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Monday, January 23, 2023

Mastrodonato: Red Sox fans have every right to be angry at John Henry, Chaim Bloom and Co.

The bold-faced lying to fans, as if we are all too stupid to know they are lying, is absolutely galling. It’s hubris. This ownership group has lost me.

jimfurtado Posted: January 23, 2023 at 11:40 PM | 12 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: red sox

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   1. Darren Posted: January 24, 2023 at 09:13 AM (#6114164)
I thought it was bald faced lies.
   2. Darren Posted: January 24, 2023 at 10:43 AM (#6114177)
On the actual subject, I generally agree. They do not seem to be leveling with fans at all. After clearing payroll for the past couple years, they seem to be missing out on the top talent available because they are unwilling to do what it takes to get those players.
   3. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 24, 2023 at 11:07 AM (#6114178)
I thought it was bald faced lies.

Per Merriam-Webster, it started out as "bare-faced lie" in the 1800's, shifted mostly to "bald-faced lie" in the mid-20th century, and "bold-faced lie" started mixing in in the late 20th century.
   4. villageidiom Posted: January 24, 2023 at 12:24 PM (#6114190)
After clearing payroll for the past couple years, they seem to be missing out on the top talent available because they are unwilling to do what it takes to get those players.
It might seem the team has decided that they can still market-inefficiency their way to victory, which is fine and all, except for two things.

1. Effectively no team has only exploited market inefficiencies to get to victory. Even when Boston finally won the WS in 2004 they had Pedro & Schilling & Manny & Damon, none of whom could be considered as playing at a market-efficient salary.

2. The inefficiencies aren't there. Brian O'Halloran just went through this on the Baseball Isn't Boring podcast the other day. The example he used was from back when they were trying to trade for A-Rod, they also had a side deal to acquire Magglio Ordonez from the White Sox and had Chicago include this 19-year-old they had in rookie ball: Brandon McCarthy. The Chicago deal was contingent on the Texas deal, so when the latter fell through so did the former, and about a year and a half later McCarthy began his 13 seasons in MLB. Those kinds of inefficiencies - a relative lack of awareness of projectability of minor-league talent - were common then, and very limited now. All teams are valuing everyone about the same now, so it's harder to find those inefficiencies. And when I say "harder" I don't mean "well you just have to work harder at it" as much as I mean "it's just not there to be had".

Wanting to capture all the market inefficiencies is nice, but it's like wanting free agents to sign market-underperforming contracts. It's nice to want things. But it sucks as a plan if it's not actually achievable. If the direction from Henry is to achieve the unachievable, then someone there needs to explain this to him, because his GM gets it.

Ultimately that's why I think Henry *does* know they can't use that plan. But then, to SBPT's oft-repeated refrain, what is the plan? It sure doesn't seem like winning in 2023 is the plan, and it's hard to see the foundation for winning in 2024.
   5. Captain Joe Bivens, Pointless and Wonderful Posted: January 24, 2023 at 12:46 PM (#6114192)
I mean, what are they supposed to tell the fans? The truth? That they're punting this year, and possibly next, in order to position themselves to be players in the 2025 FA market? Red Sox fans have become spoiled idiots. They want it now now now. Telling them to wait a year or two and the response will be "BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!"

To illustrate the stupidity of the fans (or the cynicism of the FO), at the dog and pony show they just held, with fans in attendance, they let some woman "from Vermont" ask a question of Alex Cora: "What do you say to the team to help them win?"

Are you ####### kidding me? "I tell them rah rah rah, cis boom bah! Get out there and hit em high! Then hit em low! Then hit em again! And then I tell them to win one for the Gipper!"

