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   1. Jose is Absurdly Unemployed Posted: May 24, 2012 at 08:42 AM (#4139162)
I think Gonzalez and Buchholz are the keys to this mess. It's an oversimplification to say that of course but if Gonzalez can start hitting like he should be capable that is going to make up for a lot of the expected decline. Likewise, if Buchholz can figure out what is going on that will allow the Sox to weather the inevitable "Hellenic Flu" DL trip for Bard and/or Doubront.
   2. tfbg9 Posted: May 24, 2012 at 08:59 AM (#4139172)
Dr. Jinxtable strikes again?
   3. Golfing Great Mitch Cumstein Posted: May 24, 2012 at 09:39 AM (#4139185)
If we trust the Sox doctors, though, Crawford and Ellsbury are not that far off from returning,

I guess we have a different understanding of "not that far off." Six weeks is a quarter of the season. More importantly, any estimate at this point is not very reliable because both players have not fully resumed baseball activities.

Another problem I see with their July returns is there is very little time to see how the players and team does before the FO has to decide what to do at the trading deadline, which will be interesting to see how it works out with the two added playoff slots.
   4. booond Posted: May 24, 2012 at 11:08 AM (#4139242)
Sox offense is sustainable, though not in its current layout. Assume AGon improves to match regression at catcher, Youk replaces Middlebrooks and produces at .825-.850 range, Els return matches regression by Nava, Ross. They piece together RF, LF with platoons of Crawford, Ross, Sweeney and Nava. If Youk stays healthy the offense should be fine.

RP looks okay but led by a pair of escapees from the sanatorium this could change at any minute.

SP is shaky. Buchholz, Doubront, Bard, Cook, Ohlendorf, are the key to the season. And they have been all year. Doubront is their #3 right now and they don't have a #4 or #5. Finding three average pitchers from the pile above or through a trade will determine the final numbers, as will injuries.
   5. valuearbitrageur Posted: May 24, 2012 at 01:31 PM (#4139371)
Daniel Nava is our best hitter

OUR best hitter? He's 5th in the league in OPS behind 4 obvious roiders, which after Selig finally gets around do doing his job means he'll win the OPS title by probably 30 points.

He's the best hitter in the league, and a lock future HOF (barring a suspension of MLB PED suspensions). I'm tired of you Nava haters criticizing him with faint praise and soft compliments.

Please post your home addresses, and start wearing hard soled shoes to bed. I don't have enough bags and can't poop enough to hit all your porches in a single night, but should be able to get it done within a week or so.
   6. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: May 24, 2012 at 01:52 PM (#4139389)
I told you so!

Pants-pissers, the lot of you!
   7. Jose is Absurdly Unemployed Posted: May 24, 2012 at 02:02 PM (#4139402)
Pants-pissers, the lot of you!

Is it OK if I wait until the team actually gets over .500 before I trade in the Depends for a nice pair of pull ups?
   8. Darren Posted: May 25, 2012 at 09:40 AM (#4139889)
This team may still flame out this year. If it does, I'm going to really try to enjoy the heck out of Dan Nava's rise from obscurity, Papi's resurgence, Middlebrooks proving me wrrrronnngggg, and Felix Doubront's big leap. Those are some fun stories.
   9. Joel W Posted: May 25, 2012 at 11:28 AM (#4139964)
How about Bobby V finally figuring out how to manage again? I've enjoyed that.
   10. Jose is Absurdly Unemployed Posted: May 25, 2012 at 03:02 PM (#4140184)
Yeah, I was thinking of putting something up about Bobby sometime soon. I was very critical of him but he has been better lately. It's not just the results it's the process, he's gotten a lot more aggressive tactically and I think it's good. I wonder if he was trying to be Francona early on and when that didn't work said \"#### it" and got a bit bolder with his in game maneuvering. The road trip was like a completely different guy I thought.
   11. Dale Sams Posted: May 25, 2012 at 03:26 PM (#4140204)
Pants-pissers, the lot of you!

They are exactly 1 game over .500 for the month I believe.
   12. Dan Posted: May 25, 2012 at 04:31 PM (#4140262)
Adrian Gonzalez's opposite field power outage. The guy has gone from one of the best opposite field sluggers in the game to hitting like Nick Punto on outside pitches.
   13. Jose is Absurdly Unemployed Posted: May 25, 2012 at 05:11 PM (#4140278)
I hate hate hate HATE when idiot fans like me try to turn into coaches and analyze the minutiae of a player's performance. The Crawford stance last year one of the best examples of us being stupid, it was the same stance he always had.

