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   1. Darren Posted: August 28, 2006 at 03:27 AM (#2159053)
From the other thread before it went off the rails:

1. OlePerfesser Posted: August 27, 2006 at 11:23 AM (#2158450)
Can someone shoot me now?

It would be better for all concerned if we used the ammo on one or more members of that 'pen. I nominate Tavarez first, of course.

The other factor that has been mentioned in connection with Timlin's meltdown is his WBC participation this spring. I doubt that it's the only thing, but it might be "a" thing with a 40-year-old.

His early-season appearances, it should also be noted, were probably much higher stress than they would have been if we hadn't utterly whiffed on the Ez-boys investments. If either one of those contracts is anything other than a total loss, but especially if both guys are respectable, then I think the whole 'pen equation is different all year.

2. Rough Carrigan Posted: August 27, 2006 at 12:50 PM (#2158492)
And how many times did Timlin pitch last year when the team had a pretty good lead and it was a low leverage situation that they could have given to one of the guys Tito was letting rust from inactivity? I complained about this last year, btw. I would guess 10. It might not have mattered but Tito's bright enough to not always reach for the security blanket of some Camo Country cuddlin'. It might've been part of Timlin sucking so ferociously badly right now. Tito is just unable to relax and let a lesser pitcher come in with a 4 run lead or one such as that.

Oh, and don't read this morning's Glob or you'll be furious at Timlin's assessment of his work last night. Something along the lines of his pitches were real good.

3. Darren Posted: August 27, 2006 at 01:21 PM (#2158511)
It might not have mattered but Tito's bright enough to not always reach for the security blanket of some Camo Country cuddlin'.

He is? On what do you base this? Tito loves security blankets.
4. Mattbert Posted: August 27, 2006 at 01:57 PM (#2158516)
Even the Mariners fans sitting around me knew that bringing in Timlin was a dumb idea:

"Well, at least they're not throwing Papelbon; now we have a chance."
"Weren't they just warming up Delcarmen? He's pretty good, isn't he?"

You mean this, Carrigan?

“I think I pitched exceptionally well, if you look at the replays,” Timlin said.

Yeah, I'm going to have to go ahead and sort of...disagree with you there. The Mariners are a pretty poor offensive team, and every ball hit that inning (mostly first pitches), including the outs, was a rocket.
5. MM1f Posted: August 27, 2006 at 02:21 PM (#2158519)
Not to hijack but I cannot get any thread that is listed on the "Newsblog/Clutch Hits" part of the site to load. Minor Key, Sox Therapy and Hall o Merit threads pull up fine but i get a "MySQL" error when i try to pull up a regular post.

Anyone else getting this?
6. Chip Posted: August 27, 2006 at 04:02 PM (#2158576)
Yeah, I'm going to have to go ahead and sort of...disagree with you there. The Mariners are a pretty poor offensive team, and every ball hit that inning (mostly first pitches), including the outs, was a rocket.,

He's always pitched up a lot, but gotten away with it because of heavy movement on his sinker. Doesn't look like the movement's there anymore - now it's just up and straight. Bad combo.
7. Darren Posted: August 27, 2006 at 07:11 PM (#2158830)
Even the Mariners fans sitting around me knew that bringing in Timlin was a dumb idea:

"Well, at least they're not throwing Papelbon; now we have a chance."
"Weren't they just warming up Delcarmen? He's pretty good, isn't he?"

I guess it wasn't David Cameron.
   2. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: August 28, 2006 at 03:34 AM (#2159059)
Cool, a do-over. It's like kickball.

I don't get to see many Sox games out here, but Timlin even looks bad on gamecast. I had a terrible feeling when I saw he was in last night.
   3. Darren Posted: August 28, 2006 at 03:39 AM (#2159063)
Not as bad as Pedroia looks on Gamecast.
   4. 1k5v3L Posted: August 28, 2006 at 03:43 AM (#2159067)
Callaspo!

Pedroia will be fine. Only problem is, the Sox need two of him, for 2B and SS. My gut says to put Pedroia at 2B long term and get a very good shortstop in the free agent market. Anyone available? I suppose the Red Sox could try to trade Manny for A-rod again...
   5. JC in DC Posted: August 28, 2006 at 03:51 AM (#2159069)
I shan't say a thing. Other than this, that is, but this is only to say that I shan't say a thing, by which I mean I'll leave you guys to yourselves and your predictions about the Sox's future and your reflections on their immediate past. By the way, by those comments I didn't mean either to suggest directions you ought to take - you're obviously free to go in whichever direction you want, whether it's one I mentioned or one I didn't; it's all up to you!

