Sunday, July 31, 2005
- The Red Sox picked up Jose Cruz, Jr., for a couple prospects. He's had a rough season so far, batting just .213, but has still managed a .783 OPS. Plus, his first hit as a Red Sox will be his 1000th, which is sort of cool.
- Today Wade Boggs and Ryne Sandberg are inducted into the HOF, as is Peter Gammons. Good overviews of those three (respectively) here, here, and here. Congrats to all.
- Speaking of the HOF, good NYT article on questionable statistics used in the older HOF plaques, and the more general question of a "baseball record book". This is my favorite part:
- Alan Embree, sans goatee, left the mound of Yankee Stadium yesterday to a chorus of boos. I'd feel bad for him, if he weren't a Yankee. Apparently he signed with NY over the Padres because the Yanks gave him a no-trade contract. Seriously.
A doozy regarding Ruth is developing right now. Trent McCotter, an 18-year-old from Winston-Salem, N.C., was looking through Ruth's 1926 official sheets when he noticed that some late-season games listed him with home runs but no runs batted in.
Apparently the scorer in St. Louis for the final six weeks did not know what an R.B.I. was, and for every player he put either runs scored or some other variant in the ledger.
- My little experiment to get more visitors via web searches is already paying off. Of our last 100 visits, here the web searches that got people here:
Wow. That's sad. What's even sadder is that the two best ones ("shrinking testicles" and "jake and the fatman fox schedule") are from different posts.
- Jon Papelbon starts for the Sox today. Hopefully his debut will be the big story tomorrow. Go Jon! Go Sox.
Saturday, July 30, 2005
A couple trade rumors have popped up: give up Manny and two prospects and get (drum roll please) Aubrey Huff and Mike Cameron, or give up the same two prospects and get...Larry Bigbie (ba dum bum). Neither trade makes any sense to me. In one, the Sox give up a lot to get not too much, and in the other, the Sox give up a little to get almost nothing. I fail to see how a OF with a .688 OPS helps much, particularly since Kapler's being activated soon. But that's just me; ITWT.
[In other news, the Yanks have signed Alan Embree. Not sure how to feel about that.]
[Update, 1:12 pm: scratch that. I now know how I feel about that. I like it. I like it ah-loht.]
Friday, July 29, 2005
In honor of this great new leap in technology, today's Game Preview will not be done by me but rather by Computer-Generated Me. I think he looks and sounds a lot like me; click here to decide for yourself.
Thursday, July 28, 2005
Anyway, I'd rather not dwell on the Pros and Cons of Manny; for some good reading, go to 12eight for Andrew's pro-Manny rant, followed by some amusing comments. Lots of good points also over at Joy of Sox. What a number of anti-Manny people are arguing is that Manny was "wrong to say no to the manager". Maybe he was; but there's something that really bugs me about the whole thing: why the hell did Francona want him to play so badly today? Via JoS, Tito's comments on WEEI:
Manny was going to have a day off in Chicago the other day, we talked him out of it, at the time I said "to me Wednesday would be a better day." And then after last night's game we did go to him and say "Hey look, we're in a little bit of a bind now...Well, sure we are. But what no one seems to be talking about is: Nixon is out for 15 days minimum, possibly up to 6 weeks. Barring an acquisition of a new right fielder, the Sox are going to be in said bind for a long time. I really hope they're not expecting Manny to play every game until then -- his hamstrings won't last through September. So then why the big fuss about this one game? It was Tampa Bay. Their starter was Seth McClung, who went into the game 1-5 with a 7.07 ERA. And the following day (today) was an off day. That was the perfect day for Manny to get a day's rest.
So why was Francona so big on Manny playing this one game? My guess is: he wasn't. I'm not sure what his reason was for going to the media with this non-story, but I'm sure he had one. (That, or he's really stupid and/or petulant.)
