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   101. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 02, 2012 at 02:26 PM (#4094792)
I think the perception is that Tampa is clearly ahead of Boston, I don't think that's fair.

I'd agree with that too. I'd put Boston and Tampa pretty even, and both a bit behing Texas and LAA, who are a bit behind the Yankees.
   102. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: April 02, 2012 at 02:38 PM (#4094802)
I'd agree with that too. I'd put Boston and Tampa pretty even, and both a bit behing Texas and LAA, who are a bit behind the Yankees.


snapper and I in agreement again. This has to stop. Yankees suck! Aviles is better!!! hmmm...doesn't really flow like "Nomar's better"...Punto's better!
   103. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 02, 2012 at 02:41 PM (#4094807)
snapper and I in agreement again. This has to stop. Yankees suck! Aviles is better!!! hmmm...doesn't really flow like "Nomar's better"...Punto's better!

I drafted Aviles in one of my Roto leagues. I hope he mashes!

   104. Nasty Nate Posted: April 02, 2012 at 02:43 PM (#4094809)
t depends. If the Sox had a track record of putting together great bullpens seemingly out of thin air I'd feel alright. Alas, they don't but your point is a valid one.


With a new pitching coach, GM, and manager, I'm going to be generous and give them a clean slate on coaxing effective relief pitching.

Also, hypothetically, Mariano Rivera will eventually get hurt or have an ERA north of 2, maybe it will be this year. OK, probably not.

   105. jmurph Posted: April 02, 2012 at 02:47 PM (#4094815)
I'm cautiously optimistic about the rotation and bullpen, but mildly indignant about RF and SS (yes, I realize they still project to have an elite offense).
   106. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 02, 2012 at 02:54 PM (#4094818)
I'm cautiously optimistic about the rotation and bullpen, but mildly indignant about RF and SS (yes, I realize they still project to have an elite offense).

Ryan Sweeney's surprisingly not terrible (escaping to Fenway should help him a lot as a LHB); I have him in TWO fantasy leagues, so fingers crossed. I could easily se a 110 OPS+ (with favorable platoon usage - he can't hit LHP at all) and plus D. But, I would be bitter over the deal StL got on Beltran.

Again, I also think Aviles is way underrated. I'd expect 450 PA of ~100 OPS+ and slightly below avg. D.
   107. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: April 02, 2012 at 03:03 PM (#4094827)
The good news is I thought Aviles looked great in Spring Training. The bad news is that the last two years I have said that Ramon Ramirez (released mid-season) and John Lackey (ugh) looked great in Ft. Myers.
   108. Joel W Posted: April 02, 2012 at 03:04 PM (#4094828)
Last year the Red Sox got .8 WAR from outfielders not named Jacoby Ellsbury. They got 13.2 WAR from Beckett/Lester/half-Buchholz and NEGATIVE 3 WAR from the rest of their starters. I know the Ortiz/Youkilis/Pedroia/Gonzalez/Ellsbury quintet is not going to be an all time great quintet again (and they were last year). I also know the Red Sox lost Papelbon from the pen, and that Beckett won't have that ERA again, but we can go around and around and I still think whatever regression we see from that group of 5 and from the loss of Beckett and Papelbon is easily accounted for with, I don't know, getting non-negative contributions from their 4-8 starters and corner outfielders. If Crawford/Sweeney/Ross gives them 6 wins, which I think is more than reasonable, and basically accounts for the give back in regression from the top 5. They had 94 pythag wins last year.

This is all to say, I really don't get the pessimism.
   109. Dale Sams Posted: April 02, 2012 at 03:13 PM (#4094834)
This is all to say, I really don't get the pessimism.


The rest of the AL didn't remain stagnant, and the Sox overachieved against some good-great teams (Cali-Detroit-Yanks) with little room to make it up against teams that overachieved against them. (The Rays)
   110. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: April 02, 2012 at 03:19 PM (#4094839)
I think there is a very real chance they will again get negative contributions from their 4-8 starters and corner outfielders. Ryan Sweeney and Cody Ross are good role players and exactly the caliber of players who can crater pretty quickly.


the Sox overachieved against some good-great teams (Cali-Detroit-Yanks) with little room to make it up against teams that overachieved against them


I don't buy this argument. If the Sox were overachieving against good-great teams they were by extension underachieving against bad-terrible teams. There is no reason to think that one of those will reverse but the other won't.
   111. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: April 02, 2012 at 03:20 PM (#4094840)
The rest of the AL didn't remain stagnant, and the Sox overachieved against some good-great teams (Cali-Detroit-Yanks) with little room to make it up against teams that overachieved against them. (The Rays)


This happens every year to every team: they play well against some teams and not well against others.

The Sox won 90 games last year while sucking. That's quite an accomplishment. And they didn't remain stagnant. This team is quite a bit different from last year's. RF/LF/SS are all different; a new back end of the rotation, a renovated bullpen staff. I'm with Joel, I don't get the pessimism.
   112. SoSH U at work Posted: April 02, 2012 at 03:41 PM (#4094851)
I'm with Joel, I don't get the pessimism.


Every year, in threads like these, fans point out the lousy performance from the back-end-of-the rotation and project that this year's back-end will be better. Chances are, it won't. I think the Red Sox will continue to get lousy production from the back-end, and it's not out of the question that one of Beckett (most likely), Buchholz or Lester will join them in terms of effectiveness, either through nonproductivity or injury. And the depth doesn't appear to be there to shoulder the load if that happens.

I think it is likely they get better production out of the corner outfielders, but that's only because the baseline is pretty low. The ceiling for their starting corner guys isn't terribly high (though a return to form from a healthy Crawford would be a tremendous boost). SS doesn't look like an upgrade.

And while I'll admit that Valentine's resume is better than I gave him credit when the Sox began flirting with him, it's also true that he's at an age when most managers start losing something off their fastball. I'd be surprised if he's a positive.

That's the root of my pessimism.
   113. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: April 02, 2012 at 03:59 PM (#4094869)
Every year, in threads like these, fans point out the lousy performance from the back-end-of-the rotation and project that this year's back-end will be better. Chances are, it won't.


