Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Lack of Posts

Can't concentrate on Sox right now...B's are in the Cup Finals.

I am going out on a limb and talking about something other analysts haven't. This series won't come down to the featured match-ups. It won't be the top line of Vancouver against the top D line of Boston. That will be great to watch without a doubt.

I think that this comes down to the third lines of each team. Why? Both teams are stacked on the top two lines. Boston I think has a slight advantage on line 2, but it isn't worth mentioning as Vancouver's second D-line is better.

But those third lines...This is where I think the B's get the edge. Seguin, Kelly, and Peverley (or Ryder). If these guys perform, the B's take this series.

Well, this doesn't suck

So it's May 31st and we have 1 more game to play before we head into June. A couple of weeks ago we had a thread about what the sox needed to do to get back on pace for 95 wins this year.

As it turns out, they got their 15th win on Sunday afternoon (which assures them a .614 or better winning percentage) and almost swept their second series in May with a 4-3 loss to the Tigers that evening. I was hoping last night was our night with Lester on the mound, but alas his game needs some tweaking. Perhaps Aceves will extend his winning streak tonight and we'll be a game ahead of plan heading into June.

Regardless, we've got a share of first place and our 2 for whatever start seems like a distant past.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Is it time to compare DJ Werd and Tort Noxin?

Keeping up the Earl theme, besides having a more AWESOME backwords name than Trot Nixon, JD Drew may actually be a better RF for the Red Sox. Or not.

Trot obviously had a much longer career with the Sox and even the untrained eye can see that he put up more impressive offensive numbers during his time guarding pesky's pole. In contrast, we all waited an entire season for JD Drew to get a "hit". Fortunately, for him and for us that came in the form of a pretty clutch grand slam against Cleveland.

Obviously, there are a lot of ways to skin this cat and none is perfect. After doing some looking I finally settled on WAR (wins above replacement) for one simple reason, it combines offense and defense. The other aspect of WAR that was appealing is that it is a direct comparison in that it compares the value of each player over a "replacement".

Finally, how to adjust for the fact that Trot patrolled RF for the Sox for 10 years and Drew is just in his 5th? I think the only way to do this is to take the best 4 consecutive years of Trot's career and compare them to Drew. With that in mind and the simple fact that Drew was apart of the 2007 World Series Champions, we have to pick the best 4 years around 2004 for Trot, otherwise Drew will have the only stat that really matters: "winning," as Charlie Sheen would say.

So with that in mind here are the numbers:
Trot 2002-2005: 2.8, 4.9, 1.1 WS Champs, 3.7 (total 12.5)
Drew 2007-2010: 1.9 WS Champs, 4.1, 5.0. 2.5 (total 13.5)

Ok so that's settled. Or not. Drew was hurt in 2004, which pretty much makes up the difference between them. If you substitute 2001 (3.5 WAR) or 2006 (1.8) for Trot's 2004 season this would be a different story. They would either be the same value or Trot would be more valuable.

Of course we should consider the cost. One can argue that the lower costing Trot allowed the Sox to spend more on other players. However, by the time Drew was signed the Sox weren't exactly cutting corners on their budget. That being said the facts are that Drew cost $56 million over those 4 years while Trot a mere $18.7 million. Again this might have more to do with the fact that home grown talent is ALWAYS cheaper than free agent signing.

So there you have it, or not. Maybe it comes down to the fact that DJ Werd might just be one of the best backwards names ever to play for the Sox. but Tort Noxin does have a nice ring to it.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Millwood to join the Sox?

Peter Gammons is reporting that Kevin Millwood has joined the Red Sox organization to help stem the tide as DiceBB and Lackey are sidelined on the DL.

Millwood is 36 and pitched 31 games last year for the Orioles with a 5.10 ERA.

Um... We honestly don't have anyone in AAA that is better?

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Then THIS happened...

(From Yahoo) Then Albers (0-2) relieved in the eighth and Boston’s chances of winning faded fast.

“I didn’t think he pitched as bad as the line’s going to show,” Red Sox manager Terry Francona said.

Darwin Barney(notes) and Starlin Castro(notes) singled and Ramirez walked, loading the bases. Carlos Pena then walked in a run before Johnson doubled to left, putting the Cubs ahead to stay. Alfonso Soriano(notes) followed with a popup to short left field where shortstop Jed Lowrie(notes) let it bounce off his glove for an error as Pena scored.

“Overran it, misjudged the wind,” Lowrie said. The conditions have “been tough all year. It’s no excuse, just got to play it. What can you do?”

Franklin Morales(notes), obtained Thursday from Colorado, relieved Albers and his first pitch went for an RBI double by pinch-hitter Jeff Baker(notes). Koyie Hill(notes) struck out and Barney flew to right, where J.D. Drew’s(notes) catch was only the beginning of a bizarre play.

He threw home and Soriano, who had tagged up, headed back to third. Catcher Jason Varitek’s(notes) throw ticked off third baseman Kevin Youkilis’ glove. Youkilis was charged with an error and left fielder Carl Crawford(notes), who backed him up, threw wildly to home for another error as Soriano and Baker scored.

