Monday, July 31, 2006


I don't care what the stats may or may not say...David Ortiz is the most ridiculous player I have ever seen in terms of getting the big hit.

No need to really discuss because I will argue with anyone who argues...It is a fact...




Well, you'd have to think that if Nixon takes that swing a day earlier that the Sox would now be boasting Abreu in RF...

Lots of rumblings around town about the possible acquisition of Jason Schmidt. That'd be a nice pickup depending on who you'd have to give up. It sure would be nice if the Sox could give up 3 minor leaguers (none of their top prospects included) kind of like the Yankees were able to do...Not for nothing, but it is deals like this that Cashman makes that has to make one wonder why the Sox couldn't do something like that for Lidle and Abreu.

Anyway, we got a Corey of our own...Bryan Corey from Texas.

Believe me, Lidle is not scary. The Sox will take their chances...And, I have to agree with X...The Yankees are still marching out RJ, Mussina, Wang, Wright, and Lidle. However, right now that is better than Schilling, Beckett, Lester, Wells (if he is healthy enough to pitch), and Snyder (until Wake might get back).

So, I think that today, no matter what, (and NOT in a panic mode, just being realistic), the Sox must deal for a 1, 2, or 3 guy in the rotation IF they want to compete down the stretch. If they are looking to next year, then do nothing. But they have a lot of questions about next year, too...So why not make a move for a Schmidt and then try to sign him to an extension?

And what about a bat? Well, Trot made RF available. Who is out there? Could last night have been Trot's last start in RF for the Sox? With Soriano being on the market, one has to hope that Theo realizes he can't play RF in Fenway. But Wily Mo is not the answer AND we know that the Nationals covet Wily Mo. This has to be a consideration today for the Sox.

Also, I know in the papers today it said Loretta didn't sit because he was being traded, but just being rested...Timing just seems a bit strange...

All this trading Mike Lowell talk is disconcerting if they aren't getting a top starter in return OR a big bat. One reliever ain't worth it...

And one last thought in the long post...I know the front office apparently looked at this year as a write-off year, and another year to bring the youngsters along. Well, you are 60 games from the end of the season and in first place. Do you now have a responsibility to make a run for it? What will be the fallout, now, if you don't make a deal and fall out of contention?

Sunday, July 30, 2006


No Joe Morgan tonight on ESPN.

Fun and games

In what is always and entertaining (and sometimes stressful) few days leading up to the trading deadline, we are always inundated with lists of trades that worked and those that didn't. We even had some speculation on this site about a player or two that had been traded away, notably Freddy Sanchez.

But to me, the most frustrating part of these "lists" is that just because a player develops in another organization, it doesn't mean they would have developed with the team that traded him. Often the player needs a lot of seasoning, and as it relates to the Sox, the market and rest of the roster don't allow hitters to get 500 ABs and pitchers to throw 200 innings in order to get the experience needed to be a valuable MLB player.

The two that jumped out at me today, were crtiticism thrown the Sox way for trading Mike Maroth for Bryce Florie. Sure he was off to a good start this year. And he is cheap. And he was a about league average in 2004 and 2005. But would the Sox have been able to give him 200 innings of his near 6 ERA in 2003? Of course not.

And even trading Lew Ford for Hector Carrasco. Sure he is a nice player. And carasco did not really work out, but he would have been a 4th or 5th OF in Boston. And Boston never would have been able to give him the 500 ABs he had in 2004.

So, lets enjoy the next few days, but lets also not take everything we read very seriously.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Durham Bullshit

X has commented a couple times on the three problem-prospects in the Devil Rays system (B. J. Upton, Delmon Young, and Elijah Dukes) . Just in case you thought those problems were isolated incidents, check this article out. These guys are pathetic. However, Joe Maddon seems to be handling it well. For some reason I really like that guy, and hope he's able to right the ship. Or better yet, get promoted to a better managing gig, in a different division...

(On an unrelated note: a couple years ago, did anyone else roll their eyes at all the early buzz about "Jeff Weaver's younger brother"? I was sure he wouldn't be anything special. Uh...whoops.)

Friday, July 28, 2006

Scary or Non-issue????

Wow...if you look at last year's standings from exactly one year ago today it breaks down like this...

Last Year
Sox 56-45
Yankees 54-46 1.5 back

Sox 61-39
Yankees 59-40 1.5 back

So, the Sox and Yankees are where they were last year. They ended up with the same record, and both made the playoffs.

This year, however, the competition around the league is tougher (of course, BOTH the Yankees and Sox are better this year, too...which was obviously ignored by everyone that said it is "OBVIOUS" that the Wild Card comes out of the Central. Let's look at some of the other teams around the league for playoff spots at roughly 100 games into the season.