As I pointed out in the Bard/Doubront thread, the Sox don't need much of anything from the #4/#5 guys to improve on last year's effort. Wakefield/Miller/Lackey combined for a 5.74 ERA. A terrible ERA of 5.50 from Bard/Doubront/Whoever is an improvement. Also, it's unlikely that this staff will combine for an ERA above (or even around) 7.00 for a one-month stretch. That's so unlikely as to be pretty much a lock.

A 0.24 improvement over 70-ish starts for the #4/5/6 starters equals about 17 runs. A 5.00 ERA, or 0.74 improvement over last year's staff is about 52 runs. It's not hard to be "optimistic" that Bard and Doubront and whoever else can combine for a 5.00 ERA (which would still suck, by the way). The Red Sox should figure to improve the starting pitching quite a bit over last year's performance.

(As Danny (I think) pointed out: using ERA doesn't even tell the whole story as Wake alone gave up 22 unearned runs. No one else was even close to that number as everyone else had fewer than 6 unearned runs.)
   114. Chip Posted: April 02, 2012 at 04:13 PM (#4094885)
I feel better about this team now that I've heard Heyman once again trashing their chances.
   115. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: April 02, 2012 at 04:14 PM (#4094889)
I think the Red Sox will continue to get lousy production from the back-end


Just to be clear, if the Bard + Doubront + whoever combine for a 5.00 ERA, that would have been worse than the #4/5/6 for every contender last year, and it probably would have netted the team 3 or 4 more wins. Eyeballing it, he Sox back end was so bad last year, they were in the same league as the Orioles/Blue Jays/Twins. They were maybe a notch above the Royals.
   116. Joel W Posted: April 02, 2012 at 04:17 PM (#4094894)
Every year, in threads like these, fans point out the lousy performance from the back-end-of-the rotation. Why is this year different from all other years, asks the youngest child?

As Patrick Sullivan explained on Red Sox Beacon:

We’ve covered this here before, but the Red Sox had 75 starts last year in which the five pitchers – John Lackey, Tim Wakefield, Andrew Miller, Daisuke Matsuzaka and Kyle Weiland – posted a combined 5.89 ERA while allowing the opposition an .829 OPS. It’s hard to overstate just how bad that is.

In fully 46% of the team’s starts, Red Sox starting pitchers turned the entire opposing lineup into a collection of hitters on par with, oh, say someone like Ben Zobrist or Ryan Howard. Only ten pitchers who eclipsed the 100 inning mark in all of baseball managed to allow worse than an .829 OPS. One Major League pitcher – one – and that was John Lackey, allowed a 5.89 ERA or worse in at least 100 innings. His was 6.41. You can set that ERA threshold considerably lower, take it down to a 5.50 ERA and you only get three more names: Edinson Volquez, Danny Duffy and Jo-Jo Reyes. For 75 starts in 2012, the Red Sox sent to the hill some variant of the American League’s worst starting pitcher.



They were not merely bad, they were beyond pathetic crappy. The 2010 Red Sox, for exmaple, got 85 starts from Josh Becket, John Lester, and Tim Wakefield, who combined for 11.7 WAR. Their 4-8 starters, Brad Penny, Clay Bucchholz, Dice-K, Paul Byrd, and John Smoltz combined for 1.2 WAR according to BB-Ref. In 2006 the Red Sox got 87 starts from Schilling, Beckett, and Tim Wakefield. In their other 75 games, the combined likes of Matt Clement, Young Jon Lester, Kyle Snyder, Lenny DiNardo, David Wells(!) et. al posted about .5 WAR.

Those were the bad back-end of the rotation years in the past 6 years. Those were the fewest starts the Red Sox got from their top 3 or 4 in the past 6 years, and both times they were still, combined, above replacement level. 75 starts, -2.5 WAR. It's not just bad, it's ahistorically craptacular. Getting to replacement level from Bard, Dubront, Aceves, Padilla, et. al (and I am expecting more, but still just getting to replacement level) would be worth 2-3 wins.
   117. SoSH U at work Posted: April 02, 2012 at 04:20 PM (#4094898)
As I pointed out in the Bard/Doubront thread, the Sox don't need much of anything from the #4/#5 guys to improve on last year's effort. A terrible ERA of 5.50 from Bard/Doubront/Whoever is an improvement. Also, it's unlikely that this staff will combine for an ERA above (or even around) 7.00 for a one-month stretch. That's so unlikely as to be pretty much a lock.



The distribution seems irrelevant to me.

They need health and good performance. Chances are, it's not just Bard and Doubront, but the sixth, seventh and eighth guys getting called on over the course of the season. And some of those guys will suck. And one or more will get too many starts while we wait for them to unsuck. It happens fairly regularly. And, of course, that presupposes health and effectiveness from Beckett and Lester and Buchholz. If one of them goes down/performs poorly, then there's no guarantee the club's starting pitcher will even be better.

I expect bad things will happen over the course of the season, particularly on the pitching side, even if I don't know exactly what that bad stuff will be. I don't see this team, as constituted, is particularly well-designed to deal with such occurrences.
   118. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 02, 2012 at 04:21 PM (#4094899)
This is all to say, I really don't get the pessimism.

As a non-Red Sox fan, my perspective is that Red Sox fans are used to being 1a with the Yankees, or at worst a clear #2 by themselves. This year, they seem to be in a lump with Tampa and Detroit for 4th best AL team.

Even though they still have a great shot at the playoffs with 2 WC, that's definitely a step down in class (or rather a step up by Texas and LAA), and I think that's coming through in the attitude of pessimism.
   119. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: April 02, 2012 at 04:22 PM (#4094901)
would be worth 2-3 wins.


If you take the numbers I posted above, and give the Red Sox a normal number of unearned runs, they could be better by 5 to 7 wins. We'll see how it shakes out, but 95 wins for this team is very reasonable. Again.
   120. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: April 02, 2012 at 04:28 PM (#4094909)
Melancon closes until Bailey's back, then?
   121. Toby Posted: April 02, 2012 at 04:28 PM (#4094911)
I have a very simple philosophy to the season. I am cautiously neither optimistic nor pessimistic. This team is going to compete if they stay reasonably healthy. I am willing to give the Cherington plan the benefit of the doubt for now. I am willing to give Bobby V the benefit of the doubt for now, too.

