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   1. Darren Posted: May 14, 2011 at 02:54 PM (#3827159)
Like most unhappy events, this can be blamed primarily on John Lackey.


I suspect we all have our own version of this sentence that we never say outloud.
   2. Darren Posted: May 14, 2011 at 02:58 PM (#3827161)
A solution at the catcher spot: McKenry is hitting .296/.406/.444 at AAA (and of course striking out too much). According to Sox Prospects, he's really good on defense and at throwing out runners. He's also had a pretty solid track record despite a lousy 2010. Could he put up a .240/.320/.380 (ZIPS had him at .238 .309 .391 coming into the year, but that may have been with the Rockies) with good defense? Do I dare to dream?

Edited to add ZIPS
   3. Darren Posted: May 14, 2011 at 03:04 PM (#3827163)
Very good article on Fangraphs about Lackey:

So when I heard John Lackey‘s now infamous quote Thursday — “Everything in my life sucks right now” — my heart went out to him. Here’s a person whose world is crumbling all around him. Not only is he failing at his job at an epic level, but he’s had personal issues crop up over the last year: his wife is battling breast cancer at the moment, and the couple suffered a miscarriage only a little more than a year ago. And for all we know, Lackey could have even more on his plate; these are just the details of Lackey’s personal life that have been made public.


It's good to keep this sort of thing in mind to keep the irrational hatred in check. But don't read the comments or you'll undo all of that.
   4. tfbg9 Posted: May 14, 2011 at 03:23 PM (#3827172)
I don't hate Lackey.

But don't get me started on Jimy...
   5. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: May 14, 2011 at 03:36 PM (#3827177)
I may have mentioned this in another thread but I feel like we have had a bi of bad luck of a form. Not to be all Tim McCarver but this team has had an ability to find a way to lose on a regular basis. It seems that every loss has featured an obvious goat, many times a player who had generally done a good job. Even last night Bard did his best to give the game away and he has been fantastic. There haven't been five games this year that we have hit, pitched and fielded well all year.
   6. Dale Sams Posted: May 14, 2011 at 03:43 PM (#3827182)
It's Salty/Teks fault. This team will not make the playoffs with them around the teams neck.
   7. Bad Fish Posted: May 14, 2011 at 04:28 PM (#3827202)
A few years ago I was watching a friends old, deaf senile dog. One night, while bringing something into the house the dog escaped and generally started heading home. I chased after her, trying to catch her, but she kept running just out of my reach. She eventually got to a main road that was busy with rush hour and turned straight into traffic and slowly veered out into the street. The first few cars barely avoided her, some on purpose, some because she got lucky. After about 10 cars, she got far enough into the road that a big Ford F-350 just ran right straight into her, killing her instantly.

When I watch Lackey pitch, I have the same exact sense of certitude I had chasing that dog, knowing it was heading toward definite fatal conclusion.
   8. Golfing Great Mitch Cumstein Posted: May 14, 2011 at 04:35 PM (#3827204)
It's good to keep this sort of thing in mind to keep the irrational hatred in check. But don't read the comments or you'll undo all of that.


I went over to Fangraphs to check the Lackey article and started reading some other articles. The comments section were miserable places, just constant snark without anything of substance. Is it always like that?
   9. John DiFool2 Posted: May 14, 2011 at 04:46 PM (#3827210)
Yep-and when I've tried to post something of substance, I get zilch replies.
   10. Joel W Posted: May 15, 2011 at 06:31 AM (#3827629)
Nice Tyler Cowen reference MCA.
   11. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: May 15, 2011 at 01:52 PM (#3827656)
Crawford is slumping right now? His OPS in May is .748, not so far off his career average. He's hitting about .320. I thought he was out of the slump.
   12. Darren Posted: May 15, 2011 at 02:05 PM (#3827659)
I thought it wasa Tyler Durdin reference:

Our Great Stagnation is our baseball team.
   13. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: May 15, 2011 at 02:12 PM (#3827662)
The comments section were miserable places, just constant snark without anything of substance. Is it always like that?