The Sox and Yankees each 5.5 games ahead of their paces last year...both finished 95-67 last year. The pace this year plays out like this...

Sox 99 wins
Yankees 97 wins

The Sox win the division, but do the Yankees get in at 97 (37.38 wins left at this pace)wins? What a strange question to ask. 97 wins should be a lock...

Tigers on pace to win 109...even if they go 31-30 the rest of the way, they'll have 98 wins...It is probably safe to say they'll make the playoffs.

White Sox and Twins at their current winning percentage are both projected to win 36.58 games the rest of the season. That gives them 95-96 wins each.

Now, not all these teams will continue at this exact pace, and variation will kick in down the stretch. But projecting to the end of the year, there is a 4-game spread for 5 teams vying for 2 playoff spots.

Now, out of these 5 teams, I see two teams possibly getting better without trades and that's the Yankees IF Matsui and/or Sheffield returns. The other is the White Sox, who (as of late) have been underachieving)...Of course the "Ozzie" factor might be starting to show in Chicago, too, but we can only take what we are seeing into account.

I think the Red Sox are playing at their level. They definitely need another starter, and Wake is Wake. Lester also will lose some games (he won't go undefeated)...Of course, Wells could come in and be huge for the rotation. I also believe the Twins are playing above their level. Liriano and Santana have lit that team up. I can't see them keeping this torrid pace alive. They've put themselves right back in it, but they can't play 34-8 every 42 games...nor do they have to...

In short...all teams wanting to make the playoffs will have to play at an exceptional level the rest of the way. A 5-6 game skid, or a bad run of .500 ball for two weeks could bury any of them.

And Speaking of Trades...

The Newark Star-Ledger is reporting that the Sox are working on getting Carlos Lee from Milwaukee. Not sure what they would have to give up for him, but I'd probably do a trade that includes Hansen (I am sure that the Brewers would be asking for Hansen or Lester, as every other team has) long as you sign Lee to an extension (as he is a free-agent at the end of the year).

Another thing this does is makes someone like a David Murphy a huge trading chip, and you are now free to move Nixon without RSN going insane. Does it also make Wily Mo a trading chip with the Nationals?

By the way, I don't want Abreu on the Sox. I wouldn't care if the Yankees got him in a trade. He's not worth the money.

Why are the Sox so hot on the trail of Lugo? Is it because they will have to (now) probably pay a lot of money to Gonzalez to resign him? Are they thinking they pick up some bat and lose some fielding for less $$$ with Lugo?

Lieber or Lidle? The Sox and Yankees were both scouting in Philly. Lidle had a great outing last night, but I think I'd want Lieber. He's proven himself in the AL East. Not sure I'd give up too much for him.

With all this trade talk heating up, and the Sox not having struck a deal for pitching already, I have to think they have great faith in Wells coming back and being as effective as he's always been. Maybe that's why there is more talk about adding another bat.

Just a little trivia...The Sox are better in almost every offensive category when compared to last year's team. Incredible...

Foulke set to return. I would take him over Seanez or Tavarez. I also can't see them sending down Hansen or Delcarmen. Could this mean that Rudy or Julian get shipped to Colorado (who seem to love them for some reason)?

Thursday, July 27, 2006

RSN West

I was at the Dodgers-Padres game two nights ago. No Nomar, Mueller, or Lowe (Grady Little made an appearance though). But in the 7th-8th innings, the Pods trot out one former (and recent) Red Sock after another. It was sort of weird. From the play-by-play:

M. Bellhorn struck out swinging
J. Barfield singled to left
D. Roberts hit for A. Embree
J. Barfield stole second.
D. Roberts walked
J. Bard hit for E. Young
J. Bard grounded into fielder's choice, J. Barfield to third, D. Roberts out at second
M. Cameron flied out to deep right center.

C. Meredith relieved A. Embree
D. Roberts in left field

That's five 2004-2006 Red Sox in basically one inning. Cla Meredith (whom I hadn't noticed was part of the Bard-Mirabelli "deal") and Alan Embree were each perfect in the inning they pitched. Which says tons about the Dodgers, I think.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

The Queen is Dead.

Seattle released Everett. My guess is for the third year in a row, he will join the White Sox. Or as I like to call them, the no longer in the WC lead White Sox.

Shea was right

A ship is sinking, but it is not Toronto, it is the White Sox.

And while this could be a fun development as it relates to watching Ozzie go down in flames, it has the potential to be a not fun development for the Sox if MN takes the WC and the Sox the AL East. Imagine having to face Santana and Liriano in at least 3 if not 4 games in a 5 game set. Yikes.

