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   1. tfbg9 Posted: September 19, 2011 at 12:36 PM (#3929342)
The Rays will win going away.
   2. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: September 19, 2011 at 01:13 PM (#3929354)
I'm feeling marginally more confident than I was at this time yesterday. There is definitely a feeling in me that says "OK, we're done with the Rays and still have the edge."

Of course when Nick Markakis hits a 2 run homer in the first inning of the day game today all bets are off. People in my office are avoiding me like the plague right now which I have to say is rather pleasant.
   3. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: September 19, 2011 at 01:20 PM (#3929358)
People in my office are avoiding me like the plague right now which I have to say is rather pleasant.


I'm thinking of that CYE where Larry accidentally trips and injures Shaq, prompting all of LA to shun Larry. Larry had never been so happy.
   4. Der Komminsk-sar Posted: September 19, 2011 at 01:22 PM (#3929359)
Nice attempt at a reverse jink, but that won't shoo away the mob, MCoA...
   5. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: September 19, 2011 at 01:31 PM (#3929364)
Jose is it you that's going to one of today's games?
   6. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: September 19, 2011 at 01:36 PM (#3929368)
I'm going to tonight's game. My buddy who is going to the game with me also just scored tickets to the afternoon game so he will be well hydrated as Tom Brady might ask.
   7. Textbook Editor Posted: September 19, 2011 at 01:37 PM (#3929369)
This would be the first year since 2002 I'd be really pissed about the season.

2003 - Pissed at Grady Little, but all in all we were on fumes with the pitching in the playoffs, and it's not at all certain to me we would have won the WS had we gotten there.

2004 - Not upset in the least

2005 - Hangover year, not upset

2006 - Lot of goofy things happened, you could tell early on it wasn't our year so you had time to get used to the idea.

2007 - Not upset in the least

2008 - Pleasantly surprised we made it to a Game 7 of the ALCS, though I really thought we'd win it. All in all, not that upset.

2009 - Upset about blowing Game 3, but all in all it was not looking like our year for a while at that point.

2010 - Injuries, injuries, injuries... not upset.

2011 - Epic collapse. Pretty upset.

As I said in another thread, this doesn't erase all the goodwill from 2004 and 2007, but it's the most upset I've been in quite some time, mainly because it was clear in June when Buchholz went down that we had a starter problem for 3/5ths of the rotation and basically nothing was done about it. They kept rolling out Lackey/Wakefield/??? until they got Bedard, and even then they had to realize Bedard was a 5 IP solution who would tax the bullpen even if every start was 5 IP, 2 R.

Look, it doesn't matter that they won most of the starts from the Disaster Trio, they had to know that eventually when 3/5th of your rotation is pitching with a 5+ ERA, it's going to come back and bite you... and that's on Theo.

I hope I'm wrong and chuckle later about being such a pants pisser, but having watched this team the last 3 weeks, I just don't see an obvious switch that gets thrown where they steamroll the last 10 games and blow everyone away in the playoffs. I'd really like to be wrong, but this isn't looking like our year.
   8. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 19, 2011 at 01:49 PM (#3929374)
Obviously the most likely outcome is 5 or 6 wins, but I don't see why you can't imagine this club scoring 70 runs to close out the season. The offense has an OPS a little under 800 even during the unpleasantness.
   9. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: September 19, 2011 at 01:51 PM (#3929377)
I think TE sums up the last decade of my life pretty well. I would add that the 2003 team was as much fun as any team I can remember. There were a lot of easy to root for guys who exceeded expectations (Millar, Mueller, Ortiz, Kim for much of the year).

Look, it doesn't matter that they won most of the starts from the Disaster Trio, they had to know that eventually when 3/5th of your rotation is pitching with a 5+ ERA, it's going to come back and bite you


This needs to be said more often. For all the talk about their success with those guys on the mound, you simply cannot expect to get through the majority of the season without bad players being exposed. It is one thing to steal a win here and there but when you need to get 50-60 starts from you 7th, 8th, etc.. starters it's going to get you eventually.
   10. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: September 19, 2011 at 01:53 PM (#3929378)
Obviously the most likely outcome is 5 or 6 wins, but I don't see why you can't imagine this club scoring 70 runs to close out the season. The offense has an OPS a little under 800 even during the unpleasantness.


I know I've said this before and I know you disagree but the problem isn't that they can't score 70 runs, it's that they'll do it by geting 30 runs in two games and then have a bunch of 2-3 run games.
   11. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 19, 2011 at 01:58 PM (#3929385)
You've said it, but you've presented next to no evidence for it.

Until the recent unpleasantness, the Sox real and expected WP were perfectly well in line. They had not shown any tendency, before September, to fail to convert runs into wins. If that were real characteristic of this club, where was it before the unpleasantness?
   12. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: September 19, 2011 at 01:59 PM (#3929386)
They kept rolling out Lackey/Wakefield/???


