Sunday, May 07, 2006

I'll believe that when...

So after yesterday's victory over the O's, I made my rounds to best inform myself of the game. Several things hit me as funny/good/miraculous. The thing would be the offensive resurgence of the Sox yesterday. Of course, there was a time when 9 runs was not an explosion for the Sox, but rather a good day at the plate (remember when like 24 runs was an explosion?). But the Sox, led in part by AGon (what???) put up 5 in the first inning and 9 runs total. I like it when they do that. But one thing is for sure. Wakefield deserved it. After pitching very well almost every start. He finally got himself some run love.



The next issue is the resugence in suckiness from Seanez. The man is just plain bad and, unless he returns to at least a shadow of how he pitched last year (2.69 era in 60.1 innings), he needs to just get out of Boston. This year he has posted, in 11 earned runs in 11.1 innings, 14 hits, 4 homeruns and 6 walks. You are great.



Of course, no game that includes Julian "I wish I was as bad-ass as Seanez" Tavarez would be complete without a little drama. After hitting Luis Matos on the hit, Tavarez (whose stat line is pretty bad at 13 hits 6 earned runs, 3 homeruns, a HBP and 4 walks in 11 innings) exchanged some words with his 'buddy'. The benches cleared but nothing happened, fortunately. Said Tavarez, "I'm not here to start anything. I'm not here to embarrass the Red Sox organization. I'm a better person than that." I guess he forgot who he was.

Also, for next week's Yankees we will see Beckett followed by Schilling and Wake. Pretty good.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Ha!! Stud!!!


Ok...all of the people who were not sure about Mirabelli trade deux. I am pretty sure that this is worth Cla Boy (By the way, if he stuck with the Sox, I believe Cla Boy would be a good nickname for him. I don't know why. It's a terrible nickname)

Beckett is up tomorrow against Doc Halliday. Depending on which Beckett strolls out there, it should be a great pitching match up.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Have I Told You Lately, That I Love You?

So, After the three day depressing as hell weekend (France's labor day). I walk into work, depressed bc it is the first working day of the week and my desk is taken. So I have no internet. 2 hours later, I connect my lab top and switch over to the Sox sight. Read my last post to get an idea of how I thought Monday's game would go. But then Whammy!!! GREAT NEWS!!! 1) the Sox won; 2) Dougie is Back!!!

I only have a few things to say about the game because I am sure you have heard it all already. But first, Wake is fricking amazing. To the game, Loretta might be breaking out of his slump which would be great for both the Sox and my fantasy team, while Papi is just plain Papi. Now a big part of this game was Damon's return. I, being in France, did not see how the fans reacted, but I saw that Judas went ahead and tipped his helmet before hitting. Question. What the F'ing dahahfdbkibec????? Who do you think you are???? What a arrogent bastard. Damon, You are a bad bad man, but you went 0-4 so way to go douchbag.

The other thing that I have to talk about is Superman's return. Or as some might call him, Dougie. Flying in to Logan, changing into his uniform in his police escort only to barely beat the opening pitch and catch the knuckler perfectly after nearly 7 months away from Wake.

Have I told you lately, that I love you? Have I told you, there's no one else above you??

You have to feel for Bard though. The man tried. Hopefully he is remembered for his 93 days here in Boston. So we sent Bard, Cla Meredith and some cash over to the Padres. See ya Bard and $100,000 dollars. Meredith huh? Well its a tough loss to our system. Number 11 prospect who is tough on righties. However, he was being groomed as a closer and is much more effective against righties than lefties. So he is a talented young pitcher, who was eventually going to be our closer? No way. Hansen has that wrapped up in the future.

So really we traded $100,000 and Meredith, a closer with no future here for Dougie 'Im the only man alive who can catch Wakefield' Mirabelli (or for Loretta, depending on how you look at it). Done and Done. Great Trade.

