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— Where Thinking Red Sox Fans Obsess about the Sox

Thursday, April 26, 2018

First Test Passed

The Sox hit the road for a nine game road trip on Patriots’ Day with questions about their level of competition to that point (as noted by vi).  The road trip certainly featured some challenges with an Angels team that was on a seven game winning streak and a Blue Jay team off to a good start as well.  Sure enough the Sox faced their first adversity of the season losing three in a row including being no hit.

But when all was said and done the club returns home having gone 6-3 and the good feeling just keeps on keepin’ on.  Most notably the Sox have weathered the loss of Xander Bogaerts going 11-4 in his absence.  His expected Friday return comes at a useful time as Brock Holt left Thursday’s game with what sounded on the radio like a hamstring injury.  Bogaerts went 2 for 3 with a double and a homer in his only rehab appearance so hopefully he is ready to go.

Beyond Bogaerts the injury news seems pretty good all things considered.  Drew Pomeranz scuffled in the first inning of his first start but built up the pitch count and I thought pitched pretty well after that first inning.  David Price was a bit of a concern after leaving his start against the Yankees after just one grim inning but he made two solid starts allaying some concerns there.

Some other general thoughts;

- What are people feeling about Rafael Devers?  Joe Castiglione made an interesting point on the radio tonight noting that while Devers has really struggled with errors lately his range is well rated by the advanced metrics.  I had not really given it a lot of thought but he does move pretty well, particularly to his left.  Watching him at the plate he has looked like a guy really taking everything to heart.  On the one hand I love the passion and desire to be better, on the other hand all the cliches about it being a long season are true.

- What to say about Mookie Betts? A 10 for 34 road trip with 6 home runs is pretty darned good and he still plays his usual great defense.  Jmurph (I think) asked if the Sox might be wasting his power in the lead off spot.  They are generally scoring runs and I’d hate to move him around too much as comfortable as he looks in that spot right now.  Adding J.D. Martinez to the lineup and a full season of Devers gives the Sox some power that was not there at this time last year.

- There are concerns about the offense at the catching spot and while Christian Vazquez and Sandy Leon are never going to channel Johnny Bench both guys have very low BABIPs.  It is early enough in the year that I would expect both players to be better than they have been and probably to start fairly soon. 

Alex Cora was fairly emphatic that Blake Swihart catching was not even being considered at the moment in an interview Wednesday.  Maybe Cora was just standing up for Vazquez and Leon but it read a bit firm.  Obviously Swihart has not hit much and despite my fandom I won’t pretend I expect him to be a star.  But I am not quite sure what his role here is.  On a team that seems pretty determined to rotate players and keep them fresh he has made just two starts, both at DH.  As I type it out maybe it is not as puzzling as it seems he is just in limbo.  He is out of options, good enough that the Sox don’t want to just punt but not so good that he’s forcing his way into the lineup.  He’s kind of in that Rusney Castillo zone without the $70 million contract.

- Joe Kelly’s suspension comes at a less than ideal time.  I am not his biggest fan but he has been dealing since his Opening Day disaster.  Most encouragingly he has thrown strikes with just one walk since that game.  Conversely Carson Smith (6 BB in 7.2 IP) and Matt Barnes (8 BB in 9.1 IP) are walking FAR too many hitters.  In 16 combined appearances of more than one batter they have allowed a base runner in 13 of them.  That cannot continue.

- Is it me or has Carlos Febles been underwhelming as a third base coach?  He’s had a couple of sends this year where I thought he just made a really poor process decision (Nunez Tuesday night most recently).  Then Wednesday I am trying to figure out what he was doing on the play Benintendi didn’t tag on the fly ball.  Benintendi was blocked by the second base ump but why is Febles not telling him when to go?

- Anyway, with four games left in the month of April the Sox have gotten off to a much needed good start.  You can’t win anything in April but you can lose it.  The Sox have avoided that and played well enough that they have a bit of wiggle room as the year goes on.  If the goal is 41-40 on the road the 11-4 start is a useful step in that direction.  Add in the good home start (8-1 is “good”) and the Sox are giving themselves some room to absorb the inevitable slumps.

(“Tyler Thorburg” is supposedly going to throw BP during this home stand.  I want video).

Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: April 26, 2018 at 10:24 PM | 93 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. villageidiom Posted: April 27, 2018 at 09:01 AM (#5661509)
(“Tyler Thorburg” is supposedly going to throw BP during this home stand.  I want video).
The greatest trick Tyler Thornburg pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist.

The classic children's book "If You Give A Mouse A Cookie" suggests that a series of additional requests will follow. Give him a cookie and he'll want milk; give him milk and he'll want a straw to drink it, and a mirror to make sure he doesn't have a milk mustache; give him a mirror and he'll want to trim his hair; trim his hair and he'll want a broom to clean up; and so on.