Because of the contract and some other off-the field stuff, I have close to zero problem with them trotting out Lackey again and again. As long as he says he's healthy and ready to pitch, they needed to see what they had, and the odds had to be on him putting it together at some point.

I do wonder if the Rays (I don't think on purpose - it just worked that way) played Rope-a-Dope on the Sox. A few weeks ago, it looked like the Sox were coming in for an easy playoff spot and could set up their rotation for October any way they wanted. The Rays were comfortably buried, and the Sox were in first place, with the consolation prize telling them that second was good enough. If they had to win the division, they'd have probably tried harder to improve their team, which may be paying dividends right now, instead of the issues they'll have over the next week simply to make the playoffs.
   13. Textbook Editor Posted: September 19, 2011 at 02:11 PM (#3929391)
#12 - I'm on record as being extremely sympathetic to Lackey's off-the-field stuff, but if that was affecting his pitching to the extent it has, I think it's on the Red Sox to take the ball from him and tell him to take some time, be with his wife, and get his head right. Lackey is not the sort to ever admit that he needed the time, so the Red Sox needed to do the thinking for him.

Now... if the problem is that Lackey is hiding an injury (because of that clause where he works for a year at serfdom wages if he goes down with an elbow injury), then that is a different story... but, again, to me it's on the Red Sox to demand an MRI/multiple looks at that elbow to see what the hell is going on. If he declines getting examined you suspend him without pay until he does submit to an examination/MRI. It's beyond ridiculous that no one seems to have any idea what's going on with his elbow.

Again, if it's just his head that's not right I am sympathetic... but I would have preferred the Red Sox let him go on the DL to take care of that. If he's actually hurt and has been hiding it, I am far, far, far less sympathetic, and in fact would be incredibly pissed.
   14. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 19, 2011 at 02:12 PM (#3929394)
Because of the contract and some other off-the field stuff, I have close to zero problem with them trotting out Lackey again and again.
If the Sox had been sending Lackey out there because of off-the-field issues, I would have had a big problem with it, actually.

The reason they keep sending Lackey out there, though, is that they have no better options. The next men in line are Kyle Weiland and Andrew Miller. Terrifyingly, John Lackey is the 4th best starting pitcher the Red Sox have.

I do agree that if the Sox had been in a tight race, there's a good chance they would have sprung for a second starting pitcher after landing Bedard. That probably would have made a 1-2 game difference, which would be all the difference in the world right now.
   15. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: September 19, 2011 at 02:19 PM (#3929397)
Lackey (absent an injury to his arm or his head) has significant upside, though. He finished third in the Cy voting in 2007. He could be the #2 pitcher who the Sox signed. Unless the Sox had good reason to believe that he would not improve over the course of 2011, running him out there and waiting for the Lackey they thought they had is completely defensible, in my opinion. Particularly since, as Matt points out, they have largely not had a better option this year whose starts Lackey was taking.
   16. Dale Sams Posted: September 19, 2011 at 02:22 PM (#3929400)
Terrifyingly, Lackey is the best option the Red Sox have.


Aceves was certainly better and it was up to the Sox to stretch him out. But as usual, hypothetical innings in which you have no clue about the leverage are more important that real innings. You can argue that there's nothing hypothetical about the innings Aceves is going to get, but the leverage is also very important.

At this point a cobbled together Doubront/Tazawa start couldn't be worse. And it it is...if you didn't have the depth to replace the worst pitcher in the league (by half an earned run)? Man.

edit: All that said, I think Lackey can do 'ok' against the O's. I don't want to see him in NY. They need to use their day off and switch Bedard to pitch the last day in NY and throw Lackey in the middle game in Balt.

And does anyone else other than me have this "I used to like the Rays, but now I'm a little pissed at those smug #############\" feeling?
   17. Nasty Nate Posted: September 19, 2011 at 02:22 PM (#3929401)
mainly because it was clear in June when Buchholz went down that we had a starter problem for 3/5ths of the rotation and basically nothing was done about it. They kept rolling out Lackey/Wakefield/??? until they got Bedard, and even then they had to realize Bedard was a 5 IP solution who would tax the bullpen even if every start was 5 IP, 2 R.


It's revisionist to say that it was clear in June that 3/5 of their rotation was a problem. It was not clear that Buccholz was gone for so long. And it was not clear that Lackey would be this bad. They needed SP depth (although even this was disputed by some in Sox Therapy in July), but it turns out they needed more SP depth than at first apparent. It also doesn't help that the SP depth they acquire hasn't pitched for 2 weeks. I guess it was defensible at the time that they target a high-talent but low-innings type guy rather than a less stingy innings-eater (or both), but that looks like a mistake now.
   18. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 19, 2011 at 02:25 PM (#3929406)
Aceves was certainly better and it was up to the Sox to stretch him out. But as usual, hypothetical innings in which you have no clue about the leverage are more important that real innings.
In the playoffs, the 4th starter is less valuable than the 3rd reliever. The Sox made the decision to keep Aceves in the pen based on the assumption that they would make the playoffs. That is a decision that they'll regret, badly, if the next ten games play out anything like the last ten did.

