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Sox Therapy
— Where Thinking Red Sox Fans Obsess about the Sox

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Why Gonzo Being Gonezo is um…. Goodzo

In a couple of different threads about the big Nick Punto trade, I’ve argued, without a great deal of detail, that the Red Sox being rid of Adrian Gonzalez’s contract was a positive in its own right. With the snow falling outside and everyone in the house under the weather, now seemed like a good time to sneak away into a secluded corner and expand on this a bit (especially since no one asked).

Gonzalez is owed about $132M over the next six years. Looking solely at his WAR numbers, he seems ...

Darren Posted: December 29, 2012 at 03:14 PM | 32 comment(s)
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Monday, December 17, 2012

A Hundred Fifty Million Dollars for This

Feel free to read “this” either uninflected as if followed by a colon, or in italics with a full sneer.

The Sox have pretty much completed their 25-man roster.  There’s a small chance they’ll trade Ellsbury, and there’s a good chance they’ll trade a catcher and a reliever (or relievers) to clear up some logjams.  They might add a 1B/LF type for the last spot on the bench and let Jerry Sands have another year in AAA, and they could add a platoon LF in place of Nava or Kalish.  With ...

Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 17, 2012 at 11:25 AM | 136 comment(s)
  Related News: red sox, sox therapy

Thursday, December 13, 2012

New Rule: Three Years

With the signing of Ryan Dempster to a 2-year deal, it seems pretty obvious that the Red Sox had one hard and fast rule that guided what they did this off season: no deals of more than 3 years. Every story on Hamilton indicated that the Sox wouldn’t go more than 3 years for him. Anibal Sanchez looks like he’s going to sign a very reasonable 5-year deal, but the Sox never appeared to be in on him. Buehrle/Johnson/Reyes would have almost perfectly filled their needs, but those players instead ...

Darren Posted: December 13, 2012 at 08:07 PM | 40 comment(s)
  Related News: red sox

Monday, December 10, 2012

Everyone Else in the AL East is Terrible

I figure most of y’all saw that SG did his first run of team projections based on CAIRO and showed a four-team dead heat in the AL East.  The Sox at 84 wins trailed ever so slightly the Yankees at 85 and the Rays and Jays at 86.  While it’s of course too early, it seems pretty unlikely that anyone’s going to project to run away with the AL East.  The Yankees could still remember that they’re the New York Yankees, but they seem pretty locked in to this unnecessary two-year rebuild.  The ...

Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 10, 2012 at 03:57 PM | 173 comment(s)
  Related News: red sox, sox therapy

Friday, December 07, 2012

Let’s Look at Josh Hamilton and Three Years

So the big rumor is that Seattle and others are trying to get Josh Hamilton to sign for three years. And the big reaction has been, “If anyone signs him for that, it should be my team!” That presents a couple of issues. First, even if Hamilton signs for three years, only one team is going to get him, and everyone else is going to be mad at their team. Second, what would constitute a good three-year deal?

The point of a three-year deal is that you’re getting the best years, and if the player ...

Darren Posted: December 07, 2012 at 09:31 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Related News: red sox

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

All-Around Players: Still Undervalued

The most recent Sox free agent news on the twitters is that the Sox are the favorites to sign Shane Victorino.  Robothal reports they’ve offered 3/38, pretty much identical to the Napoli contract.  The 2012 free agent market featured a bunch of players who produce value at the plate, on the bases, and in the field, without being particularly elite in any aspect of the game.  Victorino remains unsigned, while Upton and Pagan signed for 5/75 and 4/40, both less than I was expecting. 

...
Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 04, 2012 at 04:33 PM | 38 comment(s)
  Related News: red sox, sox therapy

Friday, November 23, 2012

Sign Mike Napoli (to a reasonable contract)

It’s been twitter-reported by Jim Bowden that the Sox are in on Mike Napoli but he wants a fourth guaranteed year before he’ll sign.  I assume Napoli is looking for a contract in the range of $10-15M per season.  I’m not so much sold on that fourth guaranteed year, as Napoli is a bad body hitter with old player skills.  But I’m going to get to the part where I contradict myself later.  I begin with the case for Mike Napoli.

First, he’s one heck of a hitter.  Napoli has hit ...

Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 23, 2012 at 02:07 PM | 59 comment(s)
  Related News: mike napoli, red sox, sox therapy, tangotiger

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Full Count » For John Farrell and Juan Nieves, a working relationship 25 years in the making

Sounds like a perfect fit for the Red Sox.

