Friday, June 30, 2006


And, the second I get excited, they lose. Oh well, hell of a streak - let's start a new one, tomorrow. My feelings today are exactly what they were the day in 2004 that their 10-game win-streak was snapped. I was visiting Boston, having lunch at Miracle of Science, watching them lose to the Rangers. I told the bartender, "Man, I forgot what it's like to lose." Turns out he was a Yankees fan, so wasn't exactly sympathetic. But anyway, this whole "forgot what it's like to lose" thing is pretty cool - I wouldn't mind feeling it again. And I don't think I'll ever get used to this whole "defense" thing.


Damn, that was one hell of a game. Pitching, hitting, defense, and now four-fifths of an entire division has been swept. Three games ago, following the sweeps of three of NL's bottom-dwellers, I said "I can't get too excited, yet...The next three games should tell us a lot." Well, they did, and I'm convinced - this team has clicked. Now I'm excited.

Thursday, June 29, 2006


So the Pedro game - matchup of two aces of two top teams in their respective leagues - wasn't quite as exciting as I had hoped. And the "Pay-dro" and "Who's Your Daddy" chants were embarrassing. Pedro left after three, and as everyone noted, it was the most runs he gave up since Sept 19, 2004 and his shortest outing since Sept 26, 2003. But neither of those starts were actually worse than this one - in the 2004 outing (against the Yanks) he gave up 8ER in 5IP, much better than 6ER in 3IP, and the 2003 outing was nothing but a tuneup for the playoffs. So when was the last time he actually pitched worse than yesterday's start? I can answer that...because I was there. April 12, 2003: 4.1 IP, 10 ER on 9H and 4 BB, at home against the Orioles (who went 71-91 that year). Has to be the worst start of his career. Not a fun Opening Day.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Mets-Sox, Game 2

I think I'll actually play hooky for this one. Some fantastic tributes to Pedro's Boston days at 12eight and Joy of Sox. And it's wonderful to see that booing him is basically off the table. I do think it's worth remembering that - off the field - he could sort of be a pain in the butt; I consider myself to be pretty patient with players, but his moodiness and petulance could be pretty trying at times. Plus there's a good article by Seth Mnookin about revisionism regarding his signing with the Mets (on a related note, it sure is funny to see the Boston sports papers taking Pedro's side for a change). But these aspects of his personality, and the realities of baseball today, don't diminish anything about tonight's game. It'll be wonderful (though a bit sad) to see him take the mound in Fenway, to a standing ovation. And very odd to root for people to score a boatload of runs off him.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Mets-Sox, Game 1

I know I should be watching the game (well, technically, I should be "working"...whatever); but I just can't because this piece of internet awesomeness is consuming all my bandwidth. And all my attention. And all my plans for the near - and distant - future.

Clutch hitting revisited

So I did look it up and the “Is David Oritz a Clutch Hitter” was a chapter in Baseball Between the Numbers. The conclusion was that there is some indication that clutch hitting exists, but not much. And as I pointed out yesterday, the “ability” does not carry over from year to year. By the measure they were using, Ortiz’ 2005 season was the best clutch season in the AL in the 35 years of data that they have. Interestingly, there are about 10 NL seasons that are more clutch (although 6 of those were Barry).

One “conclusion” was that the best hitters are the most clutch hitters. Which makes sense.

The writer poo-poos the common sabremetric belief that clutch hitting does not exist by accumulating the net impact in win expectancy for every at bat. So for instance, when the Rangers had 4-2 lead on Saturday (or whatever it was) with two outs in the 9th and two men on base, they were likely to win the game something like 96% of the time – they used real game data as in every situation that this situation occurred 96% of the time the team with that two run lead actually won. So Ortiz has increased his team’s win percent from 4% to 100%. My problem with this stat is that it likely includes at bats by Tony Womack as much as David Ortiz.