Having given the disclaimer, I would dearly love to find a picture of Gonzalez' feet relative to the plate this year versus last year. He looks like he is further off the plate than he was a year ago. It's probably just results and if it was happening Magadan or someone would have said something but that's my perception. I'm sure I'm wrong but man I wish I could confirm it.
   14. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: May 25, 2012 at 06:10 PM (#4140306)
Nava/Podsednik/Byrd around the outfield tonight.

I guess Podsednik got a couple hits, but he's not a center fielder, is he? I remember him being unable to handle the position at his peak. The Sox ought to try out Lin or Linares, I think.

On Gonzalez, I have a lot of trouble getting worked up about 40 games at 100 OPS+ from a guy with numbers of 140-162-152-155 the last four years. He hasn't been particularly bad, and he has a great track record. It reads as a normalish slump.
   15. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: May 25, 2012 at 06:18 PM (#4140313)

They are exactly 1 game over .500 for the month I believe.

My argument from the start was that it's still really early, and it's not getting late early given the additional wild card and the fact that it's the Orioles who are division leaders. I could certainly be wrong and the Orioles could now be a legitimate contender, instead of a ~75-80 win team, and the Sox could fall apart (again) and I could look like an idiot (again), but I feel confident that this team will be in playoff contention into September.

Of course, I was confident that they'd make the playoffs last year, too. So clearly my record on these things is somewhat pollyannaesque.
   16. Dan Posted: May 25, 2012 at 07:07 PM (#4140346)
Adrian Gonzalez, over the last 3 years + this year so far:

ISO: .274, .213, .210, .137

And you would've expected an increase between 2010 and 2011 going from Petco to Fenway, but his ISO actually dropped slightly.

Walk rate: 17.5%, 13.4%, 10.3%, 8.1%

Strikeout rate: 16%, 16.5%, 16.6%, 19.7%

HR/FB%: 22.2%, 16.4%, 16.4%, 5.7%

It's not hard to look at his numbers and worry that we're seeing a guy on the decline, particularly given that while his overall line last year was great, it was supported by a decline in walks and power and a jump of nearly 60 points of BABIP over 2010. It looks a lot like a guy who was a lesser hitter, but who was lucky on singles and doubles falling in. Obviously, on top of any real decline in skills, he's in a slump right now and looks worse than he is, but there's definitely stuff here to be legitimately concerned about.
   17. booond Posted: May 25, 2012 at 07:12 PM (#4140350)
AGon=bad shoulder
   18. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: May 25, 2012 at 07:35 PM (#4140377)
It's not hard to look at his numbers and worry that we're seeing a guy on the decline

I'm not too worried yet. Everything is going to look like a decline from a peak season. He's slumping and may only wind up hitting 20-25 HR or so this year, but there's plenty of time left to bring those 2012 rate numbers back to his norms.
   19. Jose is Absurdly Unemployed Posted: May 25, 2012 at 08:32 PM (#4140458)
Dr. Jinxtable!
   20. Dan Posted: May 25, 2012 at 11:24 PM (#4140599)
Reddick just hit his 12th home run of the season.
   21. Darren Posted: May 26, 2012 at 08:34 AM (#4140644)
AGon=bad shoulder

If only there were some way for the Red Sox to know this when they got him. Like, imagine if there was a whole profession dedicated to investigating such things and the Red Sox hired some of those people.
   22. booond Posted: May 26, 2012 at 10:53 AM (#4140670)
If only there were some way for the Red Sox to know this when they got him. Like, imagine if there was a whole profession dedicated to investigating such things and the Red Sox hired some of those people.

It was in all the papers.
   23. Dan Posted: May 26, 2012 at 04:55 PM (#4140831)
Home run #13 for Reddick off Sabathia to dead center at the Oakland Coliseum.
   24. Jose is Absurdly Unemployed Posted: May 26, 2012 at 11:11 PM (#4141073)
On my bad days I am convinced the Sox are headed for 77 wins and last place (see tonight's chatter about the 8th inning). On my good days (like, a few minutes after Saltalamacchia's bomb landed in the bleachers) I am thinking that the other AL contenders are going to really regret not burying the Sox when they could. It is amazing to me that this team isn't further back than they are. I know it's early in the season so it's hard to be really far back but they are only 2 games out of the 2nd Wild Card, 4 from the 1st Wild Card and 5 in the division.
   25. Chip Posted: May 27, 2012 at 12:31 AM (#4141096)
I was at tonight's game and it was awesome, especially after Bobby V's bizarre machinations with the outfield and the incredible disparity in BABIP luck the Sox put up with. (Rays only rally was built on getting bouncing groundballs through the infield; meanwhile Sox were squaring up the ball repeatedly on Price and getting very little for it, with the line drive to short by Youk with 2 on, none out, in the inning where they only scored one a real killer. Even before Pedroia got thrown out at the plate.)

