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— Where Thinking Red Sox Fans Obsess about the Sox

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Statements from the Boston Red Sox, Jon Lester, Josh Beckett, John Lackey, and Terry Francona | redsox.com: Official Info

Tomorrow anonymous sources will report about satanic rituals in the bullpen.

YOU HEARD IT HERE FIRST!!!

PRESIDENT/CEO LARRY LUCCHINO ON BEHALF OF THE BOSTON RED SOX: “Tonight our organization has heard directly from Jon, Josh, John, and former manager Terry Francona. Each has assured us that the allegation that surfaced today about drinking in the dugout during games in 2011 is false, and we accept their statements as honest and factual.

“As we continue our internal examination to fully ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: October 19, 2011 at 12:12 PM | 41 comment(s)
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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

In which analysis is outsourced

I had been playing around with some different back-of-the-envelope projection methods for Yu Darvish, and then I found out that SG over at the Replacement Level Yankee Weblog had actually done all of that work already, and better.  The key point to be made, with regard to Darvish, is just how much better he was in NPB than Matsuzaka.  These were Matsuzaka’s ERA numbers in his last four seasons in NPB:

2.83, 2.90, 2.30, 2.13

Pretty damn good, right?  And those were his age 22-25 seasons.  ...

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Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: October 18, 2011 at 12:34 PM | 28 comment(s)
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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Twitter / @TBrownYahoo: Ben Cherington has been to named GM

Ben Cherington has been told he’ll be next GM of Red Sox, according to Y sources.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 13, 2011 at 06:45 PM | 37 comment(s)
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The Art Of Winning An (even More) Unfair Game - 09.26.11 - SI Vault

This may have been posted when it first came out but I couldn’t find it in our archives. This is especially relevant with Theo heading out the door. The next GM may very well continue the transformation the Red Sox front office has undergone since John Henry purchased the Sox. Then again, maybe he won’t.

In any event, if you haven’t read the article already, you should read it.

One floor below street level on Yawkey Way, in his windowless corner office which looks out upon a bank of cubicles ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: October 13, 2011 at 01:43 PM | 11 comment(s)
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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Theo’s Legacy: 2003 and 2004

As it seems highly likely that Theo Epstein will be leaving the Boston Red Sox in the next few days, I wanted to go back over two of the greatest offseasons a general manager has ever had.

Theo Epstein inherited a club in 2003 with a great core of superstars (Pedro, Nomar, and Manny), some good complementary pieces (Damon, Nixon, Varitek, Lowe, Wakefield), and pretty much crap-all else.  Most of the club’s payroll was already tied up in their stars, so he needed to fill out a championship ...

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Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: October 12, 2011 at 01:59 PM | 29 comment(s)
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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Hot Stove I: Payroll and Roster

Whether you want the Sox to blow it up, bring the boys back for their redemption, or drop big money on top free agents to fix the club, you need to start with an understanding of the club’s current payroll situation.  Before 2010, the Red Sox jacked up spending like crazy, and last season they maintained that payroll – if you discount some of the funny business with Gonzalez, they added to it by several million.  I think it’s reasonable to expect another payroll in the range of $170M, and ...

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Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: October 11, 2011 at 03:01 PM | 103 comment(s)
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Friday, October 07, 2011

John Henry and Larry Lucchino Talk about the Red Sox September Swoon

Some very interesting comments and ownership insights into the team. Give it a listen.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 07, 2011 at 12:49 PM | 1 comment(s)
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Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Red Sox Fans Need to Take a Deeeeeeeep Breath

One phenomena which is quite interesting to me is how most of the analysts calling for Theo’s head, and talking about what a flawed team the Red Sox are, are the same people who were talking about how great this team was in the spring and July. People (and by people I include the Red Sox ownership) need to relax and stay the course with this front office.

There are decisions in life, unfortunately, where you do everything right in preparation and consideration, but the outcome disappoints. ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: October 05, 2011 at 08:28 PM | 53 comment(s)
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Not so ‘Free’ Agency

I stole this link from Philly over on SOSH: This BA article, which measures how homegrown each playoff team is, includes a comparison of the Red Sox and Yankees free-agent signings. The results are… not pretty. The whole thing is worth reading, but the takeaway is: in 2011, the Red Sox $67 million for free agent players and got back 2 (2!) WAR. That number is particularly friendly in that a) it doesn’t count Dice-K (because he wasn’t a free agent, per se?) and b) it uses $14 mil. for Crawford’s ...

