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   1. Dale Sams Posted: April 19, 2010 at 10:05 PM (#3507810)
New rules Theo:

No more reclamation projects. No more big contracts based on one big year. No more ex-steroid users. Today they looked like they had 6 guys out there who hadn't been together for more than a few months...oh, wait.

But seriously, they just need to relax and remember they're playing a game. It won't help them make the playoffs, but they may win a few more games.
   2. BDC Posted: April 19, 2010 at 10:20 PM (#3507815)
With the Rangers coming in, the Sox could be back to 7-9 before you know it :)
   3. Accent Shallow Posted: April 19, 2010 at 11:47 PM (#3507901)
Today they looked like they had 6 guys out there who hadn't been together for more than a few months...oh, wait.

This isn't basketball -- other than the battery, how familiar do the other players have to be with each other's idiosyncrasies? Wouldn't ST and 13 games be enough time for the IF/OF?

The Sox have been outscored 69 to 50, which projects to a record closer to 5-8 than 4-9. So they’ve been marginally poor at turning runs into wins.

Is Pythagorean record that precise over this few games? I was under the impression it was a blunt tool that's most useful over long periods of time.
   4. Hugh Jorgan Posted: April 20, 2010 at 12:25 AM (#3507944)
When I saw the post, I thought, yep, the annual Darren pants pissing post...Darren, please accept my humble apologie as you haven't resorted to this yet.
Sure, we stink right now and the opposition was pretty strong. Personally I loved the 0-30 with RISP in the Tampa serious...very sweet indeed.

The team has too much talent not to win 90 games or so, however this slow start will make it incredibly difficult to eventually leapfrog either NY or Tampa; but the oppotunity is still there. And I'll say this again....Papi is toast.
   5. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: April 20, 2010 at 12:37 AM (#3507969)
I'm harping Looking over the numbers made me feel a bit better about things. I’ve felt, watching the games, that the Red Sox were just generally playing baseball badly.


I'm with Matt here. The numbers make me feel that things will turn around and they are not a bad team, they are a good team playing badly. Maybe they have dug themselves too deep a hole already, but I think there will be a lot more good than bad between now and the end of the season.
   6. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: April 20, 2010 at 01:03 AM (#3508038)
I think they'll win 90 games as well. The question is whether this stretch of the suck, which included games against the Yankees and the Rays, will be the difference-maker in making or missing the playoffs. I don't think it will, but they can't afford to fall too far behind, with the Rays lookin' good as well.
   7. Dale Sams Posted: April 20, 2010 at 01:15 AM (#3508064)
Wouldn't ST and 13 games be enough time for the IF/OF?


I'll let Ellsbury answer that one, providing he can type through the pain.

Just bein snarky.
   8. toratoratora Posted: April 20, 2010 at 02:00 AM (#3508174)
My optimistic self whispers that this is the Sox going through one of the "sh!t happens" periods against a few good teams, it just looks worse because of the timing.
Still, the trend is worrisome. The Rays scare me silly-they could be a brutal team if they hit on all cylinders and dodge big injuries.
   9. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: April 20, 2010 at 02:00 AM (#3508175)
   10. villageidiom Posted: April 20, 2010 at 02:02 AM (#3508182)
What problem? They're undefeated when I go.

Seriously, at this rate they'll go 12-69 at home. I'm pretty sure that'll turn around.
   11. Phil Coorey is a T-Shirt Salesman Posted: April 20, 2010 at 02:02 AM (#3508180)
I'm just glad I missed most of it.
   12. OlePerfesser Posted: April 20, 2010 at 02:42 AM (#3508233)
Hi guys. Long time no talk to. On the theory that misery loves therapy, I think I have to spend more time among thinking Sox fans. (Where it is comforting to know that, handle-wise, MCoA is sticking with the most obscure historical allusion possible; nice to be able to depend on some constants.)

The key question, it seems to me, is when to cut bait on a guy who is long in the tooth and showing signs of utter uselessness.

Fer sure, we can rely on Theo to understand the concept of sunk cost and ignore past dollar commitments. Purely baseball-wise, though, how long do you wait to replace somebody with somebody else you think will be more productive?

