Tuesday, April 18, 2006

The hate continues

People are going batshit crazy over how awful Wily Mo Pena is. Already he's getting booed for doing the exact same things in RF that Nixon does (only without, you know, hurting himself). His stats in his first 9 games:

6-for-23 (.261), 3R, 2 RBI, 9 SO, 1 HR, .346 OBP, .522 SLG, .868 OPS

Terrible. And if you think that's bad, back in 2003 you must have been livid about the first 9 Sox games of another platoon player and slugger, who also contributed nothing defensively:

6-for-31 (.194), 4R, 4 RBI, 5 SO, 0 HR, .324 OBP, .290 SLG, .614 OPS

Truly awful - why was he even kept in the lineup? We should've known right then and there that that bum ("David Ortiz") wasn't going to amount to anything.


  1. As I e-mailed you last night Earl, I have no idea why this guy is such a lightening rod.

    Is it because a certain element of Sox fans need a scapegoat when things go poorly? The Sox are 9-4!!! Like last year, the sox were struggling (even though they were in firs place for about two months), but everyone had to boo Bellhorn. Of course he was also not hitting for any power. Never mind that the two best pitchers were hurt, Bellhorn was who got booed.

    Loretta made a big error right before one of Pena's miscues, but no one got on him.

    Oh and Dustan Mohr has struck out 8 times in his first 14 Sox AB.

    It would be nice for WMP to have 2 big hits tonight against Casey Fossum.

  2. I agree on all counts.

    Tonight's game could be ridiculous. Sox vs. D-Rays, Clement vs. Fossum -- I'm expecting a score of 12-10 with about 15 hit batsmen. And Tavarez will probably do something to get him suspended until June.

  3. It's worth mentioning that back in March I was against the Arroyo-Pena trade. And I still think it could turn out to be a bust. But there's no doubt there's a huge potential upside to the trade. The amount of hate directed towards this guys is ridiculous, and classless, and in the end I'm finding myself defending the trade more than anything.

  4. Randy Johnson gives up 6 runs in 2 IP to the BJ's. Maybe he is hurt...

  5. I will continue the speculation! that the Big Unit is hurt. 6 runs in two innings?

  6. Apparently that last error was from Unit not covering the bag...he must be hurting.

  7. Oh snap!

    I need to be faster with linking of comments.

    Of course the game is not over yet - if the Yanks can get to 9 runs, they should be okay.

    I just hope the Sox only score one more run.

  8. Maybe he can blame Posada.

  9. Actually, the Sox score is good as it is. They win 1 run games, so they're fine.

  10. and with less than 4 runs they are 4-1 as well.

  11. This would be a good time for a Manny HR.

    Oh well, that works also.

    Seriously, why the hell would you pitch to him? I mean, I'm not complaining, but...

  12. Meanwhile, Timlin continues to suck with inherited runners. Tito, can you please stop using Timlin in these situations?

  13. Kevin Youkilis: the new Captain Clutch! Kevin You-clutch-lis! The Greek God of Clutch! Clutch Clutchy Clutchy Clutch-Clutch!

  14. Adam Stern. Wow.

    O Canada...

  15. You know, I love the tight, pulse-racing victories... but I really wouldn't mind a quality drubbing of the Rays tonight. I mean hell, it's Doug Waechter.

  16. Earl, I agree with most of your Pena stuff. The only thing that I disagree with is that you can't compare Pena to Nixon in fielding. Not in the same league. Nixon is a monster Fenway right-fielder. That play the other day was an anomaly, not the norm.

    However, Pena will hit if given the chance. You can already tell from the quality of his at-bats that he must be working on taking pitches and being more selective. He was swinging at everything in his first few plate appearances. Plus, a few of his hits have been to right. That is a huge sign when a guy who can crush will also punch stuff the other way. He could be an Ortiz if he continues to work.

    But, in the field (at least in the outfield) this guy is bad. And maybe not coachably bad. He backpeddles (which they teach you not to do in Little League), and takes awful routes to the ball. His fielding "instincts" are terrible, and I don't know if you can teach someone those skills.

    Again, this is just for the outfield. He might be great at first because he is agile for a big guy and a huge target at which infielders could throw. Again, another plus.

    I said earlier that Pena could have benefited from the minor leagues. So here's a question:

    Could he get an "injury" and then be sent to Pawtucket for a rehab assignment? Wouldn't that get around the option thing?

    We saw the best that Arroyo could do. And, as everyone on this board knows, I thought he was very good. But, Pena could pay huge dividends in a few years. If not, noone will even remember Arroyo in a few. This will be a trade that noone cares about.

  17. No instinct in right field. And that's the stuff you're born with. Trot IS our right fielder, and at the plate? Just go to last night's game for his impact. We are a better team when he plays, HANDS DOWN.

  18. Yes, but I think the point is not "is Trot our right fielder", rather "is Pena a bust, or does he have potential"?

    Pena is hitting .292 with a .414 OBP and a .542 slugging. For someone playing on a big stage for the first time, that ain't bad.

  19. Unless Pena agrees he can not be assigned for rehab. If he does agree, the length of a minor league rehab is limited to 20 days (30 for a pitcher).

    After that he has to come back to Boston or clear waivers.

    So this scenario is not very likely. The Reds would have done it if they thought it would work.

  20. Peter - I'm not going to dispute your comment that we're a better team when Trot plays, but he's been noticably declining defensively for a few years now. He was an excellent defensive RF for a three or 4 year span, but his constant injuries have severely limited his range. He still goes all out for everything, which I do appreciate, but he is at this point a below-average defensive player. Pena to this point has been worse, but fielding - contrary to your 'born with it' comment - is decidedly teachable.

  21. Andrew, I have to disagree with the fielding being teachable.

    Certainly, people have tried to teach this guy fielding. You can be told about better routes to the ball, and you can practice it, but reaction time to a ball coming off the bat, and split second decisions are instinct. Pena does not read balls well off the bat as an outfielder.

    For instance, last night Stern read the ball off the bat well. He also wasn't thinking "Should I dive?" he just did. Similarly, Hunter doesn't think "Jump now" when he goes over walls to steal home runs. He feels when to jump.

    Can you practice? Yes...But one has to think that Pena has been playing baseball all his life. So he has been practicing. It is his instinct to backpeddle. Now, can you break that? Yes...sure. Someone has to hit a million fly balls to him and he can break that habit. But even that doesn't help with initial reaction...Kind of like Jeter's slow first step...

    I say move him to first base as that is where his future lies. He has better feet than Millar, and Kevin didn't kill us over there for the most part. A first baseman with huge power potential (and not the greatest fielder) is fine with me.

  22. Well 1B would be fine, but I'm guessing that the FO sees WMP as the RF for a couple of years after they let Trot walk (or hobble) away after this season.