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   1. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: July 06, 2012 at 08:46 AM (#4174304)
Right now if the Sox can escape at 1-3 this weekend I'll be thrilled. Get through the first half at .500, Ellsbury and Crawford come back next weekend against Tampa and hope for the best. Hopefully Pedroia's DL stay is the minimum and he comes back ready to roll.
   2. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 06, 2012 at 08:52 AM (#4174307)
Kevin Youkilis is hitting 308/357/487 for the White Sox. The "maybe he was cooked" explanation for the trade is looking dubious, which just leaves the "he was a clubhouse cancer" explanation. And given that Middlebrooks had been dealing with a hamstring issue since his first week with the club, it's hard to defend the trade. It's certainly possible that a trade was necessary for the clubhouse, but that's a lot of faith to give to a management team that hasn't earned terribly much benefit of the doubt.
   3. Dale Sams Posted: July 06, 2012 at 09:10 AM (#4174315)
Not to mention, why are "momentum" and "7-20 because of the clubhouse, why?" given so little credence, but "Youk had to go because of the clubhouse" has legs? Did he spike peoples beer? Wipe their chicken legs with his beard? Hide their no-doz bottles?

...heh, maybe Youk is taking every illegal drug on the planet to make the Red Sox look foolish and he's going to fall apart like a rotten scarecrow in October.

As for AGon, I just think he's unhappy and as "Broken Clock Larry Bowa" said, he's trying to hack his way out of a slump rather than take his walks and let the ball find the open spots on the field when he makes contact.
   4. villageidiom Posted: July 06, 2012 at 09:49 AM (#4174341)
The "maybe he was cooked" explanation for the trade is looking dubious, which just leaves the "he was a clubhouse cancer" explanation.
Is 10 games not a small sample size? He was at 231/259/269 three games ago. Since then he was in a game where he was one of six White Sox players who each reached base at least 3 times. While he deserves credit for being one of those six, and while a sample size of 10 is greater than a sample size of 7, there's no freakin' way you'd accept a sample this small from anyone else as evidence of anything.

OTOH, I'm assuming your comment on Youkilis fits in with the "whining" of the first half of the lead-in, in which case... well, whine on, you crazy diamond!
   5. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 06, 2012 at 10:01 AM (#4174348)
While he deserves credit for being one of those six, and while a sample size of 10 is greater than a sample size of 7, there's no freakin' way you'd accept a sample this small from anyone else as evidence of anything.
Well, the "he's cooked" argument is also based heavily on a 150 PA sample. Youkilis' 10 games in Chicago account for ~20% of his games played this season.

Do his 10 games show that he isn't cooked? No, but now his 50 games, adding those ten in, look like very weak evidence that he's fallen off a cliff. A 92 OPS+ in 50 games and a guy with an above average hitting projection should be traded for peanuts? That reads like a big overreaction with little support in the numbers.
   6. Darren Posted: July 06, 2012 at 10:46 AM (#4174392)
The Youkilis trade kills me. It was so rash and had such a strong possibility of blowing up in their faces. But at least the Sox kept up their policy of dealing with personality issues by dealing away valuable players on a whim.
   7. booond Posted: July 06, 2012 at 10:46 AM (#4174393)
Players lie about injuries. They lie because they're competitive. They lie because they love to play. They lie because they want to contribute. Organizations are more than happy to reinforce the lie because they need their best players on the field as it is the only way they can get a return on their investment and most organizations/people are shortsighted.

Pedroia was never healthy. He didn't re-injure his thumb, it never healed. He tried to play through the injury. It didn't work. That the Sox don't have an adequate replacement isn't a big surprise. Few organizations have replacements for such players.

As for Youk, the "he's cooked" argument is a combination of four years of injuries, a mediocre for him 2011 and a less than mediocre 2012, not 150 PAs. Whether he's cooked or not is something we can't determine yet. I'm also not sure that "he's cooked" was the reason he's gone.

   8. Darren Posted: July 06, 2012 at 10:50 AM (#4174398)
Anthony Rizzo: .314 .333 .657*
AGonz: .275 .323 .404

(*Sample sizes don't matter if I'm angry.)
   9. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: July 06, 2012 at 10:54 AM (#4174404)
a mediocre 2011


A 122 OPS+ that was 24th in the American League is "mediocre?" Injuries were an issue but it's revisionist history to say that Youk was anything less than a very good player when he was in the lineup in 2011.
   10. Darren Posted: July 06, 2012 at 10:54 AM (#4174405)
Players lie about injuries. They lie because they're competitive. They lie because they love to play. They lie because they want to contribute. Bad Organizations are more than happy to reinforce the lie because they need their best players on the field as it is the only way they can get a return on their investment and most organizations/people are shortsighted.


FTFY.

As for Youk, the "he's cooked" argument is a combination of four years of injuries, a mediocre 2011 and a less than mediocre 2012, not 150 PAs.


Can we please acquire some players who are mediocre in the way Youkilis was in 2011?

Whether he's cooked or not is something we can't determine yet. I'm also not sure that "he's cooked" was the reason he's gone.


No, we can't determine it yet with certainty. But teams need to try to figure these things out when making trades/signings/etc. When a team does a bad job of figuring that out, it's bad for the team. Right now, taking both the long-term and very short-term views on Youkilis make it look like the Sox were wrong on him. Even the in-between, as MC points out, is mixed. A 92 OPS+ is a pretty average player and probably worth more than what they got back for him.