I don't think the AL East competition has gotten any tougher. I do have an uneasy feeling, but it is not about the AL East. It is about the Tigers and Angels and Rangers, teams like that. It used to be a given that the AL East would have 2 of the top 3 teams, and 3 of the top 5 teams, in the league. Now, not so much. We used to project the Sox as being a reasonable pick for best team in baseball; now, not so much. This is a B+ team and we don't want to settle for a B+ team, but that's where we are. Good for baseball but not so good for Therapudlians.

Edit: I more or less agree with 118.
   122. Nasty Nate Posted: April 02, 2012 at 04:30 PM (#4094914)
Chances are, it's not just Bard and Doubront, but the sixth, seventh and eighth guys getting called on over the course of the season. And some of those guys will suck. And one or more will get too many starts while we wait for them to unsuck. It happens fairly regularly. And, of course, that presupposes health and effectiveness from Beckett and Lester and Buchholz.


Isn't factoring in the 6th-8th starters the exact opposite of presupposing health for the rotation?
   123. Joel W Posted: April 02, 2012 at 04:31 PM (#4094916)
SoSH U,

Bad things will happen to other teams also. PECOTA has the Red Sox as 3 games better than Tampa, 3 games better than Detroit, and 2 games better than LAA. SG's simulations have the Sox as a 92 win team, tied with Tampa, with Detroit at 88, Texas at 92, and LAA at 91.

This is why I don't get the pessimism. I think Snapper probably gets at it more, and I am, as we know, an optimist, but still, I think the level of pessimism is disproportionate to the quality of the team.
   124. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: April 02, 2012 at 04:31 PM (#4094917)
And one or more will get too many starts while we wait for them to unsuck.


This is where Valentine can make his bones. The nice thing about Lackey and Daisuke being on the DL is that there is no financial push to leave an underperforming player in the rotation. If Doubront sucks, he's out and Aaron Cook is in. I like to think that eventually the Sox are going to stumble on someone not terrible if they go this route.
   125. Dale Sams Posted: April 02, 2012 at 04:34 PM (#4094921)
If the Sox were overachieving against good-great teams they were by extension underachieving against bad-terrible teams


Who got worse? A's? White Sox?

Now who will be better? Royals. Yanks. Rays. Angels. Blue Jays. Texas and Detroit will be at least as good as they were, if not better.

90 wins, at most. 10-12 when the A's roll into town.
   126. SoSH U at work Posted: April 02, 2012 at 04:43 PM (#4094929)
Isn't factoring in the 6th-8th starters the exact opposite of presupposing health for the rotation?


To some extent, but not as I was using it. An innings limit on Bard or ineffectivness from Doubront (or vice versa) can require extensive use of the 6-8 starters even with good health from the Big 3.

I hope all the optimists are right. But to me, it looks like the major offseason plan was to hope that the team will improve the areas where it sucked last year, not by slotting really high upside guys into those roles/positions, but by simple virtue of those roles not being filled by guys named Lackey/Wakefield/Miller/Crawford/Drew. As strategies go, that one doesn't warm the old cackles.
   127. Nasty Nate Posted: April 02, 2012 at 04:44 PM (#4094931)
Now who will be better? Royals. Yanks. Rays. Angels. Blue Jays. Texas and Detroit will be at least as good as they were, if not better.


Several of these teams will lose more games in 2012 than they did in 2011.
   128. Nasty Nate Posted: April 02, 2012 at 04:55 PM (#4094951)
To some extent, but not as I was using it. An innings limit on Bard or ineffectivness from Doubront (or vice versa) can require extensive use of the 6-8 starters even with good health from the Big 3.


Okay, I see what you mean: even w/ a best case scenario Bard and Doubront won't be allowed to get to 32 starts each. I think being worried about the starting pitching can still mesh with an overall optimism - because the offense will be ####### awesome and that is half the game.

Also, this is the year that Lester busts out for 220 innings with a 2.40 ERA...
   129. The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 02, 2012 at 05:13 PM (#4094970)
Looking from afar, it seems that the Red Sox just have more questions this year. Maybe they all get answered in a positive way, but it usually doesn't work out that way, and that may leave little margin for error. Folks seem to have glossed over how difficult it may be for Youkillis to move up the defensive spectrum at an age when most moves are down. As good as Ellsbury was last year, it may take more than one season before he can just be pencilled in for an All-Star/MVP caliber season for the next decade. Pedroia & Gonzales could be great and still not be able to carry a team that doesn't get much production out of SS, C & the corner outfielders. Coupled with the concerns about the back of the rotation and the bullpen, I'm skeptical that this year's Red Sox are better than the 2011 version. However, there's a reason they play the games. Let the season begin!
   130. Dale Sams Posted: April 02, 2012 at 05:18 PM (#4094978)
However, there's a reason they play the games. Let the season begin!


Oh, I agree. I just think the news about Crawford probably not being available until May, coupled with the news about Bailey* and Beckett...well, old habits die hard.

*and that ties into how I was against it just because of his predilection for injury.
   131. Dan Posted: April 02, 2012 at 05:23 PM (#4094983)
Folks seem to have glossed over how difficult it may be for Youkillis to move up the defensive spectrum at an age when most moves are down.


You mean the move he made last year and played average defense at third base despite dealing with multiple injuries including a hernia?

As good as Ellsbury was last year, it may take more than one season before he can just be pencilled in for an All-Star/MVP caliber season for the next decade.


The team doesn't need him to be MVP caliber to have a top offense in the league. The improvement in the outfield corners should more than offset any regression from Ellsbury.

Pedroia & Gonzales could be great and still not be able to carry a team that doesn't get much production out of SS, C & the corner outfielders.


They did this exact thing last year. LF and RF were literally replacement level, and SS and C were reasonable but not great, as they can be expected to be again.

Coupled with the concerns about the back of the rotation and the bullpen, I'm skeptical that this year's Red Sox are better than the 2011 version.


