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   1. Dan The Mediocre Posted: January 19, 2008 at 04:53 AM (#2671644)
Spooooooooon!

Why don't the Red Sox pursue Bedard instead of Santana? He'll be cheaper and probably about the same level of performance over the next few years.

EDIT: The "Spooooooooon!" thing is a reference to The Tick, in case no one understands it.
   2. Dan Posted: January 19, 2008 at 05:42 AM (#2671652)
Probably because Angelos won't sign off on trading him within the division unless the Red Sox drastically overpay.
   3. Tuque Posted: January 19, 2008 at 05:45 AM (#2671653)
I find it a little bit weird to look at Coco Crisp's B-R.com page and see that he really hasn't gotten verifiably better since he was 22 years old.

That's not normal, right?
   4. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: January 19, 2008 at 06:02 AM (#2671658)
I find it a little bit weird to look at Coco Crisp's B-R.com page and see that he really hasn't gotten verifiably better since he was 22 years old.
You mean 25? It's unusual, but hardly unprecedented.
   5. RobertMachemer Posted: January 19, 2008 at 07:24 AM (#2671676)
"Not in the face! Not in the face!"

I just wanted to make sure that Dan the Mediocre knew that someone caught his reference.
   6. Xander Posted: January 19, 2008 at 07:33 AM (#2671680)
5. Two World Series wins in 4 years. So where is Francona’s new contract?
It's one of those PR moves that will get done right during ST, right in time for him to have a PC about it and so thate everyone looks happy.
   7. DKDC Posted: January 19, 2008 at 02:02 PM (#2671702)
You mean 25? It's unusual, but hardly unprecedented.

It happens more often than you think.

Coco was a defense-minded CF who was already pretty polished by the time he reached the majors. His minor league .112 isolated power and .73 isolated discipline didn't exactly scream star potential.
   8. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: January 19, 2008 at 03:03 PM (#2671715)
So where is Francona’s new contract?

I really wish they'd get a Therapeudian to manage the Sox.

At least we'd find who's juicing.
   9. Darren Posted: January 19, 2008 at 03:19 PM (#2671717)
DK,

What do you mean by polished? Wasn't Crisp a bit of a lousy hacker in the minors? His only really impressive year consisted of 56 games in AAA at age 23.

I'm not shocked that Coco stopped improving at age 25, but it is surprising how far he fell off. The optimist would say that Coco hurt his hand early in 06 and probably didn't recover (or got into some bad habits to compensate and then didn't readjust) until well into 07. After his June 15 meeting with Magadan, he hit a very 04-05-like .301 .364 .444. With his glove, that'd be one hell of a CF.
   10. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 19, 2008 at 03:25 PM (#2671719)
The normal interpretation would be that the Red Sox are so good, they have to use players in reserve who would start on most other teams.
The problem with having competent starters on your bench is that most competent starters are aware of how good they are. Coco's agent said earlier this offseason that he deserves a starting job and would like to have one for 2008. While it's great to be so good that you have a Coco Crisp on your bench, it's not so great to go against a player's wishes like that, and to risk messing with the clubhouse. (The Sox let Dave Roberts go after '04, in similar circumstances.)

I assume that Coco is gone, one way or the other. It's too bad, and he's dead-certain to put up an 800 OPS in his new home, but it seems like the obvious move.

Sox re-signed Mirabelli. This grew more and more expected as the offseason wore on. I don't really get it - Wakefield's not necessarily in the rotation, and Mirabelli sucks. It's really hard for me to believe that this is the best use of that roster spot, basically to have a special buddy for our 6th starter. They could have at least found some AAA catcher to compete with Mirabelli in spring, but I haven't seen any news there either.

I like the bullpen a lot. Obviously one can find things to worry about with Delcarmen, Okajima, and Timlin, but those guys are far more certain to be good than just about anyone else's 2-4 relievers. The last three spots in the bullpen go to some of (Gronkiewicz, Corey, Lopez, Tavarez, Wakefield). There's a chance that the Sox will trade Tavarez, but I think that would be in error - a guy that versatile is more than worth the money.
   11. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 19, 2008 at 03:29 PM (#2671722)
We know Crisp changed his stance on June 15th. It's not cherry-picking to look at Crisp's stats with the new stance.
   12. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 19, 2008 at 03:31 PM (#2671726)
That was tongue-in-cheek, kevin. Thinking of Edgar Renteria.
   13. Darren Posted: January 19, 2008 at 03:33 PM (#2671731)
Agree about Mirabelli, MC. I don't mind him being resigned, but I would have liked someone better than Kevin Cash to try to take the job away from him. There are plenty of better catchers than Cash out there.