EDIT: You know, I take that back, partly. Having Aceves in the pen two weeks ago was defensible. Starting Weiland in a huge game today, with Aceves in the pen, is a load of crap, and a big mistake.
   19. karlmagnus Posted: September 19, 2011 at 02:27 PM (#3929409)
The other problem, having watched yesterday, is that this is not a good fielding team. That makes a huge difference in for example Wake's R/ER differential. Contrary to tfbg's frequently expressed nonsense, over his career Wake has given away 13 UER per annum compared to the average good starter's 8, increasing his "corrected" ERA by 5R/201IP or 0.22. However this year he has given away 20UER on only 3/4 of his normal pitching volume. You could see the effect yesterday; twice because of errors he both lost runs and was forced to get extra outs (once on a PB/3rd strike, once on Aviles' appalling throw to first on an easy play.) In addition, Conor Jackson botched a fairly easy catch because he wasn't familiar enough with the Wall -- that wasn't scored an error, but Crawford or indeed Manny would probably have made it. If Wake had given away 2 runs in 6 innings, instead of 6 runs in 5, the Sox would have won.

I quite grant it wasn't Wake's most distinguished pitching performance, nor this his best year. But with decent fielding, both would have been greatly improved and the Sox would be in fine shape.
   20. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 19, 2011 at 02:36 PM (#3929413)
One more thing before I head off. How much do today's games matter?

Using the numbers from the post above, these are the Red Sox chances of losing the WC to the Rays, listed by RS sweep, split, and O's sweep:

(Sox bad, Rays great)
18%, 33%, 51%

(Sox not so good, Rays good)
12%, 25%, 41%

(Sox good, Rays good)
9%, 20%, 35%

(BPro W3%)
6%, 14%, 27%

If the Sox get swept today, they actually will be in the position that Jose and Dale have thought they were in. (I figure Jose and Dale will move to a new, even more pessimistic position if the Sox get swept today.)
   21. JJ1986 Posted: September 19, 2011 at 02:46 PM (#3929424)
Somewhat related, but do you guys know what Lester's schedule is going to be? I assume he's on 4 days rest and will go on the 22nd and 27th, but I don't want to buy tickets to a game and see John Lackey pitch.
   22. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: September 19, 2011 at 02:47 PM (#3929426)
(I figure Jose and Dale will move to a new, even more pessimistic position if the Sox get swept today.)


Nah, I'm pretty much as far as I can get.
   23. Textbook Editor Posted: September 19, 2011 at 02:47 PM (#3929428)
I'd argue if we get swept today the snowball becomes too far down the hill to change course, and that we're doomed. Playoff teams with so much on the line don't get swept at home in a DH by the friggin' Orioles.
   24. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 19, 2011 at 03:02 PM (#3929438)
Playoff teams with so much on the line don't get swept at home in a DH by the friggin' Orioles.
There are in fact oodles of counter-examples from baseball history. Just looking at the NL in the last decade:

The 2003 Chicago Cubs lost two in a row to Pittsburgh in late September in a playoff race and still made the playoffs. The 2005 Astros lost two in a row to the Cubs on the last weekend of the season and still held on for the Wild Card. The 2006 Cardinals lost seven in a row down the stretch, including four to Houston and two to the Padres, and held on for the division, then won the World Series. The 2007 Diamondbacks lost three in a row, including two to Pittsburgh, and held on for the divion. The 2008 Brewers lost 8 of 9 down the stretch and still won the Wild Card.

The Tampa Bay Rays, with the Wild Card on the line, lost two in a row to Baltimore last week. Are neither of them going to make the playoffs? If they don't, the Wild Card will probably go to the Angels, who lost two in a row to, yup, Baltimore just this weekend.

Baseball is a sport where the very best teams still lose 40% of their games. A good club losing two in a row is extremely common, regardless of the importance of the games, or even the quality of the teams involved.

Look, be pessimistic. Beat your chest and tear at your hair and weep uncontrollably in public if you want. But don't say things that are wrong.
   25. Textbook Editor Posted: September 19, 2011 at 03:38 PM (#3929484)
I'll amend my statement, then (revisions in CAPS):

THIS SUPPOSED playoff team with so much on the line CAN'T get swept at home in a DH by the friggin' Orioles.