Also, look for the Sox to take a run at Odalis Perez - Theo has always liked him. And now that he is in KC, I don't see them holding onto him. Could be a very nice pick up and would reunite him with Dave Wallace. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Non baseball post

After watching some highlights of other sports this weekend, I learned that Tiger Woods is the only person in history to have ever won a sporting event after the death of a loved one. Tremendous courage by Tiger to go back to work (albeit after taking 6 weeks off - not exactly the drudgery that many of us have to deal with by having to return to work after a few days or at max, a week).

I like the guy. And I know it is not him creating the hype around the story. But good grief. It was ridiculous.

Baseball tonight

Well, this is a little surprising. I'm certainly no huge fan of Harold Reynolds - I always get sort of pissed off at myself whenever I agree with something he says - but he was still among the best of the Baseball Tonight crew. Damn that's a sad comment. And with Gammons out, it's now Karl Ravech (a perfectly serviceable announcer/questioner guy), John Kruk (unable to form a cogent argument to support his strongly-held beliefs), Steve Phillips (put in the "former GM" role, but no one seems to understand he's an ESPN analyst because no one wants him anywhere near their front office), Jeff Brantley (blah), Buster Olney (a smart guy and good reporter who should not be on television - and knows it), and Tino Martinez (terrified of the camera, or never has anything interesting to say, or both). Way to go ESPN.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Random and Meaningless Numbers IV

I was curious yesterday to figure out a good rule-of-thumb for gauging OBP relative to AVG. Is .100 better awesome? What is the Median? Well I ran the numbers and there are only 7 players in the AL with an OBP .100 or more better than their AVG (minimum 304 plate appearances).

1. Hafner .308/.438
2. Manny .310/.429
3. Thome .293/.408
4. Youkilis .292/.402
5. Ortiz .281/.389
6. Nixon .299/.400
7. Posada .288/.389

Who's down with OBp? The Red Sox are down with OBP! (Sorry I couldn't resist). By the way the median was .055.

Tough Loss

That was a pretty fun game to watch yesterday. Varitek's homer was crushed and it didn't really look like Timlin made a mistake with I-strike-out-more-than-once-every-4-at-bats-Sexson, but I may be mistaken.

That being said, it was another blown opportunity for the Sox to gain some distance on the MFY. I can't imagine the chaos that is plaguing the MFY lasting the rest of the season (although it would be truly wonderful to watch). So every chance we get to build our lead now, counts.

X will be at all the Oakland games this week. I expect a full breakdown of each game. Hell you should bring your computer and post while the game is happening!

Saturday, July 22, 2006

It can't be as easy as it seems

So last year, Tito seemed not to learn that Timlin was terrible at coming in mid inning. Actually at one point, I was really worried for the health of Rosie, as it seemed to be particularly frustrating for GR. And I can't say I blamed him. And sure, last year there was a dearth of relievers, so perhaps that might be why Tito kept running him out there and did not learn from the experience.

Well this year we have Exhibit II. Craig Hansen. In a developing trend, Hansen has proven to be incredibly effective in his first innng of work. But bring him out for second inning, and it is almost a guarantee that he will give up a run or two. perhpas last night was Tito recognizing the trend and trying to give him som confidence - the Sox holding a 6 run lead and all. But if Tito does it again (especially with some good other arms this year), I will wonder what in the hell Bill James is doing back in Boston.

The numbers.

Last night - 1st inning. O runs. Second inning. 2 runs.
July 15 and 17 - one inning each. O runs.
July 13 - 1st inning. O runs. Second inning. 2 runs. (1 earned)
July 9 - one inning. 0 runs
July 8 - 1st inning O runs. Second inning (1/3 of an inning). 1 run.
July 6 - 1st inning O runs. Second inning 1 run (scored after he left, but still charged to Hansen)
July 1, 5 and June 30 - you guessed it. 1 inning. 0 runs.
I would keep going and cite other examples - vs. Washington on June 20 (clean 8th, 2 runs in the 9th). But I won't. I'll just say he has given up 10 runs this year. And 7 have been in his second inning of work. Or to put another way, in his first inning of work he has an ERA around 18, yet in his first inning his ERA is around 2.25.

Suffice it to say, I never expect to see Hansen out for a second of inning of work again this year. And if I do, it better in situations like last night - at least a 5 run lead.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Too much information

Apparently it's Buster Olney Day here at GYS. He's reporting the Sox are looking to send Mike Lowell to the now Vinny Castilla-less San Diego Padres, in exchange for pitching (Young or Peavy, I'd hope). Three months ago I would've laughed at it and said no way would the Padres do something so stupid; now I'm not so sure I even like the deal, as Lowell's been so awesome. But I know a man-crush when I see it; with Youkilis able to play third, and two power-hitting 1st basemen with awesome names (Hee-Seop Choi and Wily Mo Pena) ready in the wings, I suppose it makes sense. Though defense will suffer; and a good NL pitcher in Petco Park could translate to a terrible AL pitcher in Fenway...who knows.