Wednesday, July 27, 2005
Man, last night's game (#100 on the season) had everything. To borrow from Buster Onley, it featured the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. I won't divide it up into those three categories since EPSN probably has a trademark on that; but he Worst was, of course, Mat Clement getting slammed in the head by a Carl Carwford line drive. He was down for a looonnggg time, but never lost consciousness, nor his awareness of his surroundings/situation, so it (miraculously) looks like Matt Clemens (ooh, that's painful to type) will be okay. Tort Nixon was also hurt, with a strained olbique, so may be out for a while -- a month, possibly more. Luckily Gape Kaplan will be arriving soon. On to the bulpen: Chad Bradfrod (the guys featured in Moneybal), promptly gave up a grand slam to Audrey Huff, and the game (which the Sox looked like they'd win easily) was suddenly tied at 5. Manny Del Carmen made his debut in a nice 1-2-3 inning. But Jeremy Gonzalez gave up a couple more runs, and the Sox were down by 2, going into the 9th, with closer Danny Baez on the mound. Many Ramirez (whom SI is reporting wants out of Boston) struck out, but Jason Variteck hit (another solo) HR, bringing it to within 1. Millar (how do you misspell that without naming someone else on the team?) got a single, as did Olrud. Bill Miller, true to form, then hit a double, but Dale Svuem, also true to form, sent Olerud (who's remarkably slow) home, for an easy out. [Seriously, how does Swaim still have a job? Fire him already!]. Curt Shilling came in, and very nearly gave up a game-ending HR, but Jhonny Damon made a nice catch to end the inning, and the Sox had their second consecutive (and second total) extra-inning game. Jonny Damon (who has a wife, Michelle...Michelle Damon...Or maybe it's Michele Damon...I'm not sure, but at this point I might as well also say "naked pictures") then led off the next inning with a HR. Edward Renteria singled, The Big Pappi David Ortiz flew out, and Mannny hit into what looked to be a double play. But both runners were safe, barely, thanks largely to the ump refusing to call the "phantom tag" at second and a bad throw by Cantu. I was really surprised not to see Lou Pinella come out and argue that Rentera was out, but he didn't. Good thing he was called safe, because he scored on a Vartiek double which gave the Sox an insurance run. They turned out to need it, as Schiling gave up a run in the bottom of the 10th. Sox win, 10-9.
It's hard to know what to make of that game. It was a sweet victory, certainly, and may have been the Turnaround we've been looking for. But with two key players hurt, it may instead have been a Pyrhic victory.
Also, Aaron Rowland and Brett Boone and Scott Posednik and Mark Texeira and Shawn Figgins. (Who am I missing?)
Tuesday, July 26, 2005
That may be the most frightening thing Steven King has ever written.
Monday, July 25, 2005
2) Jason Giambi slugged .315 in May. In July, he's slugging 1.017, and is a big part of the Yanks' recent surge. The fawning articles have begun, everyone's talking about his amazing comeback, in which he tackled adversity head-on and worked hard to return to baseball. To this, I say: come on, people. Not six months ago we (fans and media) were kicking ourselves for blissfully ignoring something which was so painfully obvious. Have we forgotten already? Does anyone actually think steroids magically disappeared with this new steroid policy?
3) ESPN.com's transformation to an all-fee site is nearly complete. Its front page is pockmarked with those little orange "in" icons (23 at last count). I might pay the fee, if it weren't for that horrible magazine that comes with it. [Anyone want to go in with me? You can have the mag.]
4) As noted by Andrew, yesterday was the one-year anniversary of the famous A-Rod smackdown. This is widely viewed as the Moment the Season Turned Around, and while I somehow missed that game, it's apparently enough of a Big Event I remember where I was when I heard about the fight and the walkoff HR. However, what's sort of silly is that really wasn't much of a turnaround. Yes, it was a great come-from-behind victory, and the Sox won that series (much nicer than the previous Yankees sweep), and that inning may have planted the seeds for Mariano's troubles in Game 4 of the ALCS. But after the Yanks left town, the Sox went 10-8 their next 18 games (and six of those were against Tampa Bay). The turnaround really happened more than 3 weeks later, on August 16, when the Sox embarked on a ridiculous 20-2 run, including an 8-and-1 thrashing of the three elite teams of AL West, who until then were all fighting for a Wild Card spot. Not like it matters when it happened, of course, and the mouthful-of-catcher's-mitt picture (why does that sound naughty?) remains easily the best photo of the regular season -- it's just funny that something we all Know To Be True probably isn't.
5) The Oakland A's are now in a tie for first in the Wild Card. That is insane -- they were 15 below .500 on May 29. I still say they win the division.
Sunday, July 24, 2005
Their vaunted Small Ball hasn't helped them much, as 11 of their 13 runs this series were "by way of the long ball". Of those two non-long-ball (short ball?) runs, one was by back-to-back doubles, so 12 of 13 runs were from slugging. Admittedly, the 13th run was from a Posednik steal (combined with a Mirabelli error); but by then the White Sox were up by 7. Meanwhile, in yesterday's game, they got caught stealing twice -- outs they really couldn't afford to give up. [Watch them score 17 off small ball tactics today.]
