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   1. villageidiom Posted: April 02, 2011 at 01:34 AM (#3784062)
Is anyone really coming away from this game thinking, “Jon Lester used to be a legit playoff ace, but now he sucks”?
Dunno. I haven't listened to WEEI all day.
   2. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: April 02, 2011 at 02:44 AM (#3784118)
For me the two positives were Ellsbury and Albers. Ells had a nice day at the plate not only with good results but seemed (except for the final pitch) to be a bit more selective than I remember. I thought Albers pitched pretty well in a key spot and did a nice job to keep the Sox on the game.
   3. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 02, 2011 at 03:01 AM (#3784123)
Ellsbury looked good too, I agree.

Albers was just aight for me, though, dog. I didn't see much in the way of a second pitch, and his fastball command was spotty. It's a good fastball, and he can probably be a competent back end guy with just that, but I didn't see anything that made me think we got any real upgrade over Scott Atchison.
   4. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: April 02, 2011 at 03:18 AM (#3784132)
Expectations I suppose. I haven't been much on the Matt Albers experience so seeing him pitch successfully came as a bit of a pleasant surprise to me. If he's a serviceable 11th/12th man on a staff (12th man, ugh) I'm satisfied with that.
   5. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: April 02, 2011 at 08:13 AM (#3784219)
If I were to try to take something negative away from this loss, it’d be about Saltalamacchia.

I dunno, but I thought Crawford looked a lot worse at the plate. Not that I want to overreact to that either.

MCoA, Albers was getting squeezed pretty bad, I thought his command was ok.
   6. Phil Coorey is a T-Shirt Salesman Posted: April 02, 2011 at 10:55 AM (#3784232)
Sox match up pretty well for the next two games - this was always going to be a bullpen battle. Opening Day wins the last few year also resulted in free falls of epic proportions, IIRC.

Can't wait for tomorrow's game , I really look forward to watching this team play this year (except Dice K starts) . Hopefully Jed can sneak some at bats in as well some way...
   7. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: April 02, 2011 at 12:09 PM (#3784245)
I'm trying to write some about the Sox this year. I'm hoping to do so about once a week. Here's my piece on opening day. It's long for me (probably short for Simmons or Posnanski) But it has a lot of Dwight Evans in it. My target audience isn't you guys, per se. It's for lower info Sox fans. I like it, but it is my baby, so I'm prejudiced.
   8. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: April 02, 2011 at 12:26 PM (#3784256)
Is Daniel Bard more or less locked into a worse runs-given-up year than he had last year?

In 2010, he gave up only 16 earned runs in 74.2 innings.

He's given up 4 earned runs after only .2 innings this year, for an ERA of 54.

Obviously, the math says that he can only give up 12 ERs in 74 innings if he wants to match his ERA from last year. That's a 1.45.

Put it this way - if you just add the runs given up yesterday to his performance last year, his ERA would go from 1.93 to 2.4
   9. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: April 02, 2011 at 12:31 PM (#3784259)
Also, did Salty used to do the leg-split thing behind the plate in prior MLB seasons? I never noticed it before with him.
   10. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: April 02, 2011 at 12:56 PM (#3784271)
Is Daniel Bard more or less locked into a worse runs-given-up year than he had last year?


Even before yesterday that was a likely result. Replicating a sub-2.00 ERA is pretty unlikely. He could have a terrific year and still be worse than he was in 2010.
   11. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: April 02, 2011 at 01:54 PM (#3784323)
Saltalamacchia did that last year, too, TVe.
   12. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: April 02, 2011 at 03:17 PM (#3784369)
Is it only with the bases empty? It would be hard to throw from there, methinks.
   13. booond Posted: April 02, 2011 at 03:23 PM (#3784375)
Unless we expected 162-0, it's one game.

The defense wasn't very good. Cameron in center would make me feel better. Bard and Lester had one of those days... it happens. Papi driving one out was a good sign. Can't wait for the next game.
   14. John DiFool2 Posted: April 02, 2011 at 03:27 PM (#3784377)
If anything is going to derail this team, it will be the starting pitching (well that and injuries-<tosses salt over shoulder>): we've got Lackey and Beckett, two veteran righties aiming for comebacks after off-years, Clay, who may or may not regress towards his FIP, Dice-K, who is to the rotation what a bullet is to a game of Russian Roulette, and Lester, our one sure thing who gave up 5 runs yesterday without a single solitary strikeout. In the wings we have a 44 y/o knuckleballer who likely has seen better days. The offense had better score 900+ runs because this team is going to need it.
   15. tfbg9 Posted: April 02, 2011 at 04:02 PM (#3784396)
No offense, but 12 is a stupid question. Very stupid.
   16. Dale Sams Posted: April 02, 2011 at 04:25 PM (#3784409)
Salty is going to be nigh useless.

Crawford, he no can hit the curveball.

Just kidding about Crawford. I mean he'll never live up to being the highest paid OFer in the history of Baseball, but what can you do. Salty though will be nearly useless. Not worried about Bard or Lester, and I'm excited about a healthy Ellsbury. A little worried about Youk at third. Not his hands, that'll come around but he just doesn't look very mobile. Pedey's a frigging vacuum cleaner, though I did see him limping some.