They get swept today, I think they're done.
   26. Dale Sams Posted: September 19, 2011 at 04:27 PM (#3929526)
According to vegas, if you put $100 on Baltimore to sweep the dh, you'd win $700. Oh you silly RSN. At best those have to be coinflip games. Making a sweep 4-1 not 7-1.
   27. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: September 19, 2011 at 04:55 PM (#3929544)
Oh you silly RSN. At best those have to be coinflip games. Making a sweep 4-1 not 7-1.

Oh you silly Dale, saying games at home against the Orioles are at best coinflip games.
   28. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 19, 2011 at 04:59 PM (#3929547)
I believe that double-header sweeps happen somewhat less than would be expected if the probabilities were perfectly independent - a team that wins one game is more likely to have started their best pitcher or used their best reliever or not rested any of their best hitters. I believe Vegas odds on double-headers reflect that, as well.
   29. Answer Guy Posted: September 19, 2011 at 05:04 PM (#3929548)
Oh you silly Dale, saying games at home against the Orioles are at best coinflip games.


Guthrie vs. Weiland is at best a coinflip game. The only reason Baltimore isn't the clear favorite is that it's at Fenway Park and that the Sox have the superior lineup.

And though Brian Matusz has been a disaster for Baltimore this season I don't trust Lackey at all in the nightcap.
   30. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: September 19, 2011 at 05:08 PM (#3929551)
They get swept today, I think they're done.


IF they get swept today, even Ray Ray may admit feeling slightly nervous...
   31. Smiling Joe Hesketh Posted: September 19, 2011 at 05:18 PM (#3929566)
Come on, there's got to be a what, 50-75% chance they get swept today? Weiland and Lackey are the starters! If both games are 6-0 in the 4th I wouldn't be shocked at all. They are terrible.

I strongly suspect this WC race is already over. Tampa's the vastly better team and the Sox have caught a collective case of apple-in-throat.
   32. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: September 19, 2011 at 05:26 PM (#3929577)
Weiland and Lackey are the starters! If both games are 6-0 in the 4th I wouldn't be shocked at all. They are terrible.


The Red Sox are 23-5 in their last 28 meetings with the Orioles at Fenway


The Orioles are a BAD team]
The guy they are throwing out there tonight for instance is WORSE than Weiland or Lackey
and the Orioles can't hit like Boston- not even if Wieters has really transmorgified into the BPro fantasy version of Wieters
   33. Answer Guy Posted: September 19, 2011 at 05:27 PM (#3929578)
I'd feel better about the Sox' chances going forward if they'd manage to grind out a few more wins in games where the starting pitching crapped out. They won a bunch of these games right after the AS Break. But since getting a wholly undeserved win for Lackey by pummeling KC 12-5 on July 27...it's happened all of twice.

On Aug. 23 they survived another lackluster start by Lackey - and Lackey hasn't even looked this good since - to beat Texas 11-5.
On Sep. 13 they beat Toronto 18-6 and got Wakefield #200 despite the fact that he didn't deserve it.

(They did survive bad relief pitching to beat Texas 11-7 on Sep. 3. Bedard pitched well enough but didn't last long, which is a separate issue.)

If you stretch the definition of "crapped out" a bit you can get 9-5 a win over the Yankees on Aug. 31 in which Beckett managed a W out of 7 IP/4 R, which is usually not enough, and a comeback Aug. 8 win over Minnesota 8-6 where Wakefield went 7 and gave up 5 runs (3 earned.)

And of course during the current unpleasantness the offense has had a couple of massive outbursts and has otherwise looked pretty bad themselves.
   34. Smiling Joe Hesketh Posted: September 19, 2011 at 05:47 PM (#3929635)
The Sox are already down 2-0 in the 3rd inning after some brutal fielding by McDonald and the expected Weiland implosion afterwards.

They are choking badly.
   35. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: September 19, 2011 at 06:03 PM (#3929685)
Sox would be happy to be down 2-0.

5-1 in the 4th.
   36. Smiling Joe Hesketh Posted: September 19, 2011 at 06:03 PM (#3929687)
It's now 5-1. Optimism can take the exit at the far left hand side of the stage.

The race is over.
   37. Answer Guy Posted: September 19, 2011 at 06:04 PM (#3929688)
It's now 5-1. Francona can start booking his golf reservations for October after tonight.
   38. konaforever Posted: September 19, 2011 at 06:10 PM (#3929701)
I hate this team.
   39. JJ1986 Posted: September 19, 2011 at 06:18 PM (#3929719)
6-2.
   40. vortex of dissipation Posted: September 19, 2011 at 07:12 PM (#3929803)
6-5.
   41. Dan Posted: September 19, 2011 at 07:59 PM (#3929876)
Up 1 game now in the loss column over the Rays.
   42. konaforever Posted: September 19, 2011 at 08:06 PM (#3929897)
This is funny stuff!
   43. Smiling Joe Hesketh Posted: September 19, 2011 at 08:07 PM (#3929900)
Lackey pitches tonight. Last 7 batters for the Sox saw a total of 18 pitches.