IIRC, Back in '04 and '05 I insisted that a fork needed to be stuck in Kevin Millar early; in both years, he had significantly better second halves. There are lots of other examples. The problem is, the longer you wait to make a move, the deeper in the hole you are. I'd love to think Big Papi has another strong surge in him. But it'd be nice to see signs of it soon, 'cause otherwise...
   13. villageidiom Posted: April 20, 2010 at 02:48 AM (#3508235)
The key question, it seems to me, is when to cut bait on a guy who is long in the tooth and showing signs of utter uselessness.
Hey! I'm not that old.
   14. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 20, 2010 at 03:51 AM (#3508253)
Something's Always Wrong

Or even better, Clarence Carter's The Few Troubles I've Had---One of the sublime songs of all time.

"I didn't have but two eggs to eat in the house that morning---and the old cat jumped up on the table and knocked them off, and now they're gone...."
   15. Pony-Upton Posted: April 20, 2010 at 10:13 AM (#3508310)
Serious as a heart attack, I had me a dream last night....

Papi walks into the clubhouse and says: "Dudes, it's been a good run, but I got to step aside, I'm out. Told Theo to go with 13 pitchers and give my at bats to Lowell and Hermida 'cause they hit the high heat....and thanks for the chance to win two world series, I won't forget to write!"
   16. Toby Posted: April 20, 2010 at 12:42 PM (#3508347)
Nice to see you, OleP!

To solve the Papi problem, I think we should bring back Pedro. As soon as Pedro left, Papi started to stink. Hey, it's worth a shot.
   17. The Essex Snead Posted: April 20, 2010 at 01:09 PM (#3508354)
What's wrong? Making snap judgements 2 weeks into a 6-month season.
   18. Dale Sams Posted: April 20, 2010 at 01:12 PM (#3508355)
As soon as Pedro left, Papi started to stink.


I think you're mixing up your Dominicans.
   19. AROM Posted: April 20, 2010 at 01:22 PM (#3508359)
Ortiz hurt his wrist in Baltimore, same game that primates watched Manny's #500. Ortiz has been the same since. Wrist has probably recovered, age, gut, and lack of roids is to blame for him not getting back to where he was.
   20. Mattbert Posted: April 20, 2010 at 01:47 PM (#3508373)
As much as I'd love to see Petey in a Sox uniform again, there's not even circumstantial evidence that his departure had anything to do with Papi's decline. Quite the opposite, in fact. Ortiz's three best seasons (by OPS+) were the three immediately following Pedro's last season in Boston.
   21. AROM Posted: April 20, 2010 at 01:54 PM (#3508378)
D'oh

Ortiz has NOT been the same since.

I don't think it has anything to do with lack of Manny, since the decline can initially be traced to an injury that happened while Manny was still there. And obviously nothing to do with Pedro. How soon some forget a 54 homer season after Pedro was gone to NYM.
   22. Nasty Nate Posted: April 20, 2010 at 02:02 PM (#3508381)
They have had 2 starting players injured, blundered away a few close games, and may have to replace their DH (which is the easiest position to fill) - but they still have a good core.

Hopefully they can salvage this homestand.
   23. Toby Posted: April 20, 2010 at 03:47 PM (#3508495)
not mixing up my Dominicans, but indeed mixing up my years. Brain cramp. Thought "Pedro left after the WS title" and thought "after 2007". D'oh, that wasn't the one he left after.
   24. Darren Posted: April 21, 2010 at 12:15 AM (#3509147)
Nice post, MCOA. I can't believe anyone would read "They say that failure is an orphan, but in the case of the Red Sox 4-9 start to the season, failure is like some sort of test tube clone freak spliced from the DNA of dozens of different people." and think that I wrote this post. Very fun style and enjoyable read.

This team is just stinking it up right now and like others, I'm going to be patient. In light of this start, though, I would not be very surprised if they narrowly missed the playoffs. I do think that Tampa Bay has a lot of questions in their rotation, young arms with lots of promise but plenty of variability.
   25. Chris Dial Posted: April 21, 2010 at 01:58 AM (#3509342)
Interestingly, it *seems* that thus far the Sox have played *worse* defense (not just pitching or hitting) than they had to this point last season. That was interesting with the offseason moves.
   26. Dale Sams Posted: April 21, 2010 at 04:24 AM (#3509455)
I just noticed on Beltre's 9th inning pop-up, he barely left the batter's box. The infielder *could* have intentionally let it drop and easily DPed Lowell and Beltre to end the inning. CAN YOU IMAGINE? Not only popping up in a SF situation, but ending the inning. I don't think he'd have made it out of Fenway alive.

edit: and no, it wasn't an infield fly situation.
   27. Phil Coorey is a T-Shirt Salesman Posted: April 21, 2010 at 04:44 AM (#3509462)
That bunt was pointless - much how like this season feels like it is going to end up

edit - and there is absolutely no need for Tim Wakefield to be on this team - none.
   28. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: April 21, 2010 at 05:02 AM (#3509468)
Interestingly, it *seems* that thus far the Sox have played *worse* defense (not just pitching or hitting) than they had to this point last season.