Like most unhappy events, this can be blamed primarily on David Cameron.
   14. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: May 15, 2011 at 08:20 PM (#3827867)
Portland was in New Britain this weekend. I was going to go to the game today and give a scouting report, but it got rained out. Last tine I caught Portland vs the Rock Cats, Pedroia and MDC were on the team. Maybe later this year I'll see them when they come back. Or go to Norwich and see Lowell play Connecticut.
   15. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: May 15, 2011 at 09:18 PM (#3827932)
I thought it wasa Tyler Durdin reference:

Our Great Stagnation is our baseball team.


I always assumed it was spellt Durden.
   16. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: May 16, 2011 at 03:52 AM (#3828619)
FIVE-HUNDRED, #######!!! HOW'S YOUR STAGNATION NOW?
   17. Darren Posted: May 16, 2011 at 04:06 AM (#3828631)
Yeah, the spelling, that was the important part!

GGC, you should have gone Thursday--my daughter's choir did the National Anthem.
   18. The Keith Law Blog Blah Blah (battlekow) Posted: May 16, 2011 at 06:15 AM (#3828662)
A few years ago I was watching a friends old, deaf senile dog. One night, while bringing something into the house the dog escaped and generally started heading home. I chased after her, trying to catch her, but she kept running just out of my reach. She eventually got to a main road that was busy with rush hour and turned straight into traffic and slowly veered out into the street. The first few cars barely avoided her, some on purpose, some because she got lucky. After about 10 cars, she got far enough into the road that a big Ford F-350 just ran right straight into her, killing her instantly.

Jesus. How do you tell your friend that you killed their dog?
   19. dave h Posted: May 16, 2011 at 02:25 PM (#3828771)
I'm hoping to catch a few sox affiliates at new britain or norwich this year. Might be baby's first baseball game -he's one week old now so I have to figure out the youngest age I can take him.
   20. Joel W Posted: May 16, 2011 at 02:41 PM (#3828788)
GGC, you should have gone Thursday--my daughter's choir did the National Anthem.


And this is the part where I realize I have no idea how old anybody is on this board.

As to our Sox, I'm still concerned about the run-differential. They were -33 through 12 games, and are +25 since...having done that exercise, I am now less concerned about the run differential. 120 runs to 95 over that span is consistent with a .615 WP% or so. Selective end points and all I know. Given the crappiness that has been John Lackey, I'd expect the Red Sox to over perform their pythag because of the concentrated runs in those losses, but maybe every team has this issue.
   21. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: May 16, 2011 at 02:56 PM (#3828808)
Yeah, the spelling, that was the important part!

I am Jack's complete lack of surprise.
   22. toratoratora Posted: May 16, 2011 at 03:08 PM (#3828824)
Yeah, the spelling, that was the important part!

I am Jack's complete lack of surprise.


Sticking packs of pencils up your butt does not make you a speller
   23. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: May 16, 2011 at 03:10 PM (#3828827)
I want to see what happens this week before I exhale a bit. They came back from that strong West Coast trip and promptly went 2-4 against Baltimore and Seattle. A 3-4 home stand kind of undoes a lot of the good of this weekend.

What pleases me is that for the first time the Sox aren't playing at a "worst pace" from recent seasons. The 20-20 record through 40 games is not particularly good, but they have been worse than that every year since 2002 except 2003 (20-20 worst 40 game stretch) and 2005 (21-19).
   24. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: May 16, 2011 at 03:17 PM (#3828836)
Sticking packs of pencils up your butt does not make you a speller

Thanks for making me check my spelling 5 times there! Don't pull that again, or this button-down, Oxford-cloth psycho might just snap, and then stalk from office to office with an Armalite AR-10 carbine gas-powered semi-automatic weapon, pumping round after round into colleagues and co-workers. This might be someone you've known for years. Someone very, very close to you.
   25. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: May 16, 2011 at 04:47 PM (#3828905)
His OPS in May is .748, not so far off his career average.