   11. booond Posted: July 06, 2012 at 10:57 AM (#4174409)
a mediocre 2011


I revised that before you commented to "mediocre for him". I apologize for the confusion.
   12. Darren Posted: July 06, 2012 at 10:57 AM (#4174411)
whoops. Okay.
   13. Darren Posted: July 06, 2012 at 11:02 AM (#4174417)
Also, Youk's #s in 2011 were severely hurt by him playing quite injured at the end of the season because the team had no one else for the spot.
   14. booond Posted: July 06, 2012 at 11:04 AM (#4174418)
I firmly believe they got rid of Youk because they didn't want him on that bench or in that locker room. With the way Middlebrooks was playing Youk was going to sit and it wasn't going to be pleasant.
   15. Darren Posted: July 06, 2012 at 11:09 AM (#4174426)
No matter how firmly you believe it, I don't think we can really know that from the outside. But if that were the case I'd say it's also a strike against the management for not figuring out a way to handle it. Not to mention that if Youkilis outhits Gonzalez or Middlebrooks the rest of the way, they were just plain wrong to bench him in the first place.
   16. Dale Sams Posted: July 06, 2012 at 11:17 AM (#4174437)
I firmly believe they got rid of Youk because they didn't want him on that bench or in that locker room. With the way Middlebrooks was playing Youk was going to sit and it wasn't going to be pleasant.


Getting rid of Youk to save the clubhouse is like fishing a diaper out of a Fenway stall.
   17. booond Posted: July 06, 2012 at 11:20 AM (#4174442)
No matter how firmly you believe it, I don't think we can really know that from the outside.


Conjecture on my part but Valentine's messaging in April suggests Youk and he or Youk and the organization weren't in line.

But if that were the case I'd say it's also a strike against the management for not figuring out a way to handle it.


If Youk is an @$$ because he wasn't playing well but didn't like being benched, the organization might be able to smooth it over but that isn't always possible with some people/players. Some times an @$$ is an @$$ no matter what you do. It's how they're wired.

Not to mention that if Youkilis outhits Gonzalez or Middlebrooks the rest of the way, they were just plain wrong to bench him in the first place.


Not sure why they would be wrong to bench him if at the time he was the third best player for two positions. Performance later doesn't affect what he was doing at the time. It is two different situations.
   18. Textbook Editor Posted: July 06, 2012 at 11:26 AM (#4174451)
Well, rooting for the Pirates to make the playoffs will at least be fun this fall.
   19. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: July 06, 2012 at 11:29 AM (#4174454)
Not sure why they would be wrong to bench him if at the time he was the third best player for two positions. Performance later doesn't affect what he was doing at the time. It is two different situations.


There was very real reason to think he would outperform Middlebrooks the rest of the season. As exciting as Middlebrooks is he's fanning 5 times for every walk and he still has a high BABIP (though .342 is not ridiculous).

I think most of us will agree that Youk was dealt more for non-playing reasons than for playing reasons but absent anything more convincing than I've read so far I'll stand by that it was a mistake to rush him out the door. As I said at the time, it's not like the White Sox were going to pull Lillibridge and Stewart off the table and if they did, big deal.
   20. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 06, 2012 at 11:29 AM (#4174455)
If Youk is an @$$ because he wasn't playing well but didn't like being benched, the organization might be able to smooth it over but that isn't always possible with some people/players. Some times an @$$ is an @$$ no matter what you do. It's how they're wired.
It's possible. But this is the problem - the case for trading Youkilis is basically, "There are several things which must be the case for this trade to be a good idea, and I have little to no evidence for any of them, but I have faith that they are the case." And they could be. But it's really hard for me to throw together that much faith in Ben and Bobby.
   21. booond Posted: July 06, 2012 at 12:02 PM (#4174537)
There was very real reason to think he would outperform Middlebrooks the rest of the season. As exciting as Middlebrooks is he's fanning 5 times for every walk and he still has a high BABIP (though .342 is not ridiculous).


Yes, but we aren't talking the future. The discussion is about at the time. At the time Youk was a 635 ops player in April and Middlebrooks was a 922 ops player in May. Who do you play in June? The aging, injured guy with three poor months as his most recent performance or the exciting young guy riding a hot streak? With the way the team was playing they were going to try to play all three (AGon included) but Middlebrooks wasn't about to be removed.

I think most of us will agree that Youk was dealt more for non-playing reasons than for playing reasons but absent anything more convincing than I've read so far I'll stand by that it was a mistake to rush him out the door.


The problem here is that we don't know how bad the situation with Youk was. His being bum-rushed out the door followed the Olney story about clubhouse issues. It looked to me like one was a natural progression to the other. There were problems and Youk was the problem and, possibly, Olney's snitch. It's conjecture but the line of breadcrumbs leads me in that direction.

   22. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: July 06, 2012 at 12:09 PM (#4174551)
Even if he does well in Chicago, Boston wasn't going to re-sign him anyway. And since they have Middlebrooks and the team needs to be blown up, I still have no problem trading Youk. Trade Ortiz as well--it's obvious he doesn't want to be here, and from a productivity standpoint his value won't be higher.

It's really what they're getting back for their players that is the problem. I thought this front office was supposed to be smart. Instead, what we've seen is a lot of poor valuation of so many players. Crawford, Bailey, Youk, Jenks, maybe even Gonzalez (Fenway saps his power) and Middlebrooks (as mentioned, horrible K/BB ratio).

And put me in the camp that believes that the injuries are mostly due to stressed-out, stiff ballplayers. If they were happier, they'd be less tight and prone to injuries.

Things will get better only if you remove enough disgruntled people. They started with Youk, but next should be Valentine (preferably by firing squad), then Ortiz. Keep Lackey as far from the team as possible. Wait and see on Lester and Crawford because their value couldn't be lower. And start threatening with extortion guys like Wilbur and Mazz(hole) and Pubic Hair Club for Men so that they'll be forced to stop writing the worst possible bullshit around this team.
   23. booond Posted: July 06, 2012 at 12:11 PM (#4174554)
"There are several things which must be the case for this trade to be a good idea, and I have little to no evidence for any of them, but I have faith that they are the case."


It's not so much that I have faith this is the case but that this is the most logical answer, outside of pure incompetence, which is the other most logical answer.
   24. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 06, 2012 at 12:14 PM (#4174555)
Not incompetence, a mistaken evaluation and a failure of management in the clubhouse.