With the 2018 Red Sox, if you give them a cookie they will eat the damn cookie. Load the bases? They'll take the grand slam. Leave your tiring starter in for one more batter to qualify him for the win? They'll qualify him for the loss. These guys aren't perfect but so far it feels to me like there's a whole lot less SQUANDER! this year. Is that just me?
   2. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: April 27, 2018 at 09:10 AM (#5661513)
Not just you, a lot of stuff is going pretty well right now. According to BBRef they are second (behind Toronto) in % of runners on base scoring. The bullpen is my one main concern right now. Smith and Barnes are crucial for this team. One of them needs to get his head out of his ass but so far so good that's for damned sure.
   3. villageidiom Posted: April 27, 2018 at 12:10 PM (#5661613)
Next ten games are at home against TB and KC, and on the road against the Rangers. ALL YOUR COOKIES ARE BELONG TO US
   4. Bad Fish Posted: April 28, 2018 at 12:59 PM (#5662222)
I like Mookie leading off. Thunderclap 1-run leads does a lot of good in a lot of ways. Also, traditional stuff like good on-base skills and speed pressure the defense and make everybody's job behind him easier.

And as Jose pointed out, this was a hard road trip, probably one of their 3 hardest road trips of the year. Usually you would be ecstatic to go .500 over such a stretch.
   5. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: April 29, 2018 at 02:29 PM (#5662521)
Steven Wright has been activated so his suspension has officially begun.
   6. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: April 29, 2018 at 04:35 PM (#5662586)
3-1 when Mookie doesn’t start, 12-4 when Xander doesn’t start.
   7. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: April 29, 2018 at 05:22 PM (#5662600)
As a side note the Sox have started doing a thing where they play a sound like the smoke monster in Lost whenever there is a strike out. I could do without that.
   8. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: April 30, 2018 at 09:57 AM (#5662783)
Recognizing that I was probably John Farrell's biggest (only?) fan I find it mildly irksome the way Cora is being covered. He's done a nice job so far Rob Bradford's piece where he seems astounded at the idea of Kimbrel coming in in the eighth inning was a bit over the top. It wasn't unreasonable to like the move a lot (and it worked of course) but Farrell used Kimbrel in that situation last year fairly often.
   9. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: April 30, 2018 at 10:51 AM (#5662815)
Yankees schedule over the next week, heading into the rematch with the Red Sox: @Houston, @Houston, @Houston, @Houston, Cleveland, Cleveland, Cleveland

Gray or Montgomery will start 4 of those 7 games. Severino, Tanaka and Sabathia will start but one game each.

Red Sox schedule over the next week: Kansas City, Kansas City, Kansas City, @Texas, @Texas, @Texas, @Texas

If there's ever going to be a time for the Red Sox to stretch their lead, this is it.
   10. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: April 30, 2018 at 11:03 AM (#5662823)
What about your favorite team the Orioles?

And are you really worried about the standings on April 30? Marathon, sprint, etc...
   11. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: April 30, 2018 at 12:00 PM (#5662855)
What about your favorite team the Orioles?

Please omit flowers.

And are you really worried about the standings on April 30? Marathon, sprint, etc...

Games in April and May count just as much in the standings as games in August and September, or hadn't you heard?
   12. villageidiom Posted: April 30, 2018 at 12:19 PM (#5662875)
Red Sox in first place + Yankees doing well = Yankees concern troll appears in Sox Therapy thread. Like the swallows to San Juan Capistrano.
   13. Answer Guy, outhacking you by a mile. Posted: April 30, 2018 at 12:30 PM (#5662882)
Not thrilled about dropping 2 of 3 to the Rays at home - they may have come in hot, but they're still the Rays, and that lineup only nominally qualifies as "Major League" quality - but they've otherwise done well enough that I can't complain really.


   14. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: April 30, 2018 at 01:27 PM (#5662974)
Not thrilled about dropping 2 of 3 to the Rays at home - they may have come in hot, but they're still the Rays, and that lineup only nominally qualifies as "Major League" quality - but they've otherwise done well enough that I can't complain really.


This is my feeling too. It was a bit annoying but as you say, 20-7 is pretty damned good so it's hard to complain.

Red Sox in first place + Yankees doing well = Yankees concern troll appears in Sox Therapy thread.


It's pretty funny in its predictability.
   15. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: April 30, 2018 at 02:25 PM (#5663026)
Red Sox in first place + Yankees doing well = Yankees concern troll appears in Sox Therapy thread.

It's pretty funny in its predictability.


What's even funnier is that Red Sox fans seem to be the only ones around here who require a Safe Space to comment away.** Still feeling persecuted after all these years, no matter how many postseason appearances get piled up.