I think that's a function of expectation. I was having that conversation with a friend the other day. Through Monday they were 8th in DER at .700. Last year they were 13th at .678. The defense is a bit better though there have been a couple of high profile gaffes and it seems that they don't make a lot of spectacular plays though I think Scutaro and Beltre in particular are both playing pretty well and making plays that, while not exciting, were not being made last year.
   29. Dale Sams Posted: April 21, 2010 at 05:06 AM (#3509473)
That bunt was pointless


Bill Hall's? Moving the runner up to third where an SF, WP, passed ball could score? The win expectancy went up 1.2% with the sac bunt.

I agree about Wake. I'd rather cut him and trade for a nice prospect to pitch in Pawtucket.*

*By nice, I mean someone with more ceiling than the useless Bowden.
   30. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: April 21, 2010 at 06:03 AM (#3509498)
edit - and there is absolutely no need for Tim Wakefield to be on this team - none.


I'm as big a Wake fan as there is (yes, even including karl), but if you don't have a catcher who can at least throw a little, then I'm not sure how you can send him out there and not expect more of the same.
   31. Phil Coorey is a T-Shirt Salesman Posted: April 21, 2010 at 07:22 AM (#3509504)
The Sox have shown no willingness to have a catcher that can throw - so why keep Wake?

Carlos Pena walked in a steal the other night - it is a frigging farce and what is being done about it?

Why should we expect anyone to pitch well , when they know a walk or single is a double. No wonder Clay has lost the plot and throws to first all the time.

Tonights win was a smoke screen - if Josh Hamilton could play the outfield properly we are talking about another loss.

dalesams - they give up an out with a runner already in scoring position and were ripe for a DP with Beltre at bat and Lowell at first - I didn't like it.
   32. BDC Posted: April 21, 2010 at 02:03 PM (#3509593)
if Josh Hamilton could play the outfield properly we are talking about another loss

Well, it might also help if the Rangers' bullpen was worth the cost of washing their uniforms :)

Congratulations, Sox fans, but I agree, this SB thing is getting a little uncanny. Every time the Rangers play y'all they break the Sox record for SB allowed. If you get into games against actual good teams, this could create a nightmare.
   33. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: April 21, 2010 at 02:13 PM (#3509601)
Bearing in mind that the data looked at is only from 1956, which is well after the prime base stealing days, but the current record for SBs allowed is 223 by the 2001 Red Sox.

I don't know how much it really matters in the end--although I admit it would drive me apeshit were the Yankees the ones giving this up*--but they are just going to crush that record unless people start getting caught.

*And they might soon, come on Montero!
   34. Nasty Nate Posted: April 21, 2010 at 02:19 PM (#3509607)
While the steals led to some runs, isn't it a little bit of vindication for the lower priority of preventing steals that the Sox gave up 9 swipes but still won the game?

Also, funny that the Ranger's best reliever getting 'promoted' to closer means he wasn't used in a really close game. Normally in sports, moving up in the depth charts means more playing time, not less.
   35. BDC Posted: April 21, 2010 at 02:26 PM (#3509615)
isn't it a little bit of vindication for the lower priority of preventing steals that the Sox gave up 9 swipes but still won the game?

Well, you'd hardly say the same thing about home runs if they'd given up bunches of them and still won. Stolen bases are minor successes compared to extra-base hits or getting on base to begin with, but if teams are stealing at will and never getting caught, that will cost you plenty of close games against good clubs.
   36. The Good Face Posted: April 21, 2010 at 02:32 PM (#3509624)
While the steals led to some runs, isn't it a little bit of vindication for the lower priority of preventing steals that the Sox gave up 9 swipes but still won the game?


Considering the steals contributed to the BoSox giving up 6 runs to an absolutely dreadful offense, I'm not sure it's something to just wave off.

