Friday, August 25, 2006

Last night

So I made it one good game this season. Last night was brutal, since it was so close the entire time. You just knew the Sox would blow it - and the Angels fans knew it too. In Dino fashion, here are some quick thoughts on the game:
  1. The Pena-Mirabelli play was one of the best putouts from the outfield that I've seen; certainly the best one I've ever seen live.
  2. But besides Mirabelli's defense, he just keeps getting worse at the plate. Josh Bard and Cla Meredith, while playing in the crap division of the crap league, would be really nice right now.
  3. I had a pint of beer for $12. It was awesome.
  4. Alternate reality watch: had Timlin given up a run when he came out for the 8th, everyone would've been howling about how stupid it was to bring him in and calling for Tito's head. But it worked out well. And so no one's mentioning the bullpen management. Because people only think about how much better they are than the manager when the manager is wrong.
  5. Mike Napoli is batting .230, but has an OBP of .370. That's a lot of walks.
  6. The top of the 8th inning featured, as my friend Jason said at the time, "The heart of the order: Ortiz, Youkilis, and Kapler." Ugh.
  7. Papelbon started stretching late in the 5th inning. Does he always start that early?
  8. Preemptive strike.


  1. Speaking of scary headlines:
    Wang doesn't need mound to loom large at home

    If I didn't know it was a baseball story I'd be a little disturbed.

  2. A couple of thoughts:

    Bullpen management skills are like umpires - you only notice them when they are not working correctly.

    Re: Napoli - I guess we can add him to the new stat that Dino invented (i.e, OBP higher than BA by 100+ points or as I called it, walks - although Napoli does not qualify for 3.1+ AB). It is impressive - those are Giambi like %'s and Napoli is no Giambi.

    Head explosions are only in reference to first post of the day.

    Quick question for the Boston contingent - what is the pulse in Boston. I would imagine it is mixed - Ryan says the fans are pissed mostly at Theo for not signing damon, pedro, etc and not making a deal at the deadline. CHB says that Theo is getting a free pass because of 2004. Obviously they both can't be correct. There are probably elements of the fanbase in support of each argument. And talk radio is probably more in the Blame Theo camp. But what is the average fan thinking?

  3. The average fan (from what I can tell) is very angry with a first place team not doing anything to address holes in the pitching staff.

    While they like the idea of "the future", they are wondering about the ticket prices of today to watch a team that isn't attempting to win it all.

    There is also the beginning of a buzz of "these young guys aren't like Cano, Wang, etc..."

    Theo has definitely been taking heat.

    People aren't looking at the record that the Sox must post to have a reasonable shot at the post-season if the Yankees and White Sox go .500 the rest of the way. We're talking a .667 or better. The head-to-head series loom against the White Sox and Yankees, but sweeps are the only way those series mean anything. Yet, fans feel there is hope (because of '04)...

  4. Thats not an answer really, it is a compromise From the sounds of that, they want it both ways. Do something now, but don't deal the kids.

    And some people are acting like the Yanks got Abreu and Lidle for nothing. It was $27 MM and their 2005 number one pick (think Elsbury, but maybe even more upside since he is like 19 or 20).

    But from the sounds of your post, the worm may be turning a bit on Theo? I am surprised by that (as much as CHB has tried). And that I kind of find hard to believe. I mean, if anyone had said to any Sox fan in 2004 - hey you can win the Series this year, but then will be _______ (fill in the blank, from awful to middling, whatever), would you be happy and not complain. Every single Sox fan would have said "Absolutely!"

    I'm not saying they have been perfect. Far from it. I just think the average fan should cut FO, Theo, etc some slack. And I think the smart enough sox fans know that there was not anything really out there at July 31.

    And for CHB yesterday to imply the Sox could have gotten Oswalt for Delcarmen, is stupid - that was never on the table. And just fuels the BS fire.

    I actually think most of this Theo Yes, Theo No stuff is media generated. I probably should have never asked the question.

  5. Well yeah, of course the attention spans of Sox fans are ridiculously short. As I pointed out before, Simmons proposed a similar rule about cutting the Sox slack for 5 years, and then promptly broke it well before that.

