Duke regime. Let me explain. To me, the Duke regime followed a clear ...

Toby Posted: September 13, 2006 at 06:41 PM | 58 comment(s)
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Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Open Letter to Theo

Dear Theo,

over the offseason, please do the following:

[see posts below]

Yours in the struggle,
The Therapudlians

Toby Posted: September 12, 2006 at 03:40 PM | 151 comment(s)
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Thursday, September 07, 2006

Weekly Minor League Thread: The End of the mL season

I don’t have much here, just wanted to put something up for us to look back on the year in the minors. I think the brightest spot, among a fair number of good stuff, was the success of Bowden and Buccholz. Both did well in low A, the former at the age of 19. Buchholz even pitched well after his promotion to A+ and may be headed for AA next year. Very close behind them is probably Ellsbury. He has moved up very quickly, continued to make good contact, and showed good speed and defense. He may ...

Darren Posted: September 07, 2006 at 02:33 AM | 78 comment(s)
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Tuesday, September 05, 2006

It’s Time to Run the Table

It’s time to run the table.

Lenny Megliola of the MetroWest Daily News has a nice little column on the ‘Last Chance Saloon’ sentiment in the Red Sox clubhouse here.

We have Trot and Tek and Manny back, and should get Papi back today.

Okay, so we have no pitching whatsoever. Our third starter is Julian Tavarez and our closer is getting an MRI today. But we can dream, can’t we?

BPro odds gives us about a 1 percent chance to make the playoffs.

We’re 6 games behind the Twins (with 3 games ...

Toby Posted: September 05, 2006 at 05:13 PM | 38 comment(s)
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Friday, September 01, 2006

Weekly Minor League Thread: Welcome Backstop Kotteras

Maybe the only bright spot in this recent slide into oblivion is that the Red Sox dropped far enough quickly enough that it made sense to deal away Wells for whatever you could get. My hope was that they would accept nothing less than a B prospect, and in Kotteras I think they surpassed that level a bit. Both Sickels (B+) and BA had him as the Pads’ #2 prospect, Dayn Perry (I know) had him #77 in baseball, and got an honorable mention on the Baseball Analyst 75. He has good discipline and a ...

Darren Posted: September 01, 2006 at 02:34 AM | 28 comment(s)
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Thursday, August 31, 2006

How bad can it get? Very, very bad.

Today’s lineup pretty much says it all:

Kevin Youkilis, LF
Alex Cora, SS
Mark Loretta, DH
Mike Lowell, 3B
Gabe Kapler, CF
Doug Mirabelli, C
Eric Hinske, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Carlos Pena, 1B

Well, they had their starting 3b! The amount of injuries heaped upon this team has been staggering. It’s so bad that I’m glad that they didn’t make any major moves at the deadline. They would have turned out to be waste. Let’s hope that David Wells will soon be on his way west. ...Read More...

Darren Posted: August 31, 2006 at 01:16 AM | 44 comment(s)
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Monday, August 28, 2006

August 31: Are We Buyers or Sellers?

I’m one of the few card-carrying optimists around here, and I am on record as saying that this team has its best baseball ahead of it, that it will have a strong September and will make an entertaining bid for the playoffs.

I still believe that. And yet, a couple days before the Aug. 31 deadline, I say now is the time to fold and sell, sell, sell.

Who can we sell? I frankly don’t know, I don’t follow waiver statuses as closely as many of you. But if we can grant Wells his preseason wish and ...

Toby Posted: August 28, 2006 at 02:18 PM | 60 comment(s)
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Bullpen Concerns Revisited Revisited

Since the other thread on the Red Sox Bullpen has been sent off into oblvion, I’m starting a new one. People can continue to ruin that thread for all I care, but please let’s use this one to discuss the topic at hand.

Earlier in the year, I voiced some concerns about the bullpen’s workload:

Can anyone explain to me why, with a 7-1 lead, Francona went to Keith Foulke tonight? Foulke isn’t the only overworked pitcher in the pen, but he’s the leading one. 162 g pace coming into the night: ...Read More...

Darren Posted: August 28, 2006 at 03:18 AM | 35 comment(s)
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Sunday, August 27, 2006

Stupid Snark Fest (Formerly Bullpen Concerns revisited)

Earlier in the year, I voiced some concerns about the bullpen’s workload:

Can anyone explain to me why, with a 7-1 lead, Francona went to Keith Foulke tonight? Foulke isn’t the only overworked pitcher in the pen, but he’s the leading one. 162 g pace coming into the night:

Foulke 84 g, 108 ip
Paps 90 g, 98 ip
Timlin 78 g, 68 ip

The good news is that since that time, everyone’s workload has been decreased. The bad news is that, in the case of Foulke and Timlin, the decrease was caused by ...