Which I think we already know the Red Sox are capable of. They don't need to be rank incompetents to be capable of mistakes.
   25. karlmagnus Posted: July 06, 2012 at 12:16 PM (#4174560)
If they go 1-3 or worse against the Yankees, they should definitely trade Papi before the deadline. Hasn't been a happy camper for a couple of years, and his value should be sky-high, as 2-month rentals go.
   26. Textbook Editor Posted: July 06, 2012 at 12:26 PM (#4174579)
Wait, is the general consensus here we shouldn't bring back Papi on a 1-year deal? Or just that we're tired of hearing him complain about 1-year deals?

Because I've got no problem with having Papi on a 1-year deal in 2013. Who are we trading him to, exactly, and what do we imagine is the return for a 2-month rental that gets the team who trades for him 0 draft picks when he walks?
   27. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 06, 2012 at 12:30 PM (#4174589)
Wait, is the general consensus here we shouldn't bring back Papi on a 1-year deal? Or just that we're tired of hearing him complain about 1-year deals?
There's no consensus of the sort. KM has been calling for trading Papi since 2004 or so, with increasing frequency since he broke entirely with reality after Theo's second WS. I don't know what Primakov is on about, but everyone else here thinks Papi is great and wants him on the ballclub.
   28. Dale Sams Posted: July 06, 2012 at 01:00 PM (#4174630)
Trade Ortiz as well--it's obvious he doesn't want to be here, and from a productivity standpoint his value won't be higher.

It's really what they're getting back for their players that is the problem. I thought this front office was supposed to be smart.


No. You offer Papi to restructure his contract at 8 mill for the rest of this year, and 12 mill next year and see how he feels about that. If he wants 14 mill for next year you give him that too.

As for Youk, you bench him until WMB gets hurt or cools off. You have a frank sit-down with him. If you can't convince him to see all sides, you give him the Manny Treatment and promise to trade him if the right offer comes along*, when that doesn't happen...well goshdurnit, I guess he and the clubhouse are just going to have to find a way to get along for a whole 3 months.

*This was Manny around 2005 i think, not 2008.
   29. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: July 06, 2012 at 01:06 PM (#4174639)
I think Ortiz is great. I also think he doesn't want to be here, and that this team isn't making the playoffs this year. I guess if you think the team has a shot, it makes sense to hold onto Papi and Youk. But both are FAs at the end of the season...
   30. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 06, 2012 at 01:06 PM (#4174641)
No. You offer Papi to restructure his contract at 8 mill for the rest of this year, and 12 mill next year and see how he feels about that. If he wants 14 mill for next year you give him that too.
You want to drive him away? The $14M you're offering is less than Papi will make in arbitration next year, and then on top of that you're demanding he give money back in the midst of a season where he'd be worth $20M easy? He would have absolutely no reason to take this deal, because he can expect more from the Red Sox next year on a one-year deal, and on top of that you'd offend him with a demand that he return money he's already earned.
   31. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 06, 2012 at 01:08 PM (#4174646)
I guess if you think the team has a shot, it makes sense to hold onto Papi and Youk.
The idea that this team "doesn't have a shot" is full-on crazy clown town. They're around 30-40% to make the playoffs.
   32. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: July 06, 2012 at 01:17 PM (#4174659)
what do we imagine is the return for a 2-month rental that gets the team who trades for him 0 draft picks when he walks?


The same sentiment here could be used to explain why there was little return for Youkilis.
   33. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: July 06, 2012 at 01:18 PM (#4174661)
Seriously, even if this weekend goes completely to ####, they get swept and the Angels and the Rays and the Orioles and every other American League team somehow sweeps the Sox are going to be 6 back at the break. There is little reason to just give up on 2012 yet.
   34. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 06, 2012 at 01:22 PM (#4174666)
what do we imagine is the return for a 2-month rental that gets the team who trades for him 0 draft picks when he walks?

The same sentiment here could be used to explain why there was little return for Youkilis.
It could, but it certainly wouldn't explain why it was a good idea to trade Youkilis for a utility man and a random AAA flier.
   35. Textbook Editor Posted: July 06, 2012 at 02:01 PM (#4174717)
The same sentiment here could be used to explain why there was little return for Youkilis.


...and why Phillies fans who think they'd get jack shite for Hamels are way, way wrong. You could certainly argue that keeping Hamels, making the qualifying offer (which he'd turn down) would yield you a draft pick far more valuable than anything you'd get back in trade... unless, of course, you needed salary relief on the order of 1/3rd Hamels' salary.

Now, of course, if it's Amaro doing the drafting... maybe that pick's not that valuable after all...
   36. Darren Posted: July 06, 2012 at 02:44 PM (#4174790)
Just to clear up something with Boon above:

Not to mention that if Youkilis outhits Gonzalez or Middlebrooks the rest of the way, they were just plain wrong to bench him in the first place.

Not sure why they would be wrong to bench him if at the time he was the third best player for two positions. Performance later doesn't affect what he was doing at the time. It is two different situations.


But the whole discussion is about whether he should have been benched going forward. If they had benched Youk for a week, his attitude while sitting wouldn't matter much. It's only when they decided that he wasn't as good as AGon or Middlebrooks going forward--and therefore would have to sit and be upset--that he was traded. So the relevant thing to look at, for that discussion, is how all of the players in question have performed since that trade was made.
   37. Dale Sams Posted: July 06, 2012 at 03:30 PM (#4174831)
You want to drive him away? The $14M you're offering is less than Papi will make in arbitration next year, and then on top of that you're demanding he give money back in the midst of a season where he'd be worth $20M easy? He would have absolutely no reason to take this deal, because he can expect more from the Red Sox next year on a one-year deal, and on top of that you'd offend him with a demand that he return money he's already earned.


Isn't the remainder of his contract worth only $7mill? Im offering 8mill for the rest of this this year and 14 next year. Right now. For peace of mind etc...etc...And if he started to boil at 14 I'd give my whole 'peace of mind bit'. Ask will he take 16? And what exactly does he want?