Last year's team had the component stats to score runs and allow runs at a 100 win pace. They had 94 pythagorean wins, and they won 90 games despite literally spending a month playing like the 1962 Mets. The 2012 team doesn't have to be better. They can in fact be worse, yet perform to their component stats, and win 98 games. 98 is probably a bit high, but 94-96 wins really wouldn't surprise me. Nor would 90 or 100. Anything below or above those numbers would be pretty surprising though. Anyone picking the Red Sox for 4th place in the AL East is simply disengaged from reality and in love with narrative. Yeah, the 2012 team is high variance in a few ways, but people act as if variance is inevitably and inexorably entirely downside.
   132. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: April 02, 2012 at 05:39 PM (#4094994)
Latest from PeteAbe at about 5PM is that Bailey is headed to Cleveland for a second opinion and "may need surgery." The news was "not good."

On the positive side Beckett is "expected to start Friday against Detroit." The Sox don't actually play on Friday but they'll probably just push him back to Saturday's game.
   133. Joel W Posted: April 02, 2012 at 05:40 PM (#4094997)
Bailey=ugh.
   134. Dan Posted: April 02, 2012 at 05:41 PM (#4094998)
I hated trading Reddick for Bailey before, and I really hate it now.

Then again if they don't trade for Bailey, they probably sign Madson. So they'd be ###### either way.
   135. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 02, 2012 at 05:50 PM (#4095006)
I'm still not seeing this obvious superiority of the Yankee starting pitching. The Yankees overall win the pitching side because their bullpen is excellent and the Sox bullpen - especially without Bailey - is not very good. (Without Bailey, make that just "not good".)

But these are averaged ZiPS / CAIRO ERA projections for the top starters on each club:

3.39 Sabathia (NYY)
3.48 Lester (BOS)
3.68 Buchholz (BOS)
3.75 Bard (BOS) (as starter, CAIRO only)
3.82 Beckett (BOS)
4.09 Pineda (NYY)
4.17 Kuroda (NYY)
4.40 Matsuzaka (BOS)
4.47 Nova (NYY)
4.56 Garcia (NYY)
4.67 Hughes (NYY)
4.84 Doubront (BOS)
4.85 Cook (BOS)

The only reason the Sox don't project to have an obviously superior rotation is the projection of missed time from their non-Lester starters. I'd say the Yankees need L/B/B to not start 90 games in order to have parity in the rotation.

(And who is this 7th starter on the Yankees that's better than the Red Sox #4/#5? Adam Warren? Am I missing someone?)

Whatever advantage the Sox have in the rotation is probably more than offset by the difference between Rivera/Robertson/Soriano and Melancon/Aceves/Padilla. Bob McClure has some hardcore work cut out for himself.
   136. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: April 02, 2012 at 05:55 PM (#4095010)
MCoA - Just looking at that list I'd address the issues as follows;

1. Bard is a massive wild card. I think there is a much greater chance of him being considerably worse than that 3.75 than there is of him meeting it or beating it.

2. I'm higher on Nova than many, I think he's going to be very good again.

3. You don't have Pettitte in there (he's the #7 in question). I think there is good reason to be skeptical of him but he should be in there.
   137. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 02, 2012 at 05:57 PM (#4095011)
Pettitte! Right. He's not in the spreadsheets I've got, but that a dumb oversight either way.

We'll see how the numbers come out, he seems like a good match for DiceK on the Red Sox side.
   138. Dan Posted: April 02, 2012 at 06:01 PM (#4095014)
The thing I think people are missing about the Yankees is how good their starting pitching was last year and how much of that was overachieving. Yeah, they've replaced Garcia/Nova/Colon with Kuroda/Pineda/Garcia, but Garcia had a 122 ERA+ last season, Colon had a 111 and Nova had a 119 ERA+! Do people really think their 2/3/4 starters are going to be better than that this year, even if they're sexier names? Like the Red Sox, they'll probably get better back end performance than Burnett's 86 and Hughes' 77 ERA+'s, but they are going to be hardpressed to replicate the starting pitching they received last season.
   139. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 02, 2012 at 06:07 PM (#4095018)
If Bailey is out, one obvious option is converting Bard back to relief and having him close. I really want to see him in the rotation, but the bullpen is a long way from championship quality without Bailey or Bard closing.

I'm really torn, honestly. The best solution is for Bob McClure to make shutdown relievers out of Aceves and Padilla, but that feels pretty CFBPS to me. But I don't want to give up on the 4-win upside of Bard the starter before the season begins, especially since he clearly wants to close and hasn't shown that he can't start. There aren't really any internal bullpen solutions (other than Bard) that aren't composed 75% of hope, and there aren't any external bullpen solutions - who trades a reliever before the season starts?
   140. Dan Posted: April 02, 2012 at 06:11 PM (#4095023)
I think you have to go with Aceves or Melancon to close short-term while you see if Bailey can get healthy and how Bard does in his first few starts. I don't really see moving Bard to closing right now as a good option. If Bailey is out for several months and if Bard isn't successful in the rotation, I think in early May or so you might re-evaluate and consider making that move. But I think right now the team is too heavily invested in the Bard to the rotation strategy to pull the plug based on a hiccup like this.
   141. The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 02, 2012 at 07:11 PM (#4095065)
Folks seem to have glossed over how difficult it may be for Youkillis to move up the defensive spectrum at an age when most moves are down.

You mean the move he made last year and played averapge defense at third base despite dealing with multiple injuries including a hernia?

Well, Youkillis did drop about 25 points of OPS+ from what he averaged at 1st base over the 3 previous seasons, while playing fewer games. Not that many players move up the defensive spectrum for their age 32 or 33 seasons. Cabrera is 4 years younger than Youkillis and there is some question as to how that move will work for Detroit. Doesn't seem unfair to suggest that the Red Sox could have a similar issue.
   142. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: April 02, 2012 at 07:47 PM (#4095079)
I think the upside x factor in the bullpen is Bowden. He looks better as a reliever than as a starter and while I'm not a huge believer in him I think he could turn out to be very good. I wouldn't want to bet on it but he's the guy I look at and think there is some upside.
   143. Nasty Nate Posted: April 02, 2012 at 07:54 PM (#4095086)
Well, Youkillis did drop about 25 points of OPS+ from what he averaged at 1st base over the 3 previous seasons, while playing fewer games. Not that many players move up the defensive spectrum for their age 32 or 33 seasons. Cabrera is 4 years younger than Youkillis and there is some question as to how that move will work for Detroit. Doesn't seem unfair to suggest that the Red Sox could have a similar issue.