Darren Posted: August 27, 2006 at 12:14 PM | 54 comment(s)
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Saturday, August 26, 2006

Treating players well

This is a subject that I don’t often think we, as fans, can really comment on too well because we just don’t know enough of the facts. In most cases where I do have an opinion, I tend to think that the players and teams owe each other little in the way of loyalty, etc. For example, I had no problem with the team signing Arroyo to a multi-year deal then trading him. He knew the risks of signing the deal and, apparantly, was given no assurances that he’d be staying.

All that being said, I ...

Darren Posted: August 26, 2006 at 02:19 AM | 17 comment(s)
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Friday, August 25, 2006

Weekly Minor League Thread: Draft Signings

There has apparently been some movement on the Red Sox draft picks:

—Rumor has it that


Daniel Bard, the Sox pick at #28 in the draft has signed for around a $1.5 mil. bonus. Looks like a power arm with some control issues.
—La Porta is reportedly returning to UF, thereby ending our hopes of signing him. Coming off an off year, he had been ranked #38 by BA. Going back to school was probably his best choice.
—Lars Anderson has signed. He was a highschooler who was ranked #41 by BA, and has ...

Darren Posted: August 25, 2006 at 01:12 AM | 20 comment(s)
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Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Pedroia, Pedroia, Pedroia

Pedroia’s been called up so we’ve at least got something fun to talk about as the season goes down the drain. Then again, his greatness may rescue from the horribleness! Save us Baby Jesus, save us Oprah, save us Tom Cruise, save us Pedroia!

Darren Posted: August 22, 2006 at 09:47 PM | 34 comment(s)
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Sunday, August 20, 2006

What the hell happened?

What’s everyone’s take on what has happened this season? Was this team constructed in a flawed way? If so, what was wrong with the plan? Was it simply unlucky? Bad things do happen to good GMs occassionally. Is this one of those cases?

I’m conflicted. I think most of the moves the Red Sox have made are defensible, even with the benefit of hindsight. As one example Coco seems to be a good player who had a fluke injury. I still think that paying him + part of Renteria’s salary and getting a ...

Darren Posted: August 20, 2006 at 08:48 PM | 195 comment(s)
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Thursday, August 17, 2006

Weekly (ha) Minor League Thread

Well, I don’t have much to say here. Pena should be a nice, low-cost addition to the depth at AAA. Hopefully, in September, he will make the Yanks regret letting him go.

Back in the preseason I was trying to think of a good comp for Marte, and Pena may be about as close as it gets. He was considerably older than Marte, but both put up good power numbers, good walks, and K’ed a bunch in AA/AAA. Maybe a step above Pena is what we can expect from Marte with the bat. At 3B, that’s a pretty nice ...

Darren Posted: August 17, 2006 at 11:28 PM | 3 comment(s)
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Five to Stay Alive

This is it, folks. This weekend will go a long way toward determining the outcome of the 2006 season. The way I see it, the Red Sox will still be breathing if they lose 3 of 5, but anything worse puts them in a 4.5 game or more hole. If they can muster 3 of 5, then they’ll be only 1/2 game out and the rest of the season will be a toss up. Anything more than that would put them in the fabled catbird’s seat.

Here’s hoping that Big Papi cements his MVP case this weekend.

(Sorry for the lack of ...

Darren Posted: August 17, 2006 at 11:00 PM | 73 comment(s)
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Thursday, August 10, 2006


I’m glad the Sox aren’t run by Bill Reynolds and the thinkers of his ilk. In his most recent column, Bill Reynolds: Hey, Sox, the future is now, Bill states, “It seems to me the future is now. Manny and Ortiz in their prime. Schilling near the end, maybe Varitek, too. It seems to me that in a season where the National League looks like an overpaid International League, the Yankees have had their problems, the White Sox have a hangover after last year’s World Series win, and no one seems able to ...

Jim Furtado Posted: August 10, 2006 at 01:18 PM | 142 comment(s)
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Sunday, August 06, 2006

Weekly Minor League Thread: Where you turn your attention the Major League club gets unbearable

Here’s a few things to check out:

—Pedroia has been playing 3B in Pawtucket, presumably in case Lowell is not able to play for an extended period. Not sure how much I like this move. He’s just coming into his own, no need to jerk him around. I’d rather see them stick Youks there, play Papi or Pena at 1B, and perhaps give Murphy a shot in RF. Pedroia there makes for an awfully weak lineup, powerwise.

—Ellsbury’s holding his own at AA with a .309/.363/.383 line, 9 steals, and 11/7 K/BB ratio ...

Darren Posted: August 06, 2006 at 09:51 PM | 36 comment(s)
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