It's over.
   44. Dan Posted: September 19, 2011 at 08:10 PM (#3929904)
Unless they pull this out, Francona has to go.

4-14 in September now.
   45. Textbook Editor Posted: September 19, 2011 at 08:12 PM (#3929908)
So... who gets their head cut off should the Red Sox blow this? Who wears the Cone of Shame?
   46. Nasty Nate Posted: September 19, 2011 at 08:13 PM (#3929911)
Up 1 game now in the loss column over the Rays.


but 2 games up in the win column
   47. Nasty Nate Posted: September 19, 2011 at 08:15 PM (#3929913)
So... who gets their head cut off should the Red Sox blow this? Who wears the Cone of Shame?


I still blame Tony Clark
   48. Textbook Editor Posted: September 19, 2011 at 08:16 PM (#3929917)
The problem with firing Francona is I'm not sure there's a lights-out better alternative, and that's what I would want if I'm getting rid of the only manager to win us a WS in 93 years.

Such a person doesn't exist, so I suspect Francona won't be fired.
   49. konaforever Posted: September 19, 2011 at 08:16 PM (#3929919)
I wonder if we get to 90 wins.
   50. Textbook Editor Posted: September 19, 2011 at 08:17 PM (#3929920)
Me, I'd fire the training staff for consistently having "minor injuries" turn into season-ending/60-day DL type injuries.
   51. Lassus Posted: September 19, 2011 at 08:19 PM (#3929922)
You motherfruckers are giving me flashbacks. Can't you think about anyone other than yourselves?
   52. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: September 19, 2011 at 08:21 PM (#3929927)
I wonder if we get to 90 wins.


I think 88 is 50-50 right now.

Seriously, this team is so cooked. I think Curt Young is the sacrificial lamb when this is done with some kind of medical staff shake up.
   53. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: September 19, 2011 at 08:21 PM (#3929928)
So... who gets their head cut off should the Red Sox blow this? Who wears the Cone of Shame?


Hitting/pitching coaches are always pretty fireable, if you just want a token measure. Whoever signed Crawford/Lackey deserves some rotten fruit thrown at them. I'd say Francona certainly deserves a large portion of blame for the way this team has fallen apart. I don't know that I'd fire him, but I wouldn't rule it out.
   54. Answer Guy Posted: September 19, 2011 at 08:22 PM (#3929929)
You motherfruckers are giving me flashbacks. Can't you think about anyone other than yourselves?


Most people are going to be forgetting about the 2007 Mets after this.
   55. Smiling Joe Hesketh Posted: September 19, 2011 at 08:23 PM (#3929932)
Seriously, this team is so cooked. I think Curt Young is the sacrificial lamb when this is done with some kind of medical staff shake up.

And pro scouting. And amateur scouting. And everyone else they can get their hands on.

The organization needs a complete overhaul. Just strip down the whole rotting core and start over.
   56. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: September 19, 2011 at 08:25 PM (#3929934)
Up 1 game now in the loss column over the Rays.


If they win tonight their postseason odds (BPro or Coolstandings), will likely have dropped a little from this morning - afterall a split was the most likely scenario before today's games were played

BPro sees the Sox as a .580 team, so it likely saw a Sox sweep as a 30% chance, a split at 50% and a Orioles sweep at 20%. Now of course the Sox have dropped 1, so they can't sweep, but the Orioles are running an even worse pitcher than Lackey out there - I'd give it 60% split, 40% Orioles sweep.

BPRO had Boston 88% and Coolstandings had them at 90%, if they split I'm guessing we'll see that drop to 86% and 88%
If Baltimore sweeps, I think we'll see it drop to the 70s.

I think both sites are running 5-10% too high for Boston- they still see a .580 team that just isn't there right now.
Personally, Boston loses tonight and it's 50/50
   57. Nasty Nate Posted: September 19, 2011 at 08:25 PM (#3929937)
And pro scouting. And amateur scouting. And everyone else they can get their hands on.

The organization needs a complete overhaul. Just strip down the whole rotting core and start over.


yeah, and tear down fenway park and re-flood the back bay! heh
   58. Answer Guy Posted: September 19, 2011 at 08:26 PM (#3929941)
Five more years of paying Crawford like a superstar. He may not be as cooked as he's looked this season, but as I said yesterday, someone with THAT long a list of things he can't do has no business being the highest paid OF in MLB.
   59. Dale Sams Posted: September 19, 2011 at 08:29 PM (#3929949)
I just realized AGon is about to be a part of two of the greatest regular-season collapses in history.
   60. Nasty Nate Posted: September 19, 2011 at 08:30 PM (#3929950)
Five more years of paying Crawford like a superstar...


that's the best Sox news I've heard all day!
   61. Textbook Editor Posted: September 19, 2011 at 08:33 PM (#3929959)
I'm telling you, this is the master stroke we need:

We let Theo go to the Cubs. Since he still has a year on his contract that compensation is... The Cubs have to take Lackey's contract.

