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— Where Thinking Red Sox Fans Obsess about the Sox

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   1. tjm1 Posted: November 26, 2009 at 12:39 PM (#3397253)
The Halladay deal won't happen. The Blue Jays want too much talent back, given that Halladay's current contract is probably only about $5 million below market value for a pitcher of his caliber, and only has a year left. The only reasons the Red Sox should consider trading Buchholz for Halladay, even straight up, would be if they absolutely cannot find anyone to sign on the free agent market, or if Halladay will agree to a below-market value extension. He's a great pitcher, but times have changed to the extent that you don't give up real talent just to pay a guy his market value salary.
   2. Dave Cyprian Posted: November 27, 2009 at 06:18 PM (#3397649)
My opinion / speculation is as follows: I think the Sox really do want to land Halladay, and that they will be willing to part with more assets to acquire him then most think. My reasoning is two-fold:

1) I think the Sox brass are legitimately afraid that the Red Sox mania (Pink hat etc) that has built up over the last six years is waning (see NESN, ratings) and that a couple years of good but not very good teams that may miss the postseason might signal the end of this very-high-revenue period. A huge name that can also help them win big may be a financial risk worth taking, more so in 2009-2010 then a few years ago.

2) It appears to me that the only option the Sox have to make the team notably better in 2010 vs. 2009 as far as free agency / trades go (the Left Field situation notwithstanding) would be to land Gonzalez or Halladay, and Halladay appears more available as well as being a proven AL East-Yankee killing commidity.
   3. Dave Cyprian Posted: November 27, 2009 at 06:39 PM (#3397658)
Also let me add I'm a huge Buchholz fan and I hope there is no such trade.
   4. Sheer Tim Foli Posted: November 27, 2009 at 06:42 PM (#3397661)
Also let me add I'm a huge Buchholz fan and I hope there is no such trade.

As a lurking Jays fan I couldn't agree more. Who says we can't see things the same way?
   5. Darren Posted: November 27, 2009 at 07:10 PM (#3397676)
I think post #2 is very good and I've always thought that was inspired the post 2006-meltdown spending spree. For Red Sox fans to remain rabid, they need the team to keep beating the Yankees fairly often. They also probably don't want to be seen as having been satisfied at getting the wild card and going out in the first round.

And there's a good strategic reason to go get Halladay now: if you don't there's a risk he becomes a free agent after 2010, at which point the Yankees get him. That's 6+ wins going to them and not to the Red Sox. Halladay is that rare of a talent that you actually have to think in those terms when deciding whether to pursue him.
   6. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: November 27, 2009 at 07:36 PM (#3397687)
Do you have some link or something about NESN's ratings slipping recently, Dave? Moreso than other RSN ratings dropped?
   7. RobertMachemer Posted: November 27, 2009 at 08:02 PM (#3397701)
For Red Sox fans to remain rabid, they need the team to keep beating the Yankees fairly often.
Why would you think that? For much of the last 30 years, the Red Sox have not beaten the Yankees and yet Red Sox fandom since 1967 has remained rabid (or so I would term it). How do you find "rabid"? How do you define "beating the Yankees fairly often?"
   8. Jon T. Posted: November 27, 2009 at 08:26 PM (#3397708)
Erik, go here. Ratings were down 14% this year

http://boston.bizjournals.com/boston/stories/2009/06/01/daily74.html
   9. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: November 27, 2009 at 08:41 PM (#3397716)
Didn't rating drop something like 25% in 2008 also? I read these numbers and while I'm not at all knowledgeable about the business end of TV I find myself being skeptical about the accuracy of these numbers. Those numbers are such large decreases that they just don't make sense to me on a logical level when contrasted with the attendance numbers and the anecdotal evidence that people around the area still seem to have the same passion.

I would wonder if there was some sort of change in the way the numbers were being calculated because that level of decline just seems unrealistic.
   10. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: November 27, 2009 at 08:46 PM (#3397720)
"Journalism" from Newsday:

YES said its average rating of 4.5 percent of households for Yankees games pre-All-Star break was the highest ever for a New York team on a regional cable network.