At least Lester, more or less stayed out of a big inning.
   17. villageidiom Posted: April 02, 2011 at 04:36 PM (#3784415)
Is it only with the bases empty? It would be hard to throw from there, methinks.
Not only with the bases empty, but with fewer than two strikes.
   18. tfbg9 Posted: April 02, 2011 at 04:39 PM (#3784417)
Liked your piece GGC.
   19. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: April 02, 2011 at 08:41 PM (#3784547)
Thanks, tfbg9. I'm trying to write stuff people would be interested in and not just the esoteric stuff I have been writing the past year and a half.
   20. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: April 02, 2011 at 08:55 PM (#3784558)
Let's not pants piss, people.

But, Saltalamacchia stinks, so it isn't overreacting to say so. Crawford will be fine. He'll crush righties.
   21. Nasty Nate Posted: April 02, 2011 at 09:08 PM (#3784565)
Good article, GGC.

You might be interested in something I saw on ESPN.com: http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/8297/wackiest-season-ever-look-back-at-1986

It looks like it is going to be an ongoing series about the 1986 season, looks promising.
   22. Darren Posted: April 02, 2011 at 09:48 PM (#3784594)
Now now, it was just opening day. Winning was clearly not a top priority for the Sox so there's no reason to get upset that they lost. I suppose it's good news that they are so confident.

The big downer to me was Lester. I was hoping that a new pitching coach might me he gets off to a better start. He looked brutally bad, probably one of the 2-3 worst starts of his career, performance-wise.
   23. Phil Coorey is a T-Shirt Salesman Posted: April 02, 2011 at 10:27 PM (#3784622)
I loved it GGC.

Edit - Just read "You Can’t Walk Off The Island? Why Not?" from the same blog. That is awesome stuff there!!!
   24. ptodd Posted: April 03, 2011 at 08:04 AM (#3784897)
Lesters worst start was last August 20 and his 2nd worst was last September 30. In fact, since August 20 and including opening day 2011 he has given up 31 runs in 52 IP over 9 starts. Becketts awful 2010 was also preceded by a poor finish to 2009 where he had a 6+ ERA over his last 9 starts. Hopefully Lester has a better outcome in 2011.

Red Sox pitching has given up more runs in the first 2 games of the season than any 2 game start since the 1980 Brewers scored 27.
Bullpen has given up 7 runs in 7 IP so its not all on the starters (14 runs in 9 IP)
   25. Mattbert Posted: April 03, 2011 at 11:28 AM (#3784904)
My loathing for Lackey is already in mid-season form!
   26. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: April 03, 2011 at 12:31 PM (#3784915)
WE'RE DOOOOOOOOMED
   27. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 03, 2011 at 12:44 PM (#3784918)
This is one of those moments where the RLYW shtick would be useful. They make it a running joke, every year, that the media thinks Yankees are doomed and the Red Sox the greatest team ever, so any wins are unexpected but welcome delays of the inevitable, and any losses are to be taken in stride. Then, when the Yankees make the playoffs, they act all surprised. I find the shtick a little bit annoying and a little bit ridiculous - Yankee fan persecution complexes are hard to take - but I can see the appeal.
   28. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: April 03, 2011 at 01:03 PM (#3784920)
If you are completely convinced that your team will prevail in the end:

a) the only emotion you can feel at the end is either relief or abject disappointment. Since ultimate victory has been long assured, there's no real upside, emotionally.

b) the season doesn't hold any real drama. It's a joyless march until October, when the dice-rolling begins.

So I don't believe that Yankee fans disingenuously take the mantle of "underdog" in the early going; it's in their subconscious interests.

Nobody roots for the Empire; we're all for the Rebel Alliance. If you do root for the Empire, the first thing to do is to define it as the "Rebels"
   29. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: April 03, 2011 at 01:20 PM (#3784923)
Nobody roots for the Empire; we're all for the Rebel Alliance. If you do root for the Empire, the first thing to do is to define it as the "Rebels"


I totally think when we meet aliens Earth should adopt the Imperial March as our official anthem. Also, while the Emperor was a bad guy, the resulting chaos of his overthrow would kill a lot more people than his basic tyranny.
   30. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 03, 2011 at 01:20 PM (#3784924)
I think there's a middle ground between complete assuredness and self-delusion, though.

The Red Sox are definitively not the rebel alliance. The Yankees even more so. Telling yourself they are is silly, and acting like they are in public is obnoxious.