Good luck, god speed, and understand I intended all my comments in the other thread only in good-natured ribbing. Obviously, it wasn't received that way.
   6. villageidiom Posted: August 28, 2006 at 04:00 AM (#2159070)
I posted this in the other thread before I noticed the new one:

Timlin and the WBC is a fair argument. Does anyone have a list of players who did significant time in the WBC and didn't have some kind of injury and/or ineffectiveness this year? I'm assuming it's a short list.

But to me the question on that is, what do you do about it after the fact? If you have a player who volunteers for the WBC, at the start of the season do you plan to use him less throughout the season than you otherwise would have? That doesn't make sense to me, but neither does ignoring the likely fatigue. And whether this is something to lay at the feet of the manager (who determines playing time) or the GM (who acquires appropriate reserve players) isn't clear to me, but what's clear is that the manager and the GM need to be on the same page on this.

As I've suggested before, if either half of the Seanez/Tavarez duo works out, this isn't as big an issue; and the odds were in our favor that at least one of them would have worked out. Alas.

I don't recall Foulke ever being consistent coming out of spring training, which means either my memory has faded or his inconsistency was not due to his workload. And, as Mikael pointed out in the thread Darren linked at the top, his (and Timlin's) workload was apparently due largely to the distribution of game situations at the start of the season.
   7. Darren Posted: August 28, 2006 at 04:04 AM (#2159072)
And, as Mikael pointed out in the thread Darren linked at the top, his (and Timlin's) workload was apparently due largely to the distribution of game situations at the start of the season.

As I pointed out, though, some of those game situations were not particularly good ones in which to use your best relievers. And even if you disagree with that, I think sometimes have to sacrifice a close game in order to keep a couple of important players, who are old/fragile, healthy for the long haul. Tito didn't find ways to get them rest and both have done very badly, healthwise and qualitywise, since.
   8. villageidiom Posted: August 28, 2006 at 04:35 AM (#2159084)
Back then, who were the relievers? IIRC:

Papelbon
Timlin
Foulke
Tavarez
Seanez
Riske
Dinardo

Given the performance of, well, everyone else on that list, I'm not surprised that he went with who he did. But I agree with you that he could have done a better job maintaining the health of the staff by giving regular rest and spreading the work.

Still, I'm certain that Foulke still would've gone to the DL, and pretty sure (due to the WBC and age) that Timlin would've gone down, too. IOW, I think your point is correct, but moot.
   9. Phil Coorey is a T-Shirt Salesman Posted: August 28, 2006 at 09:37 AM (#2159136)
It is comical how bad the bullpen has been for the last two years.
   10. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: August 28, 2006 at 12:53 PM (#2159170)
A line from today's column from CHB: "If the Sox are swept at Oakland, as they were in Seattle..."

Does it matter what the end of the sentence is? I hope he is paid well. Always amplifying the dark clouds has to be a sucky way to make a living.
   11. karlmagnus Posted: August 28, 2006 at 01:02 PM (#2159175)
CHB's a menace, as many have said here. His anti-Manny campaign is particularly unplreasant, since manny is the best position player on the team as he has been for 6 years and the only one who did NOT suck during the Yankees series. No doubt he and Lucchino are working out yet ANOTHER scheme to trade Manny in the offseason for a bucket of balls, at which point we can safely assume that Management's ideal for the franschise is the Angelos Baltimore Orioles.

Manny's probably going to draw a lot of heat in the next month, as he battles injury and performs intermittently and below his best. It will be unfair -- and it may lose the franchise its best player since Ted (sorry, Yaz!)
   12. OlePerfesser Posted: August 28, 2006 at 02:33 PM (#2159219)
Pursuant to DCA's excellent point in another thread about the small deals going wrong, I was picking at this scab over morning coffee:

Relievers we had but kicked to the curb, and their '06 performance:

Chad Bradford, 49.3 IP, 2.3 WARP
Cla Meredith, 27.7 IP, 1.9 WARP
David Riske, 38 IP, 1.4 WARP (0.3 for Sox)
Mike Myers, 24.3 IP, 0.8 WARP.

Just for comparison, here are the Ez Boys' numbers:

Julian Tavarez, 63 IP, 1.2 WARP
Rudy Seanez, 46.7 IP, 1.0 WARP
Javier Lopez, 8.7 IP, -0.1 WARP.

Collectively, then, we dealt 129.7 IP and 6.1 WARP for 118 IP and 2.1 WARP (netting out Riske's time in Boston).

Now, I am NOT using hindsight to argue that standing pat would've saved the season, or that this proves Theo is a dunderhead or anything.