That would make me happy. Not much else for the next 6 months is likely to.
   62. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: September 19, 2011 at 08:46 PM (#3929977)
Who lost their job after the Mets collapsed?
   63. Textbook Editor Posted: September 19, 2011 at 08:50 PM (#3929983)
I just don't see Francona being fired over this. If there were no injuries and this happened, then maybe... but the team is going to use injuries as the excuse (again), and they're just not going to fire Francona because of that.

I hadn't considered the idea they'd fire Theo... But I don't think that's likely, either. He's under contract and, as such, is worth something should the Cubs come knocking and asking to make Theo their GM. Firing him gets them nothing, and I would guess the second the season is over the Cubs will make a request to interview him, so why not get some compensation while you let him go?
   64. Dale Sams Posted: September 19, 2011 at 08:58 PM (#3929997)
Ill trade ya Theo, Tito, Crawford and Lackey for Soriano and Zambrano....nahhhh Cubs would never go for it.
   65. Roger Cedeno's Spleen Posted: September 19, 2011 at 09:15 PM (#3930015)
The 2008 Brewers lost 8 of 9 down the stretch and still won the Wild Card.


Thanks, Ike.

Lassus isn't the only one having flashbacks in here...
   66. Greg K Posted: September 19, 2011 at 09:29 PM (#3930033)

Lassus isn't the only one having flashbacks in here...

I was born at the perfect time as a Jays fan*. Too young to remember '87, but there for 92-93.

*If you ignore the past 15 years.
   67. bunyon Posted: September 19, 2011 at 09:47 PM (#3930054)
The Mets were up 7 with 14 to play and, IIRC, had no significant injuries and didn't even tie.

Sorry, Sox fans, you can't get close.
   68. Textbook Editor Posted: September 19, 2011 at 09:53 PM (#3930058)
#67--but wouldn't most folks agree the 2011 Red Sox--on the whole--are a better team than the 2007 Mets? Does that factor into ranking the collapse?
   69. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: September 19, 2011 at 09:55 PM (#3930064)
The Mets were up 7 with 14 to play and, IIRC, had no significant injuries and didn't even tie.
Weren't the Mets missing Billy Wagner that year? I seem to remember they lost one game where someone like Schoenweis or Jorge Sosa had to play closer.
   70. bunyon Posted: September 19, 2011 at 10:06 PM (#3930072)
#67--but wouldn't most folks agree the 2011 Red Sox--on the whole--are a better team than the 2007 Mets? Does that factor into ranking the collapse?

When healthy, of course. The average 2007 Mets vs. today's Red Sox? I wouldn't.

And as much as we may applaud the Sox for the mid-season play, they've stunk at the two ends. Really, truly, abysmmally awful. Perhaps they're not as good as we thought they were.
   71. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: September 19, 2011 at 10:19 PM (#3930083)
LOLOLOLOL!! If the season ended today, they'd be in the playoffs!! It's true!!!

I love you guys, but you disappoint me. They've had key injuries. If you want to blame the trainers (rolls eyes), go ahead, but, I won't follow. Players get hurt.

They have a good chance to make the playoffs. I'll bet they make it.
   72. Hugh Jorgan Posted: September 19, 2011 at 11:10 PM (#3930128)
Bah, a minor blip on the way to playoffs. Lackey will do ok tomorrow and they'll squeeze out a win, then Bedard, Beckett and Lester go in the next 3 games. Tampa may win today, but will lose at least one of the next 3 and we'll be back up by at least 2 by Friday evening. Unfortunately they continue to trot Wake out there, so Saturday's game, even against Burnett should see them lose 17-13(my expectations of a pitcher's dual are non-existent here). It'll eventually come down to the last 3 games, we'll have a 1 game lead going in and take 2 of 3 from the Orioles which will be enough.
   73. Dan Posted: September 19, 2011 at 11:12 PM (#3930129)
Bah, a minor blip on the way to playoffs. Lackey will do ok tomorrow and they'll squeeze out a win, then Bedard, Beckett and Lester go in the next 3 games. Tampa may win today, but will lose at least one of the next 3 and we'll be back up by at least 2 by Friday evening. Unfortunately they continue to trot Wake out there, so Saturday's game, even against Burnett should see them lose 17-13(my expectations of a pitcher's dual are non-existent here). It'll eventually come down to the last 3 games, we'll have a 1 game lead going in and take 2 of 3 from the Orioles which will be enough.


Lackey is pitching right now, not tomorrow.

