Thursday, April 27, 2006

Balls...

Getting past Bard that is...10 in 5 games. He is on pace for 60, and while he may not get that many (as he has to get better at this, right?), he will definitely, if given the chance, break the current record of 36.

And Wake knows it...

Which is why it is time for a change. Now, Corky can't hit, but he can get hit...115 times so far, in a short career. And he can catch a knuckleball.

Wake's confidence is way down. You can see it. He is frustrated. You can hear it in his interviews. He defends Bard, but you know that inside it is bothering him. A LOT!

Bard reaches for all these pitches. I have yet to see him try to block pitches in the dirt. I can live with a guy who throws himself around back there, but Bard isn't even following catching 101. Use the body to block as much as you can.

I am not saying that it is easy to catch Wakefield. No way. However, this is the regular season and the experiment must stop. Both Huckaby and Corky can catch the knuckler, and Wake needs someone who can do that. The Sox should make a move.

Secondly...
Our depth in the OF isn't as deep as we thought...But, if we are going to play Wily Mo, then let's not play Mohr on the same night. Let Nixon play against lefties. Despite his splits, the guy is a better alternative than both Mo and Mohr playing. Let Mo play CF (apparently he has some wheels, so let's see them). Nixon and Manny will just have to back up a few plays, that's all.

Does Francona just throw up his hands in defeat whenever we face a lefty? That lineup last night was silly. If your catcher can't hit, don't put an equally bad hitter in CF. That's Gonzalez (why can't he hit anymore?), Mohr, and Bard. Terrible.

By the way, isn't it starting to feel like Sox teams of old? Where when you have your ace on the mound you know you are going to win, but any other day it is a crap shoot?

They have some things they can do to remedy some of these. They are wasting good outings by Wake with a ton of passed balls and no hitting. Here's a news flash...IF YOU ARE PLAYING THE SOX AND WAKEFIELD IS PITCHING...RUN A LOT (THE CATCHER CAN'T CATCH...YOU WON'T EVEN HAVE TO SLIDE..OR EVEN RUN THAT HARD)...ALSO, START A LEFTY...YOU ARE GUARANTEED A SOFT LINEUP...

No hitting from a B lineup and the bad defense behind the plate leading to a lot of free bases= loss...

I know the Sox are in first. I am not in a panic. Just needed a Thursday rant is all.

19 comments:

  1. Trot against lefties is a better solution than any other, as he makes up for his hitting against lefties with his original "go get 'em" brand of getting to the ball, AND CATCHING IT! Wily Mo, can you hear me?

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  2. I generally agree, esp. with the part about Wakefield, except for one thing. I've said this before, and I'll keep saying it: Wily Mo Pena is not the problem. He provided the Sox with their only offense last night. His numbers aren't great right now - but they're hardly bad - and are excellent for a 7-9 hitter. And this is without getting regular playing time - which might be the reason he never met his potential in Cincy.

    For the brief period that he was playing everyday, 5 games Apr 12-16, he went 5-for-17 (.294), drawing 2 walks, for an OPS of .897.

    Trot has a lifetime OPS of .638 vs. lefties. That is awful (Pokey Reese: .657). And his ability to hit LHP hasn't changed with time - last year it was .639. Maybe an upgrade over Mohr, but not over Pena (lifetime OPS vs. lefties .861).

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  3. I didn't say anywhere that Wily Mo is the problem. But he is a fourth outfielder, right now, at best. What I was suggesting was have Wily Mo play CF (instead of Harris or Mohr) and have Trot play RF.

    He did play 110 games and 99 games for Cincy. And his numbers are about what they are now. I think he'll get better, but we can't have lineups with a guy "getting better", Mohr, Gonzalez, and Bard, and expect to win.

    Also, in a limited sample (10 ABs) this year against lefties...Trot is hitting .300 with a HR and a walk.

    Wily Mo, strangely enough, is hitting .158 against lefties (19 ABs with 3 BBs and 11 Ks) and .457 against righties (12 ABs). So, the argument CAN be made that they should both be playing against right-handers...