Meanwhile, to continue a theme we've already touched on today, there's Shea Hillenbrand. I don't think I want him back, in part because he clearly doesn't want to be a role player. Who knows what actually happened in Toronto, so I don't want to blast him on personality (my theory: Ricciardi, Gibbons, and Hillenbrand are ALL total jerks), but I do remember how frustrating he was to watch play: some incredibly clutch hits...but a whole lot of stupid swings.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Baseless Speculation

As a follow up to an earlier comment relating to Buster Olney's assertion that ""I believe, but can't prove, that 75 to 80 percent of the major awards won since 1988 have been won with the help of performance-enhancing drugs." Now, I believe the steroid story is almost entirely a media creation and I wish it would go away and stop being treated like it is this huge emotional scar on the game, like the 1919 WS. So I shouldn't fuel the fires. But any time we can all speculate and point fingers at players we don't like, well then let's fire away.

And one thing I found fascinating as I looked at the list - award winners are jerks. So it is even more fun to speculate that they cheaters. Seriously. While we will look at he PE question in a minute, I would like to go on record as saying - "I believe, but can not prove, that 75 to 80 percent of the major awards since 1988 have been won by players that are jerks."

So the ground rules. Buster would know more than an average Joe, so we need to try hard to get close to the 75 %. Multiple winners do count for each award. so with bonds, we will have to decide if we count 4 for the post 1998 awards, or all 7 (I'm inclined to say just the 4). By major awards, I am assuming Olney means MVP and CY.

I'll start with NL MVP here and over the next few weekdays, cause hell, what better way to waste time at work that to debate this stuff.

So without further ado......


The Blue Jays designated Shea Hillenbrand for assignment? I'm sure they will work out a trade in the next 10 days (or maybe they already have and needed a roster space). I'm sure he will take shots at everyone on the way out. Like when he called Theo a fag. Earlier this year, he did show signs of maturity and reconciliation toward Boston, expressing regret for the fag comment and saying how much he missed Boston. But this tirade that got him cut along with his spat with Beckett, show he really has not grown up that much. So the Sox would be wise to not make a move to try to get him as a backup. The Yanks may have interest, but if the guy was pissed over not being in the lineup one day, he probably won't want to be a role player.

Speaking of the Yankees, is it just me or does the current state of Yankee propoganda remind anyone of this past offseason. All we keep hearing is that the team is playing well, they are winning, Melky is doing great, Matsui is progressing. And they are starting to say things like they don't feel the need to make the move for Abreu. All of this reminds me of this offseason when they kept talking about Crosby being the man in CF. Right up to the day they signed Damon. So let's all prepare ourselves for the Abreu to MFY trade happening early next week. If I was Pat Gillick, I would make the Yanks take Abreu and Burrell to clear all that salary.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

And now a word from our sponsor.....

This is pretty funny. I guess baseball reference does not have any kind of criteria for sponsorship. I'm guessing the A-Rod page is a lot more than the $25 most pages go for.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Questions about the rotation

It looks like we're poised for a week of questions regarding the Red Sox rotation. At least that is my bet what the WEEI guys will be raging about tomorrow. The Baseball tonight guys hinted at the fact that the rotation is a question mark, even bringing in example of the MFY's latest move, if you can call it a move as something rather than nothing (to fix the rotation).

Losing 3 out of 4 to a weak hitting Oakland does focus the attention on the Sox pitching. However, looking back through the games I can only be upset about Beckett's start. Synder lost it in the 5th today, but he almost got himself out of that bind and in my opinion that is all we can expect from him. Remind anyone of Casey Fossum (although right handed)?

As for Beckett, looking through his game log it becomes evident that Beckett has a bad game every now and again. While his ERA is 5.12, the median ER per game is 3. Of the 7 games (out of 19 total) with an ER of 4 or greater Beckett is 1-4. 16 of his 24 HR given up have happen in those games. The opponents have been Toronto, New York (AL), Cleveland, Chicago (AL), and Oakland. All slugging teams with the exception of Oakland, but I feel that Oakland has been under performing.

Yes, it would be great to get a 5th starter, but I still like our rotation.

Friday, July 14, 2006


Eight unearned runs, and now up by only 1 1/2 games. Yikes.

As much as the last two games have sucked, I find myself constantly thinking of Moneyball - Nick Swisher vs. Kevin Youkilis, each having the seasons Billy Beane knew they would eventually (check out this and this). So originally I was hardly a fan of Moneyball - I don't really care for many aspects of it. But the attacks against it were so ridiculous, and hateful, and uninformed, that I found myself needing to defend it; and over time, I even embraced it. (Just liked what happened with the Arroyo-Pena trade. And John Kerry.)