I'd rather see Tavarez go somewhere for value. He's not all that good at starting or relieving. As I see it, we've got at least 6 guys in front of him in the rotation, and then other guys who are similar in Snyder and Lobsterman.
   14. tfbg9 Posted: January 19, 2008 at 04:12 PM (#2671747)
We need a bat or two. That's what I think.

Lester, Bucholz, Dice, Schill, Beckett--every start in the rotation will be small event for me, a mini-happening, quality programming. Except the Wake and Dougie Show, those guys left the Shark circling and hungry, jaws agape, 2-3 seasons ago.

I have promised myself to not throw a nightly nutter in Chatter this year, we've won the thing twice now, when I was so damn sure we'd never even get the one before I was called to the Big TV Den in the Sky.
   15. Darren Posted: January 19, 2008 at 04:18 PM (#2671749)
That's a generous interpretation.


That's why I started by saying "The optimist would say..." It's easy to miss that sort of thing when you're busy impressing yourself with how clever you are.
   16. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: January 19, 2008 at 04:18 PM (#2671750)
I want us to bring back Bobby Kielty. He plays both corner OFs well and he crushes lefties.

Plus we need an Irish guy.
   17. OCD SS Posted: January 19, 2008 at 04:23 PM (#2671754)
I'll add a new thing they need to do:

5. Bridge the $1.2M arbitration gap with Youks.

As for Coco, if he's not going to the Twins I'm holding out hope that Theo has a Coco for Carlos Quentin swap with the ChiSox sitting there in his back pocket.

I can't worry too much about Dougie's new deal. He's better than Brown, and Kottaras still needs work in the minors. Kottaras is also having a hard enough time with his defense that there's no way he'll be the back up until Wakefield is off the team. Catcher is a tough position to get any offense out of right now (with a few exceptions), worrying about the back up catcher is really picking nits. Nobody has a good back-up catcher.
   18. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: January 19, 2008 at 05:00 PM (#2671776)
I think resigning Mirabelli was a horrible decision, particularly if it keeps them from reacclimating Tek to catching the knuckleball. If you're planning on using Wakefield out of the pen, which has to be a possibility, you can't justify lifting your starting catcher every time you bring him in.
   19. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: January 19, 2008 at 05:18 PM (#2671790)
What Kevin Cash proved last year is that yes, soembody not Doug can catch a knuckleball. I also thought Kevin Cash's defense is miles ahead of Dougs and possibly Teks as well.

Too bad the Mets traded for Schneider, he seems like a good candidate to be able to handle the knuckler. Good hands and a strong arm.
   20. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: January 19, 2008 at 05:24 PM (#2671795)
Even if you get a catcher not as crap-filled as Mirabelli, it's really not realistic to allow a relief pitcher a personal catcher. You can't regularly lift your starting catcher in games to suit the needs of a single short-stint pitcher.
   21. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: January 19, 2008 at 05:26 PM (#2671798)
You can't regularly lift your starting catcher in games to suit the needs of a single short-stint pitcher.

You can/should if the backup catcher is a defensive upgrade
   22. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: January 19, 2008 at 05:31 PM (#2671803)
Tavarez was very valuable to the team last year, Darren. He was good enough.
   23. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: January 19, 2008 at 05:50 PM (#2671814)
You can/should if the backup catcher is a defensive upgrade.


No, you really shouldn't (at least in this case, though I tend to think it would apply universally). Wake ain't closing, which means your backup catcher is going to be coming into games that will require him picking up a bat and hitting. So unless he's also a better hitter (at which point, he's no longer your backup catcher), then he's going to be asked to contribute at the plate. Moreoever, I don't think Wake would be used exclusively in games the Sox were leading (actually, probably the opposite), so offense will not be something you can just punt. And you can't pinch-hit for him, unless you're also employing a third catcher. I suspect no one wants to use a roster-space for a second lousy catcher.
   24. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: January 19, 2008 at 05:58 PM (#2671818)
It doesn't necessarily have to be "Just" Wake, but an all-purpose defensive upgrade. He could be catching Papelbon at the end of the games too, catching Snyder in some mop-up innings.
   25. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: January 19, 2008 at 07:42 PM (#2671875)
It doesn't necessarily have to be "Just" Wake, but an all-purpose defensive upgrade. He could be catching Papelbon at the end of the games too, catching Snyder in some mop-up innings.


