Thursday, August 31, 2006

Trade Talks involving Wells

Shipping Wells off to San Diego or LA is a great idea. It's definitely time to think about next year, and stop focusing on this years end. Almost all of the starters have faltered in one way or another this year.

I hope they are looking into other deals, as well. Anyone interested in Nixon? He's in the last year of his contract. He's not likely to re-sign with a team that picked up Wily Mo this year. Then there's Lopez. Varitek is close to coming back (I believe), but even so a minor leaguer can come up and cover for the rest of the year. Also, Foulke has an option for next year, but I'm not sure if it's been vested with all of his injury time. Timlin signed a one year contract, so he's also available. Would he be of interest to other clubs given his health issues and age?

Source: - Boston Red Sox: Wells talks focus on LA, San Diego

Wells, 43, has been pitching exceptionally well of late and is due to face Roy Halladay tonight at Fenway Park. However, with a deal seeming inevitable, the Sox yesterday scratched left-hander Lenny DiNardo from a scheduled start at Triple-A Pawtucket, making him available to pitch tonight.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

The Red Sox are packing it in

Half the team flew home before the game last night, including Ortiz, Ramirez, Pena and Wells. Only Wells had a non-medical reason, but he may not be on the team for much longer. Does it make sense for the Red Sox to look to the future? Based on their road trip, I would have to say yes. Actually, looking at the month of August makes you wonder why we had such high hopes for this team.

The Red Sox have gone 8-20 for the month of August.

With their current medical issues going team wide, I'd say it was time to say goodbye to Wells. Hello Kemp. - Boston Red Sox: Wells may go to Dodgers

The Sox are believed to have asked the Los Angeles Dodgers for 21-year-old outfielder Matt Kemp for Wells. Kemp batted .279 with seven homers and 21 RBI in 37 games with the Dodgers from May 28-July 14. He’s currently batting .349 with three homers in 42 games for Triple-A Las Vegas.
Wells must be traded by midnight tomorrow to be eligible for a team’s postseason roster.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Titles are important

With a title like this, you would expect there to be some stats backing up their list. - Pro Football's Cherished Myths

Pro Football's Cherished Myths
Ten sweeping statements for which there is no statistical defense

But there are none. Just more allegorical evidence, along with some misquotes from some of the people the article is supposedly naysaying.

Kind of strange, but given how badly the Red Sox have blown their latest road trip, its good to get into a football frame of mind.

Friday, August 25, 2006

How to throw deep

I learned something today. - N.E. Patriots: The art of throwing deep

“The idea when throwing deep is to get the ball to turn over,” he said. “You can tell the guys who are good at throwing the deep ball. When the ball (crests), it drops almost like it’s coming down on the receiver.
“When you say a ball sails, the trajectory is flat as it comes down. No matter how good you throw it, the ball has a trajectory the receiver can never catch up to.
“You need the ball to turn over, but it won’t if you don’t finish the throw. A lot of times when I was throwing it, I’d kind of stop my throwing motion and more or less guide the ball. Now I’m just throwing it, the ball turns over and drops, and hopefully, it drops into my receiver’s hands.
“There’s your dissertation on quarterbacking. Hopefully you guys learned something.”

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Win one, lose six

There's so much bad news coming out of the bullpen right now, it's hard to keep track. - Boston Red Sox: Sox’ prayers answered -- Losing streak ends with win over Halos

Lester (7-2) nearly had to be scratched from the start due to a sore lower back, but he managed to stick around for five innings, allowing three runs on six hits and four walks. He struck out two.

If Lester goes out with a bad back, who could they turn to? There's no one left to come back (except for DiNardo or Clement?) In other news, Wakefield has been deprived of pitching off the mound until he has no pain in his ribcage at all. So who knows when he'll be back.

But the good news is Foulke has been pitching and giving a welcome relief to the middle relievers. It's telling, however, that he was pulled and Papelbon was put in after giving up only one hit.

Well, it was still a good thing to see them win one game. Too bad they have to face up with Weaver tonight and Manny is having an MRI.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Patriots look for their players

Branch is still sitting out. I don't know about you, but I thought his holdout would be over by now. I assumed the Patriots would get a long term deal done with their star wide receiver. But it looks like both sides are waiting for the other to blink.

In the meantime, I'm already sick of all the articles on Seau. I know he's a big talker and he makes great copy, but enough is enough already. He hasn't even played, yet. He doesn't even know how he's going to play on this team. Let's wait and see what he can do.