I think the questions about Cabrera have to do with ability, not age. Youkilis is an injury concern, but I don't see a connection to the position. FWIW, Youk missed the most time in the one year he was exclusively a 1B.
   144. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: April 02, 2012 at 08:39 PM (#4095096)
Unless I am forgetting some acquisition or return (and I don't mean Pettitte), I simply do not see how the Yankees are especially likely to be better than they were in 2011. I would absolutely take the under on 97 wins that's for damn sure.
   145. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 02, 2012 at 08:46 PM (#4095098)
Unless I am forgetting some acquisition or return (and I don't mean Pettitte), I simply do not see how the Yankees are especially likely to be better than they were in 2011. I would absolutely take the under on 97 wins that's for damn sure.

Well, I wouldn't say better, b/c they got some pretty lucky performances out of Colon/Garcia/Nova.

But, the rotation is much improved with the addition of Kuroda and Pineda, the health of Hughes, and the return of Pettitte.

The Cairo projections at RLYW had the Yankees right at 97. Tampa, Boston and Texas at 92, LAA at 91, and Det at 88.
   146. The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 02, 2012 at 09:31 PM (#4095114)
Unless I am forgetting some acquisition or return (and I don't mean Pettitte), I simply do not see how the Yankees are especially likely to be better than they were in 2011.

Sometimes it's addition by subtraction. Replacing Burnett with Kuroda should count as two moves.
   147. Nasty Nate Posted: April 03, 2012 at 09:18 AM (#4095262)
I think the upside x factor in the bullpen is Bowden.


I was thinking Padilla. He has the, uh, eccentricities that are suited for the bullpen and he might be effective if he has to just come in for an inning and just chuck the ball as hard as he can.
   148. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: April 03, 2012 at 09:22 AM (#4095264)
I just have visions of Padilla throwing that eephus pitch to Cabrera and Cabrera ripping one through Kevin Youkilis' skull.
   149. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 03, 2012 at 09:23 AM (#4095265)
I was thinking Padilla. He has the, uh, eccentricities that are suited for the bullpen and he might be effective if he has to just come in for an inning and just chuck the ball as hard as he can.

Is he going to go the Ryne Duren route and actually pitch while intoxicated? Makes for a hell of an intimidating RP.
   150. Nasty Nate Posted: April 03, 2012 at 09:36 AM (#4095280)
Youk's skull is so well lubricated with sweat the ball would glance off harmlessly
   151. Dale Sams Posted: April 03, 2012 at 09:57 AM (#4095296)
"Richocet!"
"We didn't penetrate their armor!"
"We only dinged him!"
   152. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: April 03, 2012 at 11:19 AM (#4095420)
So, Bailey does need surgery. I'm fine with Aceves closing, but the reports are that Atchison will be the guy replacing Bailey.
   153. Dale Sams Posted: April 03, 2012 at 11:22 AM (#4095428)
Let Padilla close. The all of one time I saw him this spring, his stuff seemed eccentric enough to fool someone for an inning.
   154. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: April 03, 2012 at 11:24 AM (#4095435)
Let Padilla close. The all of one time I saw him this spring, his stuff seemed eccentric enough to fool someone for an inning.


This is a perfect time for Bobby V to do his tinkering thing and rotate guys in and out according to the situation. I doubt they'll do that, but I'd like to see what could be accomplished without a "closer."
   155. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 03, 2012 at 11:24 AM (#4095437)
Why wouldn't Melancon close? Wasn't he pretty good in Houston last year?
   156. Nasty Nate Posted: April 03, 2012 at 11:30 AM (#4095442)
Why wouldn't Melancon close? Wasn't he pretty good in Houston last year?


I assume he would too.

Hey Piehole, where are you seeing that Atchison of all people would be the closer?
   157. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: April 03, 2012 at 11:33 AM (#4095447)
reports are that Atchison will be the guy replacing Bailey


Where are you seeing that? I can see Atchison replacing Bailey on the roster but that seems like a big leap.

I really hope they don't use Aceves in that role. I want him pitching multiple innings.
   158. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 03, 2012 at 11:33 AM (#4095448)
Hey Piehole, where are you seeing that Atchison of all people would be the closer?

I'm not seeing any news on the Bailey surgery, either.

Edit: OK, ESPN has the surgery speculation, but they also have Melancon as the likely closer.
   159. Joel W Posted: April 03, 2012 at 11:35 AM (#4095453)
Melancon's numbers are precisely the ones I want in a closer. Good K-Rate, low HR rate. He's 27 this year and has a career ERA+ of 125. He's also coming off an excellent year.

Franklin Morales was quite good for the Red Sox last year, and while he struggled in Colorado I've read that that was in part because his curveball wouldn't break in Colorado. (Here: http://www.overthemonster.com/2012/3/6/2848114/boston-red-sox-spring-profiles-franklin-morales-curveball). He might make sense as the late inning lefty.
   160. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: April 03, 2012 at 11:37 AM (#4095459)
Hey Piehole, where are you seeing that Atchison of all people would be the closer?


I just meant the guy taking his spot, NOT the closer. Atchison was told to pack a bag for Detroit. I'll have to find it, but I read it last night.

Here's the Bailey surgery article. The Globe has it.

Now, just days before the season starts, Bailey has been told he needs surgery on his right thumb, according to major league sources.

Bailey was examined by team doctors in Boston on Monday and on Tuesday will see Dr. Robert Graham, a hand specialist at the Cleveland Clinic. If Graham agrees with the recommendation for surgery, it could happen later that day.