Of course this convo probably never takes place at all, cause this is what he has an agent for. BUT, I insist since we are restucturing a contract (A contract in which Im giving him MORE, and my secretary can tell all the outraged GMs phoning me to go **** themselves) he has to sit down at this meeting. Since he insists on making all these public statements, I'm not going to play 'telephone' through his agent.
   38. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 06, 2012 at 03:35 PM (#4174837)
Oh, I got it, I misunderstood. So it's a small raise this year and then an arbitration contract next year. I still don't see why he does it - basically he's taking the money he already expects for 2014 plus $1M - but it's not as bad as I had first thought.
   39. Chip Posted: July 06, 2012 at 03:51 PM (#4174852)
It’s almost enough to make you wonder if Adrian Gonzalez is playing through a serious injury of some sort instead of seeking the treatment he needs.


He's had the quietest 15-game hitting streak imaginable, with only three XBHs during it (1 HR), and none since the middle game of the Toronto series before they went on the West Coast trip. Only three BBs too, and those were all at the beginning of the streak: now ten games and counting without a walk. His slash line during the streak is .349/.379/.429.

If a slugger isn't slugging even when he's "hot," it's hard not to suspect there's something seriously wrong.
   40. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 06, 2012 at 04:42 PM (#4174884)
Bottom of the lineup today -

3B Gomez
SS Aviles
2B Punto

I don't know if there's a better option, though.
   41. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: July 06, 2012 at 04:53 PM (#4174894)
Probably not sadly. With Beckett going the Yankees are going to be lefty heavy so Gomez should probably see a low number of batted balls over there. The rest of the weekend with additional righties in the Yankee lineup (in part with switch hitters) the Sox probably need Lillibridge at second and Punto at third if Middlebrooks can't go. PeteAbe tweeeting that WMB is "hopeful of playing tomorrow."
   42. villageidiom Posted: July 06, 2012 at 05:36 PM (#4174910)
It's really what they're getting back for their players that is the problem. I thought this front office was supposed to be smart. Instead, what we've seen is a lot of poor valuation of so many players.
Unless they turned down an offer for Felix Hernandez because they thought they needed Lillibridge's versatility more, what they got for Youkilis was a market valuation of Youkilis at the time. A couple dozen teams* could have had Youkilis for something better than Lillibridge and Stewart minus salary relief. Nearly all of them could have used a 3B, 1B, or DH like a productive Youkilis. If Youkilis was worth more than the package Boston got, surely the fact that a couple dozen teams did not offer more than that is a sign that either nobody appreciates Youkilis well enough, or we appreciate him too much.

* Probably not anyone in the AL East, and probably not the Angels, for competitive reasons. They could have given much better offers, and still likely wouldn't have been trade partners with Boston.

In the past 12 months Youkilis has missed 20 games with a back injury, 16 with a hernia (requiring offseason surgery), and another 22 games with another back injury. Those are the major injuries, not the miss-a-game-here-and-there stuff; and those major injuries accounted for 58 games missed. In the 12 months prior to that he needed thumb surgery, costing another 56 games. At the time of the trade he had essentially 0 WAR, and was due $8 million ($7 million remaining, plus a $1m option buyout), and had a decent chance of missing significant time due to injury. THIS is the Kevin Youkilis hitting the trade market a couple of weeks ago. To the extent that the Red Sox were wrong to accept the offer they did, a couple dozen teams were wrong in not offering more.

Now, the fact that they needed depth at the position the moment they traded depth away... well, that's part of the team this year. No matter how much depth they've had, they've always needed more. As mentioned elsewhere in this thread it's disappointing the team continues to suffer medically, and it does seem like the team sets itself up for it - be it through player obfuscation or medical staff bumbling.
   43. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 06, 2012 at 05:59 PM (#4174928)
Now, the fact that they needed depth at the position the moment they traded depth away... well, that's part of the team this year. No matter how much depth they've had, they've always needed more.
In this specific case, Will Middlebrooks injured his hamstring in his first week with the club. He played through it. Hamstring injuries linger, and are easy to aggravate if they aren't fully healed, and that's exactly what happened. That the Red Sox would need 3B depth this summer was entirely predictable.
   44. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: July 06, 2012 at 06:11 PM (#4174944)
THIS is the Kevin Youkilis hitting the trade market a couple of weeks ago. To the extent that the Red Sox were wrong to accept the offer they did, a couple dozen teams were wrong in not offering more.

Now, the fact that they needed depth at the position the moment they traded depth away... well, that's part of the team this year. No matter how much depth they've had, they've always needed more.


Of all the things I hated about the trade, these are probably the biggest two.

1. No #### Youk has very little (almost no) trade value. The fact that he was much more valuable to the Red Sox than on the trade market is EXHIBIT A IN FAVOR OF NOT TRADING HIM. If you can't manage around what amounts to a 4-man rotation for 3 spots (including DH, and excluding the possibility of slotting Gonzalez in at RF), you're doing something wrong.

2. Banking on Middlebrooks' continued health and productivity was incredibly foolish.
   45. Chip Posted: July 06, 2012 at 06:22 PM (#4174954)
Pedroia now in a cast and out for several weeks. Because it was so important to keep him out of a cast for the last 8 weeks.
   46. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 06, 2012 at 06:25 PM (#4174955)
I'm glad he's out several weeks. It was the best possible outcome a month ago, given his injury, and it remains the best possible outcome.

Now, can we prescribe large animal tranquilizers so he doesn't injure himself in an impromptu game of clubhouse jai alai?
   47. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: July 06, 2012 at 06:26 PM (#4174956)
Banking on a rookie's health is foolish? Please.
   48. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 06, 2012 at 06:28 PM (#4174959)
Banking on a rookie's health is foolish?
No, banking on the health of a rookie who has been nursing a hamstring injury for a month was foolish.
   49. Chip Posted: July 06, 2012 at 06:28 PM (#4174960)
He might be more productive in a cast and doped up on animal tranquilizers than he was wearing the brace.

