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— Where Thinking Red Sox Fans Obsess about the Sox

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   1. Darren Posted: August 15, 2009 at 06:13 PM (#3293433)
Bring Him Back! Bring Him Back! Bring Him Back! Bring Him Back! Bring Him Back! Bring Him Back! Bring Him Back! Bring Him Back! Bring Him Back! Bring Him Back! Bring Him Back! Bring Him Back! Bring Him Back! Bring Him Back!
   2. Nick Warino Posted: August 15, 2009 at 07:06 PM (#3293470)
I'm in favor of this. Even if he sucked like our current SS crew, at least we'd get to watch Nomar.
   3. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: August 15, 2009 at 07:20 PM (#3293476)
Regardless of anything else, Nomar's final game should be played with the Red Sox. If he announces his retirement, he should be waived and sent to Boston for his last game.
   4. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: August 15, 2009 at 07:27 PM (#3293480)
I'm pretty confident Nomar can't be worse than anyone else who has played shortstop this year for us.
   5. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: August 15, 2009 at 07:53 PM (#3293501)
I'm pretty confident Nomar can't be worse than anyone else who has played shortstop this year for us.


If there's one thing the post Nomar (or maybe, Post OC) era has taught us, is that regardless what we might think, the club's SS play can always get worse.
   6. Smiling Joe Hesketh Posted: August 15, 2009 at 08:27 PM (#3293538)
I highly doubt Nomar can play SS any more. And I'm very confident that if he should try he'll get injured in the attempt.

Love the guy, have nothing bad to say about him. But he's not the answer.
   7. Flynn Posted: August 15, 2009 at 08:34 PM (#3293540)
Mind you he's worth a shot when the rosters expand. If you've got 15 extra bodies, one of 'em might as well be Nomar.
   8. tfbg9 Posted: August 15, 2009 at 08:42 PM (#3293542)
Bad idea. Guy hates Boston, for one.
   9. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: August 15, 2009 at 08:51 PM (#3293549)
No, teddy, he just hates you. He told me. And you're not in Boston, so the door is open.
   10. Darren Posted: August 15, 2009 at 09:42 PM (#3293591)
From the July 7 Boston.com:
“I love ’em,’’ a teary Garciaparra said before the game when asked about Sox fans. “I don’t know how else to put it. I love the way they treated me the whole time I was here. It’s emotional. When I was gone - Boston fans are everywhere and I can’t tell you how many times I heard ‘Thank you. Appreciate everything you did.’ And I can’t tell them what that meant to me. I can’t believe the wonderful experiences that I’ve had here and it’s all because of them.’’


and

Does Nomar wish he played his entire career here?

“Always,’’ said Garciaparra. “The minute I put that uniform on, I always had a dream I was going to start my career in a Boston uniform and end my career in a Boston uniform. I still have the dream. The only difference from the original dream is that I wasn’t supposed to put another uniform on. But that dream is still there.’’
   11. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 15, 2009 at 09:48 PM (#3293595)
Of course Nomar's currently sporting a 77 OPS+, but who says that Red Sox fans aren't sentimental? And we Yankee fans would probably hang onto a 45 year old Jeter if he had to go to his left in a wheelchair.
   12. tfbg9 Posted: August 16, 2009 at 03:50 AM (#3293837)
That's what he says now Dar'.

There was a fair amount of stuff alleged in 03 and 04 that Nomie wanted out, was pouting,
that he was a California type guy who was wigged and tired by the Red Sox fishbowl bit.

Of course he gonna lay that PR crap on us now. But, maybe he had a change of heart. I dunno. He was well-loved, that's
for sure.

How about that Angel Hernandez, BTW? Another proud union member--like Bivvo.
   13. villageidiom Posted: August 16, 2009 at 01:36 PM (#3293955)
I highly doubt Nomar can play SS any more. And I'm very confident that if he should try he'll get injured in the attempt.
He'd get injured on the flight to Boston.
Of course he gonna lay that PR crap on us now. But, maybe he had a change of heart.
I think he was honest in 2003-04, that it was wearing on him, that he was sick of it. I also think he's honest now, too, that he misses it.
   14. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 16, 2009 at 02:04 PM (#3293971)
I think he was honest in 2003-04, that it was wearing on him, that he was sick of it. I also think he's honest now, too, that he misses it.

But I wonder how long he'd be missing it if the Fenway Faithful started noticing a 77 OPS+ and reacted accordingly. A few years ago I had a chance to run into a former high school classmate of mine who in high school was drop dead gorgeous, but when I met her in 2004 she looked like she'd been shot through the forest and hit every tree. And Nomar's hit plenty of trees in his time.
   15. Nasty Nate Posted: August 16, 2009 at 02:37 PM (#3293985)
you guys are crazy. we have alex gonzalez, the best shortstop ever. He makes Omar Vizquel look like Wily Mo Pena, according to everyone and there fuzzy memories of 06. Why even last night, when he misjudged a ground ball hit directly at him and had to recover with a weird stab'n'spin move, he was praised enthusiastically by Orsillo and Viola, who gushed "thats why they got Alex Gonzalez!!". Plus, in Sox Glory year 2006 he was both a great offensive contributor and was able to stay healthy consistently!
   16. Darren Posted: August 16, 2009 at 02:48 PM (#3293989)
A few years ago I had a chance to run into a former high school classmate of mine who in high school was drop dead gorgeous, but when I met her in 2004 she looked like she'd been shot through the forest and hit every tree.