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Darren Posted: October 05, 2011 at 01:28 PM | 27 comment(s)
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Friday, September 30, 2011

Thank You Terry Francona

It appears that, per NESN, Terry Francona is out as the manager of the Boston Red Sox. Someone had suggested that we have a “Thank You Terry Francona” thread and that sounds like a good idea. Thanks Terry, you were at the helm during the most successful period for the Red Sox during my lifetime. It couldn’t have been easy, and for whatever small criticism I might have had over the years, you deserve the credit for those accomplishments. Good luck in whatever you choose to do next.

Have at it. ...Read More...

Darren Posted: September 30, 2011 at 10:25 PM | 59 comment(s)
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In which rumors are mongered

Let’s collect all the rumors about the Red Sox clubhouse.  After yesterday’s press conference, it is now clear that interpersonal breakdowns, conflicts over authority, and general chaos in the clubhouse were important causes of the recent unpleasantness.  At the very least, both Epstein and Francona espoused the view that clubhouse tensions lead to games lost. 

I accept that not everyone finds this stuff fascinating, but I really do.  And I know that we’ll never achieve certain ...

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Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 30, 2011 at 01:09 PM | 235 comment(s)
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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Trader Theo and the Redemption Plan

I see two basic directions that this offseason could take for the Red Sox.  You can basically bring back everyone, trusting in the team’s third-order winning percentage and boosting them with better depth and perhaps new coaching and training staffs.  If you don’t want this same basic club back, but you do want to compete for the AL East next year, that will require major, blockbuster trades.

The Redemption Plan is pretty simple.  You give these players a chance to redeem themselves.  The ...

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Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 29, 2011 at 06:59 PM | 102 comment(s)
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Point / Counterpoint

We must respond with blind, wild rage. Now is not the time for a careful accounting or a half-hearted defense of the men who created this broken team.  It is time for rage, and not just any rage, but the pure and blinding rage where you forget your name and what your hands look like.  Tear this club the #### down.  Terry Francona, gone.  Jonathan Papelbon, enjoy your big contract elsewhere, see if they can get you to throw a split-finger to the guy who’s sitting fastball.  If any of the big ...

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Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 29, 2011 at 04:26 AM | 293 comment(s)
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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Game 162

There isn’t a lot you can say about an individual, upcoming baseball game.  What will determine tonight’s contest is how well the players play.  I hope the Sox play well and the Orioles don’t.

The outcome of this game rests somewhat more on the shoulder of the starting pitcher than usual.  Not only is Lester pitching on short rest in the biggest game of the season, but he’s pitching in front of a bullpen that is utterly gassed.  In September, the Red Sox bullpen has had to cover an ...

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Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 28, 2011 at 01:58 PM | 125 comment(s)
  Related News: red sox, sox therapy


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Managers have expiration dates

The monthlong unpleasantness has unified fans against a common enemy – Tito Francona.  At this point, with a playoff spot still technically possible for the Red Sox, one can imagine scenarios in which Tito keeps his job, or perhaps even in which he deserves to keep his job.  But it’s getting really hard for me to see.  He’s lost the clubhouse so entirely, so evidently has no standing to lead this team out of their funk, that I have trouble imagining how he could get it back.  Even a team ...

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Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 27, 2011 at 11:24 AM | 147 comment(s)
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Friday, September 23, 2011

I learned how to write a Monte Carlo sim in Excel

Who says nothing good came out of the epic Sox collapse of aught-eleven?

Here’s your data.  To make things a little cleaner, I’m not using as many different team quality scenarios.  I have the pessimistic scenario, wherein the Sox are a terrible club (.48 ExpWP), and the Rays and Angels are very good (.6 and .57 ExpWP), I have the BPro W3% scenario, where the Sox at .61 lead the Rays and Angels at .57 and .53, and a parity scenario where the Sox at .55 are a bit behind the Rays and Angels at ...