That track record and the level of comfort between him and Farrell convinced the Sox that Nieves was the top choice among the four finalists (Rick Peterson, Randy St. Claire, Steve Foster and Nieves).

“We felt like we had four strong candidates that came in, each with their own talents and abilities, but we felt like Juan’s match to the staff that we currently have in place was a very good one,” said Farrell. “There’s a number of pitchers who ...

jimfurtado Posted: November 08, 2012 at 08:13 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Related News: red sox, sox therapy

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Keury De La Cruz And Shiny New Toys | FanGraphs Baseball

A nice write-up on Keury De La Cruz.

Entering the 2012 season, Red Sox prospect Keury De La Cruz was a relative unknown after two years of modest production in short season baseball. At 20, De La Cruz burst onto the prospect scene by posting a .308/.352/.536 line in the South Atlantic League before earning a late season promotion. Is De La Cruz a legitimate prospect? Sure, but the amount of hype he has received due to coming out of nowhere is a phenomenon repeated every winter. The names change, ...

jimfurtado Posted: November 04, 2012 at 09:03 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Related News: red sox, sox therapy

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Three Outfielders

Josh Hamilton is pretty widely considered the lone star outfielder available this offseason. Even fans and pundits concerned about giving him a six-year deal seem pretty convinced that on a shorter deal, he’s the cream of the crop. However, the advanced stats have refused to go along with this narrative. In fact, there are two other outfielders, both almost exactly the same age as Hamilton, who will be available on much cheaper deals: Angel Pagan and Shane Victorino.

Here’s the big picture, ...

Darren Posted: November 03, 2012 at 01:31 PM | 73 comment(s)
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Thursday, November 01, 2012

Everyone is an injury risk

Darren’s last post made me reflective.  I’ve definitely been in a sort of instinctive cringing position evaluating possible Red Sox free agent and trade targets.  Everything has gone wrong for the Red Sox recently with their major league acquisitions.  It’s not crazy that I’d react that way.  But there is a point at which it gets irrational, at which it detracts from analysis rather than adding a useful anti-fanboy factor.

I think this is particularly important with regard to ...

Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 01, 2012 at 09:17 AM | 36 comment(s)
  Related News: red sox, sox therapy

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Only Thing We Have to Fear Is… Everything

Over the last two seasons, the Red Sox have played some pretty brutal baseball. It was torture to watch them choke away 2011, and 2012 was so bad that it made it hard to even care. But even worse than just having to endure these two crudsuck seasons, the Red Sox failures have instilled a lasting fear in their fans: everything that they do, every decision that they make, will be wrong. And not just a little wrong, not ‘dealing for emerging star Coco Crisp only to find out that he’s actually ...

Darren Posted: October 25, 2012 at 08:30 PM | 17 comment(s)
  Related News: crazy clown town, red sox

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Meet the New Boss

The Red Sox have reportedly completed a trade for John Farrell to manage the club next year, and most likely into the future.  Expectations for 2013 are relatively low, and the Sox have committed talent to acquiring Farrell, so it seems likely this is our manager for a few years.  Farrell, of course, was the Red Sox pitching coach from 2007-2010 before Toronto hired him to manage their club.  I wanted to take a quick look at Farrell’s managerial stats from Toronto, to see what sort of ...

Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: October 21, 2012 at 10:18 AM | 41 comment(s)
  Related News: red sox, sox therapy

Thursday, October 18, 2012

2013 Payroll and Roster: Money for Something

The offseason has already begun for the Red Sox with managerial interviews scheduled.  I have no opinion on these interview, as it seems like the Red Sox are mostly interviewing the traditional class of “yeah, he’s probably a guy who’ll get a managerial job” plus some former Sox coaches.  This is an upgrade over the ridiculousness of the Valentine search, and pretty much anyone with coaching experience above the Babe Ruth level would be an upgrade over Valentine in the dugout.  But ...

Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: October 18, 2012 at 09:53 AM | 85 comment(s)
  Related News: red sox, sox therapy

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Manager Decision - Looking Ahead

What we have known for months became official today as the Sox fired Bobby Valentine.  Of course now the Sox have to set to the business of hiring a new guy.  The John Henry ownership team has engaged in two prolonged manager searches in their tenure (Little was a rush job so I don’t include him).  The first time they hit a home run with Terry Francona and last winter they lined into a triple play with Bobby Valentine.  Presumably neither of those outcomes is likely this time with the hope ...