The White Sox are a ridiculous 31-7 against AL Central teams. Against the AL East and West, they are a mediocre 20-20; and that includes 6 against the D-Rays. Their pitching even doesn't look so good against those teams -- ERA of 4.40. (Interestingly, against the AL East and West, Minnesota is 22-15, with a 3.13 ERA.) I've left out Interleague, because that's a joke: the AL Central got to play the Worst Division in Baseball, the NL West -- in which the division-leading San Diego Padres are two games above .500.
Which is all well and good -- this is a natural consequence of the unbalanced schedule, and interleague. It's just all the hype about it that I can't stand. Ozzie Guillen seems like a bona fide jerk (X, I saw some interviews and totally agree)...the media is fawning over them this year...and then the TV announcers. Oh man. They make the YES men seem like impartial, insightful baseball people. Truly painful to listen to. "He gone!" -- ugh.
So like I said a few days ago, I'd still be happy to leave an away series against the Team With the Best Record in Baseball with a 2-2 split. But man, a win today would be awfully nice. Contreras was astoundingly awful against the Red Sox when he was with the Yankees...but in his one start against them as a White Soxck, gave up "only" 4 runs in 6 innings, which is amazingly low given his 13.50 career ERA against Boston. Apparently he just can't pitch Big Games. Hopefully, with the series split on the line, and with what the media will say if Chicago drops 3 of 4, he'll see this as a Big Game...
Friday, July 22, 2005
The reason I bring this all up now is because of this Washington Post article. I don't even know where to begin. You see, apparently "old-timer" National fans are starting to grouse about all the "bandwagoners". Seriously.
When the bandwagoners first showed up -- yapping on their cell phones, getting up for snacks during crucial at-bats and leaving two innings early to beat the traffic-- the old-timers among Washington Nationals fans tried to accept them.Okay, the reporter's definitely writing this tongue-in-cheek, so it's a joke, right? "Die-hard Nats fans" don't really feel that way, right? Um, no, apparently they do...
"For those of us who have been there since the beginning, we know that sort of magical feeling -- how much energy the team draws from the crowd," said Colin Mills, president of the Nationals fan club.
After the invasion of newcomers, he said, "That magic just wasn't there in the same way."
And according to to those who've been around since the beginning, living and dying with the Nats for almost four whole months, these newcomers -- these Johnny-come-really-really-latelys -- sound terrible.
Dave Lanham, a regular at Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium, recalled a game when two men sitting near him spent inning after inning discussing a legal case. They couldn't keep track of what was happening on the field. One man asked, " 'How did Carroll get on base?' " said Lanham, referring to Nationals infielder Jamey Carroll. "I'm like, 'He walked!' " Lanham said.Okay, first off, this Lanham guy is really bad at telling stories. Secondly, while talking law at a baseball game is not cool, he's pissed because they missed one play? What a bunch of boorish ingrates. Man, I used to consider myself a reasonably good, informed baseball fan, but apparently I'm actually a bandwagoner, because I've occasionally missed a play or two, while talking, or buying beer or food, or going to the bathroom. Not to mention those times I've showed up to the park so drunk that I forgot...um, never mind.
Anyway, my point is...no wait, I don't have a point. Turning back to the article, it then describes the travails of Hugh B. Kaufman, an administrator with the Environmental Protection Agency, who has seen his share of joy and heartache following the Nats through thick and thin. He could "feel bad vibes in the air at Monday's game against the Colorado Rockies". And then
The team lost that game, 5-4, after third baseman Vinny Castilla committed an error in the ninth inning. That did it. The next morning, Kaufman aired his concerns on fan message boards, asking others whether they had seen a " 'Bad' Element Starting to Come to RFK Nats Games?"
Others on the Internet boards agreed that they had felt something strange; The crowd was "flat," "lame," "out of sync."
As you all know, I'm a stud, so I know nothing about being "flat, lame, and out of sync", but it's quite clear to me that the crowd being all those things is what caused Castilla's error. Kaufman felt he had to do something about it. And so, naturally,
"I have to find a rubber chicken," he told himself.That "boom" sound you just heard was my head exploding. As I now have no head, I am unable to comment on this article further. Thanks for reading.