** Okay, Cubs fans, too, but they're just copycats.
   16. Answer Guy, outhacking you by a mile. Posted: April 30, 2018 at 02:27 PM (#5663027)
One thing that is kind of concerning is how bad they've been against left handed pitching - to the point where it wouldn't be hard to imagine opposing teams juggling their rotations to make sure more lefties start against them.
   17. The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 30, 2018 at 02:38 PM (#5663041)
What's even funnier is that Red Sox fans seem to be the only ones around here who require a Safe Space to comment away.** Still feeling persecuted after all these years, no matter how many postseason appearances get piled up.

My recollection is that Sox Therapy was created solely to make the main page less Sox-centric. The founders and a lot of the early BBTF posters were from the then Cursed Community, and it was thought moving some of the obsessive coverage to a slightly less prominent position would make BBTF more appealing to fans of other teams. It's only recently that some snowflakes have claimed that Sox Therapy is some sort of safe place that fans of other teams need special permission to enter.
   18. jmurph Posted: April 30, 2018 at 02:39 PM (#5663042)
What's even funnier is that Red Sox fans seem to be the only ones around here who require a Safe Space to comment away.** Still feeling persecuted after all these years, no matter how many postseason appearances get piled up.

I assure you we're all laughing at you guys (it's really Clapper and very occasionally snapper, I don't generally notice you doing this, Andy). It's not at all offensive.
   19. SoSH U at work Posted: April 30, 2018 at 02:48 PM (#5663052)
It's only recently that some snowflakes have claimed that Sox Therapy is some sort of safe place that fans of other teams need special permission to enter.


It's never been that way, and isn't now.

(OK, we did tell zop once to go #### himself when he came in gloating after a particularly tough loss [2003, perhaps], but everyone has told him that at one point or another).

   20. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: April 30, 2018 at 02:50 PM (#5663054)
I'm not too concerned about that yet. They were good against lefties last year and have added JDM to the lineup. I think it's small sample size at work. Just looking at their opposing starters this year the lefties they've faced have been;

Snell x2
Happ
Skaggs
Manaea

Skaggs was the one guy I would have expected them to whack around like a pinata and they did. The other four are pretty good pitchers (though I could've done without being no hit but c'est la vie). Obviously if I were an opposing manager I'd be keeping my eye on this but I think it's something that should improve.
   21. . . . . . . Posted: April 30, 2018 at 03:07 PM (#5663068)
(OK, we did tell zop once to go #### himself when he came in gloating after a particularly tough loss [2003, perhaps], but everyone has told him that at one point or another).


I've been saving a post asking you all how the Yankee asses taste when you got passed in the standings, but since that seems inevitable there's no reason to hold it back now.
   22. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: April 30, 2018 at 03:14 PM (#5663077)
Incidentally, "Tyler Thornburg" is going to be starting a rehab assignment this week. I'm still not convinced he exists.
   23. SoSH U at work Posted: April 30, 2018 at 03:41 PM (#5663090)
I've been saving a post asking you all how the Yankee asses taste when you got passed in the standings, but since that seems inevitable there's no reason to hold it back now.


Like chicken, I presume.
   24. . . . . . . Posted: April 30, 2018 at 07:28 PM (#5663195)
Not Wade Boggs ass, he hasn’t been on the team for years.
   25. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: April 30, 2018 at 07:33 PM (#5663196)
Like chicken, I presume.


And don't forget the beer!

As far as Andy's safe space comment, I've no idea where you got that mate? Clapper has it spot on. Furtado and a lot of original guys are Sox fans and they didn't want the sight to Soxcentric so this was created. I've not seen any regular poster here be concerned with any non-Sox fan posting here, it always makes the thread more interesting.

The best omnichatters are when Boston is playing NY, St. Louis or the Cubs because of the range of comments. Though Hombre and Boteman are always good value when the Angels and Nats are involved. Or even the Mets with all their supporters.

We are an equal opportunity sight and look forward to your comments as the season winds to a conclusion with the 3 time AL East champs making their way to the World Series against the Cubs.
   26. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: April 30, 2018 at 08:31 PM (#5663220)
As far as Andy's safe space comment, I've no idea where you got that mate? Clapper has it spot on. Furtado and a lot of original guys are Sox fans and they didn't want the sight to Soxcentric so this was created. I've not seen any regular poster here be concerned with any non-Sox fan posting here, it always makes the thread more interesting.

Yeah, I knew that. I was just jerking y'alls chains.

The best omnichatters are when Boston is playing NY, St. Louis or the Cubs because of the range of comments. Though Hombre and Boteman are always good value when the Angels and Nats are involved. Or even the Mets with all their supporters.

We are an equal opportunity sight and look forward to your comments as the season winds to a conclusion with the 3 time AL East champs making their way to the World Series against the Cubs.


In the prediction thread I had them winning the AL East but then losing to Cleveland in the DS. So we half agree there.

And if that 100th anniversary deja vu all over again World Series does take place, I'd be rooting for the same result.
   27. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: April 30, 2018 at 11:02 PM (#5663388)
And if that 100th anniversary deja vu all over again World Series does take place, I'd be rooting for the same result.