I've also been left wondering about Harrison, but then, based on the stories about him today, so has he. No one knows when he'll be ready to see action again. At least he's practicing. But I don't like knowing he's so far behind in getting ready for the season. Yes, he's fit. But that's not the same thing.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

How the Red Sox can get back in it.

With the Red Sox 6 1/2 games back and only 38 games left (Yankees have 39), I'm looking ahead today and seeing how the Red Sox can get back into the race. In other words, how many games do they need to win (and the Yankees have to win/lose)?

If the Red Sox win half of their remaining games (i.e. 19 games), the Yankees would have to lose 26 games of their remaining games (i.e. win 33% of their remaining games) for the Sox to get tied up. Here are the other possibilities:

Red Sox Wins
Ratio of wins (Red Sox)
Yankees Losses Ratio of Wins (Yankees)
19 50% 26 33%
23 60% 22 44%
27 70% 18 54%
30 80% 15 62%
34 90% 11 72%
38 100% 7

So, if the the Sox take 30 (80%) of their remaining games (a possibility, although I'm not very optimistic about that today) and the Yankees only take 62% (lose 14 of their remaining 39) of their remaining games, they can tie it back up.

I suppose that is possible, but the Sox would need to show more heart than they've shown so far this season.

Monday, August 21, 2006

That's that

Too many games back. That's the story for today. With a six game lead in the East, the Yankees can cruise to the finish line. It would take a massive collapse (similar to what the Red Sox just did) for Boston to catch up.

Oh well. Bring on football.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Wells to the rescue?

First, let me just say that I don't like Wells. I really wish he had retired and gotten on with his life. I don't think he's a big game pitcher anymore. I think he's out of shape, out of his mind, and he just isn't good for the Red Sox.

Having said that, it should come as no surprise to you that I disagree with the title from this Herald Story: - Boston Red Sox: All’s Wells -- Lefty handles Tigers; Sox avoid sweep

Wells, making just his sixth start in an injury-interrupted season, lasted 6 2/3 innings, allowing four runs on 10 hits, striking out three and walking only one.
"He just quieted things down a little bit," Sox manager Terry Francona said. "The magnitude of any game isn’t too big for him, and he just goes out and competes and throws what he throws for strikes. When he’s healthy enough to do it, he’s pretty good."

4 runs in 6 and 2/3 innings is not great. Admittedly, it was better than our other starters have done lately. But don't go around think David is now the savior. I give credit to the hitters for this win. 6 runs is what they needed and got from players like Ortiz and Crisp. Twice, the Sox had to come back in the game. Ortiz hit a homer to go up by two in the fifth. Crisp hit a double in the sixth to come back again.

So thank you, Crisp and Ortiz (honorable mention to Lowell). You handled those pesky Tigers. Not the other way around.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

It's depressing

It's always tough when your 1 and 2 pitchers lose two in a row. It's worse after losing five of six to TB and KC. It's too easy to fall back into the doom and gloom after a road series the Red Sox had.

I'm not sure the Red Sox are going to recover from losing Varitek. Their pitching staff seems to be in disarray. Beckett wasn't exactly the picture of consistency before Varitek got hurt, but it seems like all the quotes on Javy lately look a lot like the quotes about catching Wakefield at the beginning of the season. I hope it gets straightened out, but we'll have to wait and see.

The loss last night could have gone either way (hello, Wily Mo Errorless). It's the carryover that hurts.

If we take a look at what the Tigers have done, it should be be easy to see how the Red Sox could turn this skid around. After getting swept by the White Sox, the Tigers weren't intimidated to come to Boston. In fact, it looks more like they decided to sweep up the Red Sox to somehow make up for what happened to them (and given Wells pitching tonight, that becomes a distinct possibility).

And so, that's what I'm going to hope for. Somehow, the Sox take this beating and turn it around on their next opponents.

Did I mention the Yankees are coming to town?

Monday, August 14, 2006

One game out isn't good enough this year

I'm still convinced, despit Torontos nose dive, the wild card won't be coming out of the East this year. So, one game back is not the best place to be. One game up is.
Boston Red Sox, Major League Baseball - CBS

You are only one game behind the Yankees in the American League East race. Not a terrible position to reside at all. I believe they call that being in the thick of it. Yet all I hear from my Sox friends, from you Sox types, is how the world is coming to an end. We're dead, we're toast. We're dog meat. We're not going to win it.

Three games taken from Baltimore is great, but there are still nine games against the Yankees to worry about.

And I'm starting to believe the only help the Sox are going to get is from themselves (I really wish they'd picked up a middle reliever). So, live or die, this is the pitching staff the Sox have to go with. That ERA column doesn't exactly inspire joy in my heart.

