Archive for the ‘Red Sox’ Category

Rep your hood

October 10, 2008

According to Baseball Prospectus’ third order wins, there were only five teams in baseball that won 90 or more games. Four of those teams were from the AL East and the other was the Chicago Cubs. It is fitting that the clear class of baseball this year represents the last two teams standing in the AL.

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Wins are stupid

May 19, 2008

Manliest injury ever

May 15, 2008

Clayboy is a girl.

Jerry, have you ever watched a Red Sox game?

May 15, 2008

This will be one of the few media criticisms where I don’t quote the author. The reason for that is because I have nothing to quote. ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick wrote a long peice about “on-field antics” and didn’t even mention Red Sox reliever Jon Papelbon, a fist-pumping riverdancing fool.

Waste of green

February 8, 2008

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Boston can forget about that $8 million. If the Rockies couldn’t get their money back from Denny Neagle, the Sox aren’t getting theirs from Schilling. (Source)

Mind bottling

November 20, 2007

5 reasons why Mike Lowell is better than ARod

1. He’s cheaper

Nick Shlain: Okay, this is true. I don’t believe being cheaper really makes a difference when you consider how much better of a player ARod is and how the Yankees and Red Sox print money, but let’s see if you convince me.

Lowell has agreed to a three-year, $37.5 million contract with the Red Sox, according to the Associated Press. Rodriguez and the Yankees will be locked up for about 10 years and $275 million. It doesn’t take Matt Damon’s character in “Good Will Hunting” to figure out the Sox are getting the better deal. The Sox can make up for A-Rod’s extra home runs by adding a couple more players with the $17 million a year they saved without A-Rod.

NS: Whoa, Nellie. What is the point of being cheaper if the Red Sox are going to have to spend the $17M they “saved” just to equal ARod’s production? Why waste the extra position on the field and roster spot on your team? Why not just get ARod? 

2. He’s clutch

NS: Oh boy.

Sure, A-Rod’s 54 homers and 156 RBIs are nice during the regular season, but look at his performances from the playoffs. Rodriguez has hit .133, .071, and .267 in his last three postseasons. Meanwhile, all Lowell did this year was earn World Series MVP by batting .400 with 6 runs scored and 4 RBIs. Lowell hit .353 in 14 postseason games for the Red Sox in 2007.

NS: Batting average is an overrated statistic. ARod had a .820 OPS in the playoffs this year, that is not bad at all.

Also, the “clutch” Mike Lowell had a .541 OPS in the 2003 World Series against the Yankees.

BTW, the postseason is a total crapshoot.

3. He’s a better fielder

NS: Well, he probably should be because he’s been playing 3B for his entire career/baseball life and ARod is a converted SS in his 4th season there.

This is in the eye of the beholder, of course. What is certain is that Lowell, in an “off” year, made 15 errors at third base this season compared with A-Rod’s 13. But Lowell made just 6 errors in each of his previous two seasons, while A-Rod made 36 total errors in 2005 and 2006. For his career, Rodriguez has a .960 fielding percentage at third base, while Lowell is practically unmatched at his position at .976.

NS: Fielding percentage, blah, blah… Whatever, ARod got to way more balls (made 20 more Out Of Zone plays than Lowell did, according to THT) and has a better arm than Lowell.

Sure, Lowell’s RZR was better:

Lowell .732
ARod .662

But, this in no way makes up for the offensive production that you miss with Lowell.

Also, I love how fielding is brought up here, but when we talk about David Ortiz possibly winning the MVP it is never brought up that all he does is sit on the bench and watch the other team bat.  

4. He plays well with others

NS: Because ARod had one of the best seasons ever playing by himself in Narnia.

Mike Lowell is known around the league as the ultimate teammate, while A-Rod’s effect on the clubhouses he enters could best be described as “disruptive.” There doesn’t appear to be any “me” in Mike Lowell, while Rodriguez always seems to put someone off on his own team.

NS: Yeah, ARod hasn’t taken Robinson Cano and Melky Cabrera under is wing or anything like that.

5. He’s a class act

NS: Of these 5 reasons, how many have to do with Baseball, the sport in which we are debating? 1?

There was A-Rod’s “ball-slapping’ incident in 2004. There was the “I got it” incident earlier this year. And there have been far too many unflattering appearances in the tabloids. Alex Rodriguez always seems to be involved in controversy, while Mike Lowell thrives away from the limelight. Because Lowell doesn’t crave attention, we never get to see where he hangs out after games, or what kind of T-shirts his wife wears. Unlike with A-Rod’s wife, we’re pretty sure Mrs. Lowell’s wardrobe doesn’t come with profanities.