People tend to look worse 70 years later. (Ha! Finally I get to call someone else old!)

Of course he gonna lay that PR crap on us now. But, maybe he had a change of heart. I dunno. He was well-loved, that's
for sure.


I could dig up the quotes from the time, but that's boring. Let's just say I don't remember it quite that way. You should read that whole article that I linked though. Nomar discusses how he didn't really understand the business side of baseball at the time.
   17. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 16, 2009 at 03:46 PM (#3294037)
A few years ago I had a chance to run into a former high school classmate of mine who in high school was drop dead gorgeous, but when I met her in 2004 she looked like she'd been shot through the forest and hit every tree.

People tend to look worse 70 years later. (Ha! Finally I get to call someone else old!)


Hey, man, it was only 42 years, so don't be rude. But my only advice here would be not to spend 30 years living in rural Washington State picking apples for a living, and without a dental plan or apparently even a toothbrush. It was frighteningly close to this.
   18. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 16, 2009 at 06:11 PM (#3294186)
There didn't seem to be any interest in bringing Nomar back during the most recent offseason when he was a free agent. Of course, desperate times call for . . .
   19. Tripon Posted: August 16, 2009 at 06:13 PM (#3294187)
Er, Nomar didn't play SS adequately for the Dodgers last year. At the end of the year, he was the back up first baseman.
   20. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: August 16, 2009 at 06:37 PM (#3294195)
Oh, teddy. Teddy teddy teddy.
   21. Guapo Posted: August 16, 2009 at 06:53 PM (#3294209)
Nomah's stats at AA Trenton, 1995: .267, 20 2B, 8 HR, .384 SLG in 513 AB

"One National League team's scouting report on Nomar Garciaparra describes him as "a gap hitter with developing power, but not expected to hit more than 10-15 homers . . . deep in-the-hole range . . . above-average speed, can steal anywhere from 20-40 bases . . . competitive, smart.""- The Boston Globe, March 4 1996

"Garciaparra, whose weight had increased to 165 pounds by the time Boston took him with the 12th pick of the '94 draft, is now a chiseled 180 thanks to weightlifting, protein shakes and his mother's carne asada, which she has been known to deliver, packed in ice, to Boston."- Sports Illustrated- September 1, 1997

Nomah's stats at Boston, 1997: .306, 44 2B, 30 HR, .534 SLG in 684 AB

Got to get me some of that carne asada...
   22. JB H Posted: August 16, 2009 at 09:41 PM (#3294310)
Hard to imagine someone bulking up to 180 lbs by their mid 20's without breaking the law.
   23. Ozzie's gay friend Posted: August 16, 2009 at 10:32 PM (#3294344)
I'm more intersted in how someone stays under 180 in their mid 20s.
   24. rLr Is King Of The Romans And Above Grammar Posted: August 16, 2009 at 10:36 PM (#3294346)
I'm more intersted in how someone stays under 180 in their mid 20s.

You need to stop working at Dairy Queen.
   25. Phil Coorey is a T-Shirt Salesman Posted: August 17, 2009 at 03:54 AM (#3294530)
I'm getting sick of this team 2006 style - the line up is unwatchable - especially the lower half - what a joke.
   26.     Hey Gurl Posted: August 17, 2009 at 04:05 AM (#3294535)

I'm getting sick of this team 2006 style - the line up is unwatchable - especially the lower half - what a joke.


Last time I heard Red Sox fans complain this much ... was 2004.
   27. Hugh Jorgan Posted: August 17, 2009 at 04:13 AM (#3294541)
Last time I heard Red Sox fans complain this much ... was 2004.

Then you don't follow too many Sox blogs or posted articles with comments. With the Sox fans the pants pissing begins early in spring training and will last until they win the series or are eliminated...every single year. And yes, I am a Sox fan.
   28. Phil Coorey is a T-Shirt Salesman Posted: August 17, 2009 at 04:15 AM (#3294544)
Last time I heard Red Sox fans complain this much ... was 2004.


2004 was fun around here - but yeah I did lose my marbles fairly often - however - this team is worth complaining about - besides were does being positive in life get you?
   29. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: August 17, 2009 at 04:18 AM (#3294548)
Last time I heard Red Sox fans complain this much ... was 2004.


Well, they have played .500 ball for a multiple-month period now, and a division lead has turned into a large deficit.

Only then, we traded Nomar at the deadline. Whereas this time, we traded a SS, who has proceeded to hit like vintage Nomar with his new team.
   30.     Hey Gurl Posted: August 17, 2009 at 04:22 AM (#3294549)
Then you don't follow too many Sox blogs or posted articles with comments.


Well thank #### for that! ;-)
   31. Eraser-X is emphatically dominating teh site!!! Posted: August 17, 2009 at 04:25 AM (#3294551)
Of course Nomar's currently sporting a 77 OPS+, but who says that Red Sox fans aren't sentimental? And we Yankee fans would probably hang onto a 45 year old Jeter if he had to go to his left in a wheelchair.