This is why he wasn't worth $23M for 7 years.
   26. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: May 16, 2011 at 05:05 PM (#3828924)
Crawford's age 21 season was always irrelevant to his projection.

If he crashes and burns at age 29 after developing into a very good hitter whose baserunning and defense made him project as elite or near-elite, that will suck. It'll show the Red Sox made the wrong call. It won't have anything to do with his career OPS.

Or, if Crawford was never as good as his numbers, lucky to hit for quite that much power, mis-measured by problematic defensive statistics, that will suck. It'll show the Red sox made the wrong call. It still won't have anything to do with his career OPS.
   27. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: May 16, 2011 at 05:14 PM (#3828931)
I mean, I don't remember anybody saying that Carl Crawford was overprojected as an 800-850ish OPS hitter. Was that ever the claim made against his contract? I thought that the OBP/SLG numbers were sort of broadly agreed upon. Some pro-Crawford people were hopeful that he was better than his projection, due to skill growth and discounting his injuries - and we look a bit silly now for saying it - but I don't remember any arguments about his OPS projection.

The issue was always whether Crawford's defense and baserunning were being properly accounted for. Was he a +5 or a +15 fielder? Would a +15 fielder really be that valuable in Fenway's left field? Would Crawford's baserunning and defense decline earlier as he aged? And so on. Those were quite reasonable debates, I think.

The argument against signing Crawford was always that he wasn't good enough at things other than hitting for his (already agreed-upon) expected quality of hitting to be worthy of the contract.
   28. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: May 17, 2011 at 12:27 AM (#3829421)
The argument against signing Crawford was always that he wasn't good enough at things other than hitting for his (already agreed-upon) expected quality of hitting to be worthy of the contract.


This is really what I mean. He's a very good left fielder. He steals lots of bases at a high success rate. He hits for something like a park-neutral .800 OPS.

To which I say: So? Why is that player worth a bazillion dollars? Especially at Fenway? Especially since he can't hit lefties?

Curtis Granderson's agent is going to demand $30M/yr, after this overpay.
   29. Darren Posted: May 17, 2011 at 03:22 AM (#3829814)

This is really what I mean. He's a very good left fielder. He steals lots of bases at a high success rate. He hits for something like a park-neutral .800 OPS.

To which I say: So? Why is that player worth a bazillion dollars? Especially at Fenway? Especially since he can't hit lefties?


That added up to 5.7 WAR in 2009 and 6.8 in 2010. That's worth about a bazillion dollars.
   30. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: May 17, 2011 at 03:31 AM (#3829834)
That added up to 5.7 WAR in 2009 and 6.8 in 2010. That's worth about a bazillion dollars.
Right. Breaking it down:

2009
+18 batting runs above average
+5.5 SB runs above average
+17.5 fielding runs above average
+22 runs above replacement level
-7 runs positional adjustment

2010
+27 batting runs above average
+5 SB runs above average
+18 fielding runs above average
+22 runs above replacement level
-7 runs positional adjustment

That's an average well over 6 WAR per season. It's a legitimately elite player.

Obviously one can argue that these numbers aren't right - TZ defense, for instance, has Crawford nearly 10 runs per year worse - but they are perfectly reasonable measurements that suggest that precisely the player you describe is worth a bazillion dollars.
   31. Darren Posted: May 17, 2011 at 04:07 AM (#3829901)
GGC, you should have gone Thursday--my daughter's choir did the National Anthem.



And this is the part where I realize I have no idea how old anybody is on this board.


How old did you think I was before and how old am I now?
   32. Dan Posted: May 17, 2011 at 05:21 AM (#3829946)
Really glad that the team seems to finally be getting past the "Stagnation", but this team obviously still has serious issues.