38Curt SchillingSP25251450000723.89166.214922.268
19Josh BeckettSP24241360000864.92146.112046.246
18Jason M. JohnsonSP19193110000776.26102.04733.337
49Tim WakefieldSP1919780010624.14119.28043.233
62Jon LesterSP1313620000334.0972.25436.283
30Matt ClementSP1212550000506.6165.14338.291
55Lenny DiNardoSP75120000217.1125.11512.367
52Kyle SnyderP95320000276.2330.1289.331
16David WellsSP55120000226.2326.0135.354
60David PauleySP33020000147.8816.0106.419

Friday, August 11, 2006


That's what last night's game was. Just wasted. A strong outing from your ace just thrown away (again). And what's worse was how the Yankees lost, which gave the Red Sox a chance to catch up by one game.

Now they have to rely on Wells and (pitcher of the day's name here) to win against Baltimore before heading into the worst part of their schedule. Detroit followed by the Yankees followed by a road trip to anaheim, seattle, oakland and then back home to Toronto.

While I don't think the Red Sox are dead (2 games with 50 games left, how can that be the end of the season?), they have to start playing better. And I'm really looking forward to the Patriots pre-season to take my mind off of the situation at Fenway.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Bruschi is likely out for six weeks

Ted Bruschi underwent surgery to insert a screw into his broken wrist yesterday. Despite Ted's hopes, he'll likely be sidelined for six weeks, so don't expect him to start that first game. - N.E. Patriots: Bruschi braces for yet another miracle return: Despite surgery, sets sights on Pats’ opener

According to Dr. Bill Morgan, head of the Bone and Joint Center at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center and former Red Sox team physician, surgeries such as Bruschi’s usually require a minimum of six weeks to heal.
That would keep Bruschi sidelined until the third week of the season. However, a source yesterday indicated that Bruschi believes he can return in time to face the Bills in the regular-season opener on Sept. 10.
The Patriots on Tuesday announced he’ll miss the entire preseason.

Even if Teddy is ready for the first game, he may be a little bit rusty given he'll have missed the entire pre-season. The defensive depth just took a big hit and the season hasn't even started.

Hopefully, the Red Sox put it behind them

Let's make it clear about why last night's loss was a hard pill to swallow.

  1. Papelbon gave up two runs in the ninth inning to blow his second save in as many tries
  2. The KC Royals have the worst record in major league baseball
  3. It was the first walkoff victory for the Royals this season
  4. It's the first time I heard Papelbon give the "learning curve" speech
  5. The Red Sox have lost four in a row to Tampa Bay and KC
  6. The Red Sox fell another game behind the Yankees for the division

Let's make this clear, though. The only point above that matters is the last one. It doesn't matter who you lose to. It only matters that you have another loss. There's no such thing as momentum in baseball. Every day is different, every day you have two different pitchers. So, four losses in a row don't matter (even to teams with TB and KC record).

All that matters is the Red Sox are letting the lead the Yankees have in the division grow.

BTW, Curt Schilling put the starting pitchers on notice last night they need to do more:

    “There’s more
responsibility on the starting pitching staff right now than there has
been in the past,” he said. “And if we’re going to get into October,
we’re going to have to pitch our way there.”

before last night’s 5-4 loss, Schilling said, “You can call it
pressure, but I don’t know if it’s pressure, because, for me, it’s the
position I’m in in the rotation. I look at that as my responsibility
every time I’m out there. I’m supposed to throw more innings than the
other guys. I’m supposed to pitch deeper in the games. That’s how I

there needs to be a staff-wide urgency to do so. What you have to do,
though, is take that terminology and translate what it means for you.
Do you need to be doing more work between starts Do you need to be
doing more preparation between starts Do you need to be doing less off
the field between games All the little things that go into being as
good as you can possibly be on that fifth day. That is more important
now than it was three months ago when we were semi-healthy.”

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

And? What's your point, Tony?

Tony Massarotti would like you to know the offense is struggling: - Boston Red Sox: Sox hitting stats

Since the All-Star break, both Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz have held up their end of the bargain in keeping the Red Sox competitive. However, the rest of the lineup has struggled. Here’s a look at how bad it’s been:

AB: 93 R:19 H:31 2B: 6 3B:1 HR: 9 RBI:22 BB:14 SO: 22 Avg.:.333 SLG: .710
AB : 90 R: 17 H:32 2B: 7 3B: 0 HR: 7 RBI: 24BB: 11 SO: 13 Avg.: .356 SLG.: .667
AB : 183 R: 36 H: 63 2B: 13 3B: 1 HR: 16 RBI 46 BB: 25 SO: 35 Avg: .339 SLG: .677
AB : 660 R: 84 H: 174 2B: 42 3B: 2 HR: 14 RBI: 71BB: 58 SO: 131 Avg. .264 SLG: .395

So, what's your point? I'm not going to go out and get the numbers from other teams, but I would have to guess if you take out the top two hitters on any team in the league and compare there numbers, you'd get something that looks an awful lot like this. That's what Ortiz and Manny are paid to do. They aren't paid for their defensive skills.