Tampa Bay doesn't play today, though they play twice tomorrow.
   74. Hugh Jorgan Posted: September 19, 2011 at 11:24 PM (#3930147)
Lackey is pitching right now, not tomorrow.

Tampa Bay doesn't play today, though they play twice tomorrow


Yeah, I've stuffed the scheduling, need to pay less attention to work and more to this.

AND, it looks like I may have overestimated Lackey's performance.....
   75. konaforever Posted: September 19, 2011 at 11:31 PM (#3930152)
How many ways can we lose? Let me count the ways...
   76. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: September 19, 2011 at 11:35 PM (#3930158)
At this point, we should all tune in around the 6th inning of any given game.
   77. Darren Posted: September 20, 2011 at 03:06 AM (#3930540)
I just don't see Francona being fired over this. If there were no injuries and this happened, then maybe... but the team is going to use injuries as the excuse (again), and they're just not going to fire Francona because of that.


You're never going to feel like there's a better option out there if you can't bring yourself to get rid of the guy who "won" the 2 World Series for you. 2004 and 2007 should never be forgotten, Francona should go in the Red Sox HOF, etc. But they bear little importance in deciding who should manage the team in 2012.
   78. Dan Posted: September 20, 2011 at 03:11 AM (#3930544)
If this team makes the playoffs, they better not be planning on starting Lackey in Game 4.
   79. Darren Posted: September 20, 2011 at 03:17 AM (#3930548)
I'm not sure where to put this, but I saw on Yahoo Sports today an article called something like "Who Will Get the Blame." It was about who on the Sox would take the heat if they blow it. There were four pictures: Theo, Tito, Lackey, and... Erik Bedard? Yes, Erik Bedard. First the #3/4 question and how this People really hate that guy. He's getting into Chris Truby and Albert Belle territory.
   80. Phil Coorey is a T-Shirt Salesman Posted: September 20, 2011 at 03:18 AM (#3930549)
If they start Lackey then they quite simply don't want to win
   81. Textbook Editor Posted: September 20, 2011 at 03:21 AM (#3930554)
Lackey starting a Game 4 would instantly put him in the running for: Who is the worst starter to ever start a playoff game? I can't imagine any of the 6 or so starters with ERA+ under 68 started a playoff game for their team.
   82. Darren Posted: September 20, 2011 at 03:25 AM (#3930555)
Here's the article in question.

Warning: Pedroia is listed as a possible person to blame, Theo is listed twice and the second mention includes this:

Theo Epstein learned in the past and is experiencing again this season. Epstein once told me his goal is to make the postseason seven of every 10 years and hope the team gets lucky enough to win one or two. In his eight full years, Epstein’s Red Sox have six playoff appearances.

That sounds like a really, really low bar. 7 times in 10 years? You should do that without trying. Your goall, with the Sox resources, should be 10 in 10.
   83. tfbg9 Posted: September 20, 2011 at 03:26 AM (#3930556)
They only win blowouts. If its close at all, they lose.

We get it Darren. You hate Tito.
   84. tfbg9 Posted: September 20, 2011 at 03:28 AM (#3930557)
10 for 10 is urealistic as all hell with Goliath in the AL East.
   85. Dale Sams Posted: September 20, 2011 at 03:34 AM (#3930560)
make the postseason seven of every 10 years


He actually said 8 out of 10 a while back.
   86. Dale Sams Posted: September 20, 2011 at 03:44 AM (#3930563)
It would be one of the more remarkable chokes in sports history. Not as bad as the Yankees dropping four straight to the Red Sox in the 2004 ALCS


With two HOFers taking the mound the Sox had probably a 9-10% chance of coming back in 2004.
   87. bobm Posted: September 20, 2011 at 03:49 AM (#3930566)
[81] Who is the worst starter to ever start a playoff game? I can't imagine any of the 6 or so starters with ERA+ under 68 started a playoff game for their team.

Oliver Perez started games 4 and 7 of the 2006 NLCS for the Mets. 3-13 with 6.55 ERA, 68 ERA+ in the regular season.
   88. Textbook Editor Posted: September 20, 2011 at 04:39 AM (#3930580)
Oliver Perez started games 4 and 7 of the 2006 NLCS for the Mets. 3-13 with 6.55 ERA, 68 ERA+ in the regular season.


And pitched well in Game 7 IIRC! There's hope for Lackey yet!

[sigh]

That I'd be clinging to this is not something I imagined 4 weeks ago.
   89. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: September 20, 2011 at 01:11 PM (#3930671)
We get it Darren. You hate Tito.
Pot, meet kettle.
   90. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: September 20, 2011 at 01:29 PM (#3930687)
Oliver Perez started games 4 and 7 of the 2006 NLCS for the Mets. 3-13 with 6.55 ERA, 68 ERA+ in the regular season.