Castro followed with an RBI double, making it 9-3.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Late to the Laser Show

I am obviously late to the laser show, but I find it so amusing. Plus with my new found embedding skills I just like to link to random shiznit now.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

I miss Coco

Random thoughts on a Sunday night

Last night was a great night for Red Sox baseball, but it was also an interesting night for a bunch of reasons.

Here is what was significant about Sunday night:

1. Beckett's birth day
2. The night in 1941 when Lou Gehrig started his consecutive hits streak
3. The evening in 2003 that Fenway was first sold out to set the longest consecutive sell out streak
4. Jon Lester's 66th win, giving him the highest winning percentage among pitchers with at least 50 games
5. The night that Bobby Valentine confessed to the world that he was Billy Buckner's roommate in college. (Ok, so this wasn't THAT interesting but I did enjoy the Buckner references when ARod botched the play at third).

Big Papi

Okay, I cant do a fancy pants embedded video like Dino.

But this was funny.

(here you go X)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Meet Jose Iglesias

Gregg Zaun... who would have thought it?

With the Rem-dog fighting a "bit of pneumonia" we are treated to a virtual cornucopia of guest color commentators.

Last night, Gregg Zaun was in the booth with Don and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. I had this impression from his playing days that he was just another meathead 'roider. That may in fact still be true, but last night he showed a completely different side. He was articulate, funny and insightful. It helps that he has played with and against a lot of the guys who were on the field. And it always seems that catchers have a keen perspective on the game. All in all, I'd like to start a campaign for MORE Gregg Zaun.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

One man's perspective of the first month - the good, the bad and the ugly

So a month in and, well, it wasn't the coronation that everyone was expecting.

Editor's note - May is off to a good start. Beating the defending CY Young pitcher and the pitcher who would win the one month 2011 Cy Young in their first two starts. But back to April.


All along, I thought the starters would be about what they were last year. Refer to this post. And I'm sure it is elsewhere in comments, etc.

"Last year. Starters were 70-50 with a 4.17 ERA (6th in league). I think they will be pretty close to that this year. Maybe a tad better. We know they offense is going to score the most or second most runs in the league. So the difference from last year is the bullpen."

Granted its been a bit up and down. Actually down then up. Adn right now the starters are 10-10 3.75. Breaking it down Grieve style:

Lester is the stud he was last year.

Dice-BB has been pretty much Dice-BB. Two awesome outings. And then three outings w 11 IP total. Overall result 3.81 but I expect more of the 5IP Dice than the one hitter Dice.

Lackey overall has been the same 5+ Lackey as last year. But has shown promise in the last three starts.

And that leaves Beckett and Bucholz - who have essentially flip flopped. I also wrote somewhere that I expected either Lester or Bucholz to fade a bit, but Beckett or Lackey to step forward. All of which is kind of happening.

Bottom line - its still early. Some of this will sort itself out. Bucholz is probably hurt, thus the diminished results, but the starting pitching feels like last year.

In short, now that the first week of the rotation getting hammered appears to have been a blip (save Bucholz and the long ball), no need to panic about SP.


This was last year's Achilles. And I don't feel much better about this year's pen. Yet. The ERA of this group 5.02. Jenks and Wheeler were the $$ acquisitions. And they have sucked.

I never thought I would say this. And I shutter a bit as I type it. Thank goodness for Paps. What a shock, the contract year has lit a fire under his ass. Hope he keeps it up. Saves 40 games, including 8 in October. And then some dumbass team pays him $50. And we'll get to hear him trash Boston all winter. But I digress, nice to see him mix it up a bit and not pump all FB.

Bard - again a workhorse with an occasional blip. But clearly Tito trusts him. A lot. As he should.

Dubront (sent to AAA), Oki, Reyes (already cut) - not holding their own either.

Bottom line - they have too much invested in Jenks and Wheeler to not keep running them out there. the scary thing with Jenks is that he can look filthy for a stretch. And then boom lose it. Hopefully they all settle down. And the results will come. If not Theo will keep running new faces into the 1-2 spots he has flexibility with.

And Wake, bless him for that start yesterday, but long term, I don't know how they can keep justifying that roster spot. Especially if some guys are struggling.

Now..... the lineup.

I had visions of going through them all. But not really much point. They will score runs in bunches. Just like they did tonight. Sure they are susceptible to LHP. Particularly starters. But I think that will be fine in the long run. Crawford will be fine. Gonzalez should hit for a bit more power. We;d like Elsbury to get on base a bit more. Pedey and Youk have lower than expected AVG, but their OBP are okay and YOuk's power is there. Drew is Drew. Papi is Papi (Lite).

The only real problem that warrants watching. And I know its a real chorus. Catcher. As much as they talk about how they are being patient, etc. I have to wonder how long they can keep running Salty out there. And if they are really comfortable with Tek catching 3 times per week. He is old. And then if he breaks down, they are screwed. Salty looks lost back there at times. Adn he is in the lineup for his bat. But .204/.259/.259? A week and a half ago, Gammons was saying that it wouldn't surprise him if the Sox made a move back then. I imagine the pressure is only mounting.

Benji Molina is available although he'd cost $$$. Or bring up one of the AA guys. Apparently the Federowicz guy is for real. We'll see.

All told. My bottom line. No need to panic. It was a bad month, but they are starting to show some encouraging signs.

Now if they can just solve C and stay away from LH starters. And apparently it would be nice to play 162 games vs the Angels.