The Red Sox are one of the best few teams in baseball, based on what we can know about a baseball season before it starts. However, (a) we can't know with great precision how good a team is in the preseason, the Sox may not be all that great, and (b) a baseball season is long and unpredictable. This is the sport where favorites are never more than 3 to 1, pretty much never more than 2 to 1 to win a game. I don't need to develop a persecution complex to follow my team with worry and hope, and be happy about good outcomes. I may think these outcomes are reasonably likely, but nothing in baseball is ever even close to guaranteed.
   31. Paxton Crawford Ranch Posted: April 03, 2011 at 01:24 PM (#3784926)
Disappointing not to see the Sox do more against a very mediocre looking Colby Lewis. His fastball was off a couple of notches from the 90 he averaged last year, only touching 89 or 90 a couple of times, and mostly sitting 85-88. Gameday didn't know what to do with him, with many of his fastballs being labeled changeups. It seemed to draw the line at about 87.5 -- 85s and 86s were changeups, 88s fastballs, with 87s going either way. Against Ellsbury in the third he threw back to back pitches at 87, the first a "changeup", the second a "fastball."

Gameday glitches aside, if this is as good as it gets for Lewis this year, Texas is going to be in trouble. I'm sure the Sox would love another hack at him.
   32. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: April 03, 2011 at 01:41 PM (#3784931)
I don't think it's right to compare average fastball velocities over the entirety of last year with a small sample size in April and attempt to draw definitive conclusions.
   33. Chip Posted: April 03, 2011 at 02:16 PM (#3784941)
I think Tito forgot to tell the team that spring training is over and they weren't playing exhibition games any longer.
   34. Dave Cyprian Posted: April 03, 2011 at 02:49 PM (#3784961)
I think #26 did the best job analyzing the games and offering a realistic vision for the rest of the season.
   35. Darren Posted: April 03, 2011 at 03:35 PM (#3784978)
I had a coworker tell me how fun it would be for the Yankees to be the underdog this year.
   36. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: April 03, 2011 at 03:43 PM (#3784983)
It is a different preseason position for Yankee fans of recent vintage. From what I saw of the mainstream media's predictions, the AL East was picked to go to the Sox about 95% of the time.
   37. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: April 03, 2011 at 07:41 PM (#3785241)
These games have all been WTF.

WTF?
   38. Foster Posted: April 03, 2011 at 08:07 PM (#3785289)
Hello, Therapudians. I bought one of those right field roof deck tables for the 4/12 game against Tampa but I won't be able to make it. Just looking to recoup the $477 (the 4 seats come with $25 each food/drink credits.) Hope this isn't a breach of etiquette to mention this here. Email through the site if interested.
   39. Darren Posted: April 03, 2011 at 09:35 PM (#3785374)
Giving up HRs is fun!
   40. Hugh Jorgan Posted: April 03, 2011 at 11:07 PM (#3785409)
Losing: Still Not Fun

Checks....yep, that's correct, losing still really sucks.

It's not the losing, it's the manner of the losses. The Sox got smoked in this 3 game set and I am just glad it's over.

There weren't any injuries were there? Other than A-gon and Papi, I'm trying to find some positives....
   41. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: April 03, 2011 at 11:24 PM (#3785413)
Positives;

Gonzalez
Ortiz
Ellsbury - showed some pop and seemed more disciplined at the plate
Sort of Papelbon - if you buy into the need of a close to get an adrenalin kick once he got in trouble he got tough. I thought his slider was especially good. That ignores the first few hitters of course
Buchholz - I thought his stuff was great. Like he said post game, they just crushed every mistake. If he pitches like that regularly he'll have a good year.

Some of that is a reach admittedly but against a very good team at home on the rush of celebrating an AL pennant I think losing two of three was probably likely so while I'm frustrated I'm not overly concerned ...yet.
   42. tfbg9 Posted: April 03, 2011 at 11:25 PM (#3785415)
Mr. Salty seems to have scrapped the "Chippendale's Split", did not see it today.
   43. tfbg9 Posted: April 03, 2011 at 11:29 PM (#3785418)
If you're gonna get swept, I prefer the no blown late leads variety for the losses.
   44. Hugh Jorgan Posted: April 03, 2011 at 11:52 PM (#3785429)
If you're gonna get swept, I prefer the no blown late leads variety for the losses.

Well game one was tough to watch. Papi tied it a 5 in the middle innings and the pen let it go.

#41, yes Bucch's stuff looked pretty good. Sometimes you pitch without luck. Of course the one game we "hold" them to 5 runs, we fail to score more than 1.

No, losing 3 games, on the road, at Texas, at the start of the season, is not a big deal. Giving up 11 homers in 3 games was just hard to watch.
   45. Dale Sams Posted: April 04, 2011 at 01:25 AM (#3785457)
No, losing 3 games, on the road, at Texas, at the start of the season, is not a big deal


Having a Salty sized black hole in the line-up is*. Sox arn't going anywhere until that rally-killing singularity is filled. We're not talking a Lugo-sized hole, we're speaking as if TIm Wakefield were the DH hole.

*I've never poorer discipline from a modern everyday player.
   46. John DiFool2 Posted: April 04, 2011 at 01:07 PM (#3785611)
Some of that is a reach admittedly but against a very good team at home on the rush of celebrating an AL pennant I think losing two of three was probably likely so while I'm frustrated I'm not overly concerned ...yet.