Or what #35 said.
   37. Nasty Nate Posted: April 21, 2010 at 02:36 PM (#3509633)
Well, you'd hardly say the same thing about home runs if they'd given up bunches of them and still won.


sure, but a team scoring 7 runs but giving up bunches (4-5?) of home runs will win that game maybe once or twice a decade.
   38. Nasty Nate Posted: April 21, 2010 at 02:37 PM (#3509635)
well, I never said just wave it off...
   39. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: April 21, 2010 at 02:39 PM (#3509641)
Obviously there is the potential for a pretty significant problem happening but a lot of the steals this year have proven insignificant. Last night was a great example;

1st inning - Cruz (2nd) - did not score
3rd inning - Andrus (2nd and 3rd) - scored, would not have without the SB
3rd inning - Guerrero (2nd and 3rd), Cruz (2nd) - did not score
4th inning - Borbon (2nd) - scored, would have scored if the inning played out as it did anyway
4th inning - Andrus (2nd) - did not score
5th inning - Cruz (3rd) - scored, would have scored if the inning played out as it did anyway

Now we can argue the point that you can't assume the inning would play out the same way but ultimately only Andrus' steals in the 3rd inning led to a run. I think there is a case to be made that it caused Wakefield to lose some focus but I think it is worth noting that even on a night when the Rangers were going around and around at will the impact on runs was fairly minimal.

None of which changes the basic point that it could be a larger issue as the season goes on.
   40. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: April 21, 2010 at 02:43 PM (#3509643)
Was the game-winning hit a lazy fly ball to left? In another ballpark, would the outfielder even have been running hard when he caught the ball?

I'm disappointed in NESN. I know that they were concentrating on the story on the field - the celebration and such. But they showed just one replay of where the ball hit in relation to where the glove was. How much did the ball miss the glove? I don't really know.
   41. SoSH U at work Posted: April 21, 2010 at 02:45 PM (#3509646)
sure, but a team scoring 7 runs but giving up bunches (4-5?) of home runs will win that game maybe once or twice a decade.


And Wake has one of those under his belt as well.
   42. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: April 21, 2010 at 02:49 PM (#3509651)
Was the game-winning hit a lazy fly ball to left? In another ballpark, would the outfielder even have been running hard when he caught the ball?


Probably a fairly routine F-7.

MLB.com should have the highlight that would give you a pretty good sense of it.
   43. Nasty Nate Posted: April 21, 2010 at 02:50 PM (#3509652)
TVErik: I think that ball is an out in almost every other park. It looked like it was about 1-2 feet above Hamilton's glove.
   44. Dale Sams Posted: April 21, 2010 at 03:03 PM (#3509665)
Was the game-winning hit a lazy fly ball to left? In another ballpark, would the outfielder even have been running hard when he caught the ball?

I'm disappointed in NESN. I know that they were concentrating on the story on the field - the celebration and such. But they showed just one replay of where the ball hit in relation to where the glove was. How much did the ball miss the glove? I don't really know.


And the 4 or 5 shots to right field-380 that would have been out of Yankee Stadium and home runs in every other park?
   45. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: April 21, 2010 at 03:08 PM (#3509670)
I didn't watch the whole game, Dale. And I'm not trying to steal the legitimacy of the Sox win. I was just trying to get a sense about how that particular ball was struck.
   46. Dale Sams Posted: April 21, 2010 at 03:12 PM (#3509674)
I didn't watch the whole game, Dale. And I'm not trying to steal the legitimacy of the Sox win. I was just trying to get a sense about how that particular ball was struck.


Sorry. It was a 'wall ball' all the way. Scraped the wall about 3 or 4 feet above his glove as far as I can tell. His home run earlier probably would have been a gapper in most parks too.
   47. Nasty Nate Posted: April 21, 2010 at 03:22 PM (#3509684)
His home run earlier probably would have been a gapper in most parks too.


Hittracker says it would have been gone in 18 parks (if I am reading the site correctly).
   48. OlePerfesser Posted: April 21, 2010 at 06:36 PM (#3509897)
The Biscuit makes an interesting point: "...a lot of the steals this year have proven insignificant...".

Here's the question, though: Have the Sox (and esp. Wake) shown any capacity to dampen the running game WHEN IT MATTERS?

Just like pitchers might be willing to risk throwing the ball over the plate with nobody on, I can conceive of situations where you really wouldn't care too much about a SB 'cause you know it doesn't significantly change run expectations, given the number of outs, the batter up, etc.