NS: ARod is a dick. Nobody will say otherwise, but that doesn’t mean I’d rather have Mike Lowell. We are talking about who is better at baseball, not who we’d rather go golfing with.

And, maybe we would know where Mike Lowell goes after games if

  • He was cool.
  • He had more than one ball.
  • He didn’t change his name from Cat Stevens to Yusef Islam.

What part of that had to do with baseball? I don’t know.

And now for the poll:

What’s the best reason why Red Sox fans should be happier with Mike Lowell than with ARod?

Poll Results

He’s a class act
  59.2%
He’s clutch
  19.6%
He plays well with others
  13.4%
He’s cheaper
  5.6%
He’s a better fielder
  2.2%

NS: Wow, any other fan base and I’d have trouble believing that almost 60% of the fans would rather have a one-nutted gray-bush beardface with a 103 road OPS+ than ARod because he is a “Class Act.” But, these are Red Sox fans.

How can you write a “5 reasons why..” type thing and have the biggest reason not relate to the sport in which you are debating?

ARod vs. Papi, this isn’t even a debate

November 17, 2007

The following is a stupid stupid column (needed to be said twice) about how David Ortiz, not ARod, is the 2007 American League MVP. Jason Tuohey, take notes.

Sorry ARod, MVP Stands for Most Valuable Papi

Nick Shlain: Oh boy. 

Although the Red Sox World Series victory promises a painful offseason in New York, some Yankees fans will take solace when Alex Rodriguez brings another Most Valuable Player award to the Bronx.

NS: Red Sox fan much?

Major League Baseball doesn’t announce the MVP awards until Monday, but it’s considered a mere formality in the American League this year. Even the casual fan knows A-Rod already has the trophy wrapped up in a tidy, pinstriped bow.

NS: Even those idiot casual fans.

Meanwhile, the consensus on David Ortiz is that he had an off year.

NS: I couldn’t give less of a shit about the consensus of stupid casual fans and casual writers.

But, you can make the argument that this wasn’t a typical Ortiz year because his ISO slipped from .349 to .290 as he hit 19 fewer HRs in ’07 than he did in ’06.  

Despite being a Boston folk hero on par with John Hancock or Paul Revere, Ortiz’s homer total dipped and he didn’t launch nearly as many walk-off blasts into the bleachers. Unlike in 2005, when a battle raged over which player meant more to his team, this year even the most hah-dened New England fans concede A-Rod deserves the award.

NS: Really? So there are some intelligent Red Sox fans?

Don’t believe it.

NS: Well, this isn’t one of them.

Although it’s a little tougher to see at the first glance of a stat sheet, Big Papi was as dangerous as ever this year — and the real MVP of the American League.

NS: It is tougher to see things that aren’t there.

True, A-Rod’s eye-popping power numbers (54 homers, 156 RBI) make Ortiz’s 35 round-trippers and 117 ribbies look downright pedestrian. On top of that, A-Rod led the league with a gaudy .645 slugging percentage — the best measure of a hitter’s power.

NS: This is not helping your argument.

But Ortiz had a better batting average than A-Rod (.332 to .314), and the burly DH added a league-best 111 walks to compile a sterling .445 on base percentage, easily the best in the AL and 23 points higher than A-Rod’s. Put simply, pitchers had a much more difficult time getting Ortiz out.

NS: Sorry, but .023 points in OBP doesn’t qualify as “a much more difficult time” getting anyone out.

Also, OBP is a nice stat, but it only tells us one thing: how often one gets on base. A lead in that category doesn’t make Ortiz is the MVP.

In fact, only seven Red Sox players have ever recorded on base percentages higher than Ortiz’s in a season. Six have plaques in Cooperstown, and the other is Manny Ramirez.

NS: Who cares about Ortiz’s place in Red Sox history? It has absolutely nothing to do with your main focus of the column.

Ortiz’s prolific on base percentage even made his teammates look better. Mike Lowell had the lowest home run total of any Sox player with 120 RBIs since the dead ball era, a direct result of hitting behind Big Papi.

NS: So Mike Lowell’s inability to hit home runs makes Ortiz the MVP?

Ya know what helped Lowell more than Ortiz? The fucking huge wall in left field as Lowell OPS-ed .993 in Fenway and .967 on the road.