John Lackey's ERA+ was 68 BEFORE giving up 8 runs in 4.1 IP last night.
   91. Dan Posted: September 20, 2011 at 04:32 PM (#3930884)
Lackey's ERA+ is down to 65 now.
   92. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: September 20, 2011 at 04:59 PM (#3930899)
Lackey's ERA+ is down to 65 now.
I suddenly have this vision of Theo and Cashman setting up a Strangers on a Train plan to deal with Lackey and Burnett
   93. dave h Posted: September 20, 2011 at 05:34 PM (#3930945)
This is way late, but I have to take issue with TE in #7. Maybe I'm misreading, but it sounds like you'd be more upset about missing the playoffs this year than you were with how 2003 ended. That is completely unfathomable to me - I had trouble sleeping that night.

I still think they'll make the playoffs, though obviously it's not a lock. I had the misfortune of choosing Sunday's game when I bought tickets last December though (I am in the usually-sees-wakefield-pitch club), and it was tough to watch. The defensive mistakes may be the toughest to watch.
   94. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: September 20, 2011 at 05:53 PM (#3930969)
If Lackey can drop his ERA+ three more points in his next start, he'll unseat Mike Moore's 1995 as the worst ERA+ by a starter (25+ starts) since integration. So at least he still has something to play for.
   95. SoSH U at work Posted: September 20, 2011 at 05:58 PM (#3930973)
This is way late, but I have to take issue with TE in #7. Maybe I'm misreading, but it sounds like you'd be more upset about missing the playoffs this year than you were with how 2003 ended. That is completely unfathomable to me - I had trouble sleeping that night


I'm with you. When I woke up the next morning I felt genuinely ill, and I firmly believe it was the result of swallowing so much rage when I went to sleep. After 2004, I can't imagine ever feeling that angry about the result of a Sox game again.
   96. Textbook Editor Posted: September 20, 2011 at 05:59 PM (#3930975)
#93--Oh, I had plenty of trouble sleeping after Game 7 in 2003, but I was also realistic: in some ways we had no business winning Game 6 with Burkett on the mound, and heading into the WS Pedro was not going to be able to go until Game 3, which left us with all sorts of question marks in the rotation, the knowledge that Little would not have used Kim in any meaningful situation, and Pedro only available for 1 game in the first 6... I would desperately have liked to have beaten the Yankees, but even on the day I had concerns we'd be cooked in the WS that year, historic offense or not.

At the time, I wanted to beat the Yankees, but I wanted to win the WS much, much more, and I didn't see much solace in beating the Yankees but losing the WS.

This year, what kills me is that I think/hope that if we get in--and the pitching aligns as we'd prefer--we have a real fighting chance to win the WS. Philly is beatable. We have 2 great starters and 1 decent one, Aceves, Bard, Papelbon and maybe Buchholz in the pen, and a pretty good offense. I like our chances in the playoffs this year much more than I liked our chances in the WS in 2003 had we gotten there... That's what I'm getting at when I say this year would be more disappointing to me.
   97. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: September 20, 2011 at 06:06 PM (#3930982)
I'm with TE. Game 7 in 2003 was devastating, I couldn't sleep either, but like 1986 I was able to step back and appreciate what that club had accomplished. The 2003 team was as much fun as I've ever had as a fan. Making the playoffs after missing it for a few years was a great feeling and the playoff series win was tremendously exciting.

If this team misses the playoffs there will be nothing redeeming about 2011. It won't be like they won 95 games but got beaten out by superior teams, they will have simply folded down the stretch and have nothing to show for six months of baseball.
   98. Baldrick Posted: September 20, 2011 at 06:11 PM (#3930990)
If this team misses the playoffs there will be nothing redeeming about 2011. It won't be like they won 95 games but got beaten out by superior teams, they will have simply folded down the stretch and have nothing to show for six months of baseball.

I also consider it a wasted season when I'm forced to watch my team play .650 baseball for four and a half months. It's just wretched.
   99. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 20, 2011 at 06:13 PM (#3930996)
The 2011 season, if they blow this lead, will be more disappointing compared to our expectations than 2003, I guess.

However, it will hurt way, way less. C'mon. 2003 was the worst thing that ever happened to me as a fan. That sucked beyond words and beyond recognition. I know we're just talking about our feelings, but Jose's and TE's feelings are weird and unrecognizable to me.

Feelings aren't a matter of tallying up pros and cons. They're part of our immediate experience. As David Berman says, You can't change the feeling, but you can change the feeling about the feeling, eventually. It sounds like you guys changed the feeling about the feeling through rational reconsideration of 2003, but you're underselling the painful experience of the initial feeling of 2003.
   100. willcarrolldoesnotsuk Posted: September 20, 2011 at 06:21 PM (#3931002)
Today we are all Yankee fans.
For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?
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