But I did want to murder the people behind us on the third base side who were bouncing a beachball around for the entire 9th inning, like it was ####### Dodger Stadium. I bet a good third of the third base side lower deck crowd didn't even see the Salty HR because they were too busy hoping the beachball was going to come toward them.
   26. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: May 27, 2012 at 02:48 AM (#4141119)
I'm claiming a modicum of credit for this win. I was about 30 feet from Rodney when he was walking in from the bullpen, and I told him that he was going to blow the game. Lo and behold, he did. Never doubt the power of a good heckle. Fernaaaando! I told you you were going to blow it Fernando!

Excellent game, and a well deserved result. The only way it could have been improved is if Salty had hit it to me.
   27. Nasty Nate Posted: May 27, 2012 at 02:52 AM (#4141121)
leave the game in the 8th to watch the end of the Celts game at the Cask they said, it will be fun they said...
   28. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: May 27, 2012 at 09:40 AM (#4141146)
Oh man, especially since you could have had your cake and ate it too, I caught the last 3:00 (so, about 15 minutes) of the game at the Beer Works after the walkoff.
   29. Nasty Nate Posted: May 29, 2012 at 12:39 PM (#4142137)
Oh man, especially since you could have had your cake and ate it too

I know, arghh.

After watching the C's, I ended up walking back down Landsdowne, and around the corner onto Ipswich. And walking on the sidewalk there was none other than that night's starting pitcher, David Price. He had headphones on, and walked down the street for a little bit before going back into that enclosed area out there which has the TV trucks (and visiting team buses?).
   30. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: May 30, 2012 at 09:55 AM (#4142871)
A statistical analysis of Sox Therapy.

Thread "A Losing Ballclub" posted the morning of May 10th. Five days later (evening of May 15th), there were 109 posts.

Thread "A Winning Ballclub" posted the morning of May 24th. Five days later (evening of May 29th), there were 29 posts.

The secret to traffic here appears to be simple. Just have the Sox lose. (I've noticed this trend at SoSH, too.)
   31. Benji Gil Gamesh VII - The Opt-Out Awakens Posted: May 30, 2012 at 10:07 AM (#4142882)
The secret to traffic here appears to be simple. Just have the Sox lose. (I've noticed this trend at SoSH, too.)
You're not factoring in context.

When you're pissing your pants it's uncomfortable to move around much, so it's easier to post more frequently. And too, when you *stop* pissing your pants for a while, you're busy either doing laundry or out buying new pants.

So basically you're comparing apples (pissed pants) to oranges (dry pants). Doesn't work. I expected more from you.
   32. Jose is Absurdly Unemployed Posted: May 30, 2012 at 10:19 AM (#4142895)
I think it comes down to the fact that The Chris Farley Show isn't that interesting. When the Sox are struggling there are issues to be "solved" (and who better than us?). When they are winning it is tough to maintain a discussion around "Remember that time Dustin Pedroia doubled to the gap, that was awesome!"

But just for shits and giggles, five things I'm loving right now;

1. Daniel Nava. Remember that time he hit a three run double off Justin Verlander? That was awesome!

2. Bullpen Management. I was highly critical of Bobby Valentine early on and I stand by my criticisms. However, he has adapted better than I anticipated and I think is doing a great job with the bullpen. Credit to Cherington for giving him a malleable bullpen (3 lefties) that allows Bobby to mix and match. It's not aesthetically pleasing to watch five guys get the final nine outs but wins are better than losses.

3. Scott Podsednik. If he wants to keep playing like a real live Major League player I'm not going to #####.

4. David Ortiz. This is like Jack Nicklaus at the '86 Masters, just a big long victory lap. If this is his swan song in Boston he is making it a doozy. His homer last night had me flashing back to his homer off Tom Gordon in Game Five, 2004. Not as far but that same familiar swing that I have watched more times than is probably healthy.

5. Felix Doubront. Y'all know how much I like Doobs and he is pitching his ass off right now.

Honorable Mention - Scott Atchison, Mike Aviles, catching platoon, Adrian Gonzalez not embarrassing himself in right field
   33. Dan Posted: May 30, 2012 at 10:44 AM (#4142926)
I can't believe they've dealt with Pedroia's thumb injury the same exact way that they dealt with it when it happened to Youkilis. Instead of DLing him and letting it heal up, he's been allowing to play (poorly) through the injury, making it worse. If they have rested him for 2-3 weeks after hurting it, he'd already be back, and all we'd have missed is 2-3 weeks of ~.600 OPS hitting from 2nd base.
   34. Textbook Editor Posted: May 30, 2012 at 11:16 AM (#4142965)
Re: #33--I'm only half-kidding when I say I expect to read in 3 weeks that Pedroia is done for the year.