Note that they stacked their rotation with 3 lefties. From here on out it's going to be much harder for teams to do that. On the other hand Tito is going to have to face reality on this score and start playing the matchups better against lefties than he did.
   47. Dale Sams Posted: April 04, 2011 at 01:16 PM (#3785612)
Colby Lewis is a rightie. And Tito played the match-ups fine*, short of sitting the highest paid outfielder in the history of baseball in his third game ever with his new team.

*Though, I still don't know why McDonald started Sunday, instead of Cameron.
   48. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: April 04, 2011 at 01:19 PM (#3785614)
Having a Salty sized black hole in the line-up is*. Sox arn't going anywhere until that rally-killing singularity is filled. We're not talking a Lugo-sized hole, we're speaking as if TIm Wakefield were the DH hole.


I agree from a fan's perspective, but disagree as someone who thinks math is swell. If the Sox had an unproductive out-making robot and batted him leadoff, they'd be fine.
   49. Answer Guy Posted: April 04, 2011 at 01:20 PM (#3785615)
If you're gonna get swept, I prefer the no blown late leads variety for the losses.


In any one game, sure. But even a string of three late-inning heartbreakers at least don't (generally) cause that sinking "Perhaps we're not as good as we thought we were" feeling.
   50. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 04, 2011 at 01:21 PM (#3785616)
Saltalamacchia has a huge platoon split over his career. He looked completely lost out there, but he was facing lefties most of the time.
   51. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: April 04, 2011 at 01:31 PM (#3785623)
*Though, I still don't know why McDonald started Sunday, instead of Cameron.


I think it was probably a case of just wanting to get him in there, not let him get rusty. Francona's pretty much the anti-Ralph Houk, ain't no one spending the entire year on the roster and getting ten at bats with Tito in charge.

short of sitting the highest paid outfielder in the history of baseball in his third game ever with his new team.


Is there a new math I don't know about? Pretty sure Carl Crawford was the only player who met that criteria and someone who looked an awful lot like Crawford was in the lineup yesterday and had a pretty good day.
   52. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: April 04, 2011 at 01:31 PM (#3785624)
Saltalamacchia has a huge platoon split over his career. He looked completely lost out there, but he was facing lefties most of the time.

The question then is why isn't Varitek playing against the lefties? I suppose Tito wants to get his starters the playing time to start the year...then again Drew was on the bench against both lefty starters.
   53. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 04, 2011 at 01:43 PM (#3785629)
The question then is why isn't Varitek playing against the lefties?
I'm worried that Varitek is going to be a personal catcher for Beckett, which will hurt the projected performance of our catcher tandem.

The Indians have right-handed starters scheduled for each game of the upcoming series. This should help the Sox dig out of their current hole, but it suggests that Tito isn't paying much attention to platoon issues with his catchers. Varitek will surely start one game in Cleveland, and it will not be against a lefty.

EDIT: I don't actually think a hard platoon is a good idea with catchers. I figure that you want your starting catcher to get rest on a more regular schedule than a hard platoon allows. But as much as possible, Varitek should be starting against lefties and Saltalamacchia against righties**. Sunday, a day game after a night game, facing a lefty starter, was about the most obvious Varitek situation you could call for.

**I should acknowledge that platoon split data is wonky, and it's possible the Red Sox don't think that either Varitek or Saltalamacchia will continue to have as large splits as they've had in the past.
   54. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: April 04, 2011 at 01:48 PM (#3785633)
I'm worried that Varitek is going to be a personal catcher for Beckett, which will hurt the projected performance of our catcher tandem.

The Indians have right-handed starters scheduled for each game of the upcoming series. This should help the Sox dig out of their current hole, but it suggests that Tito isn't paying much attention to platoon issues with his catchers. Varitek will surely start one game in Cleveland, and it will not be against a lefty.


Francona has said repeatedly this off-season that he expects Varitek to play more than the average backup catcher. Now deeds count more than words and so far that obviously is not the case but I think this is an element of personnel management more than anything else. I think the Sox/Francona wanted to make it clear that Saltalamacchia is the starter and that they trust him to perform against both lefties and righties.

Maybe you are right and if that's the case I agree that's a mistake but reading anything into the usage patterns of three games is a recipe for error. I think it's clear that Francona is still getting a feel for the lineup, Gonzalez batted in three different spot, Youk batted in a couple of different spots, Crawford got moved pretty aggressively.
   55. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: April 04, 2011 at 02:01 PM (#3785640)

I agree from a fan's perspective, but disagree as someone who thinks math is swell. If the Sox had an unproductive out-making robot and batted him leadoff, they'd be fine.


You know, in my opinion there are questions about every spot in the lineup outside of 2-5. I actually believe Ortiz will have a good year, but can Drew stat on the field? There's every possibiltiy that Salty and Scutaro/Lowrie turns out to be a black hole of suck at 8 and 9. Early signs on Ellsbury are promising, but will he live up to his promise or is he a .340/.390 guy?