  6. I should add that I hate the argument about how since the Sox have high ticket prices, they should put the best team on the field. Arguments like that only work if they have the same size stadium. Which they don't. If they had 20,000 more seats, which would put them on par with the other big franchises, and those seats averaged $10 each, that comes out to an increase in $16M over the season - from ticket sales alone. (Concessions, parking, etc would probably double or triple that.) Ticket prices are related to that difference in money - and have little to do with the salaries of the guys on the field. If Sox fans are willing to give up Fenway for a 50,000 seat stadium, then let's do it - ticket prices will definitely come down.

  7. Don't fool yourself on ticket prices coming down. The excuse of the small stadium is just that, an excuse. It is supply and demand. They could easily sell the extra 20,000 seats at monopoly prices. And they would. Sure, they would make some gesture about reserving some number of those seats as cheaper.

    A better analogy might be movies - AMC charges me $10 whether I go see Capote or Beerfest.

  8. Okay, my knowledge of economics is pretty minimal. But I totally agree it's a supply-and-demand thing, and I think that has to lead to changes in prices. Demand for tickets is huge right now, a combination of the Sox's recent success, and the relative scarcity of tickets. With more seats available, demand goes down. (Yes, they'll sell out every game, but probably won't sell out the entire season 1 hour after tix go on sale, because the competition for tix won't be as fierce...particularly if the 2007 season is like 2005-6) And when demand goes down, price goes down.

    Of course, the Red Sox have a monopoly on Boston baseball. When monopolies are involved, I'm not sure if supply-and-demand always works the way it's supposed to.

  9. Well, Theo is taking the heat because he said that he could not afford Abreu's contract this year. What that means is that the Sox are maxed out now. Meaning, that if they weren't paying for Renteria and Clement still that they could have afforded that deal. There were other names thrown on to the pile of bad players for which the Sox are eating salary, and the terrible bullpen that was put together (I think that amounts given to Tavarez and Seanez came into the equation a few times)..

    I should have clarified a bit more in the first post. It isn't that they didn't make a move (not even specifically for Abreu), it sounds more like they couldn't make a move because of where they are financially now...So, (as the complaints continue...and, mind you, they aren't my complaints necessarily) how are they going to find money to find any pitching in the off-season, or any free agents, least people of impact.

    That's the buzz out here..

  10. Well, I never heard Theo say they didn't have the money for this year. I would love to see the quote because I don't think he would say it, since everyone would know its not true. If they really were cut that thin, I don't think they would have been making a pitch to pay Clemens $3+Million per month.

    What I did hear Theo say was:

    "We're not going to change our approach and try to build an uber-team and all of a sudden win now and discard the future. That's not an excuse. I'm not trying to throw a cloak over the clear holes on this team by talking about the future. I'm not. Our goals are now, and our goals are to put ourselves in a position to win every single year. That's the reality. It's going to occasionally leave us short."

    And to me, that is a pretty sound evaluation.

    As for the economics, I think the Sox have done a pretty admirable job of holding the line on ticket prices. They could double the ticket prices and still have people lined up. And they could be mediocre and for at least 5 years people would line up to buy 'em.

    Back to the current ownership, I think they have done great getting new revenues (monster seats, dugout seats, bud roof box, EMC thingy, etc) while not sticking it to the fans. Back in 2000-2001 offseason, Harrington stuck fans with a 40% increase after a mediocore season and attendance still went up.

    And lastly, for next year, I think they will have some flexibility. Wells is coming off the books (granted you have to replace him and he is cheap at $4 or 5 Million guranteed. Nixon's $8MM comes off (and they have the replacement players much cheaper), Seanez clears up a few million. A-gon or Loretta will be gone (or both) freeing up $4 or $5 Mil since they will be repaced with $300K Pedroia. So they will have some options should they choose to make a move.

  11. Toug last few games for A-Rod. 1 for his last 14 (the one is a HR) and 11 Ks.

  12. I know this is late to the party, but I was pretty busy Friday and I went up to Portland yesterday.

    The buzz in the heart of the nation is a big question mark regarding the front office. I thought the comments would die down, but naturally after they didn't make the move and they proceed to suck it became an obvious choice. Interestingly, one of the WEEI guys tried to defend the idea of playing for next year and the fact that they still had hope for this year. The otehr WEEI guys riped him a new one. So yea, RSN is of two minds.

    Why didn't we make a move and this better pan out.

    My feeling is Theo better do some amazing moves this off season to fix the bullpen or else the love affair will be officially on thin ice.