Was that the series where you snuck into the games from under the wooden bleachers?

Yes, I kid. We know you've been around a long time mate but I figure you're not at triple digits yet.
   28. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: May 01, 2018 at 06:43 AM (#5663442)
And if that 100th anniversary deja vu all over again World Series does take place, I'd be rooting for the same result.

Was that the series where you snuck into the games from under the wooden bleachers?

Yes, I kid. We know you've been around a long time mate but I figure you're not at triple digits yet.


True story: During the 1968 World Series I was sitting next to a real Old Timer at a lunch counter, and when he started telling me about the 1909 World Series and I fired back at him with the story about Honus Wagner tagging Ty Cobb in the mouth when he tried to steal second---a story that any semi-serious baseball fan back then had heard a million times---he did a complete double take and said, "How old are you, anyway?" I just deadpanned it and replied "A lot older than I look". (I was then 24.) At that point I'd paid the check and I made the old George Costanza "I'm outta here" exit before he had a chance to react.

Of course now if I beat some 20-something into a coma in a pool tournament, I like to rag on them that they can't even beat a 93 year old, and sometimes they even believe it. As a certain president has shown us time and time again, a little bullshit can often go a long way if you pick the right target, whether you're 24 or 73.
   29. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: May 01, 2018 at 08:46 AM (#5663468)
Best month since July, 2011.
   30. villageidiom Posted: May 01, 2018 at 09:00 AM (#5663475)
What's even funnier is that Red Sox fans seem to be the only ones around here who require a Safe Space to comment away.** Still feeling persecuted after all these years, no matter how many postseason appearances get piled up.
No feelings of persecution. Pity, mostly. I mean, the Red Sox do well, or they do poorly, and we want to talk about them. Yankees fans around here, however, tend to cower when their team is faced with the slightest adversity*, and then come concern-trolling about the Red Sox when the Yankees do well. It's kinda cute, in a sad way. Or sad, in a cute way.

* Some have even been known to shift allegiances, even within the same division. Can you imagine?
   31. Nasty Nate Posted: May 01, 2018 at 09:28 AM (#5663489)
Another grand slam last night. Should we nickname this year's team The Grand-Slammahs (w/ exaggerated Boston accent)?

You may remember me for such failed nickname suggestions as Dizzy Matsuzaka, and The Midnight Marauders (referring to the prolific and successful extra innings performance of the '17 Sox).
   32. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: May 01, 2018 at 09:50 AM (#5663508)
Oh man, I like Midnight Marauders.

That ball was crushed by Bogaerts. Absolute no doubter. For all the talk about this team being aggressive early in counts (and they are) they are grinding out at bats. It just looks like a team with an improved approach almost top to bottom. The one guy who still looks bad as often as not is Devers. His numbers are actually better than they feel. It seems like he gets himself into bad counts more regularly than most of the team.
   33. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: May 01, 2018 at 09:58 AM (#5663517)
Also, "Tyler Thornburg" was listed as one of the people who participated in last night's Pawtucket game. There is video of a player purported to be "Thornburg" on the Full Count blog. I'm still skeptical.
   34. jmurph Posted: May 01, 2018 at 11:14 AM (#5663579)
Is there any precedent for two teammates sharing the MVP award, as will obviously happen this year with Xander and Mookie?
   35. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: May 01, 2018 at 11:15 AM (#5663580)
I think what they'd do is give the Cy Young to Mookie to avoid that awkwardness.
   36. jmurph Posted: May 01, 2018 at 11:48 AM (#5663627)
That actually makes a lot of sense but then I worry about Porcello.
   37. jmurph Posted: May 01, 2018 at 11:49 AM (#5663628)
Speaking of whom, I was searching for an old thread yesterday and found the wrong old thread in which tverik, I think, was just crushing Porcello last year, and I remained optimistic about his future. Turns out I'm a genius, but you all already knew that.
   38. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: May 01, 2018 at 01:21 PM (#5663713)
tverik, I think, was just crushing Porcello last year


To be fair to tverik - hasn't he crushed Porcello every year? He is at least consistent with his underwhelmedness of Rick.
   39. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: May 01, 2018 at 01:36 PM (#5663723)
Erik is? I thought it was Scott who wanted Porcello shot into the sun?
   40. jmurph Posted: May 01, 2018 at 02:03 PM (#5663737)
Even though a lot of people in this very thread have referred to me as a genius, I can't actually find the thread now. But I'm pretty sure it was Erik. Also, to be fair, Porcello had a bad year, I'm not saying he was wrong to criticize him.
   41. Answer Guy, outhacking you by a mile. Posted: May 01, 2018 at 11:39 PM (#5664175)
So they will end a homestand against the Rays and Royals with no better than a split. That has to be considered a failure.
   42. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: May 02, 2018 at 08:29 AM (#5664225)
"Failure" feels a bit much but yeah, it's disappointing. This is why that early season hot streak comes in handy. You get these kinds of things during the season (and the idea it will be 2-4 with Pomeranz pitching isn't crazy). Still;