Before Tuesday's game, he beheaded the chicken in a brief ceremony, then presented the decapitated bird to a pair of nearby Nationals players.
Thursday, July 21, 2005
No wait, yes I am: the White Sox are a below-average offensive team. In the AL they are 10th in runs [correction: they're 6th in the AL, 10th in MLB], last in hits, 13th in BA, 11th in OBP, 8th in SLG and OPS. Okay, so they're 4th in HR (Konerko, Dye, Everett, Thomas), but that in itself is weird given their mediocre slugging (they're last in 2B and 3B). And of course they steal, a lot. They've stolen 102 bases, but have been caught 38 times, for a pedestrian 73% average; compare to the speedy Red Sox who are successful 86% of the time. So I imagine we'll see a bunch of steals the next four games. But the bigger issue is their pitching -- Buerhle, Garland, and the two ex-Yankees. Should be an interesting series. I'd be quite happy if the Red Sox took 2 of 4.
Wednesday, July 20, 2005
2) The more I think about it, the happier I am with getting Graf-and-niño. Sox gave up basically nothing, and now have more than just a stopgap solution to the Bellhorn injury.
3) Now all Theo needs to do is convince Terry Ryan he really wants Kevin Millar. It's possible -- he took on Bret Boone, who is far worse this season. If he doesn't bite, a little inaudible muttering should do the trick: "How about J.C. Romero for Mlllrrrr?"
This month’s entry – Three Days in August by Buzz Bissinger.
Three days in August is basically the Tony Larussa story as told by Bissinger (author of Friday Night Lights). The “angle” taken in this book is that it alleges to examine in great detail a specific three game series from Larussa’s perspective. I say alleges because the book covers a myriad of baseball topics that only marginally relate to the games at hand. In fact, the actual games in the series I barely remember the details. What made the book enjoyable were Larussa’s opinions and views on the various topics.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I consider myself a student of the game and I read quite a few baseball books. Usually I avoid the standard biography, However I agreed to give this one a shot due to the supposed insiders look that would be offered. I think the book came up short in that capacity, but made up for it in many, many ways.
Continued in the comments section.
Tuesday, July 19, 2005
Well, there's no doubt about that. Last night they gave up 10 runs AND WON...Meanwhile, we gave up 3 AND LOST.
One has to think that in the course of a season that we'd be better off, but it doesn't seem to be playing out that way. Maybe the Sox will get hot and run off a string of wins, but I'd like to look at some trends, and then we can all yell at each other about them...
1. Manny being Manny. We were down 3 or 4 runs the other night when Manny hits the blast against Gordon. He drops the bat, stands there and admires it. Last night, he hits a pop-fly down the first base line and NEVER leaves the batter's box. Now, the guy is an offensive monster (he hits a lot, not the he's an offensive person), no doubt about that. But run it out...Too much leeway?
2. Starting pitching. Clement last year was great before the break. He then came apart at the seams. Now, I don't think Tek will let that happen, but the guy hasn't thrown strikes in 3 games. Wade Miller last night looked good. I did notice one thing. He is back to throwing across his body, which, of course, led to his arm falling off. His first two outings as a Red Sox, it looked like they had corrected that problem. I hope this isn't the case. Arroyo's achilles heel has been located. Load the lineup with lefties and wait for him to throw the breaking ball. Bronson should spend every off day throwing about 1,000 change-ups and nothing else. That's the pitch he has to get under his belt to overcome this problem. Who would have thought we'd be looking to Wells as the main guy? Wakefield has been Wakefield. Solid, dependable, and giving up some bombs. That's par for the course with him. That is why he is a number 4. We need another starter. Someone big. Take a shot with Jason Schmidt...
3. Bullpen. Finally, last night, Francona let's Embree pitch in the fitting situation. They needed the big out, and he got it. Then, HE DIDN"T BRING HIM OUT TO START THE NEXT INNING. (insert applause here). Then Bradford, Myers, Timlin, and Schilling...and no runs. The pen pitched very well against the Yankees, as well. If Schilling is going to stay in the pen, then we must look back to issue #2. Starting pitching. It also looks like Hansen is on board.
4. The Bench...Who do we have? Youk is back and that is good news. Mirabelli? Um, Stern? Yikes. That is terrible. Look for Kapler's return soon and the giving back of Stern to Atlanta (?).