At the very least, the bottom of the order could be a problem. Not a crippling problem, mind you.
   56. Dale Sams Posted: April 04, 2011 at 02:10 PM (#3785646)
Is there a new math I don't know about? Pretty sure Carl Crawford was the only player who met that criteria and someone who looked an awful lot like Crawford was in the lineup yesterday and had a pretty good day.


"short of sitting the highest paid outfielder in the history of baseball in his third game ever with his new team." means, "Short of doing something really really dumb, Francona did fine with his match-ups" (Except immediatly cutting Salty and getting a police escort for Mirabelli from Phoenix, or wherever the hell Doug is selling real estate these days)

At least Tito started Lowrie after he reached twice in both his opportunities and Scutaro had failed to leave the infield (I think). Of course Lowrie went 0-4 but..
   57. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 04, 2011 at 02:11 PM (#3785647)
Early signs on Ellsbury are promising, but will he live up to his promise or is he a .340/.390 guy?
Well, Ellsbury projects worse than 340/390, and the Sox project as the best team in baseball. If Ellsbury overperforms his projections, you'd be adding wins on top of the impressive projections.

And, I mean, all players have "questions." Going through lineup spots 2-5 that you excluded: Pedroia is coming back from injury and 2B have a history of early declines, Crawford has huge disagreements in his projections with a PECOTA under 800 OPS, Gonzalez is coming off a significant shoulder surgery and didn't hit for much power in spring, Youkilis is coming off injury and has a history of fragility and is trying to take on a more difficult position at 32. I could probably do that for every team in baseball if I knew enough.

The Red Sox, three terrible games notwithstanding, look to me to have probably less than average expected variance in their projections than most clubs. All teams, though, as the "questions" thing demonstrates, have huge possible variance once the games start getting played on the field.
   58. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 04, 2011 at 02:12 PM (#3785648)
At least Tito started Lowrie after he reached twice in both his opportunities and Scutaro had failed to leave the infield (I think). Of course Lowrie went 0-4 but..
He started Lowrie in a day game after a night game agaisnt a lefty. I really doubt two PA had anything to do with it - Lowrie would have been starting if he'd struck out twice on six pitches.

Also, are you going for a Fly-on-Papelbon thing with Salty? We've already got one, you see.
   59. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: April 04, 2011 at 02:20 PM (#3785657)
This is one of those moments where the RLYW shtick would be useful. They make it a running joke, every year, that the media thinks Yankees are doomed and the Red Sox the greatest team ever, so any wins are unexpected but welcome delays of the inevitable, and any losses are to be taken in stride. Then, when the Yankees make the playoffs, they act all surprised. I find the shtick a little bit annoying and a little bit ridiculous - Yankee fan persecution complexes are hard to take - but I can see the appeal.

Blame any/everyone on TV for ESPN and special blame for Schilling and Gammons.
   60. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 04, 2011 at 02:21 PM (#3785658)
Blame any/everyone on TV for ESPN and special blame for Schilling and Gammons.
Oh come on.

You are not the oppressed. The media does not have a special anti-Yankee bias.
   61. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: April 04, 2011 at 02:40 PM (#3785673)
It's not paranoia if you're actually being followed, and it's not bias if people have counted you out.

It's not unfair of the media to pick a team based on whatever criteria they want, but it's also not tinfoil-hat-wearing crazy of fans to take extra pleasure (and it's Monday of the first week of games; I draw no conclusions about how the season is going to be in the end) if the local nine proves them wrong.
   62. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: April 04, 2011 at 02:42 PM (#3785676)
Also, are you going for a Fly-on-Papelbon thing with Salty? We've already got one, you see.


I assume I'm the "one" in question here. I think I was good about not complaining about Saltalamacchia's suckitude this weekend. Let's see if we can get a binky and anti-binky list going;

Jose - anti-binky Saltalamacchia
Darren - anti-binky Beckett
tfbg and Phil Coorey - anti-binky Wakefield
Karlmagnus - binky Wake, anti-binky everyone else
Dale - binky Lowrie, anti-binky Saltalamacchia
Fly - anti-binky Papelbon
MCoA - binky Saltalamacchia (binky status currently under review)
   63. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 04, 2011 at 02:44 PM (#3785678)
It's not paranoia if you're actually being followed, and it's not bias if people have counted you out.
Ok in general, but there isn't actually any persistent anti-Yankee bias in the media. The only people who think there is anti-Yankee bias are Yankee fans. Ask around at work, on this site, anywhere you like. Very very few people who aren't Yankee fans think that the Yankees are persistently underrated by a biased media.

(You will find, though, that a lot of people seem to think that a biased media does persistently underrate the team they root for. It's possible that this general fan tendency is the issue, rather than a media bias that only Yankee fans can perceive.)
   64. Dale Sams Posted: April 04, 2011 at 02:44 PM (#3785677)
going for a Fly-on-Papelbon thing with Salty


'going'? You did see his ABs right? You did see his golf swings right? His swings at pitchs in his eyes? Did he ever even reach a 3 ball count? Once? I mean, watching the ABs on Gameday isn't nearly the same as watching him K in person. So I'm just wondering if you actually saw the ABs.

I doubt he makes it to the AS break before cut/trade.