Another problem with it and was something that I touched on yesterday (I think) is that it is very difficult to define clutch. And using this stat it considers all at bats. So if some player who it is generally agreed is not a clutch hitter, like say, I don’t know say Alex Rodriguez, hits a home run in to lead off the fourth in a zero-zero game, he increases his team’s win expectancy from around 50% to maybe 66%. And sure it is less of an impact that a HR to lead off the 8th in a tie game, but I think we would all agree that a 4th inning HR is not clutch.

They also broke it up into raw data and per AB data relative to one’s baseline performance – so in a nutshell Ortiz would be expected to get more runs added than Tony Womack.

So the answer is, well there is no real answer. And obviously I have way oversimplified the data. A few other interesting tidbits from the article…. Ortiz was not a clutch hitter in the regular season in 2004. In fact he had only one year (2000) that he was credited with even one extra win. In 2005, Ortiz was credited with 7 wins. Bill Mueller was one of the worst clutch hitters – and in 2003 he had one of the worst clutch seasons of all time. The worst clutch hitter of all time was Larry Bowa.

Raining on the parade

So this 9-game winning streak is obviously supercool, particularly with all the walkoffs by Ortiz, and the pitching holding up when it needed to. It's the Sox's longest win streak since August-September 2004, when they took complete control of the wildcard spot by blowing through the entire AL West (winning 14 of 15, with 10 in a row). But I'm finding myself unable to get too excited about it, in terms of what it means for the rest of the season. Am I alone in this? It's possible my problem is just that it's too early in the season. But I think it's something more...
  1. The NL East - at least the three teams we've faced so far - is a joke. We've discussed already how much the NL sucks (they're now 65-109, or .373, in interleague play). And yet the Braves, Nats, and Phillies are among the worst in the NL, going a combined 79-98 (.446) against NL teams.
  2. Before this win streak, the Sox were in a 6-10 slump, losing series to the the Twins (swept!), Yanks, Rangers, and Jays. Remember how despondent everyone was?
So I can't get too excited, yet. Maybe things have turned around - with Lester arriving, the bullpen (possibly) stabilizing somewhat, and hitting becoming more timely - but it's pretty hard to tell when they're playing teams like the Phillies, Nationals, and Braves. The next three games should tell us a lot.

Monday, June 26, 2006


Papelbon gave up a run, and his ERA doubled. Hard to do that in late June.

I blame Jeff Horrigan.

Sunday, June 25, 2006


Anibal Sanchez just made his major league debut, in Yankee Stadium. 5.2 IP, o ER. And a strikeout-to-walk ratio of infinity, which is pretty good. Marlins won 5-0; that trade keeps looking better and better, I guess. Of course, if he stays in the rotation, he'll face the Sox later this week...

This is just sad.

Yesterday in interleague, the AL outplayed the NL 11 games to 2. Bringing their season record to 97-56. That's a .634 winning percentage.

One way to think about this: the Mets are easily the best team in the NL. But if we were to give the average AL team (say, Seattle, or Minnesota) an NL-only schedule, they'd be up on the Mets by about 2 games.

Another way to think about this: the Royals have a winning record against the NL.

(We've discussed this here before, but it goes without saying that because of this, Bronson Arroyo would not being doing anywhere nearly as well with the Red Sox as he's currently doing with the Reds...but don't tell him that...)

Saturday, June 24, 2006

All Star game...

So a while back, I noted that this year should be interesting for All Star selections. Notably that Ozzie will have a field day picking all of his White Sox. so with about a week, week and a half, left in voting, I figured I would revisit.

In the last month, nothing has really changed in terms of Ozzie having the potential to pick tons of his own guys.

So here are the guys I see making the team.

Pierzynski - the guy is 8th in the league in hitting. Ozzie loves him. And with 30 man rosters, he can easily carry 3 catchers (the fan winner currently Tek, the most deserving, Mauer, and AJ)

Konerko and Thome - maybe and just maybe, Konerko does not make it. With Papi the 1B starter and no DH, Thome is a lock. Konerko is in a tight race with Giambi, Hafne and Mourneau for a third first baseman. Tough call.