I still think that we are in good shape and that we have just hit a rough spot. I think that another starter would be great, but who would the Sox move to the pen? I say Arroyo as a right-handed specialist. Of course, I am also now thinking that Arroyo will be dealt with Shoppach and someone else for a good starter...
I do think that we will still win this division. The Yankees are not going to be able to score 10 runs/game, and they still only have Gordon and Rivera and their bullpen. And I think that the O's pitching will not hold up through these next two months.
Let the discussion begin...
So I was going to post on what terrible, practically unwatchable baseball the Sox have been playing the last week or so, but that would ruin my day. Instead, I noticed that today marks the 6-month anniversary of the GYS Network, founded January 19. Not like that’s a big deal, at all, but it gives us a chance to go back to why we started this. The point wasn’t to be a blog (“because I hate the word ‘blog’”), but rather so the four of us could continue our emailed baseball conversations in a more ordered fashion. Nothing like trying to meet a deadline at work and finding your inbox fill up with 30 messages in which your friends (presumably with more time on their hands than you have that particular day) are debating if Carl Pavano is any good.
Moreover, with all posts archived, we’re stuck with all predictions we’ve made earlier on. Obviously we’ve all made some good ones, and we’ve all been very good about reminding each other of those (some more than others, *cough cough*), but the fun of course is in the ones we got wrong. Looking back on our posts, there are a lot of them. Someone said the Sox would win 100 games – they’d have to go 50-20 to do that now. But here are the best howlers I came across:
“Surprisingly, Womack seems reasonably solid. Maybe 2B won't be the position the Yanks fill in late July.” Yours truly,
“I think this acquisition of Blaine Neal might be bigger than we think.” X, March 25
April 11[Technically, I was right. Womack was replaced at 2B in early May.]
“Better pitcher? RJ. Durability? Schilling.” GrieveRules, January 27
Monday, July 18, 2005
[Update: and that was just the first inning. Sox lose to the mighty D-Rays, will probably be 2nd in the AL East in a couple hours, and Damon's hit streak is over. Also, earlier today I ran a red light with one of those camera-thingies on it, so I think there may be a $350 ticket on its way. All in all, an awesome day.]
Sunday, July 17, 2005
Saturday, July 16, 2005
The guy, to me, deserves to go to the Hall. He's one of four players with 3,000 hits and 500+ HRs. The others? Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Eddie Murray...
All the papers have him going to NY. Ok, the guy was designated for assignment, so, as of now, the Yankees would have to trade for him. Who does the Yankees have that the Marlins want or need? So, with the Sox pen what it is...Do we take a chance?
17-1 (pt. II)
What an ass kicking...Hopefully, we can unload on RJ a little today and really make some heads spin. That would be nice. But, we'll see. One thing is for certain, if we can get to their pen by the 6th, we should be in really good shape for today and tomorrow.
Yes, they have made a heck of a run. But...I still say that they won't (without the acquisition of about three or four QUALITY arms) make the playoffs. Seriously, Kevin Brown is returning, but is that any good for them? Pavano is out a few more weeks (according to some newspapers today), no one is issuing any sort of timetable for Wright, and Wang is now probably out for the rest of the year. Not even landing Clemens could guarantee them anything. And seeing May and Redding last night, one might think that they would have been better off with Quantrill.
One game does not a season make. They need some pen help, too. Schill might have to make a spot start in Wells's spot. At least that game may be against the D-rays...Bradford looked good. I still think that Embree, if used correctly, is serviceable, and Timlin should start innings, not come in with runners on..Hopefully, the knee surgery helps Foulke and he comes back in form...
Thursday, July 14, 2005
Of course, Earl and I posted about how we didn't think that the Yankees were out of it by any means (I still don't think they are all that great, and I think that the Sox are better), but we'll see...
Here are Dan's latest words:
The Red Sox could sweep the Bombers and save face for dopes who predicted Boston would win the AL East in a landslide (save yourself the trouble: the exact phrase was, ''Come late September, this is going to look like Secretariat at the Belmont in 1973.").
Talk about trying to make a joke out of it...This was talked about everywhere...