"Dale - binky Lowrie, anti-binky Saltalamacchia"

Dead on.
   65. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: April 04, 2011 at 02:44 PM (#3785679)
It's not paranoia if you're actually being followed, and it's not bias if people have counted you out


"counted out" is a subjective term but virtually every projection I saw has the Yankees picked to win 90+ games and the Wild Card. It's not like they've been predicted to go 79-83 here. When over half the people (estimating) expect you to make the playoffs you aren't being counted out.
   66. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: April 04, 2011 at 02:45 PM (#3785682)
You are not the oppressed. The media does not have a special anti-Yankee bias.

I agree. I think the Yankees/RS have been pretty much indistinguishable over the past few years. It's just annoying hearing how the RS are going to win 100+ games this year and seeing them picked as the division winners almost unanimously when, by any objective measure, the Yankees are only a slightly worse club. I don't think the media has a special anti-Yankee bias, but I DO think several of the more high profile baseball media persons have an interest in maintaining the Yankees on the verge of collapse narrative. If that makes any sense. Apologies for taking the discussion here off track.
   67. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 04, 2011 at 02:48 PM (#3785684)
MCoA - binky Saltalamacchia (binky status currently under review)
I guess it goes to show how much everyone hates Salty that my argument that Saltalamacchia projects as a somewhat below average but not terrible catcher makes him a "binky" of mine.
'going'? You did see his ABs right? You did see his golf swings right? His swings at pitchs in his eyes? Did he ever even reach a 3 ball count? Once? I mean, watching the ABs on Gameday isn't nearly the same as watching him K in person. So I'm just wondering if you actually saw the ABs.
<wipes spittle off inside of monitor>

Ok. I've watched a lot of guys have three bad games in a row. 315/395 hitters have bad games all the time, but they're not black holes at the catcher slot. I guess I was ready to overreact after watching Salty flail out there, but the overreactions here are so extreme I've been pushed back to the other side. He still projects as a bad hitter, below average for a catcher, but not unacceptable at the position.
   68. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 04, 2011 at 02:53 PM (#3785689)
Apologies for taking the discussion here off track.
Oh, that was entirely my fault with the post you quoted. I set the bait for the discussion in the first place. (And for whatever it's worth, I think one of the strengths of Sox Therapy is that lots of non-Red Sox fans post here, and I don't want it to be any kind of exclusive club - everyone should feel free to take the discussion down the track they want.)
It's just annoying hearing how the RS are going to win 100+ games this year and seeing them picked as the division winners almost unanimously when, by any objective measure, the Yankees are only a slightly worse club. I don't think the media has a special anti-Yankee bias, but I DO think several of the more high profile baseball media persons have an interest in maintaining the Yankees on the verge of collapse narrative. If that makes any sense.
This is a fair point. The Red Sox have actually been overrated in the media during the offseason, and the Yankees somewhat underrated.

The media has a persistent bias toward teams that "do something" over the offseason, and they've been overrating the effects of free agent signings all the way back to Bruce Sutter and beyond. It's got nothing to do with the Sox or Yankees, but it did hit them both this year, as the Sox did lots of stuff and the Yankees didn't do much.

The RLYW shtick, though, isn't a new development this year. It's persistent.
   69. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: April 04, 2011 at 02:56 PM (#3785693)
"counted out" is a subjective term but virtually every projection I saw has the Yankees picked to win 90+ games and the Wild Card. It's not like they've been predicted to go 79-83 here. When over half the people (estimating) expect you to make the playoffs you aren't being counted out.


I hereby limit "counted out" to the division title, not the consolation prize.
   70. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: April 04, 2011 at 02:58 PM (#3785694)
I have no faith in Saltalamacchia but MCoA is right, don't just take these three games and use them as proof of anything. Certainly if, like me, you are predisposed to see Saltalamacchia as a bust there was nothing this weekend to pursuade you otherwise but three games is not worth making any declarative statements over.
   71. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 04, 2011 at 03:00 PM (#3785696)
I hereby limit "counted out" to the division title, not the consolation prize.
If your team is being projected in the media to win 90+ games and make the playoffs, they are not counting your team out. They're projecting one other team to be better - and in fact, that other team does project to be better.

This is something I think Red Sox fans learned long ago. Being the underdog against one team and only one team does not make you an underdog overall. Being projected to win "just" the wild card does not make you an underdog.
   72. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: April 04, 2011 at 03:00 PM (#3785697)
I hereby limit "counted out" to the division title, not the consolation prize.


Fair nuff. Then you have definitely been "counted out."

Frankly the team that I thought has been really shafted in most pre-season discussion is Tampa. While I think they are third best I don't think it is anywhere near as big a gap as perceived. Of course that theory looked a lot better before they lost three in a row at home to Baltimore and lost their best player to the DL. Now THAT'S a team that the "worst weekend ever."
   73. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 04, 2011 at 03:08 PM (#3785701)
Saltalamacchia reminded me of good ol' Big Stupid Swing, Dave McCarty. He winds up and he takes a looping hack every time. It's terrible to watch.