Would that improve his range?
   32. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: August 17, 2009 at 07:26 PM (#3295248)
With the Sox fans the pants pissing begins early in spring training and will last until they win the series or are eliminated...every single year. And yes, I am a Sox fan.


Concur on all points, including being a Sox fan. My own team's fans drive me insane. Everyone is all Chicken-Little-waaahhhh-the-sky-is-falling-cry-wolf-Wolf-WOLLLLLLLLLFFFFFFFFFF. You'd think 2004, much less 2007, never happened.
   33. JB H Posted: August 17, 2009 at 07:31 PM (#3295261)
Last time I heard Red Sox fans complain this much ... was 2004.


No, it happened in 2007 too :)
   34. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: August 17, 2009 at 07:47 PM (#3295288)
Of course Nomar's currently sporting a 77 OPS+


The lineup please!

Boston SS, 2009 (to date):

Julio Lugo, 88 OPS+
Nick Green, 70 OPS+
Alex Gonzalez, 42 OPS+ (for season)
Jed Lowrie, 12 OPS+
   35. billyjack Posted: August 17, 2009 at 08:05 PM (#3295322)
CHB wouldof run Mario Guerrero out of town too if he was around then and he was lonelier than Estes Kefauver on the meaning of Murder Incorporated and that actually makes sense you can look it up and Youk reminds me of Terry Hughes when he plays third.
   36. Answer Guy Posted: August 17, 2009 at 08:16 PM (#3295336)
My own team's fans drive me insane. Everyone is all Chicken-Little-waaahhhh-the-sky-is-falling-cry-wolf-Wolf-WOLLLLLLLLLFFFFFFFFFF. You'd think 2004, much less 2007, never happened.


In 2004 we didn't have four giant sucking sounds at the bottom of the lineup, so it wasn't a huge deal that Pedro was merely good rather than great, that Lowe was frequently awful, and that the bullpen had some problems.

This has been a .500 team for two months now and have shown few signs of real life.
   37. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 17, 2009 at 08:29 PM (#3295357)
Of course Nomar's currently sporting a 77 OPS+

The lineup please!

Boston SS, 2009 (to date):

Julio Lugo, 88 OPS+
Nick Green, 70 OPS+
Alex Gonzalez, 42 OPS+ (for season)
Jed Lowrie, 12 OPS+


Let it be known for the record that this fairminded Yankee fan had nothing to do with introducing that lineup to our attention....

But OTOH, ouch! I honestly didn't realize that things were that bad up there....
   38. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: August 17, 2009 at 08:39 PM (#3295371)
I'm more intersted in how someone stays under 180 in their mid 20s.

Having a sweet metabolism helps.
   39. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: August 17, 2009 at 08:40 PM (#3295374)
In 2004 we didn't have four giant sucking sounds at the bottom of the lineup


Setting aside the gloom-and-doom Sox fans for a moment, how do we have four giant sucking sounds? I count two--Ortiz and whoever plays shortstop. Drew hasn't been good but he's hardly a sucking sound with that .826 OPS. Ditto Bay despite having been awful for two months, Varitek (.751 OPS is actually decent for a catcher), Ellsbury (again, .748 OPS is decent for a CF). If you're referring to Kotchman, he's not a starter--he's only in the lineup because Youk is suspended.

Who are the four?
   40. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: August 17, 2009 at 08:43 PM (#3295378)
This has been a .500 team for two months now and have shown few signs of real life.
Didn't someone here do a little bit about the Sox seem to generally play poorly in May-June only to turn it on for July-August? Or am I misremembering and we're coming up on when the Sox turn it around? I wish I could find this thing, it's making me nuts.
   41. Darren Posted: August 17, 2009 at 10:35 PM (#3295590)
I'm not sure who's being talked about as being so pessimistic. If you're talking about Boston fans in general, I guess. But I don't know, at what point are the negatives of this team a fair topic for discussion? They have gone from a 5 game lead in the division to trailing in the Wild Card. Their rotation is not looking very good.

I think that this is a perfectly reasonable juncture to be venting a bit. The team is not doing that well.
   42. Darnell McDonald had a farm Posted: August 17, 2009 at 10:49 PM (#3295615)
Varitek literally means "giant sucking sound" in Algonquian
   43. Hugh Jorgan Posted: August 17, 2009 at 11:02 PM (#3295641)
I think that this is a perfectly reasonable juncture to be venting a bit. The team is not doing that well.

I love your diplomatic approach. All the "pants-pissing" jokes aside, we do tend to be somewhat negative at times. However, your(and mine) concern is genuine. The team right now is stuck on a plane of total mediocrity, which isn't getting it done.
We all know the talent is there, I just keep waiting for the winning 12 of 17 stretch to happen. After the Toronto series, they have a decent stretch of home games which should help.

"giant sucking sound"

I thought that was sound of spots 3-5 in the rotation?
   44. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: August 17, 2009 at 11:21 PM (#3295675)
I am going to the game 9/11 (v TB). I have a single seat in section 3, while my wife and niece get the good seats, upper box seats looking down the third base line at the wall. I hope they're still in it then.
   45. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: August 18, 2009 at 01:49 PM (#3296310)
I love your diplomatic approach. All the "pants-pissing" jokes aside, we do tend to be somewhat negative at times. However, your(and mine) concern is genuine.