BTW, Dr. Pedroia, the orthopedic hand specialist overseeing this case, insists that the latest thumb injury is entirely unrelated to the thumb injury requiring a brace. Since no other doctor appears to have been involved in his care I guess we have to take him at his word.
   50. villageidiom Posted: July 06, 2012 at 06:31 PM (#4174963)
In this specific case, Will Middlebrooks injured his hamstring in his first week with the club. He played through it. Hamstring injuries linger, and are easy to aggravate if they aren't fully healed, and that's exactly what happened. That the Red Sox would need 3B depth this summer was entirely predictable.
Right on. I'm not disputing what was said upthread. The combo of the WMB injury and the Pedroia injury are what has them in the super depth pinch right now, and BOTH of them were nagging injuries the player was playing through. There was a decent chance they would both miss time simultaneously, and the fact it didn't happen before Youkilis was traded was not hard evidence that it wouldn't happen afterward.

The rationale to trade Youkilis then wasn't that WMB had the hamstring beat. It was that you can't trade Youkilis when he's hurt, but once he's healthy you have to trade him* before he gets hurt again. It's like the Lowrie trade; it's predicated on the notion that you can't depend on his health, but you know there will be stretches where he'll be healthy and it'll suck not to have him.

The team has had a bad track record with injuries, but if I'm remembering it correctly they've had a decent track record of cutting loose players with an injury history. Nomar, Pedro, Bay... Prior to this season the good players they let go ostensibly for health reasons ended up having health issues that wouldn't have justified the contracts they were demanding. Both Youkilis and Lowrie were let go this year, and both have been generally healthy since, so it doesn't look that great right now. We'll see.

* If you're going to trade him. The obvious counterargument, which I'm not denying, is that you don't have to trade him, or that if that's all you're going to get in return you should keep him.
   51. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: July 06, 2012 at 08:29 PM (#4175127)
As far as draft pick value goes, aren't picks a lot less valuable now thanks to the asinine new slotting system?
   52. Dan Posted: July 06, 2012 at 08:37 PM (#4175135)
Crawford is another medical failure waiting in the wings, as the elbow is still bothering him but they're pushing his rehab along anyway. He'll likely end up needing and getting TJ surgery in the offseason anyway, and possibly missing time into ST and possibly OD if there are any setbacks. Just incredibly stupid.
   53. Textbook Editor Posted: July 07, 2012 at 12:23 AM (#4175299)
Re: #52, from Extra Bases:

"It's not 100 percent healthy but I'm able to hit," he said. "The elbow, there are still some issues. I've been making some throws down in the minor leagues, good enough to hit the cutoff man. I don't know if I'll be hosing anybody out at home or anything like that. But I think it's strong enough to hit the cutoff man if I can to the ball quick enough to stop the guys from advancing."

It sounds like Crawford could need surgery come the offseason.

"Probably," he said. "I'm at a point now where I can get by with it. So I'll do that."


I'll give it 3 weeks before the elbow blows out and he needs surgery, keeping him out until 2014.

Are there any adults at all making medical decisions in the F.O.? It would seem the answer is no.
   54. Mattbert Posted: July 07, 2012 at 01:06 AM (#4175306)
I know it's one in the morning and all, but I'm really struggling to comprehend that. He "thinks" his arm is strong enough to hit the cutoff man? Oh, okay. Carry on then, Carl.

Jesus Christ. Pass the f**king Bushmills.
   55. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 07, 2012 at 01:25 AM (#4175312)
But I think it's strong enough to hit the cutoff man . . .

Just at Fenway, or the road games, too?
   56. Jim Wisinski Posted: July 07, 2012 at 01:34 AM (#4175313)
Crawford never had a strong arm to begin with, sounds like he's going to be throwing like Juan Pierre's sister when he gets back.

   57. Swedish Chef Posted: July 07, 2012 at 02:43 AM (#4175322)
As far as draft pick value goes, aren't picks a lot less valuable now thanks to the asinine new slotting system?

You get to spend the slot money for all your picks so I don't see how.
   58. Vin Middle Posted: July 07, 2012 at 10:25 AM (#4175368)
I'll give it 3 weeks before the elbow blows out and he needs surgery, keeping him out until 2014.


Eek. I would still be willing to wager Dale S re Carl's 2012. How about I take the over of 95.5 for his OPS+. This is the mid of his ops+ with the Rays (107) and the Sawks (84). Thanks to BRef for splitting that out to me on their mobile site!

   59. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 07, 2012 at 10:44 AM (#4175382)
As far as draft pick value goes, aren't picks a lot less valuable now thanks to the asinine new slotting system?

You get to spend the slot money for all your picks so I don't see how.
For clubs like the Red Sox who consistently spent over slot, a supplemental or late first round compensation pick could be used on a first rounder who dropped for signability reasons. With the hard slotting rules, it's harder to leverage a comp pick into a true first round talent. I wouldn't say that the slotting system makes comp picks "a lot less valuable", but it has an effect.
   60. Dale Sams Posted: July 07, 2012 at 10:52 AM (#4175389)
Christ Vin...that's crazy talk, but okay. Let's say he has to play...50 games?

It sounds like Crawford could need surgery come the offseason.

"Probably," he said. "I'm at a point now where I can get by with it. So I'll do that."


Coming from a guy who never got on base over .300 last year and will be making a getting on base at a .400 clip sit down....that's great news.
   61. Answer Guy Posted: July 07, 2012 at 11:28 AM (#4175432)
What is going to take to get players to just shut down long enough to be healthy? Do other teams deal with this nearly as much? (That's not a rhetorical "woe is us" whine, that's an actual question. It clearly goes beyond the medical staff since they were sacked en masse after last season and the same issues have persisted.) It won't be good for ticket sales if word gets out (and given the press in Boston, it would get out) that the team is packing it in, but I'm not seeing a path to success in 2012 right now.

If Ellsbury is really ready to come back, great. If not, use this opportunity to let Nava and Kalish see if they can stick.