I bring this up simply to illustrate DCA's point: Minor moves matter; there's a difference of 4 WARP in these apparently trivial little decisions. No GM bats 1.000, and it's certainly defensible to argue that the Ez Boys (or at least one of 'em!) should've had good years. But the moral of the story is that deftly filling out one's bench and bullpen can have a big effect on a team's destiny.
   13. karlmagnus Posted: August 28, 2006 at 03:08 PM (#2159245)
I thought losing Bradford was a mistake at the time and said so. I didn't denounce Riske/Lopez; we obviously all should have. Meredith I fear was inevitable given the need to get Mirabelli back. However you also have to add in Anibal Sanchez, who may prove the greatest loss of the '05-06 offseason.

I'd like to see Ellsbury and Murphy, but I don't think there's anyone else -- we've got all the pitchers already, and they need another year in cask, but may well be good in '07 (but Papelbon in the rotation please -- as closer he goes through entire weeks unused.)
   14. karlmagnus Posted: August 28, 2006 at 03:09 PM (#2159248)
Delcarmen looks to be a fine closer BTW -- he'll blow a few but so does Papelbon.
   15. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: August 28, 2006 at 03:50 PM (#2159280)
I didn't denounce Riske/Lopez; we obviously all should have.

I did.
   16. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: August 28, 2006 at 03:51 PM (#2159283)
Whoa, Meredith's been really good. I know it's just the NL, and he's pitching in Petco, but still.
   17. Stately, Plump Buck Mulligan Posted: August 28, 2006 at 07:28 PM (#2159551)
"I didn't denounce Riske/Lopez; we obviously all should have."

And yet, if you look at the Transaction Oracle thread on Riske for Lopez, it's like crickets, at least from the Red Sox POV (with Darren being the notable exception).
   18. Mattbert Posted: August 29, 2006 at 12:34 AM (#2159767)
I don't remember if I went on record here at the time or not, but I was definitely thumbs-down on the Riske deal.
   19. Darren Posted: August 29, 2006 at 03:04 AM (#2159884)
My comment was essentially crickets too. I didn't think it was a terribly good or bad trade. I don't think Riske is much of a pitcher these days. He's done well but his peripherals aren't so great. I think he'd be overexposed in any larger of a role.

The problem with Bradford and Myers was that Tito, for better or for worse (better I think), had decided that they were strictly oogies. That meant that two guys in the pen were going to pitch about 40 IP each. The rest of the pen cannot handle that kind of workload, and it's arguable that one oogy would have really tested this thin pen.

That doesn't negate the fact that, when you stand back and look at it, the Sox have been amazingly consistent in letting go relievers who go on to succeed and getting/keeping ones who stink. Personally, I think it's been good portions of both bad luck and bad decisions. In fact, I think there's been a lot of bad luck to go around on the team this year.
   20. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: August 29, 2006 at 06:48 AM (#2159967)
The problem with Bradford and Myers was that Tito, for better or for worse (better I think), had decided that they were strictly oogies. That meant that two guys in the pen were going to pitch about 40 IP each. The rest of the pen cannot handle that kind of workload, and it's arguable that one oogy would have really tested this thin pen.

At least they were GOOD Oogys. Guys that get 1 out >>>> guys that get nobody out ever.
   21. Ozzie's gay friend Posted: August 29, 2006 at 07:35 AM (#2159976)
That doesn't negate the fact that, when you stand back and look at it, the Sox have been amazingly consistent in letting go relievers who go on to succeed and getting/keeping ones who stink.

I think relievers are one area in particular where the NY-Bos pressure really affects players and our perceptions of them. Struggles get blown way out of proportion.

nobody's saying it, but why was blowing their load on Mirabeli the only option? why not throw out Wakefield? or let Varitek try and catch him?

tonight's lineup was pathetic, and the sad part was only 3 REAL regulars were gone (DO, Manny and Vartiek) one #1-B option (Cora), then a bunch of dumb moves, I guess they're trying to get Pedrioa some AB's, but why no Pena?
   22. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: August 29, 2006 at 07:47 AM (#2159979)
Pena is also hurt. As is Nixon. And A-Gon, who has been great with the glove this year.
   23. Dr. Vaux Posted: August 29, 2006 at 07:59 AM (#2159983)
I just realized that if I were a columnist for a major paper, I'd probably be a lot like CHB.

Well, that's what would happen if the content of my game-chatter posts were to be translated into newspaper columns. If I was writing real columns, I like to think I'd be more objective. But maybe he's really been trying to reverse-jinx them all these years, and secretly pats himself on the back every night for causing the 2004 World Championship.

Or maybe he's just a turd.
   24. Ozzie's gay friend Posted: August 29, 2006 at 08:00 AM (#2159985)
Pena's hurt?

As good as A-Gonz has been, he's sucked this month, and frankly, Cora's been just as amazing, they're basicily 1-A and 1-B starters now.

Nixon and Pena the same thing, 1-A and 1-B.
Besides, I have no sympathy for a team that is unprepared and caught off-guard for a Trot Nixon injury.
   25. Phil Coorey is a T-Shirt Salesman Posted: August 29, 2006 at 08:13 AM (#2159992)
Vaux - He's a turd.