Wednesday, July 13, 2005
Twins backup catcher Matt LeCroy sure looked tired running from first to third on Jacque Jones's double on Tuesday's loss to the Indians. Minnesota's Chief Resident of Joke-ometry, first-base coach-cum-court-jester Jerry White, observed "He looked like a steam engine, just a-runnnin' out of steam". No word yet on when the train's due to arrive at the station.Or something similarly inane and unfunny. But now, of all ESPN.com's contributors, most are Insider only: Neyer, Gammons, Olney, Crasnick, Phillips, Karabell, Gillette, Morgan, and Kruk. Okay, paying to read what Morgan and Kruk has to say is just laughable, as is the whole concept of Steve Phillips talking about what GM's should do. But not being able to read Gammons and Neyer (and hell, Olney and Crasnick are good at times) -- that sucks. I hate ESPN.
On a related note, click here to vote for "which ESPN broadcasting personality is the most totally loathsome and most deserves to suffer permanent paralysis of the vocal cords."
Tuesday, July 12, 2005
And here we are half way through the 2005 season and the AL dominated interleage this year after a slight advantage last year - and the D-Rays were actually not their normal superhuman selves.
My original th0ught (and Elias confirmed it, statistically) was that the NL got better. The NL All star team has 3 players who changed leagues (Eckstein, Carlos Lee and Pedro) and the AL has 3 players that changed leagues last year, yet two of them were not even among the top ranked players according to Elias (Podsednik and Hillenbrand), with the 3rd being Clement.
Hard to believe of all those names changing leagues only 4 of them are all stars this year. If you had been told to read that list and that only 4 of the players on it would be at the ASG this year, I would have said no freakin way.
But I digress. so Jesse, it looks like your original assumption was correct. and thw whole world seems to agree. Of course now watch the NL pound the AL 15-3.
I was a bit surprised to see him show. Knowing that Bud did not really want Rogers at the game, I am surprised that Rogers did not cut a deal with MLB to reduce his suspension in exchange for bowing out - of course not a public admission that such a deal was made. Maybe Rogers tried. And maybe Bud would not have been tempted. But Rogers could have at least made an offer. Faced with missing 4-5 starts and his team very much in the Wild Card (hell even the division) race, I would have said "I will stay away from the ASG and not be a potential distraction, if you reduce my suspension to 10 or 12 games." Sure MLB then runs the risk of looking like they are caving/condoning that behavior if they agree, but Bud is already on record that he is not happy about seeing the footage, hearing the talk, etc during the game.
Who knows, maybe the discussions occurred and they couldn't agree.
Monday, July 11, 2005
Meanwhile, Rodrigo Lopez, the ex-Tomatero, continues his ownership of the Red Sox, with an ERA of 3.5 (though that's massively inflated by a single shelling, 8ER in 3.1IP). Only this time he did it at home - he typically dominates when he pitches in Fenway, oddly. Anyone know what about his pitching makes him so effective against the Sox (while so average against most everyone else)?
Sunday, July 10, 2005
So obviously he's one of the Twenty-Five. And I'm told he's really, really hot (no link provided, sorry). But not many people have actually discussed how he's doing. First off, he's being put on waivers because of an injury (from the Japan Times; I haven't seen much elsewhere):
Giants release KaplerThe Yomiuri Giants have released Gabe Kapler and applied to have the former Boston Red Sox outfielder put on waivers, officials of the Central League club said Friday.
Last month, Kapler was taken off the roster and was treated for lower back problems that began in May. He asked the club to terminate his contract citing a failure to fully recover and dim prospects of a return to the first team.
Let's assume it's very minor, and was really an easy ticket back to the states. In that case, it's probably worth looking at his statistics in Japan: 111 AB, .153/.217/.261, 5XBH, 3HR, 9BB, 19K, 2SB. Obviously terrible numbers, though (a) 111 AB isn't that many and (b) he was absolutely miserable in Japan so probably was in a bad place mentally. So then, turning to last year, he had 290 AB, and went .272/.311/.390, with 21 XBH, 6 HR, 15 BB/49K. OPS of .701, which is about Mark Bellhorn's so far this year (Kapler's OBP is worse, though his power, of course, is not). Compare that to Payton's .263/.313/.429 (.742 OPS). So it would seem like a step down offensively. However, assuming Manny/Damon/Nixon stay healthy, Kapler would largely be used to face left-handed pitching. And then his 2004 numbers get much better. In 126 AB, he went .317/.333/.500, for an OPS of .833; 14 of his XBH (and 4 of his HR) were against lefties, even though that was fewer than half his at-bats. Pretty great, with all of these numbers better than Payton's this year (to be fair, Payton's career numbers suggest he's having an off year, perhaps a result of the reduced role, and/or anger management issues). Of course, such numbers also speak to how bad Kapler is against righties.