Dye - a no brainer for an OF selection.

Crede - this is a tough call. A-rod is the starter. Glaus is a no brainer as the back up. But Crede could easily be considered third best. Or at least defensible. Chavez has cooled. Lowell has a ton of doubles and has had a great year, but again, Ozzie makes the picks. And actually I don't have a problem with Crede making the team - he may never get there again.

Iguchi - he has struggled a bit lately. but after Cano, who is there at 2B? Maybe Jose Lopez? Roberts? I know he has been hurt, but can you believe he has ZERO HRs.

Podsednik - I originally thought maybe. Ozzie could defend it as "if they need a SB." but that was when he was hitting close to .300. He has gone from .290 to .250 pretty fast.

So I can easily see 5 position players.


Contreras might be the best pitcher in the AL right now. He's in.
Buerhle - 8 wins as well. he's in.
Jenks - he loves Jenks. He's probably in. With Papelbon and Ryan.

And that may be it. Vazquez and Garcia have come back to earth. And Garland has struggled.

so probably we have 8 Chi Sox in the ASG. And that might actually be about right.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Brett Myers

Yuck. The Fenway faithful will not be kind for his start tomorrow.

A new list

Bronx Banter just published a list of their 25 least favorite Yankees from the last 20 years. That was inspired by a list of least favorite A's at Catfish Stew. I haven't followed the Sox closely for a full 20 years, so I alone can't possibly put together a full list of 25 for the Sox, but I figure we can try. I'll get started:

First off, the easy ones:

Byung Hyun Kim, Carl Everett, Shea Hillenbrand: duh.

Manny Alexander: somehow managed to be the only person in the Steroids Era to actually get caught. And yet he sucked. (Part of that whole "we need a third baseman, stat!" fiasco, also involving Wilton Veras, Ed Sprague, Chris Stynes...)

Izzy Alcantara: lazy fielder, batshit crazy in AAA (the video can be found here).

Now, the ones who are harder to hate - nothing obviously despicable about them, but whose tenure with the Sox made them hard to like...

Jeff Suppan: that Freddy Sanchez-Jeff Suppan trade in 2003 was really a Freddy Sanchez-Brandon Lyon trade. Suppan went 3-4 in August and September, with an ERA of 5.57, and was left off the postseason roster. Of course, then he bounces back to become an important part of the NL Champion St. Louis Cardinals the next year.

Mike Lansing: the best player ever to come out of Wyoming. Which is like saying Dick Cheney was the best Vice President to come out of Wyoming. Both are technically true, but...

Jose Offerman: I actually didn't hate him the way most Sox fans did (his 1999 season was actually quite good). But I'm pretty sure he makes this list anyway.

So those are the first 8 that come to mind...I know I'm missing a lot (others that might make the cut include John Wasdin, Patt Rapp, Brian Rose, John Burkett...), but I have to get to work. Anyone want to contribute in the comments?

Thursday, June 22, 2006

More important things

  • Guillen got suspended, but for something else. (So did Riske.)
  • With Riske, Mohr, and Snow all gone, Boston sports headline writers must be really bummed out. Man, this season looked to be so promising for the puns.
  • How bad are the Pittsburgh Pirates? So bad, they just got swept by the Kansas City Royals (Who also took 2 of 3 from the .514 Houston Astros). More evidence that the NL sucks.
  • Paxton Crawford took steroids and HGH while with the Sox. Add another to the list.
  • Newest Red Sock Jason Johnson is 6'6". Kyle Schneider is 6'8". Actually, only two guys on the roster (Seanez and Harris) are under 6 feet. Schilling and Beckett are listed at 6'5"; Papi and Paps at 6'4"; Wily Mo and Lowell at 6'3". Somehow Manny Ramirez is one of the shortest on the team, 6'0". Which is the same as Alex Cora. Weird.