I completely agree here. The "average fan", though, is taking this to an extreme. The ESPN boards are full of people screeching that Theo should be canned, Varitek put up in front of the firing squad, etc.

I also agree that the rotation is the real problem. Thankfully we should be getting Wake back, and Youkilis is definitely back soon.

I'm still a bit surprised they released Smoltz so quickly. It's not like he was Bruce Chen or something. I'd have tried him in the pen (while pushing Delcarmen into low-leverage duty--he has been much worse than his ERA).
   46. Nasty Nate Posted: August 18, 2009 at 01:55 PM (#3296320)
I have a single seat in section 3


ouch. I guess sections 4-5 are worse
   47. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: August 18, 2009 at 02:01 PM (#3296325)
I'm still a bit surprised they released Smoltz so quickly. It's not like he was Bruce Chen or something. I'd have tried him in the pen (while pushing Delcarmen into low-leverage duty--he has been much worse than his ERA).
I suspect Smoltz told them he wanted to start or wanted out and they respected that.
   48. Answer Guy Posted: August 18, 2009 at 02:09 PM (#3296339)
Who are the four?


Certainly DH and whoever's manning SS right now. Drew has been hitting like a pitcher for nearly two months, which makes me wonder if he's trying to play injured. Varitek hasn't been hitting either. (Getting VMart has limited 'Tek's playing time a little.)

They're 4th in runs scored, which is far from horrible, but with 3/5 of the rotation not up to par playing in that park you need better offense than they have.

I'd probably have tried Smoltz in some low leverage innings in the pen. I assume he had objected to that role when I saw he had been DFA'd only to hear that he wondered aloud why they hadn't put him in the bullpen. Bizarre. (Of course I hated watching him pitch, but that's not definitive of anything.)
   49. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: August 18, 2009 at 02:28 PM (#3296372)
I assume he had objected to that role when I saw he had been DFA'd only to hear that he wondered aloud why they hadn't put him in the bullpen.


Just what I was thinking. Maybe he pissed them off or something. Makes you wonder again how his departure from Atlanta truly went.
   50. SoSH U at work Posted: August 18, 2009 at 03:00 PM (#3296414)
They probably thought that whatever benefits they could get from him out of the pen was outweighed by any pay incentives he might have reached PLUS the pain-in-the-ass potential (which I believe may be considerable with Smoltz) of him not wanting to pitch out of the pen to begin with.

Good riddance.
   51. Nasty Nate Posted: August 18, 2009 at 03:11 PM (#3296424)
Smoltz is not a major league caliber pitcher right now, I assume that factored into why they didnt want him in the bullpen. They tend to prefer guys who are better than BP pitchers for their relievers.
   52. villageidiom Posted: August 18, 2009 at 04:23 PM (#3296568)
I think that this is a perfectly reasonable juncture to be venting a bit. The team is not doing that well.
Despite my usual counter-reactions to pants-pissing, I think there's nothing wrong with venting.
They probably thought that whatever benefits they could get from him out of the pen was outweighed by any pay incentives he might have reached
$35k per day on the roster; $500k bonus if traded. Smoltz making ~$250k per week to be the... 5th (?) man out of the bullpen is not worth it. Basically his role would be to pitch the 6th inning in every Penny start.
Thankfully we should be getting Wake back
On Opening Day, did anyone anticipate this statement?
   53. willcarrolldoesnotsuk Posted: August 18, 2009 at 05:50 PM (#3296722)
JE-TER'S BET-TER
clap, clap, clap-clap-clap
JE-TER'S BET-TER
clap, clap, clap-clap-clap
   54. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: August 19, 2009 at 01:41 PM (#3297885)
On Opening Day, did anyone anticipate this statement?


Probably not. I have a higher opinion of Wake than a lot of people do, but I didn't realize he'd be crucial. It just goes to show that despite the best-laid plans, a cascade of injuries and ineffectiveness at one spot can wreck everything.
   55. Answer Guy Posted: August 19, 2009 at 01:48 PM (#3297894)
$35k per day on the roster; $500k bonus if traded. Smoltz making ~$250k per week to be the... 5th (?) man out of the bullpen is not worth it.


No, I suppose not. He also might have anticipated what might have happened to him if he stunk up the joint the way he did, that the contract would give the team a strong incentive to simply cut him, the way they did.

Never thought the return of Wakefield would be thing that could save the season, as it were.
   56. Hugh Jorgan Posted: August 20, 2009 at 04:42 AM (#3299051)
Nice outing(shortish though) but Buccholz today, is he the magical solution to the #3 starter right now? Glad to see some batting consistency and getting a win against Halladay is always unexpected.

Though when Wake returns I expect Coorey's head to explode...
   57. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: August 20, 2009 at 04:48 AM (#3299057)
I wish I was certain that Wake will return.
   58. Smiling Joe Hesketh Posted: August 20, 2009 at 02:38 PM (#3299287)
Just saw this on Rotoworld: in spite of his apparent demise, Ortiz leads the league in HRs since the beginning of June. I had no idea.
   59. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: August 20, 2009 at 02:47 PM (#3299298)
I really think Buchholz is the difference between baseball and golf for this team in October. Six weeks of solid pitching I think gives them the rotation depth they need to bring this thing home.