But sometimes a SB will matter a lot, and if your pitcher and/or catcher just can't reduce the probability in THOSE cases, you are going to suffer for it.

Seems to me Martinez's value as a player hinges on this issue a great deal. He's worth much less if all he is is a decent-hitting 1B or DH rather than an elite-hitting catcher.
   49. Harold Reynolds Number Posted: April 21, 2010 at 08:17 PM (#3509980)
But sometimes a SB will matter a lot, and if your pitcher and/or catcher just can't reduce the probability in THOSE cases, you are going to suffer for it.

It seems to me that when a stolen base matters is much more apparent in hindsight than at the time. Unless a game is a blowout or the team leads by 2+ in the 9th with a runner on first, pitchers should always work to reduce the success of the opponent's running game.
   50. Foghorn Leghorn Posted: April 21, 2010 at 08:40 PM (#3509998)
And the 4 or 5 shots to right field-380 that would have been out of Yankee Stadium and home runs in every other park?
It's not necessary to act like the Wall doesn't give more hits than it takes away. That's what makes it a good place to hit.
   51. tfbg9 Posted: April 22, 2010 at 03:32 PM (#3510751)
I guessing they have mis-diagnosed Ellsbury's rib situation, hope I'm wrong. Seems like an awful long time for a
bad rib bruise to be sharply, stabbingly painful when he breaths deeply.
   52. Dale Sams Posted: April 22, 2010 at 10:23 PM (#3511252)
It was reported today he has hairline fractures in four ribs. You can pretty much forget about sliding head-first or diving for balls for the rest of the year.
   53. Textbook Editor Posted: April 23, 2010 at 01:53 AM (#3511620)
#51, #52 - Yes, this isn't good long-term this year. All of a sudden, we need an OF (perhaps 2). Ugh.

As for the mis-diagnosis, I wondered about not doing a CT scan earlier, when it was clear after 2-3 days something was lingering, but I suspect part of the "routine" of not doing a CT scan early on in the process is the amount of radiation a CT scan of the abdomen has. I know last year my son had 4 CT scans of his head in about 7 months, and after that the dentist didn't even want to do X-Rays of his teeth because they didn't want to pile on the radiation exposure any more than what was already done.

Basically, you don't want to subject guys to CT scans every time they get plunked in the ribs by a pitch--you only want to use it as (sort of) a last resort.

So what OFs are available?
   54. Dale Sams Posted: April 23, 2010 at 02:17 AM (#3511658)
Oh...the usual suspects...Elijah Dukes, Gary Sheffield, Barry Bonds...you know, the Kevin Millar types. Happy-go-lucky, brings a clubhouse together.
   55. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: April 23, 2010 at 02:18 AM (#3511660)
Red Sox Medical Director Dr. Thomas Gill:

"Whether something is a rib contusion or a cold hairline fracture or a mainly displaced or non-displaced fracture of the ribs, all those injuries are treated the same way," said Gill. "So what we do, typically as a medical staff, is always just take the precaution of treating everyone as if they have a non-displaced rib fracture, which basically means you keep people out of competition or you keep them out of playing until they have no tenderness, until they can breathe without difficulties, exert without difficulty, hit without difficulty, swing.

"Once somebody is completely asymptomatic, that's when it's safe to return to play. There really is not a question of whether there's a hairline fracture. We treat all injuries as if they probably are. That's why we typically don't get CT scans or MRI scans right away, after a potential rib trauma. We get the X-ray, and assuming it doesn't show a displaced fracture, we end up treating these things the same way. We'll still continue to treat Jacoby exactly as we did before."


So it sounds like the only issue with the "mis-diagnosis" in this case is the delay in putting him on the DL.
   56. tfbg9 Posted: April 23, 2010 at 02:59 AM (#3511684)
So it sounds like the only issue with the "mis-diagnosis" in this case is the delay in putting him on the DL.


Well, that and annoying the hell out of us once again, sure.
   57. Darren Posted: April 24, 2010 at 09:20 PM (#3513169)
So, tfbg, I assume you think you're a better doctor than the Red Sox medical staff?
   58. rLr Is King Of The Romans And Above Grammar Posted: April 24, 2010 at 09:57 PM (#3513196)
So, tfbg, I assume you think you're a better doctor than the Red Sox medical staff?

He went to Hollywood Upstairs, after all.

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