Important things, in no particular order

  • Thank god for the NL East, huh? I guess now we know why the Mets are doing so well.
  • Speaking of which, it seems the last 5+ years of imbalance in the schedule from the "Natural Rivals" ridiculousness (Yanks play the Mutts, Sox play the Braves), has finally turned itself on its head. We talked about this a year ago, so I figure it's time we recognize we no longer get the short end of the stick.
  • There's now one more reason to hate Ozzie Guillen. Awesome.
  • Speaking of homophobes, on Tuesday Julian Tavarez sadly broke his impressive 5-game streak of giving up at least one run per appearance (over which time he had a 13.5 ERA), pitching one inning of one-hit, no-run ball. Luckily, on Wednesday he got started on a new streak, giving up a run in the ninth.
  • Happy birthday Willie Harris!
  • So far in June (18 games) Ichiro Suzuki is batting .463, with a .494 OBP and .638 SLG. Insane.
  • I've had the "One Day at a Time" theme song stuck in my head for 2 days. Thanks GR.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

One Day At A Time

Snyder, TV's funniest "super", best known for his wise cracks to Ann Romano and her two daughters, pitched a pretty good game for the Red Sox last night. Despite the two bombs he gave up, there were 6 Ks against 0 BBs. His fast ball is flat, but his other pitches (including the 12-6 curve) have a lot of movement. Plus, one can't miss the fact that he looks like Bronson Arroyo (and was he wearing Arroyo's number?).

Anyway, does he deserve another start? It would come against Philly this weekend. I'd say, "Why not?".

To make room for the 70's sitcom star, the Sox DFA'd JT Snow (distant cousin of Chrissy Snow). So, who is the backup first baseman for the Sox now? I am guessing that Choi gets the call from Pawtucket, but then who gets sent down? Jack and Janet were unavailable for comment...Theo said that there was a deal in the works for Snow...Who needs a non-hitting, but great glove first baseman? I am trying to figure this out. Probably for a reliever...

Hansen is back on the roster and Van Buren was sent down.

Seanez is making himself a little worth while, at least to NL teams. He's actually (aside from the 3-run blast the other night) looked good against the NL. Trade the NL.

Thank the heavens that tonight's game is in Fenway. Mirabelli will be catching Wakefield. If this were in Washington, the Sox would have Mirabelli and the pitcher in the order against Livan. "And he shall be a good man, he shall be Livan"...(had to sneak in that last 70s reference...

Monday, June 19, 2006

You know who's awesome?

Julian Tavarez.

Seriously. I mean, the dude just kicks ass. In everything he does. In fact, he's so awesome, I think it's safe to say he's my favorite Red Sock. Possibly of all time.

Gooooo Julian!

How About This One?

On the broadcast last night, there was a recorded interview with Smoltz saying that he would not veto all trades.

The question is, where would he go?

He'd look good in a Boston uniform, but would the Sox have a chance? He's from Detroit, and like Bettis, maybe he'd like to go there...

One thing is for sure. The Sox have to make a move, and getting this guy from KC (off waivers! not good enough for the Royals...) is probably not the answer, what with his many arm surgeries so far...Are the Sox back to the reconstruction guys? I certainly hope not.

Plus, there now seems to be some speculation as to whether or not Clement will return at all this year...

With the Braves at 30-40 and way out of first place, and looking terrible, one has to think that they might trade some guys...Smoltz, despite what he says, probably will not be traded. Their pitching looks to be lined up for next year if he stays. But what about Andru Jones, freeing up Nixon for another possible trade for a reliever or something?

Sunday, June 18, 2006


I'm going crazy with posts. Ryan Zimmerman just hit a two run bomb in the bottom of the 9th off the Wanger to beat the MFY 3-2.

Funny how we noted yesterday that Torre had to use Mo for two innings on consecutive days. And now paid the price for it - even after Mo lost/blew it yesterday.

Another D-Rays Prospect with Troubles

Following up to a post from Friday, another top prospect of the D-Rays, Elijah Dukes, has been suspended.