@Tampa/Miami actual 5-1/expected 3-3/+2
Tampa/New York/Baltimore 8-1/6-3/+2
@Anaheim/Oakland/Toronto 6-3/4-5/+2
Tampa/Kansas City 2-3/4-2/-1.5

I didn't give it a lot of thought but I'd say this is a reasonable expectation so they are ahead of the game. Play .500 on the road, win 2/3 at home (40-41, 54-27) that gets you where you want to be. We can quibble, maybe 4-2 in Florida would've been more reasonable, 5-4 on the West Coast but whatever. To me "failure" (and maybe I'm fixating on the word) would've been 1-5 or 0-6. "Disappointing" feels a bit more accurate. Obviously if they regularly go 2-4 against this type of competition, especially at home is a failure long term.
   43. villageidiom Posted: May 02, 2018 at 10:38 AM (#5664338)
Boston's record was obviously a mirage, puffed up by a schedule of games against Tampa and Miami, and they're coming back down to earth now that their schedule has tougher opponents like Tampa and KC.

They lost in extras, which happens. The part that disappointed me was that the bullpen blew three of the last 5 innings. Chris Sale gives up 1 ER in 7 IP, and then this happens:

Barnes puts 2 on with 1 out, gets out of it.

Kimbrel gives up the tying HR.

Smith puts 2 on with 1 out, gets out of it.

Hembree walks one with two out but has no problem shutting the door.

Hembree puts 2 on with 0 out, gives up 1 run.

Johnson gets one out, then in a span of 6 pitches gives up 2 singles and a HR.


The bullpen created so many opportunities for them to lose this game. That's been the negative story of the season so far, right? Man, if only someone like Tyler Thornburg actually existed maybe they'd have a shot.
   44. Chip Posted: May 02, 2018 at 11:21 AM (#5664373)
Don’t worry, bullpen savior Joe Kelly returns today.
   45. Nasty Nate Posted: May 02, 2018 at 11:36 AM (#5664384)
As a side note the Sox have started doing a thing where they play a sound like the smoke monster in Lost whenever there is a strike out. I could do without that.
It sucks.

--------

It sems like every time I stay to the end of an extra-innings game, they lose. But if I walk out of Fenway after 10 or 11 innings, they go on to win the game. Oh well, at least the weather was absolutely perfect last night.
   46. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: May 02, 2018 at 10:38 PM (#5664956)
This Mookie Betts fellow is pretty good.
   47. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: May 02, 2018 at 10:59 PM (#5664976)
He’s a keeper.

Who is the most comparable player the Sox have ever had? I’m not saying he’s the best we’ve ever had obviously though if he stays long term (and I see no reason to think he won’t) he’ll put himself in some impressive company but we’ve never had this kind of player. Ellsbury could have been and was in 2011 but couldn’t stay healthy.

We’ve had guys like Evans and Yaz who could do it on offense and defense but didn’t have the speed. Burks was fairly similar early in his career but left early on. I guess Pedroia to a degree but I’m not crazy saying Mookie is better at all of it am I? Reggie Smith for a time? Nomar I guess right?
   48. Dale Sams Posted: May 03, 2018 at 01:04 AM (#5665001)
He's the batting version of that baseball robot in the old Twilight Zone episode.

He's going to be Willie McCovey to Trouts Willy Mays.

   49. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 03, 2018 at 01:36 AM (#5665004)
Who is the most comparable player the Sox have ever had?

To my mind, the all-around Red Sox outfielder who last impressed as a possible MVP candidate right out of the gate, was Fred Lynn, which is also somewhat of a cautionary note, I suppose.
   50. villageidiom Posted: May 03, 2018 at 08:29 AM (#5665029)
Burks was fairly similar early in his career but left early on.
I think Burks might be the last one we thought could be this good. I wouldn't say he ever delivered on that, but he was solid.

I think Clapper is right. Fred Lynn might be the most-recent comparable. You could argue Yaz, for that matter, but now we're getting into ancient history.

Here are the top 10 through age 24, per BB-Ref:

Grady Sizemore (968.4)
Duke Snider (964.0) *
Del Ennis (958.3)
Jack Clark (952.8)
Ellis Valentine (952.1)
Gus Bell (941.8)
Greg Luzinski (940.8)
Carl Yastrzemski (938.1) *
Nick Markakis (937.6)
Ben Grieve (935.4)

There are a whole lot of cautionary tales in here, partly because they're all 24. Also keep in mind that these are the most similar batters. They're not considering fielding. Some of these guys are Gold Glovers, and some fielded like they were wearing actual gloves made of gold. But there's Yaz.