So the question is simply whether Kapler can put the last few months behind him and hit like it's 2004. If he can, he would be a great, inexpensive pickup. And the Sox would have a legitimate 4th OF who is just happy to be there. Which is apparently more than can be said about some of the players in the Sox clubhouse right now.
Saturday, July 09, 2005
Speaking of which, what of the guy before him, Remy's old broadcast partner? I can't remember his name either (King?) but I seem to remember he was pretty good. I think he left after (or during) the 2000 season, to call games for the Minnesota Wild, which was just starting that year. Man, talk about crappy career choices. Since then NESN has become part of standard cable in most of New England, Orsillo is a celebrity, and the Red Sox are World Champions. (How's life over at the NHL?)
Thursday, July 07, 2005
Lots of stuff off the field though. Keith Foulke had surgery, and will be out 4-6 weeks. Payton apparently blew up during the game on Wednesday, and has been DFA'd. Word is he'll be an A soon, thanks to a trade (presumably for bullpen help). Adam Stern was brought up. Vazquez was traded to the Indians for Alex Cora. After his strong start Wednesday, Clement made more comments expressing frustration at not being named to the All-Star team. Millar is apparently miserable platooning with Olerud, though probably won't be traded since no one wants him. Damon spouted off to the Globe the other day, complaining about both the Sox trying to get rid of Millar and moving Schilling to the bullpen, demonstrating a poor understanding of statistics. It looked like Francona confronted him about his comments before the game. Timlin also went off on the Schilling-as-closer idea. Schilling meanwhile pitched the 9th for the Pawsox; apparently looked pretty good but gave up 2 hits, and one ER; 2K's, 13 of 14 pitches were for strikes.
What a day.
[Update: The insanity continues. The Courant has a good article, Joy of Sox a good roundup. Remember when Damon liked to say the Sox could win, because they were all idiots and didn't know anything, and instead just went out and played baseball? What happened -- did he decide he all of a sudden became smart?]
Wednesday, July 06, 2005
"the only way Joe Morgan can lose his job is if he got caught in bed with a dead girl or a live boy."Nice.
But now it's the second half. Foulke is gone for a while, and hopefully when he comes back he'll be either a great setup/mopup man, or better yet, Keith Foulke (2004 edition). I'm not sure we'll ever see Embree pitch for the Sox again (watch him pitch 3 innings tonight). Changes to the bullpen are coming very soon, and so hopefully the second half will be better than the first.
Nice evaluation of the First Half, looking at each player individually, over at Boston Blood Sox.
The First Game of the Rest of the Season was encouraging, with a 7-4 win over the Rangers. Wakefield pitched 8 strong innings; Timlin needed just 6 pitches for the 3-out save (when was the last time we saw something like that?). All 6 pitches were for strikes, and one of the outs was by a nice catch by Damon. Hopefully he's not hurt. All the offense was via the Long Ball, with a 1-run HR by Mueller, a 2-run HR by Ortiz, and a 4-run HR (known to some as a "Grand Slam", after the Denny's breakfast) by Manny. His 20th career GS, putting him just three back of the all-time leader, Lou Gehrig. He watched the ball for a really long time -- Remy thought it was because he didn't think it was going out but I'm not so sure. Grandstanding aside...if it had stayed in the park, but was dropped by Matthews, he would have been held at first. Please, Manny, at least jog!
Tonight is Clement vs. Park. Clement is looking to bounce back from his worst start of the season. A win would be nice...because, you know, wins are better than losses. Also, Sox have dropped the last 2 series against good teams, and let's not make that a 3-series streak.
Vote Posednik 2005.
Tuesday, July 05, 2005
And it conitnues a trend. One that pisses me off. Mantei was hiding an ankle injury for a month according to the paper yesterday. Now I know that these guys love to compete and don't want to admit to weakness, etc, etc. But you really have to wonder where do you draw the line.
And I get even more worried thinking about one Curtis Montague Schilling. Hopefully he/we/they have all learned their lessons on not rushing back/pitching through pain. He almost cost us the ALCS last year, before he heroically saved us in the same series.