Fans are morons. Baseball is a 162 game grind, and if you don't have the horses, you won't make the finish line. But tell the lady from Vermont that and she'll drive home with tears in her eyes. (Cora did say something to the effect that the roster wasn't "complete" yet...and they did say that Kiké will be the SS (oy vey), and they said that Verdugo and Yoshida will be the corner OF's....so I guess that means that past GG winner Duvall is your CF for 2023.)


edit...they just traded for Mondesi. Back to CF with Kiké! So where is the 7M Duvall playing? I smell an OF of 4 guys playing 120 games each. It's quite pungent.
   6. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: January 24, 2023 at 12:56 PM (#6114193)
To add to excellent points from #4:

1) I'm increasingly thinking the team's plan is to keep waiting on a bushel of homegrown prospects to make up the core of the team, knowing that most of that talent is not ready to start the year in Boston in 2023. Casas and Bello are. Rafaela may be by the end of 2023. But the rest of the guys with big time upside - Blais, Mayer, etc - are years away. But they also know they can't just go all Pittsburgh Pirates about it...and they don't want to commit much money to the stopgap veterans while we all wait...so they keep signing veterans who can't command three-year deals elsewhere, and offer them one-year (and sometimes two-year) deals to come to Boston and plug a hole for a year.

2021: Enrique Hernandez, Marwin Gonzalez, Hunter Renfroe, Garrett Richards, Adam Ottavino, Hiro Sawamura, Matt Andriese
2022: Jackie Bradley, Michael Wacha, Rich Hill, Jake Diekman, Matt Strahm, Eric Hosmer
2023: Justin Turner, Adam Duvall, Corey Kluber, James Paxton, Chris Martin, Kenley Jansen

I'm oversimplifying this strategy a little bit, but as they slowly add pieces who *would* be teammates of the coming youth brigade (Devers and Yoshida, Whitlock, maybe McGuire), they want to have the decks cleared of other veteran salaries when 2025 rolls around.

2) I think a key difference from even the Theo Epstein halcyon days is the continued tweaks of the playoff format. It is easier than ever to make the playoffs, and baseball - probably more than any other team sport, expect perhaps the NHL - becomes a crapshoot once you get in. If the goal is to be a perennial playoff contender - where the goal is to be in it for at least the final wild card with two weeks to go most years - then that's a lot different than wanting to be one of the five best teams in baseball every year. That distinction probably changes how you build a team, and how you market your team, as well.

3)In terms of finding the inefficiencies, I look at a guy like Luis Arraez, who just got traded from Minnesota to Miami, and wonder if the closest thing to a market inefficiency in MLB right now is to go back to the pre-sabermetric days: speed, batting average, ability to make contact with the pitch, low strikeout rates for batters, etc. Arraez - who I have admittedly seen play very little - seems like a decidedly un-TTO player. With the new rules limiting defensive shifts, being able to make contact would seem to be more valuable than it's been in a long time. And with the bases being a little closer together, being an effective basestealer (Arraez is not that) would also seem more valuable than it has been in 30+ years. I don't want to give Bloom too much credit (ha, ha!), but is it possible this would explain some of his pursuit of certain types of minor-leaguers, like David Hamilton or Enmanuel Valdez?

At any rate, as said in #4, it is easy to forget that the great Red Sox teams of the 2000s weren't just finding Mark Bellhorn and David Ortiz on the junk pile; it was spending a lot of money on Manny, Damon, Schilling, Foulke, Pedro, and others. Sometimes, if you want the best players, you've got to just put the big money on the table.
   7. Buck Coats Posted: January 24, 2023 at 01:20 PM (#6114197)
With the new rules limiting defensive shifts, being able to make contact would seem to be more valuable than it's been in a long time.


Isn't it the opposite? It wasn't the contact hitters who were drastically shifted on, it was the power-hitter pull types. So presumably those would be the players who would benefit the most from banning shifts?
   8. Walt Davis Posted: January 24, 2023 at 02:28 PM (#6114210)
Folks have been positing/praying that "old school contact and speed will be the next market efficiency" for at least a decade now, I'm pretty sure the nerds have looked into it. Either it's just not that productive (never has been really) or it's not really a viable approach against today's pitchers (i.e. almost nobody can make consistent contact with enough authority).