For that to make even a modicum of sense, the starter would have to be a truly dreadful defensive catcher. And outside the pitch-calling mavens of Sox Game Chatter, there's absolutely no evidence that Tek is such a defensive liability.
   26. tfbg9 Posted: January 20, 2008 at 03:04 AM (#2672158)
the pitch-calling mavens of Sox Game Chatter


I'm working a new theory that Cappy sandbags his pitch calling in the regular season, saving it for later, to render the Crapshoot less of one.
   27. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: January 20, 2008 at 04:35 AM (#2672239)

For that to make even a modicum of sense, the starter would have to be a truly dreadful defensive catcher. And outside the pitch-calling mavens of Sox Game Chatter, there's absolutely no evidence that Tek is such a defensive liability.


His CS rate is terrible.
   28. 1k5v3L Posted: January 20, 2008 at 04:53 AM (#2672256)
Is Kottaras still considered a prospect? [edit] That is, a prospect worth knowing about?
   29. 1k5v3L Posted: January 20, 2008 at 05:05 AM (#2672265)
Thanks, kevin; been thinking about joining an AL only keeper league (I've been in an NL only keeper league for many years now) so that I can apply all my knowledge about NYY/BOS prospects to winning a few titles (God knows Pedroia would've been my starting 2bman right now).

Problem with Kottaras is that if he can't hack it defensively at catcher, he won't crack Boston's lineup for a very long time... and even the backup catcher position is not an option since 'Belli seems to have that position locked for the next 27 years.
   30. Jim Furtado Posted: January 20, 2008 at 02:55 PM (#2672361)
I wouldn't consider Kottaras in your fantasy league. The guy has two problems: 1) he's not a very good catcher, and 2) he can't hit lefties. Since the Red Sox backup needs to be able to catch the knuckleball, I don't see him on the roster unless Varitek goes on the DL for an extended period.
   31. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: January 20, 2008 at 04:02 PM (#2672380)
That would mean wasting Ellsbury or Crisp.



This is the Darren interpretation.

The normal interpretation would be that the Red Sox are so good, they have to use players in reserve who would start on most other teams.


I think that the Red Sox have more of a need for a fast bench than a slow bench.

The terms "fast bench" and "slow bench" are my (Bill James's) own way of organizing the bench roles. The "Slow Bench" is backup catchers, first basemen, pinch hitters and old players who used to be regulars. The "Fast Bench" is anybody you would use as a pinch runner -- middle infielders, pinch runners, and young outfielders who hope to be regulars later in life. Once in a while it is hard to say whether a player is part of the fast bench or part of the slow bench ... Luis Sojo in 1999, for example. Ninety percent of the time, it's obvious.


from Baseball Dynasties addenda
   32. John DiFool2 Posted: January 20, 2008 at 05:48 PM (#2672411)
I wouldn't consider Kottaras in your fantasy league. The guy has two problems: 1) he's not a very good catcher, and 2) he can't hit lefties. Since the Red Sox backup needs to be able to catch the knuckleball, I don't see him on the roster unless Varitek goes on the DL for an extended period.


I think the writing was on the wall for Kottaras when Beerbelly went on the DL and they called up Cash instead-shows an almost complete lack of confidence in GK by the Sox brass.
   33. Digit Posted: January 20, 2008 at 05:55 PM (#2672415)
I think the writing was on the wall for Kottaras when Beerbelly went on the DL and they called up Cash instead-shows an almost complete lack of confidence in GK by the Sox brass.


I thought the main reason was that Cash could catch the knuckleball, while Kottaras had little experience with it at the time.
Hence the 'Sox backup needs to be able to catch the knuckleball' comment. That doesn't necessarily speak to how well Kottaras would fit as an actual backup catcher than as Tim Wakefield's personal caddy.
   34. tfbg9 Posted: January 22, 2008 at 03:13 AM (#2673356)
Looks like it's either Dougie or Dusty Brown?
   35. Sparkles Peterson Posted: January 23, 2008 at 10:40 AM (#2674525)
What do you mean by polished? Wasn't Crisp a bit of a lousy hacker in the minors? His only really impressive year consisted of 56 games in AAA at age 23.