Now let's hope that Stella can help Beckett get his groove back

Sorry about that one.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Pollywackas

Ok. Last post was a rather optimistic view of the future of the sox. The ones before that were generally optimistic views of the present. This one, I am sorry everyone, is exclusively pessimistic. Go ahead and tell me the sox are in first place and Schilling and Foulke look like their 2004 selves and Paps is holding down the bullpen raking in saves in record fashion. But, in doing my daily tour of sox blogs, I came across three, normally well written insightful blogs saying that we sucked on this road trip against two very good teams, but that is ok bc we are heading into a 3 game set against the devil rays who we will sweep like normal and have momentum going into the yankees series.

We lost the first game in Florida.

More blogs about the second game. We won in great fashion bc the sox were able to come back. THREE TIMES. Ok yes that is good that we swung the bat some. But we let up 6 runs to the devil rays. That hurts my pride that a come back win against the D-rays is the best news the sox had this week.

Dear coco. Get better

Dear Roger. Save me.

Dear Foulke. Take over the closer role

Dear Paps. Become a dominating Starter

Dear Mikey. Stop throwing the ball away

Dear Mark. You dont need coco to be good

Dear Gonzo. Sigh

Dear Manny. Hit more HRs

Dear center field. tear

Dear craig. Help us

Dear Jon. Help us

Dear Red Sox organization, have you seen my pride lately. Crying a lot lately,

Love chris

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Salary Games

So we are going to play a few compare and contrast games. Compare and contrast the following: Yankees, Red Sox and the Marlins

Payroll at last World Series Win: Marlins at $49 million in 2003; Red Sox $127.3 million in 2004; and the Yankees $114 million in 2000. Although the old chinese proverb, "the Yankees Buy Their Championships" forever will hole true. It doesn't. The Sox, as the evidence shows, spent much more on their championship team than the Yankees (not to mention the fish). Of course, since 2000, the New York payroll has nearly exploded, The Sox payroll has dipped slightly, and the Marlins, well, let's put it this way, I am a poor college student who eats pasta everyday and I think I make more than the Marlins. This year, the Marlins team payroll ($14mill) is less than Manny's $18mill annual check. Schilling at $13mill is close and Tek at $9is right there too. Shame on you Red Sox. With a total payroll of around $120mill for the year, we could buy several Marlins teams. But look. The Yanks (team payroll at over $198mill) have the following players and salaries which out-do or approach the the Marlins team (which has 13 of 23 players making MLB minimum wage) payroll: A-rod ($25.68mill), Jeter ($20.6mill), Giambi ($20.428mill), Mussina ($19mill), Randy Johnson ($15.66mill), Damon ($13mill), Matsui ($13mill), Posada ($12mill), Sheffield ($10.75mill), and Rivara ($10.5mill). Wow.

But why am I so unfairly comparing two top market high-roller teams to the floundering fish, who just traded everyone away for financial reasons? To look at the future (the Marlins was more just for perspective). After this season, the contracts of Nixon, Gonzalez, Foulke, and Wells are up. If Nixon goes to free-agency and Pena shows us a reason to take him over Trot, the Sox shed nearly $23million. After 2007, Schilling, Clement, Lowell and Tavarez are gone: shed another $35.35 million. After 2008, its Manny and Tek: say goodbye to another $30 million. Naturally, this is hypothetical, but in my humble opinion by 2008, Gonzales, Foulke, Wells, Schilling, Clement, Lowell, Tavarez and Manny are off the payroll. Question marks linger with Trot and Tek. If Pena starts playing good ball than Trot is gone, and if we re-sign Tek, it won't be to a long deal given his age. So, basically, by 2008, if Tek and Trot leave, 8 of the 10 top paid Red Sox are gone giving the sox $81 million dollars that they are paying to those 8 players today that will not be spent on them in 2008.

Ortiz will be here in 2008, Beckett will probably sign a big deal (if he can stay healthy) and be here. Wake could retire by then ($4 mill), but maybe not. Tavarez (his $3.35 mill not being included in the $81 mill) will be gone. Loretta could be gone after this year ($3.25 million) as could Timlin and his $3.5 million dollars. Crisp is here for a while, Gonzales will be gone, Snow ($2 mill) will be gone after this year (probably), Seanez and his $1.9 could be gone. So here is what I think our payroll will be reduced by each year.