There was, to name another case, no benefit to Pedroia playing ahead of Nick Punto if all he was doing was hitting pretty much like Punto would have done while failing to address his injury properly.

You never want to root for the team to lose, least of all to the Yankees, but a case could be made that such a fate might advance a situation that needs badly to be advanced.
   62. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 07, 2012 at 11:38 AM (#4175442)
Lots of position players have produced well at the plate with ongoing elbow ligament issues. Albert Pujols played like half his peak with a right arm that he could barely throw a baseball with. So I don't think, yet, that this Crawford revelation means he shouldn't be expected to hit when he returns.

I dunno. It's probably stupid to trust the medical staff on anything at this point, but having a position player rehab an injury of this sort is not atypical. The problems that Crawford is reporting haven't prevented other ballplayers from producing at the plate and in the field.
   63. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 07, 2012 at 11:45 AM (#4175448)
I'm not seeing a path to success in 2012 right now.
I get pessimism, but this sort of absolutism is still crazy clown town.

If just a few of the following things happen, the Sox will be obvious contenders:

-Ellsbury comes back and produces
-Crawford comes back and produces
-Pedroia comes back and produces
-Bailey comes back and produces
-Buchholz comes back and produces
-Gonzalez gets himself right
-Lester produces at career norms
-Morales turns out to be a real find
-Doubront pitches up to his component numbers
-Middlebrooks remains effective
-The club starts winning games at a rate commensurate with their RS/RA

The talent is obviously there. The club should be several games above .500 now if they'd just arranged their runs scored and runs allowed better. And we'll be getting a couple of All-Stars and a couple of productive major leaguers back on the roster in the next month or so.

I'm not saying you have to be optimistic, but I-give-up fatalism is not a reasonable option.
   64. Answer Guy Posted: July 07, 2012 at 01:01 PM (#4175526)
I'm not saying you have to be optimistic, but I-give-up fatalism is not a reasonable option.


I must say it's looking pretty accurate right now. I'd say "good" but it has utterly failed at making me not miserable about it except insofar as the misery is being slowly replaced with apathy.
   65. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: July 07, 2012 at 01:33 PM (#4175547)
I'm not saying you have to be optimistic, but I-give-up fatalism is not a reasonable option.


Mikael I'm normally with you but man, I'm having a tough time right now. This team looks helpless to me. We're going to be sub-.500 at the break for the first time since I assume 1997 and 4-6 games back of the Wild Card behind several teams. It's just hard to see any number of the things you list as likely right now. Obviously it's a suckers bet to say anything about a series where we lost game one and are well on our way to losing game two but I can't see us not getting swept.

Logic says you're right, but emotion is overwhelming right now. I think I need the ASB more than these guys do.
   66. tfbg9 Posted: July 07, 2012 at 02:28 PM (#4175584)
Pete Abe wrote the other day how nice it was to see Crawford turn on the afterburners and leg-out a triple in his rehab outing. Naturally, it turns out he injured his groin on the play. Another CC setback.
   67. Textbook Editor Posted: July 07, 2012 at 02:31 PM (#4175585)
From Extra Bases, an update on Crawford:

Another day, another bit of bad news for the Red Sox.

Carl Crawford suffered what the Red Sox described as a "mild left groin strain" on Thursday when he played for Double A Portland. His rehab assignment has been stopped.

Under MLB rules, Crawford cannot play in another minor league game for five days (which started on Friday). Once his rehab assignment starts again, the 20-day clock begins anew.

Bobby Valentine said that Crawford felt something while turning second when he tripled in the game on Thursday.


In years to come, we will argue whose contract was worse: Crawford or Lackey. I quite honestly do fear both are complete sunk costs.
   68. Dan Posted: July 07, 2012 at 03:11 PM (#4175615)
Crawford is going to make the Lackey contract look like a steal.
   69. Vin Middle Posted: July 07, 2012 at 03:18 PM (#4175624)
Ok Dale it's a deal, minimum 50 games. I hope Carl can do it with one elbow, one wrist and half a groin

Man, getting beat by Sweaty Freddy makes me want to move to Crazy Clown Town too
   70. Dale Sams Posted: July 07, 2012 at 03:22 PM (#4175627)
Done.
   71. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: July 07, 2012 at 10:54 PM (#4175926)
Feeling a LOT better than I did 3 1/2 hours ago.
   72. The District Attorney Posted: July 07, 2012 at 11:10 PM (#4175933)
In years to come, we will argue whose contract was worse: Crawford or Lackey.
That's a crazy clown question, bro.
   73. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: July 08, 2012 at 03:38 PM (#4176193)
2. Banking on Middlebrooks' continued health and productivity was incredibly foolish.


Banking on a rookie's health is foolish? Please.


1. Note the 'and'
2. What MCoA said.

I want CC's rehab to last as long as possible. Like TE said, the contract is a sunk cost so I don't want to see him rushed back because he's making however many millions a year at the expense of Nava's PT. I'm in the "Nava could be for real" camp, and think they should answer that question.*

Kalish needed to go back to AAA; he looked AWFUL. But that doesn't really effect CC as CC is not going to be playing CF. I guess Sweeney is the everyday CF now? They weren't really platooning Kalish (14/19 starts in CF, including against some lefties), and he's worse than Sweeney; Ross no longer looks able to even plausibly fake CF (then again, 4 years ago neither did Podsednik, so who knows). With McDonald gone, Lillibridge would be the partner for Sweeney...

MCoA's right about Pedroia, as well.

Re [63], I can SEE the path to success in 2012, but things are definitely going to get worse before they get better.