Anyone have any early thoughts on Gonzalez' defense so far? I haven't seen every out of every game this week but what I've seen I haven't seen any glaringly obvious plays where range/arm strength was an issue and simply the absence of baseballs going into the third row has been a nice improvement.

I thought the ground ball by Ruiz that loaded the bases in the 6th was a good example. Green likely tries to make the play even though he had no chance and runs the risk of throwing the ball away and allowing a run or runs to score on the play. Gonzalez makes the smarter play and Buchholz gets out of it.
   60. villageidiom Posted: August 20, 2009 at 03:00 PM (#3299318)
Just saw this on Rotoworld: in spite of his apparent demise, Ortiz leads the league in HRs since the beginning of June. I had no idea.
The only time he doesn't hit into the shift is when he hits over the shift.
   61. Answer Guy Posted: August 20, 2009 at 03:15 PM (#3299340)
I'm generally in the pants-pisser camp but will applaud a gutsy perofmance by Buchholz last night. He could have melted down in that 6th inning jam and didn't. Definitely a positive step in his development. I still think we're in trouble if he's our current #3 starter.
   62. WhoWantsTeixeiraDessert Posted: August 20, 2009 at 04:12 PM (#3299431)
"Thanks for making us number one!"

- Boston Pants-Pissers Inc.
   63. RobertMachemer Posted: August 20, 2009 at 04:25 PM (#3299455)
Ortiz for the season:

466 PA, .226 AVG, .320 OBP, .435 SLG (19 home runs)

Ortiz since May 31st:

263 PA, .258 AVG, .346 OBP, .550 SLG (18 home runs)

Since the All-star Break:

125 PA, .239 AVG, .328 OBP, .486 SLG (7 home runs)

He's not getting a lot of hits, and his walks are down from where he was a couple years ago, but since June, he's been hitting for plenty of power -- ISO of .292 since May 31, .247 since ASB (his career ISO is .263).
   64. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: August 20, 2009 at 04:34 PM (#3299472)
He's not getting a lot of hits, and his walks are down from where he was a couple years ago, but since June, he's been hitting for plenty of power -- ISO of .292 since May 31, .247 since ASB (his career ISO is .263).
His HRs the past three days have boosted his post-June OPS something like 100 points. He must be having one of the strangest seasons in recent memory. His OPS by month must look like an ECG.
   65. RobertMachemer Posted: August 20, 2009 at 04:42 PM (#3299489)
This has been a .500 team for two months now and have shown few signs of real life.


--Boston fan, after a loss on August 6, 2004
(the team was 9 games over .500 heading into May, and was 9 games over .500 heading into August 6th).

Ok, so you made me curious...

The lineup for that August 6, 2004 game, compared to the lineup for the August 19, 2009 game:
2004:              2009:
C  .844 OPS        C  .854 OPS
1B .713 OPS        1B .751 OPS
2B .784 OPS        2B .657 OPS
SS .623 OPS        SS .557 OPS
3B .802 OPS        3B .983 OPS
LF 1.027 OPS       LF .916 OPS
CF .842 OPS        CF .754 OPS
RF .724 OPS        RF .815 OPS
DH .827 OPS        DH .755 OPS 


The 2004 team was playing in an offensive context in which teams score 5.01 RPG. The 2009 team is playing in a context of 4.83 RPG.
   66. Darnell McDonald had a farm Posted: August 21, 2009 at 04:24 AM (#3300429)
I really think Buchholz is the difference between baseball and golf for this team in October

I've been saying this since April and still believe it

We know the offense isn't top notch but they are still competent, we know the defense is not good but maybe Gonzalez steadies things a bit and maybe Lowell stays perpendicular to Earth for a few more weeks, BUT if the pitching is as good as I think it is this team could still make some big noises in October. Lestah is a monstah
   67. Hugh Jorgan Posted: August 21, 2009 at 05:38 AM (#3300472)
Now that Toronto has been brushed aside its time to take at least another 7 out of 10 in this homestand. We just took 7 out of the last 10 and most of it was on the road. Now I'm not terribly confident of these first two games with Penny and Tazawa going but with Beckett and Buccholz to come we should be alright.

Lestah is a monstah

Agreed.
   68. 1k5v3L Posted: August 23, 2009 at 09:35 PM (#3302782)
Check out Smoltz's first act in STL. Good stuff. It's the Padres, sure.
But first Lugo, now Smoltz... Theo has a huge Christmas gift coming his way from STL...
   69. Phil Coorey is a T-Shirt Salesman Posted: August 23, 2009 at 10:10 PM (#3302824)
I was actually expecting a no hitter, levski.
   70. Hugh Jorgan Posted: August 23, 2009 at 10:40 PM (#3302857)
Theo has a huge Christmas gift coming his way from STL...

Apparently they have a useful 1st baseman who is coming off contract in a 2011, we'll just take him as compensation.

I was actually expecting a no hitter, levski.

3 hits, 9Ks, I can't effing believe it really, he couldn't get through a lineup twice with us and now he morphs into...well, John Smoltz actually.