That's a pretty harsh interpretation. .306/.368/.423 in a very tough park/league in High A at 21 is nothing to be ashamed of (It earned him organizational player of the year, albeit in a very weak system), and neither is .301/.365/.428 in another pitchers' park in AA the next season. I guess you have to be a little skeptical about any sudden dropoffs these days, but seasons like '04 and '05 are not inconsistent with Crisp's minor league career.
   36. Darren Posted: January 28, 2008 at 06:42 PM (#2677696)
Yeah, I guess I didn't pay enough attention to park factors and age. I probably went too far, I just don't think "polished" is a good way to describe how arrived in the majors.
   37. Golfing Great Mitch Cumstein Posted: January 29, 2008 at 12:15 AM (#2677984)
I guess no one cares about Aardsma.
   38. Mattbert Posted: January 29, 2008 at 12:17 AM (#2677986)
ESPN is reporting that Boston has acquired David Aardsma from Chicago in exchange for two minor league RHPs, Willy Mota and Miguel Socolovich.

Aardsma has the distinction of being the first player in alphabetical order of every player who ever played Major League Baseball. So he's got that going for him.
   39. Mattbert Posted: January 29, 2008 at 12:22 AM (#2677990)
I don't think I happened to see Aardsma pitch at all last season, but his 2007 numbers look like a mixed bag. Good K-rate, but a few too many walks and prone to the gopher ball. I remember watching him a couple times when he first came up with SF and thought he had a pretty decent sinker/slider combo. Has his repertoire evolved at all in the last few years?
   40. Valentine Posted: January 29, 2008 at 12:47 AM (#2678013)
A curious split -- Aardsma gets torched on the first three pitches of an AB, but is very effective if the AB goes longer than that. Any idea why that might be? Other than SSS-alert?
   41. Mattbert Posted: January 29, 2008 at 10:21 AM (#2678283)
What's SSS-alert?

A possible explanation for that split is that Aardsma has fallen into a predictable pitch sequence, i.e. he has a very static approach to attacking hitters. It could be that there's scouting on him that says something like (just pulling this out of my butt):

Pitch 1: Tries to get strike one with fastball outside.
Pitch 2: If first pitch strike, throws slider. If first pitch ball, throws fastball in.
Pitch 3: Throws slider 80% of the time.

That's all made up, of course, but I think relievers may be especially prone to falling into this trap. The majority of them are two-pitch pitchers, so they really need at least one overpowering pitch or exceptional command to succeed when their repertoire only goes two pitches deep. So it could be that Aardsma is one of those guys who just has a hard time fooling a hitter and has gotten into a rut of sorts. Once the AB goes deeper, though, he's forced to improvise more and that makes him less predictable and more effective.

That's all conjecture of course, but I can talk myself into believing that the Sox like his stuff and think their advance scouts (and/or the magical pitch calling genius of Varitek) can help him use it more effectively. The more likely story is they're just taking a flyer on a live arm (Aardsma throws in the mid-90s, IIRC), but I don't mind inventing things to make my team appear smarter in my own mind.
   42. Valentine Posted: January 29, 2008 at 06:44 PM (#2678572)
Sorry. Small Sample Size. First thing that springs to mind when I try to analyze split-stats over 85 innings of work. :-)

I like your explanation. He DOES have a live arm, and there's always hope that the rest can be corrected. He's on his fourth (?) team by now, but Farrell knows his stuff.
   43. 1k5v3L Posted: January 29, 2008 at 07:04 PM (#2678601)
NYT: ALAN SCHWARZ: An Uncommon Wealth of Success Hits Boston

Yeah, but Boston sports teams still have kevin as a fan
   44. AC Posted: January 29, 2008 at 07:25 PM (#2678623)
i find it interesting that the success of the 3 boston teams has been fueled in part by players from minnesota.
ortiz, moss and garnett... does this presage a santana trade?
   45. villageidiom Posted: January 30, 2008 at 07:33 PM (#2679988)
i find it interesting that the success of the 3 boston teams has been fueled in part by players from minnesota.
ortiz, moss and garnett... does this presage a santana trade?


No, but looking at the players on the Wild I'm not too optimistic for the Bruins.
   46. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: January 30, 2008 at 08:52 PM (#2680072)
Tick...Tick...Tick was an awful movie.

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