Man, if Mookie Betts helps modern-day Red Sox fans appreciate what they missed with Yaz, that would be awesome.
   51. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: May 03, 2018 at 08:48 AM (#5665036)
The more I think about it the more I think Nomar is the answer. Lynn was great but the thing about Mookie is not the greatness, the Sox have had more than their share of stars, it's the style. This guy is a genuine five tool player who is above average with all five tools. Lynn and Yaz, as great as they were were great base runners but had OK speed. Mookie is genuinely fast. I think if this were 1984 he'd be a 60-70 steal guy.
   52. John DiFool2 Posted: May 03, 2018 at 08:54 AM (#5665043)
The thing with Nomar I don't get is that I don't sense much regret or sadness from Sox fans with what happened to him [note I could be wrong]. Maybe it's because he went from Superman to Clark Kent so quickly (and got traded right before the Curse got nuked) that the sense that something truly tragic had taken place kind of slipped by. Superstar to afterthought.
   53. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: May 03, 2018 at 09:21 AM (#5665061)
Yeah I think being traded the year you win the World Series for the first time in 86 years tends to hurt the ol' legacy. I think a lot of people loved Nomar (and still do) but the story of his demise is not "great one that faded too soon" it's "guy that was traded as part of bold deal that led to first World Series win in 86 years."
   54. SandyRiver Posted: May 03, 2018 at 09:25 AM (#5665067)
I don't think Nomar ever fully recovered from that wrist sheath injury, though he had some good years after the lost one (and batted a mere .372 in the early stages of that injury.)

I'd like to see a pic of Mookie standing next to Big Papi, with the caption: "Which player never hit 3 homers in one game?"
   55. karlmagnus Posted: May 03, 2018 at 10:54 AM (#5665168)
If we're very lucky, Mookie becomes Tris Speaker. Same position, equally good hitter, presumably speed, athleticism etc. similar. Speaker is right up there in the overall pantheon, #9 all time in WaR. Would be nice to have that; the question is, will Dombrowski give him the extension he'll need? Speaker left, too, and it didn't help subsequent Sox teams.
   56. jmurph Posted: May 03, 2018 at 11:33 AM (#5665210)
I can't imagine Boston getting substantively outbid for the homegrown superstar in his prime. Which isn't to say he doesn't leave- maybe he would prefer to ply his trade in LA or wherever, all things being equal.
   57. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: May 03, 2018 at 01:29 PM (#5665339)

I can't imagine Boston getting substantively outbid for the homegrown superstar in his prime. Which isn't to say he doesn't leave- maybe he would prefer to ply his trade in LA or wherever, all things being equal.


They did eff up the Jon Lester negotiations pretty badly. And I get the feeling Betts is not going to sign an extension and will become a free agent. That being said, I do think the Sox would be the major front runners to sign him, I think he's going to become a FA primarily to see what it's really like. This is from after his arb case this year:

"Just seeing that side of it is pretty interesting," Betts said Thursday. "I like those type of things, kind of see how people debate. There were no hard feelings, nothing wrong. I love these guys. Nothing changed."
   58. jmurph Posted: May 03, 2018 at 01:37 PM (#5665344)
They did eff up the Jon Lester negotiations pretty badly.

Yep, fair and very good point. I think the pitcher element adds something to that one, but yeah, it's a hit on this ownership group.
   59. Nasty Nate Posted: May 03, 2018 at 01:42 PM (#5665351)
They did eff up the Jon Lester negotiations pretty badly.
That 2015 team could have been winners, but a series of moves turned it into a very expensive 78-Win team.
   60. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: May 03, 2018 at 01:44 PM (#5665353)
One of the things that works well is the Altuve contract. I think that establishes a good bench mark for a comparable player. The problem on the Lester thing is the Sox made him an offer based on a contract that was a couple years old but the market had exploded in that time frame.

I'm not going to worry about it until after 2020. I've got 2.75 years to enjoy Mookie as a Red Sox at a bear minimum and I'm going to relish it. As Nomar showed, it can go away fast.
   61. toratoratora Posted: May 03, 2018 at 05:19 PM (#5665680)
Yep, fair and very good point. I think the pitcher element adds something to that one, but yeah, it's a hit on this ownership group.

Funny thing. I was thinking on the Lester louse-up last night. If they don't eff up the Lester signing, do they make the Sale trade? If not, how nice would a $550k Moncado look in that IF along Xander and Devers?
The Sox really dropped the ball on this one.
   62. Nasty Nate Posted: May 03, 2018 at 05:28 PM (#5665699)
This is all hypothetical, but I'd guess that a Lester signing would have displaced the Porcello acquisition, not the Sale one.
   63. villageidiom Posted: May 03, 2018 at 05:35 PM (#5665704)
The thing with Nomar I don't get is that I don't sense much regret or sadness from Sox fans with what happened to him [note I could be wrong]. Maybe it's because he went from Superman to Clark Kent so quickly (and got traded right before the Curse got nuked) that the sense that something truly tragic had taken place kind of slipped by. Superstar to afterthought.