That's o.k. Phil, because here comes Wake, just for you mate in those nice critical games of Sept.!
   71. 1k5v3L Posted: August 23, 2009 at 10:48 PM (#3302859)
Apparently they have a useful 1st baseman who is coming off contract in a 2011, we'll just take him as compensation.
Meh. More likely, he signs 10 year deal to be the Yankees DH, after John Henry questions his masculinity on Twitter.
   72. Nasty Nate Posted: September 04, 2009 at 12:51 AM (#3314034)
Pedro!

nice to have the mlb network. Although I didnt realize that Lincecum/Martinez was on until 8pm when it was already the 5th.
   73. villageidiom Posted: September 09, 2009 at 12:33 PM (#3317402)
The lineup please!

Boston SS, 2009 (to date):

Julio Lugo, 88 OPS+
Nick Green, 70 OPS+
Alex Gonzalez, 42 OPS+ (for season)
Jed Lowrie, 12 OPS+


Gonzalez is now at an 83 OPS+ with Boston in an admittedly small sample. More importantly...

Lugo, -8 UZR (-39 per 150)
Green, +3 UZR (+5)
Gonzalez, +2 UZR (+13)
Lowrie, +3 UZR (+22)
(UZR per Fangraphs)

Gonzalez is playing short of what was expected out of Lowrie this year, but those were fairly lofty expectations for a SS. Almost certainly Gonzalez has stopped the bleeding.

The question remains open whether Jed Lowrie is worth the effort. I think he is, just on potential and cost control, but as we've seen this year it's hard to make it through a season when your starting SS spends so much time on the DL. It's hard to picture Lowrie remaining healthy, ever. If they go into 2010 with Lowrie as plan B, is that a bad thing? And how do they swing that?

OK, enough of that... It's still 2009, and they're in line for the playoffs as of now. Let's look at the road ahead:

1 vs Baltimore: 1-0
3 vs Tampa Bay: 2-1
3 vs LA Angels: 2-1
3 at Baltimore: 2-1
4 at Kansas City: 3-1
3 at NY Yankees: 1-2
3 vs Toronto: 2-1
4 vs Cleveland: 3-1
Total projected: 16-8
Final record: 96-66

For Texas:
1 at Cleveland: 1-0
3 vs Seattle: 2-1
3 vs Oakland: 3-0
3 vs LA Angels: 2-1
4 at Oakland: 3-1
3 vs Tampa Bay: 2-1
4 at LA Angels: 1-3
3 at Seattle: 1-2
Total projected: 15-9
Final record: 93-69

The bottom line is that Boston has fewer road games, and the caliber of opponent on the road is much different. Both teams could outperform the records above, or underperform, but the net effect seems reasonable to me. If that holds, please note that before the final week of the season they will be tied (91-64). This could be quite the race.
   74. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: September 09, 2009 at 12:47 PM (#3317413)
That looks pretty reasonable though I could do without the drama. How about just winning 15 in a row here?

Seriously though I thought it was interesting that Lowrie got into the game last night. He didn't make a play but I think it speaks to their lack of confidence in Gonzalez that they aren't telling Lowrie to pack it up and rest the wrist for 2010. Also, with the caveat that it was against a AAA lineup at that point I thought Bowden threw the ball pretty well.
   75. Answer Guy Posted: September 09, 2009 at 01:01 PM (#3317424)
The bottom line is that Boston has fewer road games, and the caliber of opponent on the road is much different.


That does seem to be the best thing the Sox have going for them. They're mostly at home, where they have generally played much better, and two of their three road opponents are the Orioles and Royals.

As far as Texas, I'd be concerned about projecting that many losses against teams that have either packed it in (Seattle) or have likely wrapped up all that they can wrap up (Angels) in there.
   76. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: September 09, 2009 at 01:16 PM (#3317430)
FWIW, the BPro playoff odds have Boston finishing the year at 94-68, with Texas at 91-71, which basically amounts to the same difference. They also have the AL Wild Card averaging 94 wins.

I think the Red Sox are definitely the heavy favorite to make the playoffs, but I suppose when you're discussing less than 15% of the season, calling it a toss-up based on sample size issues would be reasonable as well.
   77. villageidiom Posted: September 09, 2009 at 01:40 PM (#3317459)
As far as Texas, I'd be concerned about projecting that many losses against teams that have either packed it in (Seattle) or have likely wrapped up all that they can wrap up (Angels) in there.


1. Seattle is 11-9 in their last 20. So is Texas. I'm not convinced that Seattle has packed it in yet. They have no chance of the playoffs, sure; but I don't think they're mailing it in. I understand, even if they're not mailing it in they're not as good as Texas. Neither is Tampa Bay, who has the same record (as Seattle).

2. The Angels are only 4.5 games up on the Rangers. Between now and their trip to Arlington, the Angels will have 2 at home against Seattle, 3 at home against the White Sox, one at the Yankees, and 3 at Boston. It's not unreasonable to think they go 5-4 in that stretch, during which I have Texas going 6-1. If I did the math right that would put the Rangers 2.5 games out when the Angels arrive in Arlington. I think the Angels won't nearly have things wrapped up.

Now that I think of it...

