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— Where Thinking Red Sox Fans Obsess about the Sox

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   1. Mattbert Posted: August 26, 2006 at 05:59 AM (#2157457)
Darren, they did option Hansen back to Pawtucket, earlier this week when they recalled Corey.
   2. Mattbert Posted: August 26, 2006 at 06:33 AM (#2157461)
I had the misfortune of paying good money to watch tonight's stinker in person. As bad as the Yankees sweep was, I think this was the most depressing game of the year for me. Other games have been more frustrating, maddening, etc., but this was one of those rare "gems" after which I leave the park and can't think of a single thing about the game that was positive. Not one thing.

Plenty of negatives, though. In no particular order:

1. Coco couldn't get around on Jake Woods' mediocre fastball and still takes a little leaguer's routes to most flyballs. Actually, that might be doing a disservice to little league outfielders.

2. Schilling decides to screw around with poorly-executed offspeed crap to Willie Bloomquist on an 0-2 count, running it to 2-2 and promptly giving up a hard base hit (that Coco plays into a triple) on a high fastball that everyone in the park, even Willie Bloomquist, knew was coming.

3. I've been looking forward to this game all year because I'm excited about being able to socialize with Manny from my great seats along the LF line about 3 rows from the field. Manny, of course, does not play.

4. Mike Lowell leads off the 4th inning by swinging at the first pitch from Woods, who had thrown at least 60 or 65 pitches by that point and had been handing out walks like Halloween candy. Popup to second.

5. Everyone else in the lineup is so impressed by the results of Lowell's AB that they start popping up pitches in hitter's counts at every available opportunity for the remainder of the evening.

6. With a dispirited Ortiz on first with 2 out in the 8th, Tito decides that pinch-hitting Hinske for Pena against the left-handed O'Flaherty is an excellent opportunity to damage the confidence of both Hinske (by putting him in a position where he is not likely to succeed) AND Pena (by conspicuously pinch-hitting for him AGAINST the platoon advantage). Remember that Kapler was following Pena in the order by two places, so Hinske would have had an opportunity to hit for Kapler in the 8th or 9th, regardless.

7. Schilling leaves the game after recording his 2,999th career strikeout. Enjoy applauding the milestone in person, Bay Area Sox fans.
   3. Phil Coorey is a T-Shirt Salesman Posted: August 26, 2006 at 10:07 AM (#2157476)
I was at a funeral today and missed the game. Thank God
   4. NTNgod Posted: August 26, 2006 at 10:22 AM (#2157478)
Tito decides that pinch-hitting Hinske for Pena against the left-handed O'Flaherty is an excellent opportunity to damage the confidence of both Hinske (by putting him in a position where he is not likely to succeed) AND Pena (by conspicuously pinch-hitting for him AGAINST the platoon advantage)

Pena came out because of tightness in his left wrist, according to the AP.
   5. villageidiom Posted: August 26, 2006 at 01:18 PM (#2157505)
First, they sent Jason Johnson out to pitch the first game of the DH against the Yankees and made it pretty obvious they were going to DFA him between games. How is he supposed to get himself up for that game?

You're starting off with the premise that a team starting an up-for-it Jason Johnson has a chance to win. If you shake yourself of that premise, you'll see that there isn't much point for the team to hide their intentions from Johnson, nor to delay their actions. Being up-front about it is worth something, I suppose.

The other move I didn’t care for was the dropping of Seanez. Was his removal supposed to be some sort of symbolic gesture to show the crappy bullpen pitchers that they might be next? It doesn’t make much sense otherwise.

That might have been the case. At least Timlin took it that way, saying something afterward like, "The way I've been pitching, I'm probably next." I also think they were planning to do this for a while, but decided to hold off on it until they made it past the pitching crunch last week that we all saw coming.
   6. OlePerfesser Posted: August 26, 2006 at 01:22 PM (#2157506)
How is he supposed to get himself up for that game?

By thinking that he's effectively auditioning (on national TV) for whoever might be his next employer?

I'm normally as touchy-feely (and occasionally sunshiney) as the next Primate, but I can't say I share Darren's concern here. The players are being paid millions, their contracts are guaranteed (unlike football), they commonly use agents as middle-men in almost all their dealings with "management," and as long as the organization observes reasonable etiquette in informing the guy (or his agent) of the transaction, I don't think it owes him a couple more days in the clubhouse or dugout to salve his ego. They're paying him anyway--just not to perform anymore.
   7. Darren Posted: August 26, 2006 at 03:40 PM (#2157540)
But there was no upside to either move. They didn't have a better fifth starter than Johnson and they didn't have a better reliever to replace Seanez. There was no need to make such drastic moves. Doing so, to me, seems like the kind of thing that might make your players feel intentionally punished.
   8. Toby Posted: August 26, 2006 at 05:54 PM (#2157588)
Now I'm confused ... are you saying the moves were handled badly ("inconsiderate", as you say in the intro) or that they were simply bad moves? Which is it?
   9. karlmagnus Posted: August 26, 2006 at 06:00 PM (#2157591)
The main advantage in firing Seanez is that Tito can't wheel him out again in a crucial situation to give up 5 runs and blow a game that the Sox had won. They should have fired the SOB in May, after he ruined the Wakefield gem.