Dave McCarty was something like a 700-750 OPS guy at his best. Saltalamacchia projects in the lower end of that range. Dave McCarty was never a good enough hitter to be useful at 1B, but he would have been a perfectly cromulent catcher.
   74. Dale Sams Posted: April 04, 2011 at 03:12 PM (#3785706)
Oh, and I wasn't Anti-Salty before this weekend.

In the third game, after he killed a couple of rollie-pollies two feet in front of the plate, he fouled a couple of pitchs off that were in the strike zone...I swear, Mathis went out to the mound and asked Harrison what the F he was doing throwing anything in the strike-zone. Salty promptly struck out on a pitch under his nose.
   75. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 04, 2011 at 03:16 PM (#3785708)
I've watched Salty enough to say that he definitely has better plate discipline than he showed in his first three games. His contact ability looks very poor, but watching him a little last fall and this spring, he can take a pitch. Just had three bad games where he didn't do that.
   76. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 04, 2011 at 03:21 PM (#3785717)
FWIW the greatest team in baseball history began its season at 1 and 4, was outscored by 36 to 15, had rumors of an immanent managerial sacrifice dominating the tabloids, and shortly after that saw parts of its stadium collapse. I think that Sox fans should give it at least another week before trading everyone off for prospects.
   77. Spivey Posted: April 04, 2011 at 03:36 PM (#3785727)
Salty will have large stretches of the season where he goes up there with absolutely no clue or pitch recognition.

I think Boston's big concern after the first series is Lackey (and the catcher situation, but I think most people expected that to be bad). He looked awful, and unlike Lester, there's reason to expect that to continue.
   78. rr Posted: April 04, 2011 at 03:38 PM (#3785729)
I know this is a Red Sox-centric forum, but I think that it is important to remember who these three games were against. Texas won the pennant last year for several good reasons. I think Boston was a little overrated in some quarters; I see them as a 93-98-win team, rather than a 98-105-win team, but this series is just a small sample, obviously. It may be that Texas is a little more ready to go. Earl Weaver's teams used to start slowly as well.

As to the media issue, the Red Sox and the Yankees are now a package deal, both on FOX and ESPN, so there is no real "bias" either way. Boston always does seem to have more than its share of media honks with national gigs, with Schilling now added to the long list. But people picked Boston to win the AL East for simple, obvious reasons:

Gonzalez and Crawford
Pettitte
Yankee age
Red Sox 2010 injury list

I don't see it as a bias issue.
   79. SoSH U at work Posted: April 04, 2011 at 03:50 PM (#3785740)
Darren - anti-binky Beckett


I'll have you know, I defer to no Sox fan in this category.
   80. Swedish Chef Posted: April 04, 2011 at 04:04 PM (#3785753)
I thought the obvious thought and googled to see if Salty and Frenchy had worked out together. Sadly there seems to be no record of that, another beautiful hypothesis murdered by cruel reality.
   81. The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 04, 2011 at 04:36 PM (#3785781)
I think that Sox fans should give it at least another week before trading everyone off for prospects.

Losing at Texas isn't that big a deal, although the Red Sox didn't look particularly good in doing so, but if Boston were to lose the upcoming series in Cleveland, the Pants Pissers might begin to spot a bit. Still, it's awfully early.
   82. villageidiom Posted: April 04, 2011 at 06:57 PM (#3785909)
Where's my binky? Do I have one? How can I tell?
   83. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: April 04, 2011 at 07:09 PM (#3785924)
Where's my binky?

Unknown.

Do I have one?

Perhaps.

How can I tell?

Several tests are useful;

Do you check the box score for one particular player each day? "hmmmm...where's Varitek's line today?"
Do you find yourself arguing with anyone and everyone about that particular player? "I'm telling you, Marco Scutaro is a good player, slugging percentage is overrated!"
Do you find the positives in any performance by that player? e.g. "Lackey wasn't that bad, he had a 1-2-3 second inning and would have gotten out of the fourth if Ellsbury caught the ball!"
Do you find yourself using phrases used by Joe Morgan when discussing the player? "Varitek was the heart and soul of the 2004 team. Sure he only had two hits in the series but he should have been MVP!" (note: I have actually made that argument)

If you know of a player who fits these questions, that's your binky!
   84. Sonic Youk Posted: April 04, 2011 at 07:49 PM (#3785962)
Using those criteria, I think Dice might be my binky. Ugh, that is a frightening prospect.
   85. Mattbert Posted: April 04, 2011 at 08:32 PM (#3786001)
Binky: Wakefield (and, to a certain extent, JD Drew)
Anti-Binky: Lackey
   86. Pingu Posted: April 04, 2011 at 08:32 PM (#3786003)
Usually I'm miserable.

Today I have a positive attitude.

