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   1. Mattbert Posted: April 22, 2006 at 10:34 PM (#1982479)
Jim wants us (Sox Therapy and other blogs on the site) to be less a news regurgitator and more a content-providing blog, so you may see some changes in that direction.
I can dig it. Some of the stuff I've seen on the Yanks and Cubs blogs has left me envious.
   2. Nasty Nate Posted: April 22, 2006 at 10:37 PM (#1982482)
Did they wait until after the game to send Van Buren back to the minors, or was he demoted as soon as he hit the dugout after making his last pitch?
   3. Toby Posted: April 22, 2006 at 11:38 PM (#1982568)
Envious? Of that? Well, we can't have that.

The way I see it, Sox Therapy should be the flagship blog of the whole site. The Hub, if you will. ;-)

This may be a good thread for Therapudlians to talk about what we want from our Sox Therapy threads.

Personally, I'm more a lurker than a participant most of the time, at least lately. I like to throw out topics, hopefully timely ones, and see what others have to say rather than opine about them myself. Most of you are usually a step or two ahead of me, insight-wise, as it is.

But so long as Jim entrusts me to start threads, I'll try to follow what he wants while giving you what you want.
   4. villageidiom Posted: April 23, 2006 at 01:22 AM (#1982790)
This may be a good thread for Therapudlians to talk about what we want from our Sox Therapy threads.

More cowbell?
   5. sublime Posted: April 23, 2006 at 02:00 AM (#1982886)
have their been studies done that show a lot of middle relievers are pretty much hit or miss each year? when exactly do the sox get a 'hit'? :(
   6. JB H Posted: April 23, 2006 at 02:52 AM (#1983051)
Brandon Lyon? That was like in 1989. At least the Yankees never get lucky there either
   7. Dave Cyprian Posted: April 23, 2006 at 01:10 PM (#1983405)
This may be a good thread for Therapudlians to talk about what we want from our Sox Therapy threads.

More adulation of our 3 and 4 hitters.
   8. Darren Posted: April 23, 2006 at 01:20 PM (#1983406)
I hadn't heard that from Jim, but I hadn't really heard anything. I'll have to radically adjust my postings I guess. I had generally been trying to leave my opinion out of thread intros and let people discuss the news item at hand. Don't worry Mattbert, I won't disappoint you anymore!
   9. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 23, 2006 at 04:28 PM (#1983591)
I'm already disappointed at your craven appeasement of Mattbert.
   10. Mattbert Posted: April 23, 2006 at 04:44 PM (#1983618)
Don't worry Mattbert, I won't disappoint you anymore!
Just cut and paste the Yankees and Cubs writeups into ST, Darren. Then I'll be satisfied.

And don't listen to Mikael. Appeasement is always the safest option when confronted with a menacing superpower like (a) Nazi Germany or (b) me.
   11. Golfing Great Mitch Cumstein Posted: April 23, 2006 at 07:58 PM (#1984112)
"Did they wait until after the game to send Van Buren back to the minors, or was he demoted as soon as he hit the dugout after making his last pitch?"

While I agree that JVB was bad, don't forget the fact that the Sox can pretty much send MDC and JVB up and down at will (the 10 day rule being the only limit, I believe). It makes sense to bring up a fresh reliever after the extra innings game and Dinardo getting blown out. The move was as much about roster management as JVB's performance.

As for what I would like to see: What you guys have been posting. Discussions about players, Francona, and the minors. Often the articles linked are not very important, they are just jumping off points for everyone to chime in. Something that would be cool is if Primates could go follow a minor league team for a series and post some scouting, maybe getting some info from the scouts themselves.


Is anyone else having trouble being redirected after logging in?
   12. Xander Posted: April 23, 2006 at 08:03 PM (#1984123)
Why was JVB bad again? He was a little shaky when he first came in, but that's understandable. He was good the two innings after.
   13. Golfing Great Mitch Cumstein Posted: April 23, 2006 at 08:23 PM (#1984182)
I am probably putting too much emphasis on his start. Even though he walked only one, he had trouble controlling his fastball, which is very frustrating to see from a reliever.
   14. OCD SS Posted: April 24, 2006 at 01:21 AM (#1984537)
I think it might have been to have another fresh option in the pen for today's game, in case Clement completely crapped the bed. They won't need MDC as much with the day off, but JVB wasn't pitching today.