The D-Rays have always drafted young players with tons-o-tools, so it probably is more of an indictment of kids in general than anything the D-Rays are doing organizationally. Young kids. Away from home. A little bit of money. The should be in college. And when i was in college the dumb things I did were limited (because I had no money) and not published (because, well, no one gives a damn about an engineering major at BU.)

Friday, June 16, 2006

In the news

Another story breaking out of NC. Not as humerous as the JJ Reddick story....

This will likely mean bad news for whoever the D-Rays draft in the first round in 2007. Their 2003 pick (Delmon Young) had the bat throwing. Their 2005 pick now arrested underage for DUI. Although maybe it is not a Devil Ray thing and simply a number one overall issue. Although with Mauer on his way to the first AL batting title by a catcher, it must be a D-Ray thing.

Was this the same Ben Grieve page that was linked here before?


It has been mentioned here a few times that RSN would not tolerate rebuilding. I happen to agree. But it looks, at this point, like the Sox are just trying to put a team out there that will hang around this season. But, as the team stands now, could you see them contending for a championship? There's too much inconsistency throughout the lineup, and the pitching is fairly poor.

There are also some "bridge guys" that are everyday players, which sort of smacks of rebuilding or waiting for the young guys to come along. So, I ask, what is the difference?

Gonzalez, Loretta, Tavarez, Seanez are four that pop to mind. Wells is another, but he's been hurt all year so I am not sure if he counts.

Crisp is very good and if not for his injury would probably have great numbers. He's young, and it is as though he came from our farm system (although he hasn't)...A young, cheap, talented outfielder for years to come...

Wily Mo is young, but hurt. There is no doubt the FO is looking at him as an everyday outfielder with power. Probably at the end of Manny's contract, not Trot's...

So the outfield in two-three years is probably Wily Mo, Crisp, and David Murphy (who is apparently coming into his own)...and Stern...Ellsbury?

The infield is Youk, Pedroia, Machado and other (Wily Mo at first? Free agent slugger at first or third?)...

The pitching? This is where most of the rebuilding is taking place, and where I start to question the spending...

Seanez and Tavarez are obviously guys they thought would be serviceable giving Hansen and Delcarmen one more year of development in the minors.

Papelbon, as awesome as he's been in the closer role, should move (at some point) to the rotation. If the Sox continue to fall, I could see this happening this year.

Guys coming along?
Edgar Martinez
Matt Ginter

Lester is up here now. Pauley looks like he needs some more time...

That's a lot of young arms, and many of them need more minor league time. However, I think that Hansen could be just as good as Seanez and Tavarez. Delcarmen has looked pretty good. I think that some team would take Seanez (an NL team) for a prospect or two...Maybe we could trade Seanez for Bard...just kidding.

Not sure what to do about Tavarez. He just looks like damaged goods at this point.

I don't think that many of the position players are ready at this point. Stern actually looked better at the Major League level than he does in Pawtucket. Kapler is nearing a return.

So, rebuilding is not a possibility at this point. But, I do think that the fans would be more tolerant of Hansen, Delcarmen, and Alvarez getting knocked around (but developing) than watching the disaster that is the bullpen now. I am starting to think, though, that the front office might see Delcarmen and Alvarez as a modern day Brian Rose in that they aren't the real deals...Remember how much hype there was about that guy? I would not be surprised to hear that either of those guys get traded.

Maybe getting Gordon from Philly as another setup guy, giving the Sox Timlin, Gordon and Papelbon at the end of the game...That might help, and then throw Hansen in the mix and save Tavarez as your mop-up guy. Then, designate him for assignment when Foulke returns.

They also need another starter...Who's out there? Maybe Lester pans out...He replaces Wells/Pauley...Beckett might turn it around. But even that rotation isn't deep enough to carry this team through. And there are two ifs in that equation...Throw in Clement having to do something...yikes.