Now that I re-read it, the Cleveland Clinic will just confirm what the Sox medical staff already recommended.
   161. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: April 03, 2012 at 11:38 AM (#4095461)
Off the topic of the relievers here is today's lineup. I think it's noteworthy because I suspect we'll see it again Thursday;

Ellsbury CF
Pedroia 2B
Gonzalez 1B
Ortiz DH
Youkilis 3B
Sweeney RF
Ross LF
Saltalamacchia C
Aviles SS
   162. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: April 03, 2012 at 11:43 AM (#4095474)
Here's the piece on Atchison from Projo (about 1/3 of the way down):

Scott Atchison has packed all of his clothes in one enormous suitcase to take with him to Washington, D.C., with the rest of the Red Sox.

Whether he takes that suitcase to Detroit is yet to be determined.

“They just told me yesterday to pack for the trip,” he said. “I don’t know if that means just to Washington or for the whole thing. Obviously, it’s a trying time. Everybody has got it on their minds because there’s not much time left. There’s not much you can do. ...
   163. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: April 03, 2012 at 11:45 AM (#4095480)
The two most likely guys to make the team are probably Bailey and Atchison. I'd rather have Thomas just because I don't like Atchison.

There's speculation in the Projo article linked above that Melancon will be the "relief ace." They'll anoint someone the closer but use Melancon in high leverage situations. With this bullpen though, I really hope BV gets creative.
   164. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 03, 2012 at 11:47 AM (#4095484)
What's your educated guess about Bard? If he has a bad April does he become the closer and Aceves goes to the rotation?
   165. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: April 03, 2012 at 11:52 AM (#4095489)
What's your educated guess about Bard? If he has a bad April does he become the closer and Aceves goes to the rotation?


"Bad" is vague so that makes it a bit tricky. I think if he pitches like Kyle Weiland did last year then yeah, they make that move. I think if he has some ups and downs but seems to be progressing they stick with him.

In spring training they made a big deal about him acting "like a starter." He had the infamous "one changeup in 80something pitches" start and that seemed to get Valentine's goat. Bard then went out in his next start and went deep, mixing his pitches and looking the way one would expect a starter to look rather than a guy just throwing as hard as he could as long as he could. I think if he pitches like that the Sox will give him rope.
   166. Joel W Posted: April 03, 2012 at 11:52 AM (#4095490)
That sounds about right Snapper, though I think the Sox will have a definition of bad April that more matches one here. If he's striking guys out into the sixth, and looks good, I think they'll keep him there even if the results aren't consistent with it.
   167. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: April 03, 2012 at 12:30 PM (#4095536)
Bard will stick around as long as he maintains command, even if the results aren't great. If he turns back into the pitcher he was when he first came into the system, he'll go back to the bullpen. I'd guess that by Memorial Day we'll know whether he stays a starter. So, he'll have quite a bit of rope. They're committed to trying him out as a starter, so he'll get a good look before going back to the bullpen. And if he goes back, I'm guessing he'll also recognize that it was the right move to make.
   168. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 03, 2012 at 12:32 PM (#4095543)
Bard will stick around as long as he maintains command, even if the results aren't great. If he turns back into the pitcher he was when he first came into the system, he'll go back to the bullpen. I'd guess that by Memorial Day we'll know whether he stays a starter. So, he'll have quite a bit of rope. They're committed to trying him out as a starter, so he'll get a good look before going back to the bullpen. And if he goes back, I'm guessing he'll also recognize that it was the right move to make.

Even if Melancon or whoever blows 3 or 4 9th inning leads?
   169. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: April 03, 2012 at 12:35 PM (#4095549)
From Extra Bases Cook and Ohlendorf have been sent to Pawtucket. PeteAbe notes that if you assume Bowden and Padilla are on the roster that leaves;

The contenders for two roster spots at this point are RHP Scott Atchison, C Dan Butler, INF Pedro Ciriaco, OF Jason Repko, INF Nate Spears and LHP Justin Thomas.


Atchison is clearly going to be one. My guess is Thomas gets the other spot for now. If nothing else that's a second bullpen lefty to deal with Fielder if the situation calls for it.. This is what I've got if that's true;

C(2) - Saltalamacchia, Shoppach
IF (6) - Gonzalez, Pedroia, Aviles, Youkilis, Punto, Ortiz
OF (4) - McDonald, Sweeney, Ross, Ellsbury
SP (5) - Lester, Beckett, Buchholz, Bard, Doubront
RP (8) - Melancon, Aceves, Bowden, Padilla, Atchison, Morales, Thomas, Albers

If you stop after getting through the rotation you've got a championship team. This bullpen is appallingly bad. Cherington seems to be starting the way his predecessor did, great offensive club, OK but thin starters, terrible bullpen. This is Robert Person, Chad Fox and the Jason Shiell all over again.
   170. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: April 03, 2012 at 12:37 PM (#4095551)
Even if Melancon or whoever blows 3 or 4 9th inning leads?


Two things about that;

1. I think if Bard is pitching alright they'll cycle through Aceves, Albers, Bowden, etc...first

2. If Melancon is that bad right away the Sox may well drop out of the race enough that letting Bard spend the year as a starter in development would be the right course of action.
   171. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: April 03, 2012 at 12:37 PM (#4095554)
Even if Melancon or whoever blows 3 or 4 9th inning leads?


The Red Sox of this generation rarely make panic moves, and throwing Bard back into the bullpen because of blown leads is a panic move. That means Melancon gets demoted, or rather his leash is shortened. The list of bullpen issues that would need to happen for Bard to be put back into the bullpen is probably pretty long. I'd imagine it would have to start with several more guys going down with season-ending injuries. If that happens though, they probably punt the season, so Bard doesn't go back.

I think it's more likely the Red Sox explore trades before putting Bard back. Bard will have to prove that he can't be a starter by losing command, or being completely ineffective.
   172. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 03, 2012 at 12:39 PM (#4095558)
Cherington seems to be starting the way his predecessor did, great offensive club, OK but thin starters, terrible bullpen. This is Robert Person, Chad Fox and the Jason Shiell all over again.
So all Ben has to do is trade Nicky Punto to Cincinnati for Sean Marshall, and we'll be good to go.
   173. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 03, 2012 at 12:39 PM (#4095559)
The Red Sox of this generation rarely make panic moves, and throwing Bard back into the bullpen because of blown leads is a panic move.