I'd like to see him work on some sort of pick-off move that involves him starting his leg stride and then stepping off to throw to 1B (if that's even possible without drawing a balk). His delivery takes a long time and has plenty of visual cues that let the runner know when he's going home. If he can't pitch out of the stretch, he's going to rack up some formidable SB totals.
   15. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: April 24, 2006 at 01:28 AM (#1984551)
While I agree that JVB was bad...

ERROR DOES NOT COMPUTE

The name "JVB" has already been trademarked by a certain Pirates "pitcher". Please use a different abbreviation for "Jermaine Van Buren".

Might I suggest:
Jer-Vanb (two syllables)
Burenalysis
Our 8th President or O8B for short
   16. Mattbert Posted: April 24, 2006 at 07:47 AM (#1984900)
I'd like to see him work on some sort of pick-off move that involves him starting his leg stride and then stepping off to throw to 1B (if that's even possible without drawing a balk).
If I'm interpreting your description correctly, that'd be a balk. For a RHP, lifting the front leg like that constitutes a movement towards home plate for a runner on 1B.
   17. Nasty Nate Posted: April 24, 2006 at 01:09 PM (#1985001)
Van Buren Boys represent !

/flashes gang signal

//throws chair::
   18. villageidiom Posted: April 24, 2006 at 03:51 PM (#1985303)
Impressive, Nate. It is quite difficult to throw a chair while flashing the Van Buren Boys' gang signal.
   19. OlePerfesser Posted: April 24, 2006 at 07:25 PM (#1985732)
Hey, Toby--congrats on the book coming out. Have you already told the Therapudlians what it's about? If not, fill us in--and eventually we'll go to Amazon and pump up your sales ranking.

I haven't seen enough of this year's squad to discuss them intelligently, and I know that inferences based on a few weeks of stats are perilous, but...

1) I'm curious whether people who have seen DiNardo are writing off his chances of being an acceptable #5 if Pantload quits. I'd note one thing: his BABIP is .451 so far. That's gotta get better. (Clement's, BTW, is .372.)

2) It's early, but our Defensive Efficiency (23rd last year, at .692) currently ranks 11th, at .708.

3) How many are ready to give up on the Venezuelan Vaccuum Cleaner? And by give up I mean start to use the Dal Maxvill Strategy (TM) with him, regularly pinch-hitting for him and/or using Cora more in a job share--until Pedroia's ready.

4) Aside from the disappointment at SS, are we confident that Loretta and Lowell have much left in the tank and will be assets going forward?
   20. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 24, 2006 at 07:30 PM (#1985738)
I'm quite confident in Gonzalez, actually. And Willie Harris for that matter. One or two hot games and they'll be right back to the already low levels of offense I expected from them. And Gonzalez is a frickin' wizard with the glove. I've been happy with him so far - gold glove-y defense is great.
   21. chris p Posted: April 24, 2006 at 07:37 PM (#1985749)
i don't mind pinch hitting for gonzalez plenty. it's really a good idea especially with 2 backup middle infielders on the roster. but i'm pretty sure alex cora sucks just as bad or worse with the bat.
   22. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: April 24, 2006 at 08:22 PM (#1985847)
I feel like we haven't seen Tito be particularly willing to pinch hit for Gonzalez in obvious pinch-hitting situations. It could be just a few incidents, but I worry that Tito's "must have best possible defense in late innings" instincts conflict with his "pinch hit for noodle bat in crucial situations" instincts. This is where having a legitimate lefty bat on bench (Choi) might force Tito's hand a little more than the crap (Snow, Cora) he's got now.
   23. PJ Martinez Posted: April 24, 2006 at 08:41 PM (#1985902)
Tito doesn't seem to pinch-hit aggressively enough in general.

Do we need Alex Cora on this team? I realize you need a backup SS, but one who could hit at least a little would be nice. I say call up Pedroia, DFA Cora.

Oh, and call up Choi, too. Probably almost time to cut Snow. Youkilis can play 1B fine.

Lowell's looked pretty good with the glove, to my untrained eye. And it looks like he can get hit a little in Fenway. Not so sure about anywhere else.