*On 7/04 in Oakland I was sitting about 3 rows behind the on-deck circle. Been a long time since I was that close to the game. In Nava's 2nd or 3rd AB during a lull in the action I yelled "hit one for Erin!" (which I didn't think was particularly obscure, but nobody in my section had any idea except for my dad, and he reads here) and he actually called time, turned sort of halfway in my direction as he stepped out of the box. Looked like a chuckle. Of course then I felt like a bit of a dbag for interrupting his AB. Anyway, he's awesome.
   74. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 08, 2012 at 06:43 PM (#4176257)
Ciriaco's in the starting lineup again. One thing that has been striking about Bobby V's managing is that if you give him a player, he puts him in the lineup. Possibly at leadoff or #2. This can have negative outcomes, but he generally keeps his players active and likes to see what he has in every new option. Broadly, I like it. I don't think every manager in the world would have determined that Daniel Nava was ready to bat leadoff and play everyday, and gotten him in there so quickly.
   75. Chip Posted: July 08, 2012 at 07:26 PM (#4176281)
Nick Cafardo cements his status as Biggest Idiot In The World covering the Red Sox.

The roster is depleted, but he thinks it still needs to shaken up. Solution? Completely empty it to get Felix Hernandez.

Also, Ellsbury is a lazy shirker, or something.
   76. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: July 08, 2012 at 08:01 PM (#4176304)
I just want to jump in and support MCoA in his all-is-not-lost mindset. Because it's not. With all that's gone wrong they are still 2 G out of a playoff spot.

I gotta be honest: I know people can't entirely help how they feel, but I just can't imagine still being a fan if I so easily lapsed into hopelessness about their prospects when at worst they are playing like a mediocre team, it just seems miserable.
   77. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 08, 2012 at 08:10 PM (#4176311)
With all that's gone wrong they are still 2 G out of a playoff spot.

True, the Red Sox aren't that far out of the wildcards. So, when will Red Sox fans start rooting for the Yankees when they play Boston's AL East and Wildcard rivals? Could be difficult for some.
   78. pkb33 Posted: July 08, 2012 at 09:17 PM (#4176442)
Nick Cafardo is vying to replace John Lackey as 'least liked person associated with the Red Sox'....and I think he's showing very, very strongly right now.
   79. The District Attorney Posted: July 08, 2012 at 10:55 PM (#4176612)
Carl Crawford says he'll eventually need Tommy John surgery.
Crawford was told by doctors in April that he would likely require the procedure to repair his damaged ulnar collateral ligament. He considered it, but ultimately decided to play this season. Crawford knows that the surgery is coming, however. "Probably at some point it's going to blow out on me," Crawford said. "It's one of those things that is what it is."
Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe writes that Andrew Bailey (thumb) "may not be back until late August or September."
   80. Answer Guy Posted: July 08, 2012 at 11:34 PM (#4176654)
I just can't imagine still being a fan if I so easily lapsed into hopelessness about their prospects when at worst they are playing like a mediocre team, it just seems miserable.


Much the same way you can't step into the same river twice, the way down feels discomforting in a way that makes no objective sense to someone on the way up. We're so used to cheering for a team we expect to be there that this iteration is a bit painful. But there's more to it than that...the disconnect between what the experts thought about this team and how they are performing is a big source of the frustration. If I wasn't hearing people whose opinions I value tell me that this team is better than it looks the situation would be different.
   81. Dan Posted: July 08, 2012 at 11:47 PM (#4176667)
I can't speak for anyone else but if I were actually as hopeless as I sometimes act, I doubt I'd be a fan either. On some level a lot of it is probably a defense mechanism after things like last season's letdown. It's easier to protect yourself from the team falling short of expectations if you prevent yourself from allowing yourself to have higher expectations or aspirations. Obviously this is all rooted in pessimism, but to some degree it's protecting yourself from being twice burned by the same mistakes.

The rational, thinking fan in me says that the ridiculous number of injuries will stop or at least slow down at some point, talented players like Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez and Pedroia and Lester and Beckett will progress to their career norms and actually fulfill their expected roles, but it's hard to really buy into that viewpoint with the day to day disappointments this ballclub has brought over the last year or so. And then you get news like Crawford living day to day expecting his UCL to rupture, but the team not letting him get TJ surgery, and it's pretty hard to actually keep a rational or optimistic viewpoint and/or attitude regarding this team. I admire Mikael for his ability to remain rational in the face of the continuing absurdities we are subjected to, but last season simply overtaxed my ability to stand there with him.
   82. Dan Posted: July 08, 2012 at 11:52 PM (#4176674)
It also doesn't help that I no longer have much confidence in the intelligence and competence of the people in charge of this team. It was a lot easier to handle roster moves that looked dubious when there was some level of "in Theo we trust" after everything he had done right, but at this point I have absolutely no faith that Ben Cherington has a goddamned clue how to run a baseball team. And while Valentine has shown that he still has a pretty good eye for talent, it doesn't help as much when he's forcing the FO to dump talented players due to personality clashes. The simple fact that Mauro Gomez is regularly playing third base 2 weeks after the team paid full freight to ship Youkilis out of town is absolutely batshit insane.
   83. Jim Wisinski Posted: July 09, 2012 at 01:13 AM (#4176706)
Carl Crawford says he'll eventually need Tommy John surgery.
Crawford was told by doctors in April that he would likely require the procedure to repair his damaged ulnar collateral ligament. He considered it, but ultimately decided to play this season. Crawford knows that the surgery is coming, however. "Probably at some point it's going to blow out on me," Crawford said. "It's one of those things that is what it is."


That's all kinds of stupid right there. He is coming off the worst season of his career, has missed the first 85 or so games, and is dealing with shoulder, elbow, and now groin problems trying to get back. Why the hell would he try to come back to likely suck again instead of getting the surgery now, fixing that problem and resting everything else, then returning at full strength to begin 2013? I know TJ isn't the same recovery timetable for hitters as it is for pitchers but waiting till October is cutting the timetable pretty close for being back to normal by spring training. Or he might double down on the stupid and just wait for it to blow who knows when.
   84. Chip Posted: July 09, 2012 at 01:34 AM (#4176711)
If it's like his wrist, they won't actually do it in October but wait until the New Year to make sure he's not ready for 2013.
   85. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 09, 2012 at 09:56 AM (#4176847)
It really is true that position players can and have commonly succeeded with elbow ligament injuries which would eventually require surgery. Everyone knew that Albert Pujols would eventually need surgery, too. This isn't a shocking development.