Someone suggested tranquilizing Pedroia so he can't play until he heals; that's a good idea.

I'm starting to have a concern Pedroia is edging into the sort of injury nexus that recently swallowed Chase Utley whole. He's not there just yet, of course, or to the degree that Utley is... but he's starting to get the nags and niggles that always seems to result in 3-4 weeks on the DL every year, and it's not a far stretch to imagine the situation getting worse in the coming years instead of better.

Calling up Iglesias and playing Aviles at 2B (maybe with Punto filling in a bit more at 2B) is the move I'd make; the trade options are all pretty average, and the upside potential of Iglesias seems far better than just getting someone a bit better than Punto to play 2B everyday or as a job-share with Punto.
   35. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: May 31, 2012 at 10:52 AM (#4144074)
So, apparently Pedroia thinks he can rest for three days and return with a DL stint. I don't like this - the Sox will have to spend the next four games with no capacity to pinch-hit for Nicky Punto in leveraged situations, and the odds that Pedroia doesn't need a DL stint seem really low. The downside of coming back too soon is terribly high, the downside of Pedroia missing an extra seven games when his thumb was mostly ok to play is not particularly worrying to me.

(Also, I'm the one who screwed on ST hot topics. Sorry. It happened for boring reasons.)
   36. Dan Posted: May 31, 2012 at 09:13 PM (#4144786)
Kalish played CF and batted 3rd for Portland tonight and went 1-4 with a 2B and a BB.
   37. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: June 02, 2012 at 04:16 PM (#4146484)
On the subject of winning, the Red Sox are now out of last place for the first time all season.
   38. TomH Posted: June 02, 2012 at 05:48 PM (#4146506)
...and have the best +/- runs to runs allowed in the division
...even while only the Twins and Rockies have given up more runs
...and while they can field two full outfields with their DL, and any of their pitchers are underperforming
   39. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: June 05, 2012 at 09:04 AM (#4148693)
A little bit of trivia -

The Red Sox are currently on pace to obliterate the MLB record for doubles in a season. The record is 373, and it's held by three different clubs - the 1930 St Louis Cardinals, the 2004 Boston Red Sox, and the 1997 Boston Red Sox. The 2003 Sox are next on the list at 371.

So far, the patched-together offense has hit 140 doubles (second in MLB this year are the Royals at 114). Extrapolated to 162 games, the Sox are on pace to hit 436 doubles, over 60 more than the major league record.
   40. Ray (CTL) Posted: June 05, 2012 at 09:42 AM (#4148707)
I’m not sure how sustainable any of this is – Will Middlebrooks is probably more like a .280 OBP hitter in the majors right now,

You may be right -- Middlebrooks is currently exceeding his 90th percentile PECOTA projection -- and he's not as good as this. But how good is his current projection, i.e., if the projections were re-run using this year's 200 PA (100 in each of AAA and MLB)? He hit .333/.380/.677 in AAA before being called up.
   41. Jose is Absurdly Unemployed Posted: June 05, 2012 at 03:02 PM (#4148988)
Pedroia is expected to be in the lineup tonight. I really hope they don't #### this one up, he's too important both this year and long term.
   42. Dan Posted: June 05, 2012 at 03:43 PM (#4149026)
Darnell McDonald activated for tonight's game. Podsednik is leading off ahead of Pedroia, so he won't be going away. I'd guess this is the end of Marlon Byrd's Red Sox tenure as the corresponding move.
   43. Dan Posted: June 05, 2012 at 03:47 PM (#4149029)
Corresponding move is actually Bard to AAA. So there's that. I'm glad. Hopefully they keep him starting down there though.
   44. Ray (CTL) Posted: June 05, 2012 at 03:55 PM (#4149038)
I liked the move of Bard to the rotation, but he flopped about as spectacularly as could have been imagined. More walks than Ks, and the leader of the free world in hit batters. I'd say he might be injured, and he might be, but he walked 9 men per 9 innings while starting in the minors also.

But he has a winning record! Almost.

At this point I'd just move him back to the pen and leave him alone.
   45. Jose is Absurdly Unemployed Posted: June 05, 2012 at 04:01 PM (#4149050)
Only 11 pitchers? What do we do?

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