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Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 23, 2011 at 12:00 PM | 120 comment(s)
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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Errors

I’m of the opinion that the Red Sox have actually gotten tight and have actually been affected by the pressure.  As per the post a week ago, I don’t think that this means the team is screwed - slumps and choking events can end, human beings can get themselves together, and events can turn out ok.  I’m still confident that these are professional baseball players who are likely to play professional baseball well when they take the field.

But I think that out on the field, the Red Sox have been ...

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Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 21, 2011 at 01:52 PM | 45 comment(s)
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Monday, September 19, 2011

The Red Sox may lose the Wild Card

I don’t foresee myself having a lot of time to talk baseball in the next week, so y’all ought to have a thread.  The chance of the Red Sox losing the Wild Card to the Rays is now somewhere 15 and 25%, and a lot of it depends on how well the Yankees play in their seven games with the Rays and three with the Sox.  Today we are all Yankee fans.  So even if the Sox do hang on, this has happened, and it is horrible.

Here are the numbers from the old log5 for the remaining schedule spreadsheet.  I’m ...

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Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 19, 2011 at 11:11 AM | 301 comment(s)
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Monday, September 12, 2011

In which I listen to Theo Epstein’s public statements

Theo gave an interview to WEEI this morning, helpfully transcribed at the Globe Extra Bases blog.  I like what he had to say about the losing streak.

On if the bad play becomes contagious throughout the team:

“It seems that way. It’s hard to tell whether it actually is. It probably is to a small extent and beyond that it’s just seems that way when so many things aren’t going well. I do think that when you have a run of bad starting pitching, it does obviously impact the bullpen, and has a ...

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Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 12, 2011 at 04:38 PM | 172 comment(s)
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Saturday, September 10, 2011

So you say you want to piss your pants, well, you know (pt 2)

I’ve recently been posting some aggressively optimistic things about the Red Sox, even as they stumble awkwardly down the stretch like some sort of drunken Kevin Youkilis.  I’d like to explain myself in a bit more detail, after yet another ugly loss.

There have been numbers tossed around in the other threads which were clearly based on a poorly calibrated PNOOMA system.  75% chance the Sox make the playoffs.  No, it’s 85%.  All while the BPro numbers still hold around 99%.  One of the ...

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Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 10, 2011 at 02:17 AM | 167 comment(s)
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Sunday, September 04, 2011

Call me Dr. Cliff Jinxtable

Today the Red Sox playoff odds on the BP postseason report broke over 99.95% and are listed at 100%.  I think it’s time to start talking about the playoffs. 

There are a lot of different topics worth covering, and this isn’t meant to cover all of them.  We can do playoff roster and bench player stuff later, it’ll be fun, but the outcomes probably won’t matter much.  What will probably matter is who pitches in a Game 4 and who pitches in the 7th inning.  The big problem with the Red ...

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Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 04, 2011 at 03:46 PM | 103 comment(s)
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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A Series of Imaginable Significance

Unlike Terry Francona and Joe Girardi, I care who wins the American League East pennant.  The three-game series between their clubs, which begins tonight in Boston, will shape that pennant race in important ways.  This would be a bigger deal if either the Red Sox or Yankees, as organizations, appeared to care about the outcome of the race.  With both teams secure in their playoff berths, barring historic meltdowns, we are unlikely to see three games managed with any particular intensity.  But I ...

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Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 30, 2011 at 05:27 PM | 11 comment(s)
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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Full LaRussa, or, One Month to Solve the Bullpen

The Red Sox have a relief problem.  It’s not the worst relief problem a team has ever had, but it’s a peculiarly difficult one.  (If by some chance the Sox make the playoffs), with Bard setting up Papelbon, we should have as good a 1-2 punch for the playoffs as any other team in the majors.  However, the Red Sox are highly likely to have two starters in their rotation who can’t be expected to get through the 6th inning, let alone the 7th.  And I have absolutely no idea who should be ...