Even though the catchers and Crawford are obviously still black holes in the lineup, I think the real issue the team needs to address in the short-term is the rotation. The front 3 are obviously fine, but with Lackey going on the DL and Daisuke also looking like he's probably got at least a minor injury the FO has to do something to fix this rotation. Doubront should get one of the spots, but Wakefield really shouldn't be taking Lackey's turns. I think the FO might need to just bite the bullet and mortgage the farm for another starter. I haven't really looked at rosters to consider who they could target, but the Sox really can't keep going with 2 rotation slots in flux. If it was just one spot, I think they could patch things together and be fine, but trying to fill 2 rotation slots with flotsam and jetsum just isn't going to end well.
   33. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: May 17, 2011 at 12:42 PM (#3830034)
I agree with Dan on the rotation. I'm fine if they give the slot to Wake though I'd prefer Doubront but there are other factors (development, roster management) that play into it. What I think they absolutely MUST do is split Matszuaka and the Lackey spot up. It just is too easy right now to blow up the bullpen with those spots back to back. Lester-Matsuzaka-Beckett-Buchholz-Lackeyspot is what I want to see right now.
   34. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: May 17, 2011 at 12:50 PM (#3830039)
Doubront is still being stretched out in AAA after starting the season in relief. He's thrown 3, 3, 3.1, and 4.1 innings in his four starts in Pawtucket. I'm hopeful about Doubront helping the club out in the rotation, but I don't think he's ready yet to throw 100 pitches in the bigs. Another two weeks or so, he should be there.

While the back of the rotation looks bad, I'm really happy about the back of the bullpen right now. Matt Albers is looking like a legit leverage reliever, and Alfredo Aceves is the practically perfect long man. With both Aceves and Atchison on the roster, we shouldn't see any more out-of-arms games like the one in Anaheim.
   35. Joel W Posted: May 17, 2011 at 03:10 PM (#3830183)
@Darren,

I literally had no concept. 25-45. Now that range is narrowed, in my head to 37-47, skewing to the younger side. I'd guess about 40 given standard kid having age, and age of kid. Though I suppose you could have other kids, of other ages, that I do not know about.
   36. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: May 17, 2011 at 09:17 PM (#3830718)
Daisuke headed for an MRI according to PeteAbe.
   37. Dan Posted: May 17, 2011 at 09:47 PM (#3830749)
Daisuke headed for an MRI according to PeteAbe.

I'll be quite surprised if the results come back clean. I'm curious to see what the Sox decide to do if they have to put him on the DL with Lackey.
   38. Dan Posted: May 17, 2011 at 09:52 PM (#3830758)
From Pete Abe's twitter:

RHP Michael Bowden en route to Boston. Move pending.

Sounds like Daisuke to the DL to me. Or maybe Atchison is going back to AAA.

Edit: According to Cafardo, Matsuzaka is indeed headed to the DL. So 2 of the starting 5 are now on the DL like I expected. I just don't see how this team can get by patching together those 2 spots with the guys available.
   39. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: May 17, 2011 at 10:07 PM (#3830778)
I literally had no concept. 25-45. Now that range is narrowed, in my head to 37-47, skewing to the younger side. I'd guess about 40 given standard kid having age, and age of kid. Though I suppose you could have other kids, of other ages, that I do not know about.


I realized lately that I usually default to assuming everybody on the internet is my age (31 at the moment, though that's a moving target of course), unless they say otherwise. It's a fair bet around these parts, but not everywhere, and there are plenty of people older than I usually guess.
   40. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: May 17, 2011 at 10:29 PM (#3830796)
No fair making me feel better about Crawford! I guess I have a hard time sticking a average-OBP, average-SLG guy in LF.
   41. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: May 17, 2011 at 11:56 PM (#3830833)
I realized lately that I usually default to assuming everybody on the internet is my age (31 at the moment, though that's a moving target of course), unless they say otherwise. It's a fair bet around these parts, but not everywhere, and there are plenty of people older than I usually guess.