Good things:

Buchholz looks good despite the bombs.
Papelbon got the ###### memo that he only sucks because everyone tees off on his fastball.
Adrian Gonzalez is going to hit .350 and break the single season RBI record. He will settle for 50 home runs.
Pedroia looks healthy.
Ellsbury looks good and didnt break anything when he dove for that ball.
ORTIZ!!!
Matt Albers seems useful. Wasnt expecting that.
Youkilis only made one bad play at third and looked solid otherwise.
Saltalamachhia is well on his way to being so bad that Theo is forced to give up on this project.

Hey I can dream, cant I? It would sure beat him sucking up the joint at .230/.300/.380 and convincing everyone from MCoA to Theo that its an acceptable option that needs no fixin on a team that hopes to win something this year.
   87. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 04, 2011 at 08:39 PM (#3786009)
I may latch on to either or both of Buchholz and Crawford this year. Lowrie if he starts to earn the job. Binkies can never be chosen - they seem to choose you, for reasons that always remain partly mysterious.

History of past binkies:

2009-present - Papelbon
2007-2010 - Daisuke Matsuzaka (I give up)
2005-2008 - Dustin Pedroia (he doesn't need me anymore)
2005 - Freedom
2004-2005 - Mark Bellhorn
2003 - Byung-Hyun Kim
1999-2003 - Nomar Garciaparra
1998-forever and ever amen: Pedro Martinez
   88. tfbg9 Posted: April 04, 2011 at 09:14 PM (#3786035)
Tito is a Big Big Binky for me. Foulke was. And Schilling. I had a mini Bill Hall binky thing last year.
   89. tfbg9 Posted: April 04, 2011 at 09:16 PM (#3786037)
Tito is a Darren anti-binky for sure.
   90. Mattbert Posted: April 04, 2011 at 10:04 PM (#3786069)
Past binkies? Hmmm, Matt Clement for sure. Billy Mueller and Tom Gordon as well, perhaps.

There were plenty of other guys I latched onto as sort of a lovable cult player type thing...Bellhorn, El Guapo, Matt Stairs, Manny. I'm not sure if they're really binkies, though.
   91. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: April 04, 2011 at 10:51 PM (#3786096)
I appreciate the discussion, but "binky" is a WEEI term and therefore should be abandoned immediately.
   92. John DiFool2 Posted: April 04, 2011 at 11:17 PM (#3786107)
I'm praying that Exposito develops quickly so that we don't have to sell off the rest of the farm to get a decent C. Salty really should junk the switch-hitting-if your OPS is more than 200 points lower from one side than from the other, then the raison de etre to switch hit in the first place doesn't exist. If he could manage a .700 batting lefty against lefties (vs. his .782 vs. righties), that would be a win I'd say.
   93. Dale Sams Posted: April 04, 2011 at 11:39 PM (#3786125)
Writing this as Posada just jacked his third of the year...I don't know what MLB did to the ball to counter 'Year of the Pitcher', but they'd better loosen the strings or sumthin.
   94. Dale Sams Posted: April 04, 2011 at 11:47 PM (#3786130)
History of past binkies


Now are those binkies...or just people you were forced to defend because the fanbase is generally nuts? Cause if it's the latter:

2007: Crisp
2008-2009: Papelbon
2008-2010: Drew

To a lesser extent, Foulke when people bag on him or Schilling when those people who swore to name their kids after Curt, complained about him 'ripping the Sox off for 8mill."
   95. karlmagnus Posted: April 04, 2011 at 11:51 PM (#3786133)
Binky (on this team) Wake, correct. Hoping to find a new one among younger players -- Ellsbury and Lowrie are close

Past binkies: Manny, Nomar, Valentin. Binkie status survives and generates a mild interest in the team Binkie is traded to; thus I'm currently mildly supporting the Rays.

Anti-binky: Lackey (because buying him messed up Wake's chances of the Sox win record, and he is pretty mediocre and uninteresting
Ortiz (because people kept wittering on about him when Manny was much better)
Past anti-binkies:
Mo Vaughan: mid 90s Ortiz, overrrated at the time

Castillo/Schourek (because they kept Wake out of the rotation -- Kerrigan too.)
   96. Famous Original Joe C Posted: April 05, 2011 at 12:25 AM (#3786149)
I appreciate the discussion, but "binky" is a WEEI term and therefore should be abandoned immediately.

Agree 100%. Needs a new name. #### those guys.
   97. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: April 05, 2011 at 01:06 AM (#3786176)
I suppose I have an irrational love for Scutaro because my wife likes his name. She may grow to like Saltalamacchia's name, too. I think she finds Italian names to be poetic. Me? I wonder if Lowrie can catch.
   98. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 05, 2011 at 01:35 AM (#3786193)
I appreciate the discussion, but "binky" is a WEEI term and therefore should be abandoned immediately.
I had no idea.

But it's so... cute. I guess I haven't heard the various obnoxious ways the term is surely used on talk radio, but it seems like it must just sound sort of, you know, adorable.
   99. villageidiom Posted: April 05, 2011 at 01:45 AM (#3786198)
Apparently I am a man without a binky.

EDIT: I mean, I am a man, apparently without a binky.
   100. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: April 05, 2011 at 01:52 AM (#3786200)
I'm not sure I've had any since Bellhorn and Arroyo.
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