Tuesday, April 05, 2005


Man, for all the Opening Day losses, we usually win Game 2. I think the last time we went 0-2 was in 1996. So that loss sort of hurt. Sort of. Upsides:

- The Sox are clearly in Mariano's head. That's his 3rd blown save in a row against the Sox, his 5th in the last year. Bear in mind that's out of only eight blown saves total (including the postseason). We may be getting to the point where the Sox actually like to see him coming out for the 9th of a close game.

- Nice to know this team still knows how to come back late in the game. And it's not like we can feel too bad about Foulke's blown save. I mean, better he gives up the losing run now than in Game 4 of the 2004 ALCS. Or in Game 5 of the 2004 ALCS. Or in Game 6 of the 2004 ALCS. Or in Games 1-4 of the 2004 World Series.

- Clement actually looked all right. Lots of baserunners, but only 3 of them made it home. And had Renteria not muffed that DP ball, that number might've been zero. Plus, I said "muffed".

- Bullpen was not as shaky this game. Three baserunners in 3 2/3 innings; unfortunately one of those was Jeter at the end.

The big negative so far:

I was wary about the signing of Renteria -- why not sign OCab for 2 more years as Hanley develops? -- and nothing we've seen so far has made me feel any better about it. He's gone 0-8 with 2K's, stranded a bunch of runners, and committed a couple of errors, one of which was extremely costly. I can only assume things'll get better, but right now it hurts to watch him, both at the plate and in the field.


  1. Agreed on all counts.

    we do seem to have something on Rivera. although this year it may be physical. Didn't see the game, but will watch the ninth on TIVO. Did he have an effective cutter?

    Actually I have to disagree a bit on the criticism of renteria. Sure he is 0-2005, but lets cut him some slack. Well actually I would 100% agree with your statement if it had been a possibility. But there was no way OC was going to sign for two years. He ended up signing for 4 years. Hell, even David Eckstein signed for 3 years and he had been RELEASED the week before.

    I think they will move Hanley to second or CF.

  2. Good point -- of course OC would want a long-term contract. But why then not just give it to him and save $10M? Renteria's definitely an upgrade, and will look better eventually, but is he a $10M upgrade?

    Wasn't watching super-closely, but it seemed to be vintage Rivera -- many of his pitches completely froze the batter; others the batter swung right through without even coming close. Neither Tek's HR or Damon's near miss were meatballs.

  3. Not sure if that is good or bad that his stuff looked the same. Good in the sense that we continue to hit him hard. Bad in the sense that if his stuff is not as good, then everyone will be able to hit him.

    WRT OC, He ended up signing for $8 million, so then the question is Renteria worth an extra $2MM. Actually compared to Nomar, who made $11.5 lat year, it is a $2 MM savings. At $2MM on a $120+ payroll, I'm not sure I'm that concerned.

    I would guess that the Sox would have considered a Vizquel or Larkin one year deal (or one year deal w/ option) while they waited for Hanley, but that went out the deal when Vizquel signed for three years and $12 MM. The Sox probably saw that signing and crapped themsleves. In the long run I probably would have like a stop gap for now, Hanley L/T at SS and then have the money to spend on an OF bat and/or 1B/3B next year.

  4. I take it back. I just saw the replay of Tek's homer, and that pitch was one of the straightest I've ever seen Rivera throw. (If you know what I mean.)

  5. I think in the big picture I like that scenario as much, if not more, that simply stating that the Sox have his number.

    If everybody pounds Rivera it will make for a fun summer. Speaking of NY teams needing a closer. How long will it be before pedro lashes out at the media in NY if the bullpen continues to cost him victories.

    Earl, what were the NY papers saying today? I'm sure they were trying to Goad him into saying bad things.

    So will both NY teams be looking for closers by June?

  6. I just watched the ninth.

    I think Rivera looked okay, but not as unhittable as he has in the past. The YES announcers were killing me.

    First they said it will be telling how lefties hit off MO, b/c he is always so tough on them. Okay, second batter HR. Very quiet after that.

    Then they went on to say that the reason the Sox are able to get to Rivera is that they see him so much. That the Sox lefties were "cheating" on the cutter by looking for it inside. Of course since the Sox are so familiar. As if no one else in baseball know he will bust lefties inside with cutters.

    I think today he had a few pitches that were flat. YES did not have a radar readout on the screen. I would have like to see if he was in the mid 90s or not. I did think that his cutter lacked the late movement that it normally does, but that could have been my bias in knowing he was going to give up his 3rd straight save opportunity.

  7. Yeah, the YES announcers are painful. Still, the fact that the Sox are getting to hm regularly now does suggest though that familiarity is the key with this guy. He has one great pitch -- most AL hitters see that pitch, oh, 3 times a season, without any chance to adjust. But the average Sox player sees 10-20 Rivera pitches a season, I'd guess. Plenty of time to adjust. (And man, it sure looks like Mueller's figured him out.)

    Of course, against just the Sox Rivera used to be super-dominant, 2001 and before let's say. So maybe he's truly getting worse. Then again, the unbalanced schedule was introduced about that time...