You know earlier I had posted that the Bombers may make a run at Bret Boone. What about the Sox? Its not like our second baseman is the second coming of Brian Roberts. Sure we poo-pooed the idea of making a run at Biggio (at least Andrew and I did), but that was when we would have had to give up something. But if Boone clears waivers, we would get him for 1/2 the minimum or about $160K. Seems like that might be worth the chance?
"He'll never turn the ball down. He'll take the ball every day. So I need to step in and say, 'No, you won't. We're going to get you looked at.' And I think he's OK with that. I think he actually appreciated it."I was tempted to quote him a little out of context, to project my (and most of RSN's) feelings:
"He'll take the ball every day. So I need to step in and say, 'No, you won't.'"
Orioles (1 more game)
Meanwhile Sox July (remaining)
MIN 3 (games at Fenway)
If we can add a few games to our lead during this stretch we should do very well in August with 6 games against KC, 6 against Detroit, and 3 TB.
Eight days ago, June 26: Sox had won 12 of their last 13, catapulting them into first place. The CHB announced "The 2005 Red Sox are going to win the AL East", and even went so far as to say "don't worry about jinxing them".
Well, we all know what happened. Since then they have dropped 5 of 7, six of which were at home. Sox remain in 1st, but only because the Orioles have lost 10 of 14; meanwhile the Yanks and of course Blue Jays have both gained a few games in that time. As fun as it is to blame CHB for everything, it's not just him: all of RSN was feeling pretty great then -- pick any Sox blog to the right and check out what was written on June 26-27 (one exception is GrieveRules, who expressed concerns after just the first loss). Barely one week later, it feels like a different team, or a different season. It's obviously not -- it's just 5 losses, 2 of which made glaringly obvious a problem which is now probably about to be fixed -- but it's crazy what a single rough patch can do to your mind.
...of course, it's only baseball. Hope everyone enjoyed the fireworks. Happy 4th!
Sunday, July 03, 2005
A random note about the bullpen. Timlin, without doubt the anchor of the bullpen so far, has inherited 18 runners; most of them (11 to be exact) scored. Most of those who scored were put on base by Embree.
Costas will spout on and on about how Mickey was the greatest player that ever lived, that no statistic can capture his greatness, a true american icon, the symbol of baseball itself. We will hear the word mythology. And hero and tales of them sneaking radios into their classroom or skipping school to catch a Yankee game. we will also hear "tragic hero." Because the Mick had failings also - and those failings helped Costas/Crystal realize that life can be cruel sometimes. Yeah right.
I can't wait until 2010 and when we have the retrospective to Yankee Stadium as they tear it down to make room for the New (New) Yankee Stadium. All the usual crap will come out once again.
Well mark your calendar for July 13....
Today the Sox try to improve their record against the BJ's to 4-7. Bronson Arroyo versus Roy Halladay. Media and blogger types like to call him Doc Halladay. Seriously, does anyone in baseball actually call him "Doc"? Does he like the title/nickname? The Original Doc Holiday actually had a doctorate, having graduated from dental school back in 1872. Despite his reputation as a gunslinger, he practiced dentistry throughout the entirety of his short adulthood, dying of TB in 1887, at the age of 36. One of Holiday's "close friends" was a prostitute by the name of "Big Nose Kate". They had a falling out, when she drunkenly signed an affadavit saying he was guilty of stagecoach robbery; this led to the whole OK Corral thing. Maybe this was all in "Tombstone" and so I am the only person not to know any of it.
Anyway, Roy Halladay's real name is "Harry Leroy Halladay". I like that more than "Doc".
Saturday, July 02, 2005
Strangely, however, yesterday was a work holiday. Since Southern California does not share a border with Canadia, I can only assume the purpose was really to give people a four-day holiday, with U.S.A. Day (U.S.A.) coming up. So I only spent a couple hours at work, to take advantage of Happy Hour(s). The bar we went to did not have a feed of the Sox game, which was good because it would've ruined my nice afternoon.
I have nothing to say about that game. Ugly. Hopefully it was a just a Ted Lilly thing and/or a Canadia Day gift to the Blue Jays, and the Sox aren't going into a funk...like their recent 1-3 record might suggest. Wunderkind Gustavo Chacin vs. Grossermann David Wells tonight.
For more info on Canadia Day, click here.
For more info on Canadia, click here.
For more info on what living in Canadia can do to you, click here.
Friday, July 01, 2005
Now, Jim Everett attacking Jim Rome -- now that's awesome. I can watch that over and over again and it doesn't get old.