BUT. For all the success that Swisher and Youkilis have had, there is one well-publicized decision that Beane made in Moneyball which turns out to be just flat-out wrong. Here's the quote:
...Grady Fuson, the A's soon to be former head of scouting, had taken a high school pitcher named Jeremy Bonderman. The kid had a 94-mile-per-hour fastball, a clean delivery, and a body that looked as if it had been created to wear a baseball uniform. He was, in short, precisely the kind of pitcher Billy thought he had trained his scouting department to avoid....When Grady leaned into the phone to take Bonderman. Billy, in a single motion, erupted from his chair, grabbed it, and hurled it right through the wall.
Barely a year later, before he had thrown a single pitch in the bigs, Bonderman was traded to Detroit. In the deal (which sent Jeff Weaver to the Yanks), the A's also gave up Carlos Pena and Franklyn German, and got Ted Lilly, two nameless minor leaguers (who saw a total of 13 MLB at-bats), and some cash. Lilly was nothing but a league-average pitcher for the A's. Bonderman, on the other hand, has developed into an All-Star-caliber player, is an important reason why his team is leading their division, and has a salary of only $2.3M this season. Talk about monyeball - whoops.

Let the Pitching Wars Begin

Both the Yankees and the Sox made moves for pitching.

The Yankees picked up Sidney Ponson. Will he be allowed to pitch in Toronto? Isn't he on the run from Canada or something for some crime? Anyway, this guy is terrible. They may have caught lightning in a bottle last year with Chacon and Small, but Ponson is truly awful. No lightning to be had...

In a different type of move, the Sox purchased the contract of Craig Breslow from Pawtucket. I touted this guy in an earlier post (where I was talking about bringing up the farm guys)...His numbers look great and methinks that Seanez and Tavarez will be seeing much less game time.

Now this guy is not a proven major league commodity, but Ponson has proven he is NOT a major league commodity.

Round 1 winner remains to be seen...

Who's next on the list?

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Random and meaningless numbers Part III

As promised, here are the top 10 batters according to Yahoo in our 5x5 league.

1. Ortiz 65 Runs, 31 HR, 87 RBI, 0 Steals, .278 Avg.
2. Thome 69 Runs, 30 HR, 77 RBI, 0 Steals, .298 Avg.
3. Hafner 68 R, 25 HR, 74 RBI, 0 Steals, .322 Avg.
4. Crawford 55 R, 13 HR, 46 RBI, 32 Steals, .319 Avg.
5. Dye 56 R, 25 HR, 68 RBI, 3 Steals, .318 Avg.
6. Wells 48 R, 21 HR, 66 RBI, 10 Steals, .311 Avg.
7. Arod 61 R, 19 HR, 65 RBI, 9 steals, .282 Avg.
8. Giambi 56 R, 27 HR, 72 RBI, 1 Steal, .260 Avg.
9. Suzuki 66 R, 6 HR, 31 RBI, 27 Steals, .343 Avg.
10. Konerko 55 R, 21 HR, 67 RBI, 1 Steal, .313 Avg.

Batters 11-15 are Tejada, Ramirez, Sizemore, Morneau, Ibanez.

I'd say no major suprises here, with the exception of Ibanez having a quietly good season and the absence of Vlad (21st) and Young (30th). Obviously, because of our league Suzuki and Crawford have inflated value because of steals. That being said, Ichiro still hits like crazy and Crawford is a serious threat. I think Ortiz has clearly demonstrated his value time and again. Thome gets the biggest turn around award but teammate Dye has got be close on his heels in the voting (alhtough Dye turned it around last year technically). Finally, Giambi, Arod, and Konerko all seem to be in the right place, on the bottom (hehe).

My prediction is that by the end of the season Tejada and Ramirez will be in the top ten. Thome, Dye and Crawford are the mostly likely to fade a little but probably not out of the top ten. Ichiro and Konerko are most like to fall off the list, although Konerko has been a second half guy the last couple of years (if my memory serves me right).

With Aubrey Huff moving to the National league there is no threat from him. Sorry, there was never any threat from him, I am just trying to rub that trade into X's skin :-) However, if rumors are true that Tejada will jump to the NL, I'll be the one crying.

The best yet

Okay, so we continue to get a ridiculous amount of web traffic from people looking for Hazel Mae pictures; about 20% of all our unique visitors find us by searching for "hazel mae nude", "hazel mae boobs", etc. (of course, every time I make a post like this I just increase that number). But someone came here via a new search string, which I really like:

I really want to meet the person who typed that. Random person from St. Louis, please come back. Or at least send me an email. You are our greatest visitor ever.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Manny being...?

In the comments of the last post, X pointed out some recent work by Bruce Allen (at Boston Sports Media Watch), on Manny's ridiculous treatment by the local (and national) media. It's some excellent, spot-on writing, so I just wanted to highlight it here. Check it out: Manny Ramirez-Reality vs. Perception.