I guess my question is do they have that luxury coming off 2 non-playoff seasons, and the loss of Theo, the principle architect of "the Red Sox of this generation"?

Will the fans tolerate a slow start after last year, or will ratings start to fall, etc.?
   174. Dan Posted: April 03, 2012 at 12:40 PM (#4095562)
I agree that decision on Bard's role will have more to do with Bard's performance than whatever happens with the closer situation. It's not like Bard is a guarantee to be a shutdown closer either. He seems to lack the "short memory" mentality that good closers need. I mean we're talking about a short releiver that managed to get hung with 9 losses last season. Not that it means he personally was responsible for losing 9 games, but it's just another sign that he's not really a protoypical closer in a lot of ways. I think he's just too cerebral to be a good closer, honestly. When he's pitching well, he's a dominant reliever, but when things go poorly, he's not able to put away a bad outing and he has several in a row (see September 2011).
   175. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: April 03, 2012 at 12:43 PM (#4095567)
This bullpen is appallingly bad.


It's not that bad. It's just not great. Relief pitching is so volatile that it's possible this could be a great bullpen. It doesn't look good on paper, though.

This bullpen makes it imperative that the starting pitching not suck. The best way to maximize the strengths of that bullpen is for the starting pitchers to go deep into games. Which is always the best course, I guess.
   176. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 03, 2012 at 12:44 PM (#4095568)
2. If Melancon is that bad right away the Sox may well drop out of the race enough that letting Bard spend the year as a starter in development would be the right course of action.
No way. Not with two wild cards, not in one month.

It's certainly possible that the bullpen could collapse so completely that the Sox would want to move even a reasonably effective Bard back to short relief. I'm not sure at what point that would be - what if Mark Melancon is eaten alive by Vincente Padilla's dogs? huh? what about that? - but the point exists. I think the claim being made here is that it would take more than a relatively shaky bullpen or a worse than CJ Wilson performance by Bard to get the Sox to make the shift.

I really don't know how the pen and rotation will shake out. There's an entirely different management team in charge, and our knowledge of Dan Bard's capacity to be an MLB starter is pretty limited.
   177. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: April 03, 2012 at 12:45 PM (#4095570)
Will the fans tolerate a slow start after last year, or will ratings start to fall, etc.?


The fans never tolerate a slow start. If you remember last year, they made no panic moves. When Pedroia came up and sucked balls for a month or so, the fans wanted him out, but the team stuck with him. The Sox will be in the hunt and that's about all it takes for fans not to go away in droves.
   178. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 03, 2012 at 12:47 PM (#4095573)
Will the fans tolerate a slow start after last year, or will ratings start to fall, etc.?
Methinks someone is wishcasting a bit.

Winning is what brings fans to the ballpark. Shifting an effective starter into relief is rarely a good way to win more games. What other alternatives the Red Sox might have, what level of not-perfectly-effective Bard might be, or what level of disastrous the bullpen might be, I really don't know. There's a point at which shifting Bard to the pen makes sense, but I don't know what that point is.
   179. Nasty Nate Posted: April 03, 2012 at 12:48 PM (#4095576)
Even if Melancon or whoever blows 3 or 4 9th inning leads?


Heck, Bard blew more than that many games last September. He's good, but he ain't Willy Wags out there.
   180. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: April 03, 2012 at 12:48 PM (#4095579)
I really don't know how the pen and rotation will shake out. There's an entirely different management team in charge, and our knowledge of Dan Bard's capacity to be an MLB starter is pretty limited.


Well, none of us know. At this point, it looks like they'll give him a solid shot at being a starter. Maybe they will panic, though. As you say, it's a different management team. Bobby V may feel like his best team is with Bard in the bullpen and pushes hard until he gets his way.
   181. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 03, 2012 at 12:49 PM (#4095580)
Methinks someone is wishcasting a bit.

Winning is what brings fans to the ballpark. Shifting an effective starter into relief is rarely a good way to win more games. What other alternatives the Red Sox might have, what level of not-perfectly-effective Bard might be, or what level of disastrous the bullpen might be, I really don't know. There's a point at which shifting Bard to the pen makes sense, but I don't know what that point is.


Wishcasting? I'd be thrilled to see the Red Sox punt the season for the "long-term development of Josh Bard".
   182. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: April 03, 2012 at 12:51 PM (#4095586)
Wishcasting? I'd be thrilled to see the Red Sox punt the season for the "long-term development of Josh Bard".


Shhh! Don't tell anyone about the super secret Red Sox phenom Josh Bard! We don't want the word to get out that Daniel Bard is holding his place in the rotation! How'd you find out anyway?
   183. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 03, 2012 at 12:52 PM (#4095588)
Wishcasting? I'd be thrilled to see the Red Sox punt the season for the "long-term development of Josh Bard".
You were asking, what if the Red Sox suck a whole lot? Will they start losing money and then make a panic trade or panic roster move? You wuz wishcasting.

I don't expect they'll make a panic move. They might - anyone might - but I don't expect it. And as to when it would be a good decision to shift a starter back to the pen, as I said, that depends on a wide array of factors, not just "what if X games are blown by Y reliever?"
   184. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 03, 2012 at 12:55 PM (#4095590)
You were asking, what if the Red Sox suck a whole lot? Will they start losing money and then make a panic trade? You wuz wishcasting.

No, I asked what happens if the bullpen blows a few high profile leads early on. That doesn;'t imply the team sucks; they could be playing very well, but have 3 9th inning blown saves in the first three weeks. Many an organization has been known ton have a knee-jerk reaction to that, when the closer is unproven, and there is another option.

I was asking what the sense was of how patient the Red Sox can afford to be given all that has transpired. Cherington and Valentine don't have the Theo/Tito halo effect, I assume.
   185. Nasty Nate Posted: April 03, 2012 at 12:55 PM (#4095591)
I'd love to see the Yankees punt the season for the long-term development of Phil Hughes.