For the Angels:
2 vs Seattle: 2-0
3 vs White Sox: 2-1
1 at NY Yankees: 0-1
3 at Boston: 1-2
3 at Texas: 1-2
3 vs NY Yankees: 2-1
3 vs Oakland: 3-0
4 vs Texas: 3-1
3 at Oakland: 2-1
Total projected: 16-9
Final record: 98-64

If the Angels play like they have it wrapped up, they won't have it wrapped up. Entering the final week, they'd have a 2-game lead on Texas (93-62) with 4 head-to-head games left. With Texas potentially being tied for the WC with Boston, the Angels could enter the last week of the season fighting to clinch a playoff spot. And that's with me tabbing them as going 7-7 against Boston, the Yankees, and Texas the rest of the way.

This could be quite the race.

EDIT: I'm investing in yellow-pants futures right now.
   78. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: September 09, 2009 at 01:53 PM (#3317473)
1 at NY Yankees: 0-1
That's a win for them. I'm pretty sure the Angels don't have their usual 20 wins vs. the Yankees yet this year, so this will be it.
   79. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 09, 2009 at 01:55 PM (#3317478)
This isn't useful analysis, but I'm having a real hard time getting invested in this team. The big issue is that after being in the division race in September for three of the last four seasons, I'm not feeling all that psyched about the wild card. Beating the Rangers doesn't have quite the same ring as beating the Yankees.

I don't really know why, but I haven't really connected with the team that much, either. The Big Papi thing is a factor. It's hard to say - there are a good number of players I really like individually, from Pedroia to Ellsbury to Lowell to Lester to Okajima, and Martinez has been a lot of fun, but somehow, just not getting into this season. I'm also working a ton, that probably doesn't help.

EDIT: Obviously, signing Pedro would have turned everything around. Goes without saying.
   80. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: September 09, 2009 at 02:33 PM (#3317527)
Matt, I'm in the same boat as you, it was a busy summer for me as well and September is leaving me with ennui.
   81. Smiling Joe Hesketh Posted: September 09, 2009 at 02:53 PM (#3317545)
Well, that's only reasonable; the second half of this season hasn't been a ton of fun. To go from 3 up in the division at the ASB to 9 back in 9 weeks takes the gild off the proverbial lily. The WC would be excellent consolation, of course, but it's consolation all the same. Seeing the Yankees kick the ever-living crap out of the league over that same time (46-18, just a ridiculous run) is pretty sobering as well.

But I do love me some Victor Martinez. He's been everything they could possibly have been hoped for. Seeing him work with Buchholz of late has been a genuine joy.
   82. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: September 09, 2009 at 03:06 PM (#3317558)
I get the sense from talking to friends in the area that there is no concern right now. It seems like people have decided that with Tampa dispatched that the Sox are a shoo-in for the playoffs but as Smiling Joe points out, the WC is a bit of a consolation. The consensus seems to be that the Sox are going to the playoffs but won't do much when they get there.

Personally I think neither of those is a given. The Rangers could still pass the Sox somewhat easily but if the Sox get in I think a Lester/Beckett 1-2 punch combined with a great bullpen and a solid lineup make this team a very real World Series contender.
   83. Smiling Joe Hesketh Posted: September 09, 2009 at 03:10 PM (#3317564)
I largely agree, Jose, but that's assuming Beckett's healthy, of course. I have no idea what the hell is up with him right now, but if he pitches in this year's playoffs like he did in last year's the Sox are going nowhere. He's got to get healthy and effective.

Give me a healthy Beckett and Lester and I'll take my chances.
   84. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: September 09, 2009 at 03:12 PM (#3317567)
Quiet as it's kept, Beckett's slowly but surely rebounding from mid-August. Beginning on August 18th at Toronto, his last five game scores have been 25, 37, 41, 49, and 55 on Monday in Chicago. Anyone who counts the Red Sox out in the postseason is crazy.
   85. Dale Sams Posted: September 09, 2009 at 03:33 PM (#3317590)
1 vs Baltimore: 1-0
3 vs Tampa Bay: 2-1
3 vs LA Angels: 2-1
3 at Baltimore: 2-1
4 at Kansas City: 3-1
3 at NY Yankees: 1-2
3 vs Toronto: 2-1
4 vs Cleveland: 3-1
Total projected: 16-8
Final record: 96-66






I had this with 32 games left:

@TB:1-2
@CWS:2-2
Bal: 2-0
TB:1-2
LAA:2-1
@Bal:2-1
@KC:3-1
@NY:1-2
TOR:2-1
Cleve:3-1