Nomar managed +3 WAR after the trade. That is, +3 WAR in the remaining 5.3 years of his career. They traded him at the right time. I think everyone sees that now, and could see it not long after the trade. Also, he had no ill will for Boston; they won the Series after the trade; and so on.

A healthy Nomar never gets traded in the first place. But a healthy Nomar is an imaginary thing, like a "unicorn", or "Bigfoot", or "Tyler Thornburg".
   64. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: May 03, 2018 at 09:58 PM (#5665937)

This is all hypothetical, but I'd guess that a Lester signing would have displaced the Porcello acquisition, not the Sale one.


The Porcello trade very well could still have happened, remember the Sox traded Cespedes for Porecello on 12/11/14 and traded De La Rosa for Wade Miley the next day. If the Sox signed Lester I think they still make one of the Porcello/Miley deals - it's the David Price deal the next year that probably doesn't happen.
   65. Answer Guy, outhacking you by a mile. Posted: May 03, 2018 at 10:39 PM (#5665957)
Nomar managed +3 WAR after the trade. That is, +3 WAR in the remaining 5.3 years of his career. They traded him at the right time. I think everyone sees that now, and could see it not long after the trade.


Yeah, that was key.

It's always better to trade someone a year too early than a year too late. And they didn't even trade him early, it turns out.



   66. Nasty Nate Posted: May 03, 2018 at 11:46 PM (#5666008)
The Porcello trade very well could still have happened, remember the Sox traded Cespedes for Porecello on 12/11/14 and traded De La Rosa for Wade Miley the next day. If the Sox signed Lester I think they still make one of the Porcello/Miley deals - it's the David Price deal the next y
You're probably right in that scenario. But if they had signed Lester to an extension the prior off-season, they probably don't get Cespedes, making it far less likely that they trade for Porcello.
   67. SoSH U at work Posted: May 03, 2018 at 11:51 PM (#5666011)
But if they had signed Lester to an extension the prior off-season, they probably don't get Cespedes, making it far less likely that they trade for Porcello.


Especially since they acquired Cespedes for Lester.
   68. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: May 04, 2018 at 12:55 AM (#5666024)
I think they trade for Sale if they have Lester. What they don’t do is sign Price which is looking like it would’ve been good.
   69. Nasty Nate Posted: May 04, 2018 at 07:50 AM (#5666051)
Especially since they acquired Cespedes for Lester.
That was my point.
   70. Darren Posted: May 04, 2018 at 08:54 AM (#5666068)
It's hard to think through all moves that follow if Lester gets signed. But I think that if Sale is available at that price, Dombrowski gets him. But would Dombrowski have been the Sox GM?
   71. Darren Posted: May 04, 2018 at 08:57 AM (#5666071)
Plus, if Lester stays, does Trump even win?
   72. Darren Posted: May 04, 2018 at 10:10 AM (#5666131)
The thing with Nomar I don't get is that I don't sense much regret or sadness from Sox fans with what happened to him [note I could be wrong]. Maybe it's because he went from Superman to Clark Kent so quickly (and got traded right before the Curse got nuked) that the sense that something truly tragic had taken place kind of slipped by. Superstar to afterthought.


Maybe I'm misreading the responses, but it seems like people are commenting more on whether it was a bad trade than on the tragic fate of Nomar. Although I disagreed with the trade, to me, I'm more interested DiFool's original point. Nomar was such a great player and such a fun player to watch--absolutely my favorite to watch of that period (near the top all time). He hit the ball so hard, so often. And then instead of being part of the team that breaks the curse and taking a permanent place is Sox glory, he gets traded, falls apart, and ends up a sort of footnote. Meanwhile, his contemporaries ARod and Jeter play 20 years and rack up amazing numbers. It's a real bummer.

   73. Darren Posted: May 04, 2018 at 10:19 AM (#5666143)
Lynn is a good comp for Mookie. Came up and instantly was very good/excellent. Added power later. Let's hope Mookie stays healthier and in Boston. Others I like who aren't Red Sox:

--Sheffield: small, amazing wrists, good power and average, moved from IF to OF.
--McCutcheon: small, added power
--Sizemore is a little too close for my liking, but he was a big dude.
--Beltran in that they both are good/great at everything.
   74. Nasty Nate Posted: May 04, 2018 at 10:26 AM (#5666147)
Nomar was such a great player and such a fun player to watch ... He hit the ball so hard, so often.
Agreed. It's an awesome pleasure to watch a player hit .365 with some power over a 2-year stretch (with only 89 K's, total). And his other years were good, too.
   75. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: May 04, 2018 at 11:07 AM (#5666181)
--Sheffield: small, amazing wrists, good power and average, moved from IF to OF.
--McCutcheon: small, added power
--Sizemore is a little too close for my liking, but he was a big dude.
--Beltran in that they both are good/great at everything.