However, Ortiz was much more than an on base machine this season. While A-Rod paced the league in slugging percentage, Ortiz finished third with a respectable .621, the second best total of his career. Papi made up for hitting “only” 35 homers by crushing 52 doubles and leading the league in extra base hits. Contrary to popular opinion, Ortiz didn’t hit for less power in 2007, he merely diversified his portfolio. As a result, Ortiz ended in a virtual tie with Boston’s favorite glove-slapper for the league OPS (on-base percentage plus slugging) crown, 1.066 to A-Rod’s 1.067.

NS: Yes that is true, but ARod didn’t play in a park with a huge ass wall ten feet behind the shortstop position, did he? Hey, maybe that wall helped Ortiz hit all those doubles?

So, why don’t we lose that huge park advantage with some Adjusted OPS?

ARod: 177
ORtiz: 171

And despite A-Rod’s 156 RBIs, Ortiz performed better in the clutch, outhitting the Yankees third baseman with runners in scoring position, .358 to .333, and also posting a higher OPS in the same situation, 1.142 to 1.138.

NS: BA w/ RISP isn’t the best way to measure “clutchness.” 

OPS in Late & Close (7th inning or later, down one, up one or tied)

ARod: 1.125
Ortiz: .766

A-Rod drove in more runs, in part, because he had 29 more at bats with runners in scoring position. RBI crowns come pretty easy when you hit behind Derek Jeter, but it’s a different story when you spend half a season waiting for Julio Lugo to get on base.

NS: Derek Jeter is better than Julio Lugo…..Papi is the MVP!!!11!!1!!!1

I don’t like RBIs either, but don’t slight ARod because the players around him are good.

Ultimately, flashy numbers are just vanity without a pennant race to add context. In September nobody brought his game to a higher level than Ortiz. With Manny Ramirez on the sidelines and the bullpen imploding, Ortiz was at his best, balky knee and all. His .396 average, .517 on base percentage, .824 slugging percentage, and 1.341 OPS kept the team from losing its hold on the division.

NS: The way to argue about who is a better play is you take things that are important and see who was significantly better. This bullshit about September preformance is bad for two reasons:

1. Looking at just September is stupid.
2. ARod posted a 1.193 OPS in September, no slouch at all.

In the last week of the season, when every win became life or death, Papi somehow found a higher gear. Despite limping around on one good knee, Ortiz hit a mind-boggling .647 with a 2.139 OPS. He hit three homers and only struck out twice. And in case you missed it, the Red Sox, not the Yankees, won the division, tied for the best record in baseball, and earned home field advantage that proved crucial to their championship playoff run.

NS: This is the dumbest shit ever. The last week of the season wasn’t life or death. Even if Ortiz went 0-for-the week, the Red Sox STILL would’ve made the playoffs because of this thing called the Wild Card.

Also, the last week of the season OPS is fucking stupid. Who cares about OPS over a random 7 days? It is too small of a sample to tell anything from it.

But, I thought the Yankees players were so much better, which made it so much easier for ARod to get on base, how did they not win the division? You double standard moron.

A-Rod, to be fair, hit well in September too, putting up a .362 average and a 1.193 OPS. But he was just good enough to finish second. Papi was on another plane.

NS: Yeah because Ortiz finished 1st in the AL East in ’07, not the Boston Red Sox and ARod was the WC, not the New York Yankees. Team accomplishments don’t mean dick in the MVP race.

Of course, there’s also the DH factor. The plodding Ortiz doesn’t contribute on the basepaths and with the glove the way A-Rod does. But while A-Rod’s 24 steals certainly deserve respect, they weren’t the difference between wins and losses. For a Yankees team that averaged six runs a game, one steal a week wasn’t exactly a monumental event.

NS: I’d agree, but being a threat on the bases and playing defense is better than not being a threat on the bases and not playing defense.

Rodriguez possesses a reputation as a good fielder, but the stats don’t necessarily back it up. He finished second to last in the AL in range factor (putouts plus assists per game). His zone rating (number of plays a player makes within his “zone”) and fielding percentage ranked in the middle of the pack and an adjusted zone rating stat offered by analysts at The Hardball Times put A-Rod second to last among AL starters. See a pattern forming here? And think about it: When was the last time you saw a highlight of A-Rod diving to stop a screaming line drive or charging a bunt to gun down a batter? Defensive stats never tell the whole story, but clearly A-Rod isn’t the second coming of Brooks Robinson.

NS: Nobody is fucking calling him Brooks Robinson, you moron. But, ARod is a pretty good defensive 3B. Not great, not terrible, just pretty good and that is a big advantage over a guy that sat on the bench resting his steroid effected knees.  