Then, what about the lack of power besides Manny and Ortiz? The inconsistency in the lineup? How do you fix that? Another power hitter could solve that problem. They could always trade for Soriano with the idea that he plays RF next year instead of Trot. Hell, maybe they trade Trot and prospects for Soriano? (I know that Trot is in his last year, so they'd need good prospects in that deal). Loretta goes to the bench as the backup. Soriano leads off, followed by Youk, Ortiz, Manny...not too shabby.

But, the question remains...Do you bring up the young arms and let them learn in the bigs (a sort of rebuilding), or do you start trading prospects to try to fix a team with many holes?

I'd rather know that they were writing the season off and building for next year, than to have them try to temporarily fix a team that might do something.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006


So that's why Francona doesn't like to bring in the young guys when the game's on the line...

(Seriously, that game sucked also. But the timing couldn't have been more ridiculously perfect to give RSN this little wake-up call: the bullpen sucks. Neither the old guys (with one exception) nor the young guys (with one exception) are getting the job done. Of course, the fact that Rudy Seanez has the fourth best ERA in the bullpen (!!!!) should've tipped people off to that already. But we can rest assured that the FO knows all this, and has for a while now.)

Update: David Riske just got traded, for "the other" Javy Lopez. Meaning Rudy Seanez's ERA is now 3rd best in the Sox bullpen! Allriiight!!!!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

A request

Okay, so I'm as bummed out/pissed off as the next guy about that loss. BUT. Unless you're in possession of a detailed medical report on Mike Timlin, compiled by several doctors and physical trainers, do not go off on how Francona should've kept him in for the 12th.

Apparently trouble runs in the family

First Delmon, now Dmitri. I guess the Tigers and Rays will not be claiming that they draft character guys.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Take me out to the ball game (Part I)

Borrowing from the Nike ad campaign slogan, I'm post off topic. Regarding the USA's first world cup match against Czech Republic, we played like crap. In short, we came out timid and tentative and the results showed. The mid-field was completely absent and we spent far too much time trying to work the ball up through Beasley. He's a speed player, we need to have him at the end of runs, not at the start. Donovan and Reyna need to take charge. This all being said, the Czech's executed flawlessly and the results show.

The game against Italy this weekend is now a must-win situation. It can be done, but the US has to come ready to play and be aggressive from the start. I think we saw more aggressive play from Eddie Johnson than McBride or Convey and would not be suprised to see him in the line up. I'd also wager that Dononvan will be brought back to play behind the striker (McBride) to help move the ball up the field. Reyna is a quality center-mid, but he needs help. We dont' have the touch on the wings to move the ball forward.

All in all, it was a great lesson in how to play soccer. The Czech's played flawlessly and look like a solid contender. If they can stay healthy (a big question mark) I could easily see them in the semis.

Aside: All the other World Cup teams can thank the US for landing a solid punch on the Czech team. Koller was sidelined with a hamstring injury and the Czech players netted 4 yellow cards. Unfortunately, it doesn't help the US at all, unless Italy and Ghana can use it to their advantages and we some how sneak into the next round. I give credit to the US for playing physical in the back and at times in the middle, but those are the only bright spots in a very dissapointing day.

Sunday, June 11, 2006


Way to cap off an annoying game. Man, I can't help but wonder if it's time to stop thinking of Beckett as our "second ace". On the other hand, the bullpen looked good...

Too many comments in that last thread. Game 2 discussion can go here.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Steroid Scoreboard

So we don't have all the info, but based on the information we do have, it looks like the Yankees don't just have the highest payroll, but they also have led the league in cheating. With Leyritz' admission, my cheater scoreboard looks as follows (some players get credited to multple teams, however those with suspensions I have limited to the team they were with):