Wily Mo has hurt his wrsit again
   26. villageidiom Posted: August 29, 2006 at 11:24 PM (#2160756)
But maybe he's really been trying to reverse-jinx them all these years, and secretly pats himself on the back every night for causing the 2004 World Championship.

After the 2004 season, the Boston Globe Magazine ran a recap of the season via quotes from CHB columns throughout the year. For the recap CHB wrote an intro in which he basically claimed responsibility for lighting the spark that led them to the championship, pointing to one of his August columns (in which he said the team was done and didn't deserve to win) as the turning point.

IOW it's not so secretly that he pats himself.
   27. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: August 30, 2006 at 04:13 PM (#2161480)
And yet, if you look at the Transaction Oracle thread on Riske for Lopez, it's like crickets, at least from the Red Sox POV (with Darren being the notable exception).

What, this doesn't count?:

2. Biff Posted: June 16, 2006 at 01:05 PM (#2066029)
No one 'needs' Javier Lopez.
   28. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: August 30, 2006 at 04:14 PM (#2161482)
Besides, I have no sympathy for a team that is unprepared and caught off-guard for a Trot Nixon injury.

Having Wily Mo Pena doesn't count as prepared?
   29. PJ Martinez Posted: August 30, 2006 at 05:07 PM (#2161553)
So, what reliever(s) should the Sox sign this offseason? Borowski? No one jumps out at me.
   30. Stately, Plump Buck Mulligan Posted: August 30, 2006 at 06:33 PM (#2161725)
"So, what reliever(s) should the Sox sign this offseason?"

Here's what you do:

1. Have Theo make a list of the relievers he'd like to sign.

2. Make sure you don't sign any of the guys on that list.
   31. OlePerfesser Posted: August 30, 2006 at 07:00 PM (#2161791)
BTW, BProsp's Nate Silver posted a nice piece today on why Lil Papi should remain a closer. Basic logic...

We know that Papelbon is a great closer. In fact, he is having one of the five greatest seasons by a modern-day closer in baseball history.
A great closer is as valuable as all but the very best starters, once we properly account for the effects of leverage. Papelbon’s WXRL this year is 6.6, which is higher than that of any starter not named Johan Santana (6.7). (Note that we call this statistic SNLVAR for starters. But it measures the same thing--wins added above replacement--and is measured in essentially the same way.)
It is not certain at all that Papelbon would be comparatively as effective if he moved to the starting rotation.

...backed by subsequent sabermetrics.

Also: If we sign Joe Borowski to a two-year, $6M contract (or something like that), PJ, I will jump off the Theo bandwagon for good. For the millionth time: To qualify as a creative GM, you have to be able to cobble together a 'pen without spending millions on the guys who jump out at you.
   32. cseadog Posted: August 30, 2006 at 07:39 PM (#2161888)
I didn't understand it at the time and don't now understand why Theo signed Julian Tavarez. i could understand (but not agree with) Saenez, but Julian just made no sense. What upside was there in a not very good hot-head?
   33. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 30, 2006 at 07:47 PM (#2161917)
For the millionth time: To qualify as a creative GM, you have to be able to cobble together a 'pen without spending millions on the guys who jump out at you.
I don't follow, really. If you give a 2/6 contract, and you get a good reliever, that's good. If you get a bad reliever, that's bad.

I don't think creativity has much of anything to do with it. All we want are good relievers. Theo has not been able to identify good ones pretty much regardless of price tag. (Paying top dollar for Foulke a very good move, though.)
   34. PJ Martinez Posted: August 30, 2006 at 08:10 PM (#2161958)
"I didn't understand it at the time and don't now understand why Theo signed Julian Tavarez."

Well, he did have decent years in 2003 and 2005, and a very good year in 2004. On the other hand, his K-rate was not great, and his HR-rate might have been flukey. But he'd been decent for three years running.
   35. OlePerfesser Posted: August 30, 2006 at 11:16 PM (#2162128)
If you give a 2/6 contract, and you get a good reliever, that's good.

Unless there are equivalently good relievers available for, say, a year, < $1M. Then you've squandered resources useful for signing truly elite position players or SPs. Especially when you do it a lot.

If you get a bad reliever, that's bad.

Agreed. Especially when you do it a lot.

I don't think creativity has much of anything to do with it.

Well, then call it cost-effectiveness or something else, but quite a few teams typically have higher-ranking bullpens than ours while spending less absolute dollars. GMs (Ed Wade, anyone?) who frequently throw multi-year deals and long dollars at names that "jump out at you" can shrug and say "hey, I bought the brand-name article, whaddya want from me?" But they don't often win, and eventually they get fired.

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