Furthermore, if you’re going to count contributions beyond hitting, you need to look at clubhouse leadership. Ortiz handled the role of Red Sox father figure with his usual dignity and class, even in the face of injuries. He helped keep a clubhouse full of new faces and rookies loose and stable. In contrast, A-Rod’s teammates often found themselves answering questions about what he yelled during infield pop-ups or his choice of, uh, extra-curricular activities.

NS: Actually, fielding and running the bases may not be hitting, but being a “leader in the clubhouse” isn’t even part of the game. I’d take a good fielder and baserunner over a “leader in the clubhouse” (isn’t that a golf term?).

Also, cheating on your wife doesn’t disqualify you from winning the MVP.

This year Red Sox fans got so caught up with the intensity of a World Series and the emergence of a fresh crop of youngsters that Ortiz’s historic season fell by the wayside. But he’s still the catalyst of the Red Sox offense, the leader of the best team in baseball, and the most deadly hitter alive. Sorry A-Rod, but that’s an MVP.

NS: “Most deadly hitter alive”? Is that some kind of shot at his heart trouble from steroids?

It is very easy to prove that ARod is the MVP:

OPS+ 177 to 171
EqA .339 to .337
EQR 138 to 123
FRAA+ 27 to being a lazy DH
SB 24 to 3

and the kicker

WARP 13.7 to 9.6

It’s not even close, ARod was the 2007 American League Most Valuable Player.

No contract offered to Lowell

November 17, 2007

The Yankees are not engaged in talks to bring Mike Lowell to New York to play first base, according to sources. There have been several recent reports that the Yanks, who had contacted Lowell about third base when they believed they had a vacancy there, were pursuing Lowell with the caveat that he move across the diamond.

One Boston TV station reported the Yankees had made a four-year offer worth $50 million-$55 million to the 33-year-old. That report, according to a source, was “pure fantasy.” (Source)

I was heavily against a deal for Lowell, this is great news.

Do not sign Mike Lowell

November 15, 2007

BOSTON — 7Sports has learned that Mike Lowell has received contract offers from four separate MLB teams: the Braves, Angels, Cardinals, and Yankees.

A source close to the Lowell side of the negotiations tells 7Sports that each offer is a 4-year contract, worth between $55-60 million.

The Yankees offer includes a request that Lowell play First Base, something the Gold-Glove-winning third baseman does not want to do. (Source)

The Yankees should not waste $60M on Lowell.

Here’s why:

1. Lowell is going to be 34 in ’08. That means the Yankees would be paying $15M per year to Lowell for his production at ages 34, 35, 36, and 37. These are not prime years, people. Why are we going to give Lowell his last big contract?

2. The Yankees would have to give their 1st round pick to the Red Sox in a loaded ’08 draft.

3. Lowell took advantage of his home ballpark in ’07. He had a .993 OPS at Fenway Park with a .382 BAbip. On the road, he was just normal, .767 OPS and .293 BAbip. He got extremely lucky at home. The only way he repeats his ’07 numbers would be to play 81 games in Fenway Park again.

4. Playing Lowell at 1B would make it even more of a logjam with Giambi/Matsui/Damon. Cash has said Giambi “isn’t a bat off the bench.” 

“Is he the ideal first baseman? No. Can he play there seven days a week? We haven’t had him do that for a while,” Cashman said of Giambi. “He’s too good a player to do anything but play. He’s not a bat off the bench, I can promise you that.” (Source)  

Signing Lowell might make Giambi a bat off the bench. Matsui just had knee surgery yesterday and it is pretty clear he won’t be playing much outfield next season. Damon will be in LF everyday. If Lowell is the everyday firstbasemen, where does that leave Giambi? Or if Giambi outpreforms Lowell (which, in my opinion, is likely), where does that leave Lowell? 

Save the money, save the draft pick, pass on Lowell.

Theo: “We have a SS”

November 6, 2007

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Theo Epstein said Boston’s priority is signing Mike Lowell. What about A-Rod at shortstop? “We have a shortstop,” he said. (Source)

Yeah, but the shortstop you have sucks to the tune of a .240 EqA and the guy in question had a .356 EqA in ’07.  

The inferiority complex will never stop

November 5, 2007

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When the Yankees win titles, there is no mention of how any other teams are doing.

The Red Sox are done

October 16, 2007

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They are down 3-1 to the Indians, they have to beat Sabathia and Carmona just to force a Game Seven and in that Game Seven they will be forced to start Dice-Gay, who was about to commit hari kari after Game Three. They are done.