Loretta's early numbers worry me. He's sure-handed but not rangy, so his defense doesn't necessarily offset the offense if it doesn't come around. He does turn two well. If he continues to struggle, maybe Pedroia could get ABs at 2B, too. Anyone have BABIP #s for Loretta?

I'm happy to see those BABIP #s for Clement and Dinardo. I think it's too soon to write off either one.
   24. Mattbert Posted: April 24, 2006 at 10:48 PM (#1986159)
To touch briefly on the meta-subject again, does anyone know if there are plans to cross-link team Newsbeat threads with the team blogs? I kind of liked the fact that ST was basically one stop shopping for Sox content, and I fear that the Newsbeat items will continue to generate little response if they're quarantined to their own portal.
   25. Mattbert Posted: April 24, 2006 at 10:50 PM (#1986160)
To clarify, by cross-link I mean have them show up in the ST Hot Topics bar along with the ST blog threads.
   26. Toby Posted: April 25, 2006 at 02:20 AM (#1986542)
OleP, thanks. It's a textbook, about what I do for a living -- draft laws for Congress. If you go to my profile you'll find a link to the web page for the book. It's coming out in just a few weeks. The final page proofs just arrived from the publisher today, I have to go through them and be sure there aren't any final fixes needed. I was pretty thorough on the previous set of page proofs so I hope this round is clean.
   27. Toby Posted: April 25, 2006 at 02:21 AM (#1986548)
See aso post 28 in the Papelbon thread.
   28. Harold can be a fun sponge Posted: April 25, 2006 at 02:38 AM (#1986618)
To clarify, by cross-link I mean have them show up in the ST Hot Topics bar along with the ST blog threads.

Yes, I believe this is the plan.
   29. Redlegs & Red Sox Posted: April 25, 2006 at 05:27 PM (#1987898)
I’ll be back soon to try to dispel the despair that’s soon to sink in around here as Pythagoras starts to pull down the Sox.


Generally, teams with good bullpens outperform their pythag because they are more likely to win close games. This is especially true of teams with good/great closers. Check out the Yanks vs. their pythag during the entire Mariano Rivera era. So, in the interest of wishful thinking, the Sox outperforming their pythag could just be the result of Papelbon, Timlin & Foulke.
   30. Mattbert Posted: April 25, 2006 at 06:26 PM (#1988006)
All else being equal, their pythag should improve markedly once Crisp returns and/or some offensive players like Manny and Varitek get on track. All else is unlikely to be equal, of course; Schilling and Beckett should come back to earth somewhat, as will the few hitters who are actually off to exceptionally good starts (e.g. Youks, Nixon).

The bullpen appears likely to remain a strength, though. They have good top-end talent there in Papelbon, Foulke, and Timlin, plus excellent depth at the major league level (Seanez, Tavarez, Riske) and in the minors (Van Buren, Delcarmen, Meredith, Hansen, etc).

What's interesting is that they aren't carrying a left-handed short reliever this year. It's like they took a page out of the Angels' playbook, getting good pitchers first and worrying about which arm they throw with later.
   31. dave h Posted: April 25, 2006 at 06:27 PM (#1988008)
Without bothering to do any research, it seems that early in the season the pythag is as likely to come in line with the actual W-L as vice versa. Over just a few games, a blowout or two against a clearly inferior opponent can really skew things. Again without doing the math, beating a team 10-0 or so early in the season can probably increase your pythag wins by more than 1, which doesn't make sense.
   32. Psychedelic Red Pants Posted: April 25, 2006 at 07:08 PM (#1988109)
Without bothering to do any research, it seems that early in the season the pythag is as likely to come in line with the actual W-L as vice versa. Over just a few games, a blowout or two against a clearly inferior opponent can really skew things. Again without doing the math, beating a team 10-0 or so early in the season can probably increase your pythag wins by more than 1, which doesn't make sense.


Short losing or winnnig streaks can also cause wild swings in pythag w% early in a season, even if the final scores aren't blowouts.
   33. ericr Posted: April 25, 2006 at 07:22 PM (#1988138)
Post 31: your pythag can never be more than one.

RS^2/(RS^2+RA^2). even if you allow zero runs, that leaves you with Runs scored squared divided by itself.
   34. OlePerfesser Posted: April 25, 2006 at 08:57 PM (#1988357)
Actually, ericr, I think dave's point in #31 is correct, though you're right that Pythagorean winning percentage can never exceed one.