The reporting of the stories, and Crawford's quotes, do count as evidence that Crawford's injury might be more serious or more difficult to play through than others. It might also just be the cannibalistic Boston press. I'm not saying, "in Red Sox medical and training staff we trust", but they're not batting absolute .000 either. They could be right, and there's a good bit of history with injuries like this on their side.
   86. booond Posted: July 09, 2012 at 10:48 AM (#4176886)
The groin injury is more concerning. His elbow can be fixed in the off-season. If they cut the damn thing off it isn't like we'd notice the difference in his ability to throw.
   87. The District Attorney Posted: July 09, 2012 at 11:38 AM (#4176939)
If they cut his groin off, we'd notice even less!
   88. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: July 09, 2012 at 03:08 PM (#4177198)
I have to apply a heavy dose of [81]'s first para to [82]. Both quite accurately describe my current outlook.
   89. Dan Posted: July 12, 2012 at 10:43 PM (#4181482)
Crawford was asked why he is returning on Monday.
"Probably because I feel the pressure of everybody wanting me to be out there," he answered. "I want to be out there, fans want me to be out there, management, everybody, kind of a mixture of all that."
Crawford played just five innings on Thursday but is expected to play full games against Buffalo on Friday and Saturday at McCoy Stadium.
"So, I figure try to get as many at-bats in," Crawford said. "[Monday] was the fastest time we could think of."
Crawford is trying to test his left elbow, which he said Thursday gave him no problems in the field or at the plate when he swung the bat.
"If I feel like I can go out there and contribute and help the team, really help the team, then I'll make a decision that I can be out there. That's the day we picked, whether I'm ready or not. I'll be out there, hopefully."


Crawford really sounds like a guy who is ready to return and contribute to a contending team here.

And from twitter, when asked about how he feels about throwing with a partially torn UCL:

Carl Crawford on worrying about blowing out elbow in the OF: "When I'm throwing, I just said 'Whenever it happens, it happens."


After the way Crawford looked tentative and unsure of himself all of last season this bodes very poorly, in my opinion. In particular I'm recalling how incapable he was of trusting his hamstrings and actually running hard after coming back from the pulled hamstring, and this injury is far worse than that one was.

On a larger scale, this reminds me of when Schilling wanted to get shoulder surgery and the Red Sox management and medical team wouldn't let him and forced him to try rehabbing the injury. We all know how that one turned out.
   90. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: July 13, 2012 at 12:28 AM (#4181529)
Red Sox management and medical team

Cue the crazy clown music! Accompanied by each member on a unicycle with sticks and spinning plates on top of them...yeah, you know the scene.
   91. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: July 13, 2012 at 08:25 AM (#4181603)
The more I read this stuff the more I think it's an awful idea to have him on the field and the more I like Carl Crawford. The next time I read something negative about the guy, the way he's handling this or the effort he's putting forth will be the first time I read something negative. I am really really pulling for him but I am becoming increasingly pessimistic about his health.
   92. booond Posted: July 13, 2012 at 01:59 PM (#4181869)
In particular I'm recalling how incapable he was of trusting his hamstrings and actually running hard after coming back from the pulled hamstring, and this injury is far worse than that one was.


Having pulled up maybe a dozen times in my life, I understand the trepidation. It does go away but that takes time.
   93. tfbg9 Posted: July 14, 2012 at 06:43 PM (#4182560)
There are no plans at the moment for Gonzalez to get x-rays or an MRI. He did not take batting practice.
   94. Chip Posted: July 14, 2012 at 06:51 PM (#4182564)
Yes, he wasn't out last night or tonight with the "flu" but with "back spasms." Which are so much alike.
   95. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: July 14, 2012 at 07:24 PM (#4182579)
Can we just replace every part of Carl Crawford's body at once, just get it over with, and have him come back for Spring Training in 2014 ready to play?

Then, we can get the incredible Carl Crawford of the Rays, who had a slash line in his last seven seasons in Tampa of...

.301/.344/.461, for an OPS+ of 113.

My problem with Carl Crawford has always been that even if he is healthy, and is as productive as he was in Tampa for the vast majority of his career, he's just not that awesome.
   96. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: July 14, 2012 at 08:32 PM (#4182634)
Then, we can get the incredible Carl Crawford of the Rays, who had a slash line in his last seven seasons in Tampa of...

.301/.344/.461, for an OPS+ of 113.

My problem with Carl Crawford has always been that even if he is healthy, and is as productive as he was in Tampa for the vast majority of his career, he's just not that awesome.


With 40-50 steals and gold glove defense? That's an awesome player. Carl Crawford at his best is vastly underrated if you look at just his slash lines. Maybe WAR and UZR and others overrate him but to look at him just as a function of his OPS+ is always going to leave him wanting by comparison.
   97. Darren Posted: July 14, 2012 at 09:16 PM (#4182661)
If nothing else good comes of this season, we'll at least have the term "crazy clown town." For that, I'm thankful.
   98. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: July 18, 2012 at 04:57 PM (#4186457)
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand after a second opinion by a competent medical professional (i.e. one not employed by the Red Sox) David Ortiz heads to the DL. Fortunately we waited a day and got to see Nick Punto bat in the ninth inning of a close game last night.

Mauro Gomez called up to replace him on the roster and in the lineup batting 6th as DH.
   99. Nasty Nate Posted: July 18, 2012 at 05:10 PM (#4186468)
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand after a second opinion by a competent medical professional (i.e. one not employed by the Red Sox) David Ortiz heads to the DL.


Well the Sox can just slide Youkilis into DH ... oh, wait.

   100. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: July 18, 2012 at 06:48 PM (#4186541)
It really is like the universe is conspiring to show in every possible way what a bad baseball decision it was to trade Youk for nothing.
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