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  4. Wily Mo Pena as a CF?! Are you nuts? Have you seen his defense? I have to agree with Earl, let's keep the platoon a little longer. The WORSE thing to do is to second-guess ourselves right now. If we're wrong so what, we have a mediocre to bad bottom of the line up guy. If we second-guess ourselves we'll have nothing.

    As for Bard, who's Corky? At this point, I'd love to have Millar back on the team. I wonder if he could catch Wake any better!

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  5. The Panic Button4/27/2006 11:50 AM

    Stop hitting me.

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  6. Actually IBID, I like the thought of Wily Mo in center. Back in Cincy that was his primary position, and he was apparently quite good in it.

    I don't think his defense is as atrocious as everyone makes it out to be. That missed HR was truly horrible, but everyone does it (Trot's in 2005 was arguably much worse, as it probably wasn't a HR until it bounced off his glove).

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  7. I am more concerned about the lack of/inconsistent offense than I am about who's catching Wake.

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  8. ...Funny thing is, as of right now, Bard's numbers are a bit better than Varitek's...

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  9. I am more concerned about the lack of/inconsistent offense than I am about who's catching Wake.

    I am too, but the issue of catching Wake is not unimportant. One more PB by Varitek in the 2004 ALDS and the Sox are not in the WS...

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  10. I didn't say it was unimportant, I just would feel more comfortable with Crisp back in the lineup and Manny, Tek and Loretta hitting more consistently.

    Regarding Wakefield, we all know they won't sit around and do nothing. That's why I am less concerned.

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  11. I had no idea. Wily is wily! Sorry, I couldn't resist.

    I like the "panic button" post - classic. However, I do worry about Wake's confidence.

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  12. Yes, the inconsistent offense is horrible. But...we've talked about that. You can't win with Bard, Mohr, and Gonzalez in the lineup. That is KC type hitters.

    If you look at Wily Mo's scouting reports he was touted as an average fielder with a good arm. Not terrible, as we've seen. I say put him in CF, especially in away parks (Fenway can be tricky).

    As far as Wake...yes, they will do something about it, eventually. I am just referring to the fact that they have two options right now. I say try one of them.

    And for all of those crying over Arroyo's 4-0 start. Get over it. You all know damned well that he wouldn't be 4-0 in the AL East right now.

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  13. And for all of those crying over Arroyo's 4-0 start. Get over it. You all know damned well that he wouldn't be 4-0 in the AL East right now.

    Well said.

    As for catching Wake, can't we just give Bard a larger glove? 10'x12' maybe? It'll need eyeholes, but I'm sure MLB won't mind.

    Actually, this ties into an older idea of mine: The Sumo Wrestler as Hockey Goalie. In the NHL offseason he can catch Wakefield.

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  14. ...and while he'd probably be really easy to run on, he'd be very good at blocking the plate. He could just sit on it. No one would score.

    Man, I need to sell this idea to an MLB club. Or at least write a bestselling book about it. Sumoball!

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  15. The sumo-as-catcher is a fantastic idea. His OBP would be through the roof because he'd be hit by so many pitches. Granted, he'd clog the base path.

    Oh wait, HBP doesn't count towards OBP, or does it?

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  16. "A Sumo With A Big Body, and a Bigger Dream!"

    The movie writes itself.

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  17. And Panic Button...Nice way to chime in...If you actually read stuff, no one is in panic mode. Thanks for wasting our time, though.

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  18. Dude, relax. I am the panic button. I just thought it was funny, seeing as how the Sox are still in first place.

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  19. I do think it needs to be added that in the games Bard's had the most trouble - last night, and the Texas game - Wake was really off. Lot of walks, and a couple of those PB's could just as easily have been WP's. Not to excuse Bard's performance, which hasn't been great, but if Wake can't even control that thing, I can't expect a new catcher to. I'm perfectly happy to let Bard keep working at it until at least mid-season; we get a new backup, and we're back at square 1 anyway. And if the Sox plate more than one run when Wake's pitching, this matters a lot less. Bard makes every play last night, and the Sox still lose.

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