(Also, some Glob sources have corroborated Will Carroll's report that Manny's knee injury is very real.)

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


I just got home, turned on Fox to check the score of the All-Star game (it was 2-1 NL when I left work) and the first thing I heard was:

TIM MCCARVER: ...Fox will be carrying the All-Star Game and World Series for the next seven years.
JOE BUCK: You're stuck with us! America, you're stuck with us, for SEVEN YEARS!

Man, that sucks. But, as Buck then pointed out, technically we're just stuck with Fox. Who knows about Buck and McCarver. Anyway, from the play-by-play I have two quick observations:
  • In three of four "This Time It Counts" ASG's, a Ranger has had a key hit. (Of course, I imagine Buck and/or McCarver mentioned that, seventeen times or so.) Thanks, Texas!
  • Jose Lopez had an exciting night. Called in as a pinch runner, walked to third on a ground-rule double, walked home on Young's triple, and then let the tying run on because of an error in the 9th (he's only played 3rd in 2 games).
Finally: if this (reported by GYS fave Jeff Passan) comes to pass, I will never say anything bad about Bud Selig ever again. I'm sure it won't though.

Random and meaningless numbers Part II

I was cruising through the yahoo standings today and here are the top 10 pitchers: (I'll save the hitters for another post)

1. Papelbon 46 IP, 0.59 ERA, 0.72 WHIP, 47 K
2. Ryan, BJ 42 2/3 IP, 0.84 ERA, 0.70 WHIP, 54 K
3. Santana, Jo. 131 IP, 2.95 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 138 K
4. Liriano 88 1/3 IP, 1.83 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, 102 K
5. Nathan 36 IP, 1.75 ERA, 0.81 WHIP, 52 K
6. Mussina 122 1/3 IP, 3.24 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 108 K
7. Schilling 127 1/3 IP, 3.60 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 115 K
8. Kazmir 115 2/3 IP, 3.27 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 125 K
9. Halladay 129 1/3, 2.92 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 72 K
10. Rivera 46 IP, 1.76 ERA, 0.91 WHIP, 35 K

Kudos to Papelbon, he is playing lights out! Ryan is having another good season and I am suprised we don't hear more about him (must be the whole canadia thing). I wonder if Santana is pissed or psyched to have Liriano around? The kid has a SICK Ks/9 ratio. Nathan is a bit of a surprise just because the Twins took a while to get started (he only has 36 IP). The rest of the list looks ok, but when you look at 11-15, there are a couple questions (Jenks, Putz, Bonderman, Lackey, and Beckett).

So do we have to face the Twins again? I hope not! It would be great for the central teams to kick the crap out of each other in the second half. That might leave a little more room to grab the wild-card. What am I thinking?! Why do I want the Yankees to get the wild-card :-)

Monday, July 10, 2006

An embarrassment of riches

Holy crap. Calling the Home Run Derby is (1) Karl Ravech, (2) Harold Reynolds, (3) John Kruk, (4) Joe Morgan, and (5) Chris Berman. I

(Though actually: where's Steve Phillips?)

Thoughts on the First Half

Beckett has 11 wins, but give up many long balls. However, most of them are solo shots which could result from him challenging hitters when no one is on. Hard to tell. He'll need to cut down on those in the second half, but looks solid as #2.

Schilling has been very good, as well. Is he the dominant '04 Schill? No, but he's definitely a #1 at this point. Of course, a line drive to the elbow might change all that.

Wake is Wake. Dependable, and getting no run support then a ton of run support. The Sox are fine here.

Lester has been great. Can't say too much except that his location is a little erratic which doesn't allow him to pitch deep into games. We'll have to see how the league does against him the second time through.

No fifth starter...Concern?

Papelbon? Great.

Timlin...Once again his numbers don't reflect (somehow) the amounts of times he gets knocked around. He's not lights out, that's for sure, but not a cause for concern. I'd say use him as little as possible to keep his arm live down the stretch.

The kids? Delcarmen and Hansen. Doing their jobs and doing them well. As I've said before use them more in pressure situations because the pressure is going to grow now.

Tavarez? Definitely coming around.

Seanez? Trade him...

Lopez? Haven't seen enough of him. Doesn't look that great, though. It doesn't really seem like there is a need as much for a left-handed specialist this year. The Thome strike out was huge, but I am not sure if the lefty-lefty thing had much to do with that.

Youk...A candidate for best leadoff hitter in the AL? Absolutely.
Loretta...An All-Star.
Manny...also ridiculous
Nixon...lots of line drives and his power is gone. This is a guy that could get traded for a power hitting right fielder. But probably won't go anywhere.
Tek...well, he can catch.
Lowell...WAY better than any of us thought he'd be. Great addition to the lineup.
Coco...That injury really did a number on him...The Sox are going to need him to hit in the second half.
Gonzalez...Re-sign him.