If they hadn't told Johnson he was DFA'd before the game and he'd pitched OK, they'd have been stuck after it (yes, if he'd thrown a 8 inning no-hitter they would have wanted to keep him, but he wasn't going to.) Johnson was a reasonable idea that didn't work out; weith the worst record for over 50 decisions in the majors he probably realizes that the end of the road is nigh.

I still don't understand why they played Kapler last night instead of Hinske, but it would have made no difference. It would make sense to bring up Ellsbury September 1 and bench Coco so that whatever's wrong with him can recover and we can have a decent idea in the offseason of whether Ellsbury's the real deal (and trade Coco for pitching if he is.)
   10. Howie Menckel Posted: August 26, 2006 at 06:22 PM (#2157600)
Darren,
You seem like a very empathetic fellow, but I have no idea what you're talking about.

How much better do you think Johnson would have pitched that day if he thought he was guaranteed a slot in the rotation for the next 15 years?
It would be just as plausible to say that he probably pitched better than he would have otherwise, because he was more focused knowing that he needed to impress other employers. Better this way than to have him be 'complacent' without this knowledge. So the Red Sox helped themselves and Johson at the same time.

Of course, that's silly - but then, it's as sensible as your premise, no?

A large segment of the people here, I suspect work at "at-will" jobs, where documented poor performance over several months time will get them "designated for assignment." No guaranteed salary for the entire year, and no six-figure or seven-figure bank accounts to fall back upon. A major league baseball player is quite possibly the last person whose psyche I would worry about.

As for being inconsiderate, that would seem to better apply to fellows who are paid a significant amount of money to supposedly pitch above replacement level - yet then fail to do so.
   11. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: August 26, 2006 at 06:31 PM (#2157605)
A large segment of the people here, I suspect work at "at-will" jobs, where documented poor performance over several months time will get them "designated for assignment." No guaranteed salary for the entire year, and no six-figure or seven-figure bank accounts to fall back upon. A major league baseball player is quite possibly the last person whose psyche I would worry about.

I'm gonna disagree with Howie. Comparing my job to a MLB player's job of course makes him look like an overpaid slouch. I think the better question is "Do/would other MLB teams also do this?" When you work a job every day and begin to pull down the big cash, you lose absolute perspective and begin to measure yourself against other people who do what you do. I would suspect that Johnson is more concerned with what happens to the last pitcher on the Royals' payroll than what happens to me.

If the Sox organization is the only one who does these things, and does them consistently, then a case could be made that Boston must overpay for FAs, in order to compensate them for a "bad work environment".
   12. Toby Posted: August 26, 2006 at 06:46 PM (#2157609)
What exactly were the Sox supposed to do with Johnson? Not cut him? Disguise their intentions? Cutting him was a reasonable decision, and cutting him after the first game so they could activate Foulke for the second game was a reasonable decision, and being straight with him was a reasonable decision.

As for Seanez, I will agree that I don't really understand why he was cut, but I have no strong objection either. I think I remember reading earlier in the year Francona saying that Seanez would not, or was it could not, pitch on back-to-back days. Perhaps that figured into the decision.
   13. OlePerfesser Posted: August 27, 2006 at 04:32 PM (#2158482)
It looks like the minor leaguers enjoyed being treated to a <a href="http://www.minorleaguebaseball.com/app/news/article.jsp?ymd=20060826&c>Fenway home game.</a>

My guess is that doing this every year will help the development program a little. It's nice to hold out this kind of reward, especially for guys who play in front of tiny crowds all summer.
   14. Rough Carrigan Posted: August 27, 2006 at 04:42 PM (#2158487)
I don't see that the Sox were unfair to Johnson. They gave him a shot. He had six starts or whatever it was and was lousy. On top of that, he's a particularly annoying kind of lousy as he takes FOREVER to pitch. Good thing Hargrove's retired. If he matched up against Johnson the at bat might never end. I was at Fenway one of those 96 degree days and Johnson was the starter. Along with us fans dropping like flies, the fielders looked alternately disinterested and slightly pissed off at Johnson's fast as tectonic movements pace on the mound.

He did a poor job. They reacted accordingly. He still gets his money.
   15. Darren Posted: August 27, 2006 at 05:29 PM (#2158512)
My guess is that doing this every year will help the development program a little. It's nice to hold out this kind of reward, especially for guys who play in front of tiny crowds all summer.

Reward? These guys are professional baseball players, some of whom are being paid millions and using agents as go-betweens! Who cares about their feelings!!!??? :)

Maybe I've made my point poorly or maybe it's not much of a point. I'll try to clear it up. The Red Sox have no obligation to keep a player on the team longer than they are useful to the team. But in the cases of Johnson and Seanez, I think they were both still reasonably useful when discarded. They could have been kept on the team and helped the team to some degree, and at the same time their removals wouldn't look like some kind of intentional slap in the face.
   16. CONservative governMENt Posted: August 28, 2006 at 12:41 AM (#2158891)
Maybe I’m missing something about these moves, but they just seem to be inconsiderate in cases where showing some consideration would not have adversely affected the team.


I can understand, but not condone, making posts when all high and feeling the love.

But starting threads in that condition is probably a bad precedent to set.
   17. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 29, 2006 at 10:58 AM (#2160004)
I would be interested to see the % of posts by Yankee fans here this week compared to previous weeks with no Yankee series. Real winners like Mulch and Dzop, too, taking up the biggest portion of the trolling.

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