The Red Sox are ranked (in the AL) second in runs and rbis, fourth in hits, 3rd in homeruns, and fifth in SLG. What more do you want from the offense? They also put a great defensive unit out there night after night, with only 40 E for the season. For perspective, the team ranked second is the Twins with 56 E.

It's not the pitching Tony, nor is it the defensive players holding the offense down in some way. It's the pitching.

Monday, August 07, 2006

I have to admit I was worried

I kept hearing how Papelbon had blown his fourth save this year, and I was wondering if being a rookie closer was finally getting to him. I was so worried, I had to go take a look at his numbers, and how he compares to other relievers in the league.

To say the least, I was reassured. His ERA increased to 0.64 after last night. He is 3-1 with 30 saves over 56.2 innings 49 games. He has 58 K with 10 BB.

I'm not sure you could ask any more of your closer. ;-)

BTW, Foulke may be reactivated as soon as Monday.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Catcher Time

This could be interesting. While I think Mirabelli is a good catcher who can handle the starting catchers role, picking up Lopez would be a great move for the Red Sox. He's certainly better than any other option they have in house. - Boston Red Sox: Varitek keeps positive outlook

The Sox are believed to be exploring a deal for Baltimore’s Javy Lopez, a poor defensive catcher who could clear waivers as soon as today. Another option would be to pursue a more defensively skilled catcher to work in a rotation with Mirabelli and, perhaps, Ken Huckaby.

Hopefully, the Sox take care of business over the next 10 days or so given what their opponents are going to look like after that. (Starting on August 14th, the Red Sox will be facing Detroit, NY, LA, Seattle, Oakland, Toronto and the White Sox). Hopefully they'll make a quick move to cover the catchers role so Lopez (or whoever) can get acquainted with the pitchers before those series begin.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Bad news from Foxboro

The Patriots haven't talked to Deion for a week. While it's unlikely Branch would sit out the whole season, it's hard to get him onto the field unless you talk to his agent. This is the guy who the Patriots wanted so much they were willing to let Givens go. So what gives?

The Pats offered Branch a four year deal worth 19 million (loaded on the back end). Branch rejected the offer. Branch offered to come in on his 1.05 million dollar contract this year, as long as the Patriots agreed not to franchise him next year. The Pats rejected that offer. Now they aren't speaking to each other.

Bruschi may have fractured his wrist on Monday. Given how weak the secondary was last year, having injuries pop up this early into the 'season' is not a good sign. Hopefully, the Patriots have given a lot of thought into depth this year. Unfortunately, Biesel may be the only option at middle linebacker, with Vrabel as his backup? Either that or Vrabel has to come inside, but he's more suited to playing OLB.

Bruschi may have plenty of time to heal before the season starts, and playing hurt is practically a byline for all players. But having a weakened wrist is not a good thing for any football player.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Lack of moves

There's been a lot of debate on how the Red Sox did not make any moves and whether that's a good thing or not. The biggest rumors (being discounted now in Atlanta, btw) revolved around Andruw Jones for Lester, Hansen and Crisp. And then a possible move of Jones for Oswalt.

I would say that if the Red Sox could have swung the whole deal to get Roy Oswalt, I would have been very happy with the trade. Anything short of that and we would have been giving up way too much.

The Sox are third in offensive output. They don't need another bat. They are short on pitching at the end of the rotation (point in case, Wells last night). I was excited about how Snyder pitched so well, though. 4.1 innings and one hit makes him the hero of the game, although Ortiz got all the glory.

And please don't read that as any disrespect to David, of course. His 12th walk off hit/home run was just what the Sox needed to pick them up out of their mini-slump.

But in the long run, Kyle Snyder's long relief may be of more importance. The starting pitchers don't seem to be lasting as long as they need to, so any long relief is good to see.

BTW, I'm not (all that) upset about Abreu going to the Yankees. I hate seeing them pick up anyone for so little. But another bat in that power line-up isn't going to make a huge impact. If they had picked up a big pitcher (Lidle may benefit from the run support, but the Yankees probably aren't any better for having him), then I'd be upset.