Jose is an Absurd Sultan Posted: October 04, 2012 at 01:27 PM | 48 comment(s)
  Related News: managers, red sox, sox therapy

Surveying the Wreckage One Last Time: Did September Happen?

The season ended in proper fashion over the last six days.  The Red Sox were soundly beaten by the Orioles and Yankees, getting blown out early and coughing up late leads when they managed to start a game well.  Daisuke Matsuzaka ended a terribly disappointing Sox career on a fitting note.  Second-tier hopeful prospects like Lavarnway and Iglesias looked overmatched.  Bench players Nava and Ciriaco and Loney played like future bench players.  I watched the games, and I mostly regret the choice. ...Read More...

Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: October 04, 2012 at 11:27 AM | 37 comment(s)
  Related News: red sox, sox therapy

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Minor League Review - The Pitchers

The Sox should be pretty pleased with the performance of their minor league pitchers.  While the veterans at the MLB level had rough years it was an encouraging year for a few prospects and The Trade added a little more depth.  At the big league level the final numbers were not great but Felix Doubront gave the club cause for optimism. 

What I see here is a farm system that has some guys who can either be contributors down the road or pieces if the Sox elect to go for a big trade.  This gives ...

Jose is an Absurd Sultan Posted: September 22, 2012 at 12:35 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Related News: minor leagues, red sox, sox therapy

Friday, September 14, 2012

Minor League Review - The Hitters

With the minor league seasons over it seems like a reasonable time for a look at the state of the system.  I’m going with the hitters for now and I’ll get to the pitchers later in the week.  I figured a position by position look probably makes the most sense.  Any reference to a league (e.g. AAA, AA, etc…) is where the player spent the majority of his season unless otherwise noted.

1st Base
Notables – Mauro Gomez (AAA), Travis Shaw (A/AA)

Not an especially strong position for the Sox ...

Jose is an Absurd Sultan Posted: September 14, 2012 at 10:52 PM | 82 comment(s)
  Related News: minor leagues, red sox, sox therapy

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Valentine’s Day Is Over: It Seems Clear Bobby V Will Not Be Back

After reading this in the Globe, it’s hard to imagine that Valentine will be back with the Sox.

Werner’s answer was perhaps telling about what ownership is thinking.

“I don’t really want to get into that today,” he said. “I don’t want to talk too much about him. But he’s had a challenging year. I think, as we’ve said before, he’s doing a good job.”

Will Valentine return in 2013?

“I don’t really want to go there,” Werner said. “I think we all thought we’d ...

Darren Posted: September 02, 2012 at 12:32 PM | 123 comment(s)
  Related News: red sox

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Minor League Update - The ex-Dodgers

We don’t need another thread on this trade but…the heck with it.  Plus, if it annoys TVErik a bit, that’s kind of fun (oh we kid because we love). With all the attention on the players we traded and the money gained I think some focus on the players we are getting back is warranted.  I ignored Loney because I think it’s a safe assumption that he’s going to have a Red Sox career about as long as Carlos Pena’s.

Rubby de la Rosa – So the first thing I learned is that it’s pronounced ...

Jose is an Absurd Sultan Posted: August 25, 2012 at 02:43 PM | 42 comment(s)
  Related News: minor leagues, red sox, sox therapy

Friday, August 24, 2012

Tossing C4 in the Wreckage: Boom

There are reasonably sourced reports that the Red Sox are trying to give away all of their players to the Los Angeles Dodgers.  The Dodgers apparently placed a waiver claims on Adrian Gonzalez (reasonable) and on Josh Beckett (crazy).  Reportedly the Sox are trying to work out a trade in which the Dodgers also take on Carl Crawford.  This is bugnuts insane, but also totally fascinating.

As with all trade rumors, you can’t evaluate this based only on the players moving from one team to the ...

Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 24, 2012 at 07:10 PM | 331 comment(s)
  Related News: red sox, sox therapy

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Surveying the Wreckage II: Underperformance of Stars

When we discuss the stumbling embarrassment that is the 2012 Red Sox, we often start talking about Bobby V, about the dumb trades by the front office, the unprofessionalism of the coaches, the incompetence of the training staff, the Pythagorean record, and so on.  And then someone pipes up and says, hey, if Josh Beckett and Jon Lester had ERAs around 3.50, the Sox would be in contention.  And they’re mostly right, it’s certainly a good point.  My question in this post is, first, how much ...

Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 23, 2012 at 09:13 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Related News: red sox, sox therapy

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Surveying the Wreckage I: Introductory Thoughts, Injuries

The Red Sox escaped the Orioles series without a sweep, but also without a meaningful chance at making the playoffs.  After starting off the decade with two seasons that ranged from boring to painful, the Red Sox have topped (bottomed?) themselves with a truly dire 2012.  I am generally the sort of person who responds to bad sports outcomes by going and doing something else, but in this case, I think the crapulence of 2010-2012 is an interesting intellectual problem.  These clubs were ...

Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 18, 2012 at 01:19 PM | 49 comment(s)
  Related News: red sox, sox therapy

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Now What?

I imagine for a lot of us the interesting portion of the 2012 Boston Red Sox season came to a screeching halt right about the time an Esmil Rogers fastball smashed into the wrist of Will Middlebrooks.  While it feels like the good news is gone there is still quite a bit of importance to come.

The fact is that the 2013 Red Sox are heavily represented on the 2012 club and that club should be expected to compete.  With that in mind a few things I think are important to pay attention to the next ...

Jose is an Absurd Sultan Posted: August 12, 2012 at 07:06 PM | 61 comment(s)
  Related News: red sox, sox therapy

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

The Long Nothing

The Red Sox currently stand five games out of the second wild card slot.  Previous to today’s game, BP gave the Sox an 11% chance at making the playoffs.  This number is slightly misleading, though, because most of that 11% chance is comprised of the 10% chance the Sox have of making the wild-card play-in game.  I don’t think most fans would consider a one-and-done in the play-in game to be a particularly worthy goal.  So if you give the Sox a roughly 50% chance at winning the play-in game, ...

Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 08, 2012 at 06:51 PM | 127 comment(s)
  Related News: red sox, sox therapy

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Minor League Update

The trade deadline cameth and wenteth and while the Sox were generally (and prudently) inactive we can now rest assured that the guys on the farm are going to be there the rest of the year.

The impetus for the Sox’ moves seem to have been freeing up some room on the 40 man roster.  With that in mind I spent a bit of time at looking at players who would need to be protected this coming winter.  Among their top 40 prospects the Sox feature three players who will need to be ...

Jose is an Absurd Sultan Posted: August 02, 2012 at 09:43 PM | 40 comment(s)
  Related News: minor leagues, red sox, sox therapy

Monday, July 30, 2012

Trade Deadline Precriminations

After blogging the Sox for a few years, I’ve noticed a few flaws in my analysis that I’d like to fix.  The biggest problem is that I have a tendency to like Red Sox moves after the fact that I would not have supported or advocated for before the fact.  My partial embrace of the Crawford contract after saying he wasn’t worth more than $90M is tops on the list, my “eh” reception of the Reddick trade is second.  I’m pretty sure I’d have liked the Lackey contract and been entirely ...

Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 30, 2012 at 09:56 AM | 146 comment(s)
  Related News: red sox, sox therapy

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Jon Lester: Why Isn’t He Good?

For the last few years, Jon Lester has been a consistently good but lightly frustrating ace, a pitcher with the stuff to truly contend for Cy Youngs who ended up merely winning 15 games with a 3.30 ERA in a hitters’ park.  Last summer, he failed to pick up the Red Sox down the stretch when the rest of the rotation dissolved into a glistening cone of jelly with a 6.5 FIP.  He pitched well enough to win in Game 162, but two runs in six innings was his first quality start in three weeks and not ...

Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 24, 2012 at 01:51 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Related News: red sox, sox therapy

Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Selling Deadline

I have always felt that the labels of “buyer” and “seller” used at the trade deadline are too simplistic.  Every team should approach trades as “buyers” with the understanding of what they are buying for.

I do not think “blow it up” is a wise mantra as this team should expect to compete in 2013 (if not still this year despite the way it feels today).  For that reason the goal should not be a simplistic “unload veterans” but to begin the work of constructing the best 2013 roster ...

Jose is an Absurd Sultan Posted: July 22, 2012 at 07:03 PM | 106 comment(s)
  Related News: red sox, sox therapy

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Personal is the Pythagorean

I’ve been arguing all over the damn place about Pythagoras.  The Red Sox expected record by runs scored and runs allowed is 47-39, which puts them in the top tier of ballclubs in the American League.  It is generally accepted that estimates of team quality based on component numbers such as RS/RA and runs created statistics are better predictors of team quality than raw wins alone.  (See eg, Clay Davenport, “Playoff Odds Report, Redux”)

So, we shouldn’t evaluate the Red Sox as a .500 ...

Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 10, 2012 at 06:33 PM | 35 comment(s)
  Related News: red sox, sox therapy

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