What I think dave was saying was that a blowout win in a small sample can increase your expected wins by more than one, which is possible.

<u>Example:</u> Suppose a team has played 4 games, winning two by 2-1 scores and losing two by 1-2 scores. Its actual and Pythagorean winning percentages are identical at .500; its actual and Pythag expected wins are equal at 2.

In its 5th game, the team wins a 10-0 blowout. Now its actual wpctg is .600, but its Pythag wpctg is .877, and its Pythag expected wins = 4.4 (roughly). In other words, one blowout win allowed its Pythag projection to rise by more than one, as a result of the large change in runs scored relative to the small initial base. With larger initial RS and RA totals, blowouts don't "skew things up" so much.

Toby: The text looks very useful; may it pay many college tuition bills.
   35. tfbg9 Posted: April 25, 2006 at 09:01 PM (#1988360)
"Generally, teams with good bullpens outperform their pythag because they are more likely to win close games. This is especially true of teams with good/great closers. Check out the Yanks vs. their pythag during the entire Mariano Rivera era. So, in the interest of wishful thinking, the Sox outperforming their pythag could just be the result of Papelbon, Timlin & Foulke."

I recall that Bill James ran the numbers on this idea a while back, and the result was that good bullpen, defense, and/or speed teams have a very slight advantage in overperforming pythags, but really slight and with no real predictive value when regular-ass ol' radomness rears its head.

There is a two-word explantion to all that mysterious Torre pythag-killing: Stottlemyer, Zimmer.
   36. dave h Posted: April 26, 2006 at 04:00 PM (#1990190)
OleP, thanks for clarifying my point, that's exactly what I meant. And in that case, I think the quality of the team is more likely to be closer to .600 than to .877, although this becomes less and less true as the season goes on.
   37. Phil Coorey is a T-Shirt Salesman Posted: April 28, 2006 at 10:00 AM (#1993845)
the Sox outperforming their pythag could just be the result of Papelbon, <strike>Timlin</strike>& Foulke

Fixed It!!
   38. Joel W Posted: April 28, 2006 at 04:38 PM (#1994105)
I know that the numbers suggest that a good bullpen doesn't help the pythag that much. But I think this is asking the wrong question. Average bulpen ERA is certainly the wrong one.

What we should be looking at, I believe, is both the dominance of the top relievers and the suckitude of the crappy ones.

The teams with the best pythag overperformance will ride their good relievers when they're needed and let blowouts become bigger blowouts.

So the right study should look at some combination of ERATop2relievers/VarianceBullpenERA. I imagine that the lower that number is the better the pythag record will be.

There must be some way of looking at how managers do on this scale, but I imagine that Ozzie Guillen was very good at it last year. Letting a 5-1 game in the 7th become an 11-1 game really is very little WPA lost, and yet it's a huge pythag lost.

I sometimes find myself sad that our pythag is giong to get worse in a particular game, winning 5-4 instead of 8-4 or losing by more because Seanez comes in or something. But the truth is, all I should be looking at W and L and if the team is good at getting them. And while pythag is very important it's obvious that certain teams will under and over perform based on certain attributes.

I think that a combination of a a very good top of the bullpen and a very bad back of the bullpen will lead teams to overperform by a lot. This has been the Yankees over the past few years.
   39. Psychedelic Red Pants Posted: April 29, 2006 at 12:22 AM (#1994844)
From watching Manny D a few times, it looks like he's throwing 4 pitches -- a mid-90's fastball, a mid-80's (straight) changeup(?), a mid-70's breaking pitch, and a high 60's breaking pitch. Does he have two different kinds of curveballs?
   40. Phil Coorey is a T-Shirt Salesman Posted: April 29, 2006 at 03:06 AM (#1995427)
All I know is that we are not very good right now.
   41. Schilling's Sprained Ankiel Posted: May 08, 2006 at 03:57 PM (#2009942)
Who was brought up to replace MDC?
DB
   42. Josh Posted: May 08, 2006 at 09:58 PM (#2010319)
Silverman says it is Holtz (presumably to have a lefty against the Os). By including Meredith in the Bard deal, a 40 man spot has been open for a week.

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