Funny, I never would have guessed Sheffield was considered 'small'. Didn't realize he was under 6'. Very similar comp for Betts through age 24 though - both were at similarly shaped 120 OPS+ offensively. Sheffield then put up a 158 OPS+ over the next 10 years, so Betts has his work cut out for him. A likable Sheffield that was even semi-cromulent at defense is a slam dunk HOF player.
   76. Nasty Nate Posted: May 04, 2018 at 11:17 AM (#5666190)
I'm half convinced that with some months training, Mookie would be good enough to play some other sport professionally, e.g. a Danny Woodhead type running back in the NFL.
   77. Darren Posted: May 04, 2018 at 11:22 AM (#5666192)
Ooooh, another point on Lester. If they keep Lester, they never sign Hanley, because that would have ruined team pizza nights.
   78. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: May 04, 2018 at 11:34 AM (#5666203)
Ooooh, another point on Lester. If they keep Lester, they never sign Hanley, because that would have ruined team pizza nights.


Do they not like each other?
   79. Nasty Nate Posted: May 04, 2018 at 12:37 PM (#5666251)
Speaking about their days as a teammate in the minors: “I’d have a better chance of being struck by lightning than me and him getting a pizza together,” Lester said. “You can take that for what it’s worth. But there was no chance on God’s green earth that I was getting a pizza with him.”

Maybe he would have wanted to get a pizza 10 years later with a more mature Ramirez in our hypothetical scenario.

A 2015 team with Lester, Hanley at 3B, plus whatever they could buy with approx 3/4 of the Sandoval money (instead of Porcello, Hanley at LF, and Sandoval) might have snuck into the wild-card game.
   80. jmurph Posted: May 04, 2018 at 12:47 PM (#5666266)
No no Hanley just doesn't like pizza. Not a big cheese guy, you know, everyone knows that. But he and Lester got falafel on the regular, believe me.
   81. Darren Posted: May 04, 2018 at 02:01 PM (#5666325)
Maybe he would have wanted to get a pizza 10 years later with a more mature Ramirez in our hypothetical scenario.


Do you really think pizza pal preferences can change over a single decade? Come on, that's naive.
   82. Nasty Nate Posted: May 04, 2018 at 02:17 PM (#5666344)
Perhaps Papelbon was his prior pizza pal preference in Portland, but was pitching for the Phillies in the postliminary period, or perhaps Pedroia was his past Portland pizza pal but pushed for peptic progress and paused his pigging on pies.
   83. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: May 04, 2018 at 02:29 PM (#5666353)
P'shaw.
   84. John DiFool2 Posted: May 04, 2018 at 02:54 PM (#5666374)
82: there's another one who fell thru the cracks. Paps was so dominant early on in his career that you just had to antcipate him eventually equalling Mariano's numbers (rate and counting), tho yeah I guess that was a bit optimistic.

Instead he signed with another team, his K rate went down (while his contemporaries saw theirs skyrocket), and he sputtered to a stop, nobody even giving him a tryout after the Nats cut him loose. At least he got a ring with the Sox.
   85. Darren Posted: May 04, 2018 at 03:34 PM (#5666411)
   86. villageidiom Posted: May 04, 2018 at 03:34 PM (#5666412)
Perhaps Papelbon was his prior pizza pal preference in Portland, but was pitching for the Phillies in the postliminary period, or perhaps Pedroia was his past Portland pizza pal but pushed for peptic progress and paused his pigging on pies.
Possibly. But it's plausible the pitcher's prior pizza partner was Peter Percival Patterson's pet pig Porky.
   87. Darren Posted: May 04, 2018 at 03:51 PM (#5666430)
Can I somehow undo my starting of this pizza pal discussion? I am very, very sorry.
   88. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: May 04, 2018 at 03:55 PM (#5666434)
Pay proper penance pal. Then perhaps peace prospers perpetually.
   89. Nasty Nate Posted: May 04, 2018 at 03:55 PM (#5666435)
Why would they be getting pizza there anyway? I'd have seafood in Portland.
   90. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: May 04, 2018 at 04:00 PM (#5666440)
Perhaps perch with a parsley pesto?
   91. villageidiom Posted: May 05, 2018 at 06:42 AM (#5666832)
Pathetic.
   92. Darren Posted: May 05, 2018 at 10:23 AM (#5666864)
feels like the good old days.
   93. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: May 05, 2018 at 03:58 PM (#5666971)
Gray or Montgomery will start 4 of those 7 games. Severino, Tanaka and Sabathia will start but one game each.

...

If there's ever going to be a time for the Red Sox to stretch their lead, this is it.


You know Suzyn, you just can't predict baseball.

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