Sounds just as stupid when talking about the Yankees, I see.
   186. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 03, 2012 at 12:59 PM (#4095599)
I'd love to see the Yankees punt the season for the long-term development of Phil Hughes.

Sounds just as stupid when talking about the Yankees, I see.


It wasn't my idea, it was Piehole's.
   187. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 03, 2012 at 01:03 PM (#4095609)
I was asking what the sense was of how patient the Red Sox can afford to be given all that has transpired. Cherington and Valentine don't have the Theo/Tito halo effect, I assume.
This is still, will they make a bad move because they panicked and are losing money?

And why, if the Sox are winning tons of games, would they have any reason to panic? They're winning. Their revenues and ratings should be just fine, their "halos" intact. Your question still only makes sense if the team is playing quite poorly.
   188. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: April 03, 2012 at 01:13 PM (#4095629)
Not wanting to turn the RLYW thread into a Sox debate I'll say that the consistent 90-92 wins the Sox seem to be projecting in different systems really is a reassuring aspect of things. It is a useful reminder to just how much talent there really is on this team.
   189. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: April 03, 2012 at 01:20 PM (#4095641)
It wasn't my idea, it was Piehole's.


This is like playing that kids game telephone. No one said anything about punting the season FOR Bard's development. If they were going to punt the season anyway, they wouldn't move Bard back to the bullpen. What I said was, if the bullpen blew up to the point that there just wasn't anyone left, I doubt they'd move Bard back. As MCoA said, there's a point where they move Bard back, but we don't know what it is. I think if, say, everyone in the bullpen gets ebola and dies tomorrow, they just move forward with Bard as a starter. The threshold for Bard moving back to the pen is somewhere between 3-blown-9th-inning-leads-in-three-weeks and everyone-in-the-bullpen-dying-of-ebola. That threshold, though, is not close to either one of those.
   190. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: April 03, 2012 at 01:45 PM (#4095687)
No, I asked what happens if the bullpen blows a few high profile leads early on. That doesn;'t imply the team sucks; they could be playing very well, but have 3 9th inning blown saves in the first three weeks. Many an organization has been known ton have a knee-jerk reaction to that, when the closer is unproven, and there is another option.


The Sox aren't immune from making knee-jerk decisions - the decision to dump the aforementioned Josh Bard for Mirabelli comes to mind - I think they'd pull Bard from the rotation if:
1. Bard pitches absurdly badly for like 3+ starts, in a way that makes one question his mental suitability to starting - bad body language, poor pitch choice, etc.
2. Bard gets hurt and his replacement pitches extraordinarily well in his absence
3. The bullpen blows a number of leads in succession, leading to several painful losses

If the bullpen is doing terribly, than I'm sure talk radio will be up in arms to put Bard back in the bullpen no matter what happens, but I think it'll take a confluence of 1+3 or 2+3 for anything to get serious.

I haven't heard much about innings limits, but I would guess if Bard's not pitching well around midseason and Matsuzaka is absolutely destroying AAA, then they might send him back to the bullpen to save his arm? How well Doubront is pitching might also be a factor in there.
   191. Dan Posted: April 03, 2012 at 02:44 PM (#4095777)
The Rays bullpen isn't looking too great either, especially now that Farnsworth is apparently dealing with a sore elbow, and projects to miss opening day. So now their pen is something like:

CL Peralta
SU Howell/Rodney
MR Wade Davis/Jake McGee/Burke Badenhop

That's pretty ugly.
   192. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: April 03, 2012 at 03:04 PM (#4095801)
Extra Bases says Beckett to pitch, Bailey to DL;

Cherington said, "Josh has had some soreness off and on this spring that he’s tried to pitch through. We took the opportunity at a time between his last outing and his extended side (his 100-pitch side he threw in Fort Myers) to Game 2 to let him gather as much information as possible so that we can help him manage it, if that’s possible.



re: Bailey

"We’re still trying to gather information. We can eliminate one issue; it’s not a bone issue, I can tell you that, so we can eliminate some stuff, but until we get more we can’t say anything more formally than that.

"If a procedure is necessary I would think it would happen soon, but we’re not at that point yet.''

   193. Joel W Posted: April 03, 2012 at 03:16 PM (#4095818)
If you stop after getting through the rotation you've got a championship team. This bullpen is appallingly bad. Cherington seems to be starting the way his predecessor did, great offensive club, OK but thin starters, terrible bullpen. This is Robert Person, Chad Fox and the Jason Shiell all over again.


What qualifies as appallingly bad? Bottom 5 in the league in ERA/WPA? You pick a reasonable metric and definition of appallingly bad, and we can make some sort of a bet where I disagree.

Melancon has, as noted above, a career 125 ERA+, and is turning 27. Aceves has a career 2.62 ERA as a reliever. Morales had a 119 ERA+ in Boston last year (SSS, but I've given my reasons to believe it). Who knows with the rest of them. Bowden has shown promise. Hey hey hey it's Matt Albers can be a functional mop up guy allowing the lineup to win some games. Yada yada yada.
   194. Joel W Posted: April 03, 2012 at 03:16 PM (#4095820)
I'd trust Cherington more if he cleaned house on our doctors.
   195. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 03, 2012 at 03:22 PM (#4095829)
He did dump the medical director and look to re-organize the club's relationship with MGH.
   196. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: April 03, 2012 at 03:37 PM (#4095853)
He did dump the medical director and look to re-organize the club's relationship with MGH.


And they sent two guys to the Cleveland Clinic to have their hands looked at. I'd say, that's about the best you can do.
   197. Joel W Posted: April 03, 2012 at 03:39 PM (#4095857)
That's good to know. Confidence abounds!
   198. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: April 03, 2012 at 03:40 PM (#4095858)
Also, right now both Buchholz and Edwin Jackson have perfect games going through 3. :)
   199. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: April 03, 2012 at 03:43 PM (#4095862)
That's good to know. Confidence abounds!


That's pretty much the first thing Cherington did, IIRC.
   200. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: April 03, 2012 at 03:53 PM (#4095878)
Edwin Jackson's perfect game is gone. Let's hope Clay can keep it up.
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