Yankees (6) - Canseco, Giambi, Sheffield, Grimsley, Lawton, Leyrtiz
Giants (3) - maybe Bonds, Bobby Estelella and Armando Rios
TEX (3) - Canseco (maybe Raffy but I'll count that as BAL) Agustin Montero, Carlos Almanzar
Seattle (3 - most suspensions) - Jamal Strong, Ryan Franklin, Mike Morse
Boston (3) - Canseco, Manny Alexander, Leyritz
Oakland (2-1/2) - Giambi (X 2??), Canseco, McGwire
Mets (2) - Felix Heredia, Yusaku Iriki
Baltimore (2) - Raffy, Grimsley
STL - Big Mac
Tor - Canseco
Anaheim - Leyrtiz
White Sox - Canseco
Braves - Sheffield (not sure of teams before here)
TB - Alex Sanchez
Colorado - Jorge Piedra
CLE - Bettencourt
Padres - Leyritz

Min - Juan Rincon
Arizona - Grimsley
KC - Grimsley
Dodgers - Leyritz

I'm sure I'm missing some.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Totally unrelated to baseball, or Jason Grimsley, or Hazel Mae

World Cup play begins in half an hour. I for one cannot wait. As with the World Baseball Classic, my (non-US) team is the Netherlands, again because of their awesome names. Back in March I got all excited about the Dutch WBC team, because of players like Robin van Doornspeek, Dirk van Klooster, Jair Jurrjens, Nick Stuifbergen, Sharnol Adriana, Ivanon Coffie, Yurendell DeCaster, Mark Duursma, and Raylinoe Legito. Turns out those guys have nothing on the Dutch World Cup team. Their best is Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink, who totally kicks everyone else's asses, but there are a bunch of other winners as well: Rafael Van der Vaart, Ruud Van Nistelrooy, Giovanni von Bronckhorst, Maarten Stekelenberg, Andrei Ooijer, Hedwiges Maduro, and Dirk Kuyt. Wow. Go Dutch!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Uh oh.

God I hope this isn't true.

What Not To Do When Drafted By an MLB Team

Imagine...You are a young kid with a lot of talent. You pitch like a madman through your youth and workout and go into draft week...You get chosen high in the first round. You are listening on XM...You can't believe it. Your phone rings and you are sure it is the Mariners who have just drafted you!

Read this to find out what happens next....

Old times

I was at Dodger Stadium last night and the night before, to watch them played the Mets. I'd been a few times already this season, but back when Nomar was on the DL. Now that he's, I miss him. He's doing incredibly - batting .369, with a .430 OBP and .625 SLG. And he's actually a really good first baseman. But it wasn't the stats - it was just his style of play that made me all sad - the stoic approach to everything, the OCD at the plate, etc.

And on Tuesday he hit a 2R HR off Pedro, and Lowe got the win. Pretty wild. Grady Little, though - ugh.

(Turns out Bill Simmons wrote up Tuesday's game. It's pretty clear his transformation to Southern Californian is complete: "We didn't make it to our seats until the bottom of the second, missing...Nomar's first-inning home run off Pedro". And I think he's wrong about Dodger Stadium: it's really overrated.)

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Not going to be too popular in the clubhouse...

Feds raided Jason Grimsley's home looking for evidence that he distributed HGH. Grimsley (or "Grimey", as he likes to be called) then cooperated with authorities, for a while. There's now a huge affidavit (available here), where it's clear he started talking. Among other things, he named names of other MLB players he thought were using (the names have been redacted, though word size may offer clues), so this investigation is just beginning - it could get real ugly.

(It's worth mentioning that this disclosure comes just days after a pretty good article (with a great title) by Jeff Pearlman, about the naivete associated with the "Post-Steroid Era". A lot of people got super-defensive about it, as they felt it implied that Pujols was a user. But if you actually read the article, you find it does no such thing - it's about the sportswriters.)

Two things that suck

  1. drinking orange juice after brushing your teeth.
  2. last night's loss.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Random and meaningless numbers

The pain from last nights second inning inspired me to do some analysis. Unfortunately, I can't get at the inning by inning records. (Read as: I am too lazy to try to track down those numbers and make them work). However, I did find game-by-game data and learned some interesting things.