The Sox need a guy that can come off the bench and ignite this offense. There is a tendency for them to go to sleep (see the D-Rays series and everything following the 11th last night). Wily Mo should help when he returns, but I think that the bench is something that needs to be addressed.

Overall one has to be pleased. There is definitely a need for another starter, and not just a number 5. Theo, aim for a 2 or 3 if there are any out there for the taking, but don't sacrifice too much of the future. A power hitting outfielder would help, even if a rental...

And, one last thing...As for the Central being dominant...I am tired of hearing about it. So far the top two in the East have fared well against the top two in the Central. Not sure what that has to do with Red Sox analysis, but I just had to throw that in there.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Update on My Favorite Player

So that loss sucked, but whaddya gonna do - two evenly matched teams, with the benches and bullpens depleted - 50% chance of losing, basically. I personally would've liked to see Wake pitch a couple, but whatever. Seanez actually didn't suck - at least, his pitching was not the worst of the night.

But the real unsung hero for the Red Sox was My Favorite Player, Julian Tavarez. He pitched 4 shutout innings, and let only two guys on base - one walk, and the other a hit which Trot really should've caught. Needless to say, his ERA dropped tremendously, from 4.98 to 4.56. Tavarez-hatahs: please note that his ERA is now equal to the AL average. Yes, in terms of runs given up, he's an average pitcher. Awesome!

Also: since June 19, the day he became My Favorite Player, he's pitched 16 innings, giving up 3 runs on 11 hits, for an ERA of 1.69 and a BAA of .187. In those 3 weeks, his ERA has dropped almost one and a half points.

Goooooo Julian!!!!

Sox-Sox, 12th inning

...Holy crap what a nailbiter. Looks like they could've won it by doubling off Dye. The worst part is that I'm stuck watching the Chicago feed, listening to the Hawk (heave him, please) - oh my god that guy is terrible.

(Well, no matter what happens, at least we know it won't be decided by something lame and arbitrary, like a "home run derby" or something. Until soccer gets rid of penalty kicks, I really don't think I'll be able to truly get into it.)

Saturday, July 08, 2006

God I hate that man, Part XII

"What [Jonathan Papelbon] has done for the Boston Red Sox is amazing. They needed a closer the last couple of years and they have found one."

- Ozzie Guillen, today, apparently forgetting all about Keith Foulke in 2004

2 and..... Oh please don't let me jinx it....


Friday, July 07, 2006

Prospects and How They Develop

Ok...We've discussed this before, but I am noticing that some of these Sox prospects that we've traded have turned into fairly nice players.

Two in particular are Freddie Sanchez who has come into his own this year, hitting .365 with a .405 OBP. He is roughly on pace for two hundred hits and is going to the All-Star game. Very nice. The other is Hanley Ramirez...he was put right into the majors by the Marlins, and (admittedly, he's cooled off from his torrid start) but .274 avg., and 25 stolen bases...not too shabby. He strikes out a ton, but that will get better as he matures. (Let's not even include Eckstein who was released).

Now, the Sox have made these trades already. done...Ramirez brought us Lowell and Beckett which is working out very well (and Gonzalez has been great at SS). Sanchez got us Suppan and Sauerbach which (in hindsight) is a bad deal.

Now, you can ponder a couple of things. Without those trades, you'd have Sanchez at 3rd and Ramirez at SS. It sort of leads me to this conclusion:

No matter what transpires for the rest of this season, don't trade away the young guys. This means, don't trade Pedroia and Hansen (or someone else) for Smoltz. Don't trade David Murphy to Houston with Delcarmen and Pedroia for Clemens. If you are going to trade away some prospects, get a veteran with a lot of tread left on the tires that you can have for a few years.

This Sox teams has some holes. They need to get the young guys more pressure-filled mound time. Better to do it now instead of down the stretch (that way there still might be time to find another arm). They need another starter as Johnson is not cutting it. I am also interested in seeing how Lester does the second time through the league, and, as great as he has been, he still has trouble locating pitches which could hurt him against patient lineups. So, the Sox are probably looking for a number 3/4 and an arm for the pen. Another bat off the bench would be great, and they should have that when Wily Mo gets back.

The front office has to take a realistic look at what they have and truly believe that this is a championship caliber team to make moves including younger players. Yes, they might win the division. But...are they a championship caliber team? Are they even a player or two away? If not, just get to the postseason with what you have and take your chances...Don't give up the very near future for a very few months...

The Sox were right with Ramirez and Sanchez, they are both big league players. Ramirez looks like he's going to be great, and, as mentioned above, Sanchez is suddenly an All-Star. Obviously, Youk has been fantastic, too. So, don't trade Pedroia, Murphy, or Ellsbury. Don't trade the young guys for some rent-a-player...That's what I am getting at here.