From Jon's link:

As a percentage of the local television audience, the Sox’s average rating of 8.67 was down 14 percent on a year-over-year basis. The team’s local market-share average is still the highest among all MLB teams.


All right. Either I misunderstand something fundamental here, one of these sources are wrong, or the Sox do literally twice as well as the Yankees - in a "down" year. I suspect that bizjournals is talking about Share as opposed to Ratings, but that's not what it says.

Quickly, "Share" is a measure of the televisions which are watching something that are watching this particular program. "Rating" is a measure of the program as compared to total available televisions in the field. Share is often a lot higher than Rating.
   11. Swedish Chef Posted: November 27, 2009 at 08:58 PM (#3397725)
Why would you think that? For much of the last 30 years, the Red Sox have not beaten the Yankees and yet Red Sox fandom since 1967 has remained rabid (or so I would term it). How do you find "rabid"? How do you define "beating the Yankees fairly often?"

Now they have a taste for winning.
   12. PJ Martinez Posted: November 28, 2009 at 04:28 PM (#3398031)
Either I misunderstand something fundamental here, one of these sources are wrong, or the Sox do literally twice as well as the Yankees - in a "down" year. I suspect that bizjournals is talking about Share as opposed to Ratings, but that's not what it says.

Putting aside the share v. rating question, it wouldn't totally shock me if the Sox outperformed the Yankees in their regional market, percentage-wise, by as much as 2 to 1. The Red Sox, I think, are a bigger deal to a greater percentage of people in the Boston area than the Yankees are in the much, much larger New York metro area.

For much of the last 30 years, the Red Sox have not beaten the Yankees and yet Red Sox fandom since 1967 has remained rabid (or so I would term it). How do you find "rabid"? How do you define "beating the Yankees fairly often?"

There's 1967-1999 rabid, and then there's 1999-2009 rabid + regional saturation, kicked off by Pedro and Nomar and then Manny and the matchups with the Yankees in the playoffs and against Clemens and on and on. Boston's been a bigtime baseball town for a long time but it became something else even over the last decade (honestly, I think I prefer the previous level of attention, but the wider appeal must help revenues considerably).
   13. 1k5v3L Posted: November 28, 2009 at 04:40 PM (#3398040)
Realistically, the Red Sox don't have to be better than the Yankees. They just need to be better than the othe teams in the AL East (which in most years would also mean they are better than the wild card contenders in the other two AL divisions). The Sox blew it big time when they lost Teixeira to the Yankees and will be playing catch up for a really long time, especially if the Yankees manage to sign Holliday and acquire another solid pitcher (like Lackey) this winter.
   14. Darren Posted: November 28, 2009 at 05:08 PM (#3398056)
Getting Teixeira would have been huge for the Red Sox, but it's hard to say how they blew it exactly. They courted him and offered him something around 8/170, which was more than 28 other teams were willing to pay him. Then the Yankees offered him 8/184. What should they have done at that point? Gone higher? How much? At what point do you think the Yankees would have dropped out? At what point do you decide you can find better places to spend your money? 9/200? 10/225? There's got to be a limit somewhere and I think 8/170 is a pretty reasonable one--a bit high if anything.

(Plus, if the Red Sox had gotten Tex, they would have missed out on Smoltz and Penny!)
   15. RJ in TO Posted: November 28, 2009 at 05:10 PM (#3398058)
At what point do you think the Yankees would have dropped out?


At about $3M higher than the Red Sox could sanely offer.

Except in the most extreme cases, there's really no point in getting into a free-agent bidding war with the Yankees. Once they start making serious offers, it's best just to walk away.
   16. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: November 28, 2009 at 05:41 PM (#3398073)
that Halladay's current contract is probably only about $5 million below market value for a pitcher of his caliber


This doesn't really matter for the Red Sox. You can get more wins per dollar with Buchholz (maybe), but you get more wins period with Halladay. I think that this fundamental fact gets lost in the mania for winning efficiently: When you get a star player, and you pay him what he's worth, he is still good at baseball. The point is not to win the Fangraphs $/Win Derby, it's to win the damned World Series.