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Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 24, 2011 at 11:16 AM | 56 comment(s)
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Sunday, August 21, 2011

Tim Wakefield in comparative perspective

Tim Wakefield has been on the Red Sox for seventeen years now, an integral part of the club during the golden age of Red Sox baseball.  Other than his first season with Boston in 1995, when Wakefield pitched a Moneyball avant la lettre side into the playoffs, Wakefield has been an innings eater rather than a star.  There were several years, while I was living in Boston, when every time I got Sox tickets it seemed like Wakefield was starting.  The first time I got tickets for a Wakefield start, ...

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Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 21, 2011 at 11:53 PM | 89 comment(s)
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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

August is the 500est month

Counter to the happy expectations coming into the month, the Red Sox have failed to keep winning at a historically impressive rate.  If you select your endpoint one week earlier, following that nice sweep of the Mariners, the Sox are 12-10 in their most recent stretch.  This Red Sox team has been succeeding all year despite what appears on paper to be a very shaky pitching staff, and while one might expect the pitchers would be to blame, they aren’t.  The staff has a perfectly solid 4ish ERA ...

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Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 17, 2011 at 02:03 PM | 79 comment(s)
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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

the villageidiom stretch-run thread

Longtime therapudlian villageidiom has put together his high-expectations quickie forecast for the Red Sox down the stretch this season.  I think this is a thing that is worth a thread.  This is what he calls the “strawman forecast”, with one very small change that I will explain shortly:

1 vs. KC (1-0) (0-1)
3 at CHW (2-1)
4 vs. CLE (3-1) (2-2)
3 vs. NYY (2-1)
3 at MIN (2-1)
3 at SEA (2-1) (1-2)
3 vs. TB (2-1) (1-2)
4 at KC (3-1)
4 at TEX (2-2) (3-1)
3 vs OAK (2-1)
3 vs. NYY (2-1) (1-2)
3 ...

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Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 10, 2011 at 11:59 AM | 153 comment(s)
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Tuesday, August 09, 2011

The Red Sox have a very good defense

First the numbers.  Fangraphs UZR has the Red Sox as the best defensive team in the AL with 38 runs saved above average, ahead of the Angels and Rays who are tied at +25.  B-Ref’s TZ places the Sox in a dead heat for second with the Angels and Rays (all at about 28 runs saved above average), trailing the league leading Indians by about ten runs.  The Red Sox have the 4th best Defensive Efficiency rating in the league, a .715 mark that places them in the middle of a crowd with the Indians, ...

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Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 09, 2011 at 03:39 PM | 13 comment(s)
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Thursday, August 04, 2011

So, Jacoby Ellsbury

He’s been one of the few most valuable players in all of baseball this year.  5.1 or 5.6 WAR already going by Chone and Fangraphs.  His power spike is really astounding - I always thought he had potential for medium power, a bunch of doubles and triples and a few homers.  With tonight’s walk-off bomb, Ellsbury’s isolated power is nearly .200.  He’s even walking a little more as pitchers are starting to be a bit more careful.  I have to admit I’m skeptical that Ellsbury is really this big a ...

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Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 04, 2011 at 02:43 AM | 58 comment(s)
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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Trade Deadline Thread

The Red Sox are “inquiring on” or “hard after” or “basically stalking” about seven different pitchers at this point, but no reports so far have them “close” or “making progress” or “violating the court-mandated 50 yard zone of protection” with any of them.  All of Hiroki Kuroda, Ubaldo Jimenez, Eric Bedard, and Rich Harden would be upgrades on Tim Wakefield, and those four pitchers, as well as most of the California Penal League, would be upgrades on Andrew Miller.  The question is what sorts ...

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Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 30, 2011 at 07:49 PM | 86 comment(s)
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Monday, July 25, 2011

Winning without pitching

I made a joke a few weeks ago, after Jon Lester got injured, about the Red Sox looking into a radical new model of starting pitching, in which they rolled out a starting rotation composed of Josh Beckett.  I was trying to emphasize how bad the Red Sox’ remaining starting pitchers were, and draw some levity from what was likely to be three weeks of losing way more baseball games than anyone wants to.  But here we are, having gained 3.5 games in the standings since Lester last pitched.  The Sox ...

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Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 25, 2011 at 11:41 PM | 61 comment(s)
  Related News: red sox, sox therapy


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