1. When the Yankees win they score an average of 7.9 runs
2. When the Red Sox lose they score an average of 3.5 runs

Apparently, both teams were above average last night. Something to at least tip our caps to (not). Diving into the numbers a little more I found:

1. When the Yankees win on mondays they average 10 runs
2. When the Red Sox lose on Mondays they average 5.5 runs

So maybe last night wasn't so above average for both teams. So, these last numbers are basically statistically meaningless as there are way too many variables not being accounted for, however I did think it was interesting.

Finally, just so we can see the other side of things:

1. When the Red Sox win they score an average of 6.8 runs
2. When the Yankees lose they score an average of 3.4 runs

If I were a betting man, we win tonight 7 to 4!

Monday, June 05, 2006

Tomorrow's Dodgers-Mets game

Pedro Martinez (5-1, 2.50 ERA) vs. Derek Lowe (4-3, 2.68 ERA). Should be a fun evening in the Ravine.

Friday, June 02, 2006

In-depth analysis of this year's draft

Draft Day is June 6. Whoop-dee-doo! Here are some very important pieces of information you need to know about it.
  • The top hitting prospect is from Long Beach State. His name is "Evan Longoria", which must really suck for him, thanks to this woman. I mean, I have no sympathy for people with ultra-generic names (like "Will Smith" or "Matthew Perry") who will of course share a name with some celebrity eventually. But "Evan Longoria"? Damn, that's unlucky.
  • There's now talk about the Orioles drafting Jeffrey Maier, thanks some quotes by Peter Angelos in today's Washington Post. As funny as it is, it's all total B.S. - if you read the article, everything Angelos says was in one phone call, when and unidentified "caller" told him "You'll never guess who is a pretty good college baseball player now." That "caller" is obviously Dave Sheinen, the WaPo staff reporter who wrote the story. God I hate sports "journalism". Still, it's good this was brought up, since now the Orioles can do the right thing: draft him - but refuse to sign him - every friggin' year he enters the draft.
  • This is apparently a very weak year for prospects. I was trying to think when the last really bad one was, and I think it was 2000: Rocco Baldelli (6), Chase Utley (15), and my new favorite player name, Boof "You Can't Handle the Boof" Bonser (21). Compare that to the year before (Beckett, Zito, Sheets) or after (Mauer, Prior, Teixeira) - not good.
So that's it. All you need to know about the June 6 draft. Oh, and googling "You can't handle the boof" only yields one hit, which is unrelated to baseball, so I totally made up that new name for him. Everyone who uses it from now on owes me money.

Thursday, June 01, 2006


Via McNally North 521, the best website out there on Canadian politics and hockey and Red Sox, there's a new google toy, "Google Trends", allowing you to plot searches (and news stories) as a function of time, location, and language. For example, here are the hits for "Red Sox" (red) and "Yankees" (blue) over the last few years:

(point A is the A-Rod signing, point C is the Biggest Collapse in Sports History, etc.)

So I like this one, showing searches of the various members of the 2004 Sox. One of them is not like the others...

...but this is my favorite. On the web at least, Anna Benson is much more popular than her husband Kris - no big surprise. What's insane is where all the hits are from. Freehold, New Jersey?

research time

JT and I will be down on the farm doing a little research tomorrow. Tomorrow we will be catching the Paw Sox vs. Louisville Bats. Looks like we will see Abe Alvarez since the off day has pushed everyone back, so no Craig Hansen. Oh well, Stern will likely lead off followed by Pedroia and Murphy so we could see a glimpse of the future. While perusing the minor league web sites, I did notice we don't really have a lot of power down on the farm. I guess power tends to develop with age, so lets hope that is the case for the current crop of youngsters. On the plus side, there seem to be plenty of good arms, although if April/May 2006 has taught us anything.....

Another thought keeps coming to my mind - regarding Manny. As that contract gets shorter and shorter and Manny keeps on slugging, I really do think the chances of one or both of those $20 MM options will get picked up. Of course there is always the trade possibility. But one or two year commitments at $20 Million (especially for a team like the sox) are certainly "less" risky than giving guys like Konerko, Drew, Ordonez, etc 5 years at $12MM.