Then there's YouTube.
   42. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: May 18, 2011 at 12:10 AM (#3830839)
How old did you think I was before and how old am I now?

Well, your inability to appreciate good snark made me think 62, but with the new information, I'd be willing to move that down to 48...
   43. chris p Posted: May 18, 2011 at 12:11 AM (#3830840)
I just don't see how this team can get by patching together those 2 spots with the guys available.

if they win 2 of 3 when their 1-3 go and score enough to win 50% of the other two games ... well, that's .600 ball.
   44. Darren Posted: May 18, 2011 at 12:22 AM (#3830847)
Well, your inability to appreciate good snark made me think 62, but with the new information, I'd be willing to move that down to 48...


See, now that's good snark.

I assumed that everyone here thought I was old. I'm very excited he thought there was a chance I was under 60.

Very happy to see Bowden up. In the pen, they'll let him stick with the 2 pitches that helped him rocket through the system before they decided he needed a slider more than anything.
   45. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: May 18, 2011 at 01:25 AM (#3830876)
Well, your inability to appreciate good snark made me think 62, but with the new information, I'd be willing to move that down to 48...

See, now that's good snark.


A rather transparent and vain attempt at trying to appreciate snark, in the hope that people will conclude that you aren't a foggy old geezer. It's not fooling anyone...
   46. Joel W Posted: May 18, 2011 at 01:38 AM (#3830884)
But Darren what's the answer!
   47. Dan Posted: May 18, 2011 at 05:08 AM (#3831009)
Very happy to see Bowden up. In the pen, they'll let him stick with the 2 pitches that helped him rocket through the system before they decided he needed a slider more than anything.


Supposedly he's been pitching as a fastball-slider guy as a reliever, occasionally throwing cutters to lefties. So he is in fact NOT using the power curve that was his signature pitch in his early minor league career.

With that increased confidence has come an improvement in stuff. Last year, Bowden’s performance as a starter was up-and-down, in part because his fastball velocity was inconsistent. This year, he has been living at 92-93 mph and down in the strike zone, while complementing that offering with a modified swing-and-miss secondary offering.

Once a fastball-curveball-changeup pitcher, Bowden is now working primarily with his fastball and a slider, with an occasional cutter worked in against left-handers. His results suggest that the revised formula is working.


Source
   48. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: May 18, 2011 at 02:33 PM (#3831145)
Yeah, Darren can't leave us hanging. I have to admit I had him as a late 20s/early 30s sort.

Somewhat bringing the two topics together. Darren will be happy to know that while I was not posting here as frequently in the Spring of 2009 Junichi Tazawa was definitely my Ramon Ramirez that year. Given my Spring Training trips the last few years and the pitchers I got excited about the progression of Tazawa-Ramirez-Lackey is not doing much for Jose the Scout. I was seriously excited about the guy.
   49. Darren Posted: May 19, 2011 at 02:52 AM (#3832169)
I was really excited by Tazawa after the results he was getting in AA and AAA in his first action in the US. So I was shocked when he looked so completely hittable in the majors, and unshocked to find out that he had been hurt. I'm very optimistic about his future.

I'll say this--Joel's got a good bead on it.
   50. Fly should without a doubt be number !!!!! Posted: May 23, 2011 at 04:42 PM (#3835610)
Darren's funnier when you know what he looks like.
   51. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: May 23, 2011 at 04:57 PM (#3835622)
Since April 25th, the Red Sox, instead of playing .600 ball, have put up a maddeningly inconsistent 8-9 record against generally unimpressive competition, in the midst of a long home stand
In a bit of serendipity, the Sox have gone 7-1 since I wrote this sentence. 7-1 + 8-9 = 15-10, an exactly .600 record. So, since April 25th, the Sox have played .600 ball. Hopefully, they are who we thought they were and all that.

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