With Sox winning 95 wins
   86. villageidiom Posted: September 09, 2009 at 03:38 PM (#3317604)
That's a win for them. I'm pretty sure the Angels don't have their usual 20 wins vs. the Yankees yet this year, so this will be it.
They're saving them for the playoffs.
I'm also working a ton, that probably doesn't help.
Same here.
But I do love me some Victor Martinez.
Seconded.
   87. villageidiom Posted: September 09, 2009 at 03:40 PM (#3317606)
Welcome, Dale. Wow, eerily similar. I'll take that as a vote of confidence.
   88. villageidiom Posted: September 14, 2009 at 11:05 AM (#3321069)
Update: Angels are on track with my prediction; Boston is +1, having swept Tampa; Texas is -1, having lost 2 of 3 to Seattle.
   89. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 14, 2009 at 11:12 AM (#3321070)
In regard to the thread topic, Alex Gonzalez has been pretty great so far. 295/511 with good defense is better than most clubs are getting. I'm not sure why he's stopped walking entirely, but for the last month, the Red Sox have had a good shortstop.
   90. Mister High Standards Posted: September 14, 2009 at 12:31 PM (#3321085)
Part of it seems to be that they are throwing him lots of cookies... I've watched a lot of the recent games after a break from it in midseason when life got a bit crazed but it seems like pitchers aren't working the corners deep in the counts with Gonzalez at all, and are just going right at him... and he is seeing the ball well.
   91. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: September 14, 2009 at 12:54 PM (#3321094)
Just watching him he's swinging at anything. Not that he was ever the most disciplined guy in the world but it seems like he's swinging more than I remember him doing so in 2006. He's always had decent power and he's pretty well suited to Fenway. Sample sizes of course but since coming to the Sox this year .319/.319/.660 at Fenway .250/.250/.318 on the road.
   92. Answer Guy Posted: September 14, 2009 at 12:59 PM (#3321096)
Something that has changed a bit since early August - the Rays have completely gone into the tank. That's 11 losses in a row now. I didn't notice that they had a stretch of 17 games where they played only BOS, DET, and NYY, which I'm sure their fans did notice. But even for a stretch like that I would have expected better than 3-14 out of them though, especially considering how tough the Rays had been to the Sox earlier in the season.

I wonder who Ranger fans are pulling for in this upcoming series vs. LAA - it's one of those deals where one team has to win, but one team also has to lose. Texas plays Oakland.

The Sox schedule is relatively soft after this series - one set with the Yankees and everyone else on there seems to be phoning in the rest of the season.

One other thing I noticed looking at where things stand is that it's almost heard to believe Toronto was in the thick of things enough to the point where that was a minor consideration re: trading Halladay mid-season - they were going in the wrong direction in both May and June, but still started July just 4 back in the WC. J.P. might have found it easier to pull the trigger if Toronto had started 17-24 rather than 27-14.
   93. Nasty Nate Posted: September 14, 2009 at 01:39 PM (#3321128)
Is it just me, or are rain situations handled the worst at fenway? They always seem to get it wrong (whoever 'they' may be). On friday night they obviously botched it, playing for 1/2 an hour and then a looong delay before the postponement. I went to the game saturday, and again they mess it up (no doubt gunshy about starting a game after the night before). This time, the game is delayed even though it was not raining. I got there right at 7 and went in, not expecting a rain delay. So we wait around and wait around in the non-rain. Eventually it sprinkles a little bit, but not anything which would have stopped an ongoing game. Finally they play after two hours, and wouldn't you know it, the sky opens up in the 5th inning. If the game had started at 7, when it was scheduled to start and when it was NOT RAINING, they could have easily played 9 un-interrupted innings.

And then, in the top of the 5th it starts raining steadily, getting heavier by the minute. Meanwhile Beckett seems oblivious to this, or oblivious to the rule about games being official after 5 innings, because he takes his sweet time getting the last 2 outs. I was blinking in disbelief as he even called out the catcher at one point. He almost let a win slip away with his slowness.
   94. Joel W Posted: September 14, 2009 at 03:29 PM (#3321204)
I think the Sox have essentially clinched. They're up 4 with 20 games to play, and Texas plays Anaheim, who we are only two games behind right now. So if Texas is winning a lot, the Sox may move ahead of Anaheim regardless.
   95. Joel W Posted: September 15, 2009 at 02:54 AM (#3321865)
4.5 and back 1.5 on Anaheim now...I have to imagine the sox will be up to about 97% on BPro tomorrow.
   96. villageidiom Posted: September 15, 2009 at 06:34 PM (#3322473)
96.4% on regular, 96.7% on PECOTA, 97.3% on ELO. Good call.
   97. Joel W Posted: September 15, 2009 at 06:44 PM (#3322489)
I'm going to get ahead of myself here, but the most likely scenario now is that the Red Sox get the Angels...again, while the Yankees get Detroit. Here's the question: aren't we happy about this? Detroit has a significantly better top 3, or I suppose what I mean to say is that the difference between their top pitchers and their backend pitchers means that they are better relative to their record in a short series than is Anaheim. Detroit is 5th in Special Sauce, whereas Anaheim is 11th (the Sox are 4th, and the Yankees 1st fwiw).
   98. Nasty Nate Posted: September 15, 2009 at 06:53 PM (#3322502)
Here's the question: aren't we happy about this?


happy about the matchups. Unhappy about not having home-field advantage.
   99. Joel W Posted: September 15, 2009 at 07:16 PM (#3322530)
Well yes, I just mean, "suppose the Yankees could pick their opponent because of their seed, wouldn't they pick the Angels?" Well, rationally, Yankees fans are irrationally scared of the Angels.
   100. AROM Posted: September 15, 2009 at 08:40 PM (#3322648)
It's a rock-paper-scissors situation. Yankees know they can beat the Red Sox, who know they can beat the Angels, who know they can beat the Yankees.

So since nothing ever turns out as predicted, I guess the Tigers will be going to the World Series.
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