When I say "never has been really" -- of course it always was for Gwynn, Carew, etc. And such players have always played, from Luis Castillo to Ichiro through to Arraez -- if you can hit 300 or even 280 or get on base enough and play a position, you will play. But of course most of the high-contact guys weren't like that. Instead they hit 240-260 with few walks and no power. Vic Davalillo was a solid average CF (94 OPS+) of the 60s and 70s and if you could translate his stats 1:1 he'd be a solid average CF today (96 OPS+ in 2022 StL) -- assuming he can maintain that 10% K-rate but against a league average of 23% not 14%. But if we pro-rate his K-rate to, say, 16% the he's probably Omar Moreno with much less speed and a OPS+ around 88 (which is better than Omar's career OPS+). Both guys were good runners with above-average CF defense ... and one guy was average (with a low K-rate) and the other was about a 1 WAR player (with a highish K-rate -- the actual Omar would probably K about 27% now).

So yes, the game is ripe for the return of Vic Davalillo and his 10% K-rate if you can find one. Translated Omar is probably around Michael A Taylor. Strikeouts have reduced the game to the point where 270/310/370 is again viable for 2B/CF/SS. Glenn Beckert would improve from a 82 OPS+ to a 90 OPS+ in 2022 Wrigley. Now you just gotta find some guys who can hit 270-280 while K'ing 10% of the time (or 4.4% for Beckert). By the way, Vic is 83, Omar is 70 (RIP Beckert 2020).
   9. villageidiom Posted: January 24, 2023 at 03:48 PM (#6114224)
1) I'm increasingly thinking the team's plan is to keep waiting on a bushel of homegrown prospects to make up the core of the team, knowing that most of that talent is not ready to start the year in Boston in 2023.
Mayer is apparently the #2 SS prospect (behind Volpe, obviously) in the minors according to MLB Pipeline. They have him being ready by 2024, but I still think 2025 should be the target.

Yes, at some point if they can promote one top prospect each year they can keep a somewhat self-sustaining good level of talent on the MLB roster. To do that they need to have a full (and sustainable) pipeline, but it feels like they're still building that, let alone able to reap the benefits.

Sometimes, if you want the best players, you've got to just put the big money on the table.
To be somewhat more fair than they deserve, Boston put the big money on the table for Sale, Devers, and Story. Also to be fair, after 2004 Boston dropped Pedro; after 2005 they dropped Damon; after 2006 they dropped Foulke. So it's not always about putting big money on the table for specific players. Again, though I'll miss him I'm glad they didn't sign Bogaerts to anything close to the contract San Diego offered; and just because they didn't sign Bogaerts doesn't mean they won't spend big money on worthwhile players.

It just feels like the emptiness of their plan manifests in the pitching staff, or specifically the rotation. For all its faults the offense is actually pretty good. The defense is... maybe better than last year. The bullpen is solid. But the rotation is... a committee of Porcellos. Will that work? I mean, they'd lose more often against the #1 and #2 starters and win more often against #4 and #5. Maybe?
   10. base ball chick Posted: January 24, 2023 at 11:15 PM (#6114332)
jim

so sorry there boy.

much as i am not exactly no red sox fan, i hate seeing a very rich team decide to not spend the money they got and suck instead. i had this bad feeling when they traded mookie
   11. Darren Posted: January 25, 2023 at 11:43 AM (#6114382)
I mean, what are they supposed to tell the fans? The truth? That they're punting this year, and possibly next, in order to position themselves to be players in the 2025 FA market?


First of all, no, I'm not surprised that they're being deceptive. But that doesn't mean I have to be happy about it or ignore it. And do you think they are really positioning themselves for the 2025 free agent market? I don't.


Red Sox fans have become spoiled idiots. They want it now now now. Telling them to wait a year or two and the response will be "BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!"


It's being a spoiled idiot for them to want to acquire top talent now that they've purged the payroll? To want the team, with its high revenues, to be able to compete most years? To keep its top homegrown players?

   12. SoSH U at work Posted: January 25, 2023 at 12:04 PM (#6114388)
Per Merriam-Webster, it started out as "bare-faced lie" in the 1800's, shifted mostly to "bald-faced lie" in the mid-20th century, and "bold-faced lie" started mixing in in the late 20th century.'


And someday here it will become black ink lie.

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