If the Blue Jays wanted Buchholz for Halladay straight up . . . well, the only way I'd do that trade is if I could stop giggling long enough to say, "Yes."
   17. Darnell McDonald had a farm Posted: November 28, 2009 at 05:49 PM (#3398077)
"The Sox blew it big time when they lost Teixeira to the Yankees"

This is tiresome urban legend, the story came out in pre-season that he wanted to play for the Yankees all along. The only chance the Red Sox had to get Teixeira was if the Yankees didn't want him
   18. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: November 28, 2009 at 05:55 PM (#3398082)
The Sox blew it big time when they lost Teixeira to the Yankees


I think they got lucky. Teixeira isn't so good I want him hanging around on the roster for the next seven years.
   19. Darren Posted: November 28, 2009 at 06:21 PM (#3398105)
I think they got lucky. Teixeira isn't so good I want him hanging around on the roster for the next seven years.


Teixeira will almost certainly still be helping a team win in 7 years. I think you're getting too caught up in the Fangraphs $/Win derby. ;)
   20. Joel W Posted: November 28, 2009 at 06:25 PM (#3398107)
Mopar is right I think. Given where the Yankees play, and therefore the value of marginal wins given their market size, Teixeira probably will be worth that contract when all is said and done. (I think a marginal win for the Yankees is worth something like 3.5 times a marginal win for an average team).

As to Buchholz and Halladay, the phrase "we are trading contracts not players" always sticks out in my head. While Voxter's point is well-taken, if you're the Red Sox aren't you better off keeping Buchholz and overpaying a free agent than trading him (and others) and getting a reasonably priced player like Halladay.
   21. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: November 28, 2009 at 06:28 PM (#3398109)
The real question with Halladay is whether he grants a negotiation window. At least to me. A pitcher of his caliber just isn't going to be available very often, through free agency or trade. We all salivate at the idea of Hernandez and Greinke, but they're years down the line and the odds that the Red Sox will have the resources to acquire them then are . . . well, I suppose they're not terrible, but it's really impossible to tell.

That said, I wouldn't just dump EVERYBODY to get him, and certainly not for one season.
   22. RJ in TO Posted: November 28, 2009 at 06:31 PM (#3398111)
A pitcher of his caliber just isn't going to be available very often, through free agency or trade.


He won't be available through free agency either. If he goes on the market after the 2010 season, the Yankees will sign him, if just so they don't have to keep facing him.
   23. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: November 28, 2009 at 07:02 PM (#3398119)
Maybe the Red Sox should just have him shot, in that case.
   24. RJ in TO Posted: November 28, 2009 at 07:24 PM (#3398128)
Maybe the Red Sox should just have him shot, in that case.


If you really want him horribly injured, why not just convince the Jays to trade him to the Mets?
   25. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: November 28, 2009 at 07:26 PM (#3398129)
The inherent and ineffable randomness of the universe dictates that he would end up pitching well for the Yankees in that instance.
   26. tjm1 Posted: November 30, 2009 at 09:48 AM (#3398938)
This doesn't really matter for the Red Sox. You can get more wins per dollar with Buchholz (maybe), but you get more wins period with Halladay. I think that this fundamental fact gets lost in the mania for winning efficiently: When you get a star player, and you pay him what he's worth, he is still good at baseball. The point is not to win the Fangraphs $/Win Derby, it's to win the damned World Series.


Would you rather have Buchholz and overpay a bit for Lackey in the free agent market, or Halladay and the draft pick you would have lost for signing Lackey? Halladay is better than Lackey, but only a little bit. Buchholz is much better than a random late first round draft pick is likely to be.
If your point is that you don't want to end up being the Marlins, with a tiny payroll and 78-85 wins a year, then I agree, but unless you are the Yankees, you do need to worry about money.

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