"Don't get mad, get even"

I imagine if I were Mark Redman, I wouldn't like being the poster boy for "everything that's wrong with the All-Star selection process" either. Never mind that he's way better than Mike Williams in 2003 (by about 2 ERA points). Anyway, tonight he pitched 8 innings against the Blue Jays (more than any Sox starter has managed this season) , and gave up only 2 runs, 5 hits, and 2 walks. Pretty badass.

(Oh, and nice win by the Sox tonight. I think Ortiz has finally figured out a way to beat the shift.)

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Just Because

Last night's loss was so painful...Here's a little something to cheer us all up.

For some reason the link doesn't work just copy and paste. You will not be disappointed.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Thank god for interleague

Against AL opponents only:

TEAM        W     L     PCT    GB
Toronto     38    27   .584    -
NY Yankees  36    27   .571    1
Boston      34    29   .540    3

Monday, July 03, 2006

Something I hope never to do again...

...defend Ozzie Guillen. I think he did a reasonable job with the All-Star roster. It's worth noting that his picks are made "in conjunction with the Commissioner's Office", and who knows what thaty means - but basically we have no idea who's really making the decisions. There were several snubs, but that happens every year - a natural consequence of fan voting and the requirement of one player from each team. Yes, Mark Redman sucks, but what can you do (and he's friggin' Sandy Koufax compared to the Pirates' lone rep in 2003: Mike Williams, sporting a 7.55 ERA).

In my opinion, there were two massive mistakes, which could've been fixed easily: Justin Verlander should go rather than Kenny Rogers, and Francisco Liriano rather than Jose Contreras. The stats just don't compare, so it's weird. They went with the older guys - maybe they were worried NL had too many new faces? I dunno - I can't explain it.

Other than that, I can come up with 6 snubs. Travis Hafner, Jason Giambi, Curt Schilling, Mike Mussina, Joe Crede, and A.J. Pierzynksi. The fact that two of them are White Sox suggests than Ozzie really didn't go way overboard picking his own (compared to Torre in 2001). Three of the other four were from Boston or New York, a big strike against them given how well those teams did in the voting (too well, actually) - plus Rivera and Paps had to go. And two of them found themselves in probably the most crowded field in All-Star history. Ortiz, Thome, Konerko, Giambi, and Hafner - wow. Why can't they simply have a DH spot for the balloting, even if no DH is actually used?

So that's 8 snubs, which seems like a lot. BUT: (1) at least one (probably several) will actually go; (2) only two of the snubs are really bad - Liriano and Verlander; and (3) given the strength of the AL this year, snubs are to be expected. Compare this to the NL, which only has one bad snub (despite having 2 more teams!), Nomar. He should win the vote easily.

(Speaking of which, don't forget: Vote For Nomar.)

Update: Turns out Contreras and Rogers were voted in by the players. So much for that.

Update 2: The more I think about it, the less sure I am about Ozzie "doing a good job". He only picked 7 players, but four of them (Sizemore, Zito, Redman, and Tejada) were the sole reps from their teams. Meaning he really only got 3 picks...and picked 3 White Sox. So yeah, Ozzie sucks. But still, the problem is in the balloting (fans and players), and the dumb rule about all teams being represented.

Interleague postmortem

Throughout interleague I've commented a number of times about how much the NL sucks. In fact, the GYS Network is now the first page you get when you google "NL sucks". Anyway, for a bunch of recent articles on the AL-NL disparity, click here (lots of talk of realignment). Here are the numbers I like the most:
  • AL wins, 154-98 (.611). The average AL team would be a 99-game winner in the NL. Meanwhile, 90 wins will probably get at least one NL team into the playoffs.
  • Kansas City, 18-44 against the AL (.290), went 9-9 (.500) in interleague. Thanks to the NL, they're now far less likely to have The Worst Season In Baseball History.
  • Submitted without comment: Pedro, Lowe, and Arroyo, who combined are 20-8 with a 2.87 ERA against the NL, went 2-4 with a 4.42 ERA in 9 starts against the AL.

Sunday, July 02, 2006


Orlando Cabrera just made a straight steal of home - with a rightie on the mound. Pretty badass. He's now been on base in 59 consecutive games, the longest streak in the career of any active player (Bonds once got up to 58).

Meanwhile, the Sox are putting together 2 new streaks of their own: wins (2), and double-error games (2). Let's go for the record!

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Did you SEE that throw that Mirabelli made?

And the errorless streak is over as well. And it led to a run. Again by Hanley Ramirez.

Update: and another error, two batters later! When it rains, it pours.
Update 2: of course, who needs defense when you have two guys with multihomer games...