After 2006: Nixon, Gonzales, Foulke, Wells, Loretta, Snow, Seanez, Riske leave. Total? Around $30.93 million
After 2007: Schilling, Clement, Lowell, Timlin amd Tavarez are gone. Total? Around $38.35 million
After 2008: Manny and Varitek go. Total? Around $30 million

Note: This assumes that Pena replaces Nixon next year - something not at all assured, the 2007 option for Foulke is not picked up and he signs elsewhere, Gonzales signs elsewhere, Wells retires, Snow retires, Seanez and Riske sign elsewhere. Schilling and Timlin retire after 2007, Clement, Lowell and Tavarez go elsewhere, Manny and Tek want too much money/longer contract and hit free agency and command a pretty penny. Other option is Tek signs a short extension,

That is almost $100 million dollars that we won't be paying in 3 years. We'll sign paps, youk, pena? cora, wake and beckett to contracts of various lengths, but will still have plenty on cash to shell out. By the time 2008 is in the books the sox will need a left fielder, 3rd baseman, shortstop, 2nd baseman, catcher, a couple of pitchers and bullpen help. Fill in some of them with some touted prospects (Lester, Hansen, Pedroia and Delcarmen) and we have a relatively small payroll with some big holes, but with money to spend.

Pap, Lester, and Beckett are starters. Choi or an free agent pick-up at first, Pedroia at short or second and a free agent at the other, Youk at 3rd, Coco in center, Pena or free-agent in right, with Hansen closing, and Delcarmen in the pen with possibly Edgar Martinez and some pick-ups. Point is. Expect the Sox to be active (and much younger) in the coming years. We will have money to spend on free agents, and, following the strategy of the Indians, we will lock up our young talent early.

With a strong minor league system (8th in baseball) we have the young depth to ocme up and help, or the trade bait and the money to bring in some big names. However, don't look for another Manny sized contract (amount and duration) because it aint happening.

(PS Willis rumors floating around about him becoming available around mid-year. Schilling, Wake, Beckett, Clemens (I dream) and Willis. Wow. We would have to give up Lester and another, but Willis is 24, you pull that string if you can. Lester Delcarmen and Moss for Willis. I could see it. But then again, this is based on dreams and rumors)

Monday, April 24, 2006

Quickly

Ok...so we won last night. Ortiz did his bunting impression while clement did his pitching impression. I was happy about Foulke. He seems to be in a good spot right now. Hopefully he can keep that going but let us not get over excited here. Paps is promoting a 17 year old movie (http://www.sawxblog.com/) and now, after an off-day we have Schilling. Going against a very very good Indians club. 12-8 is better than 11-9...well guys, 13-8 is better than 12-9. So...lets win this next one huh?

Ok...so we won last night. Ortiz did his bunting impression while clement did his pitching impression. I was happy about Foulke. He seems to be in a good spot right now. Hopefully he can keep that going but let us not get over excited here. Paps is promoting a 17 year old movie (http://www.sawxblog.com/) and now, after an off-day we have Schilling. Going against a very very good Indians club. 12-8 is better than 11-9...well guys, 13-8 is better than 12-9. So...lets win this next one huh?

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Sox-D-rays Tues 4-18

Just last year Kevin YoukYouk was a role player who, as an understudy to the Rock Meuller, knew the quickest way to Pawtucket better than than the back of his hand. Just last year is over and bring on the new year. Youk, now over at first has become a great little spark plug for this Sox team - this sox team without the likes of Coco. His hard work over the off-season has clearly paid pff as the man is just a plain old gamer. Once Billy Bean's poster child, Youk is hitting at a .318 clip with an on-base percentage of .426. Not bad for a replacement lead-off hitter. Not only did Youk win the game last night with a rocket double off the center field wall scoring two, he was pissed about it. A defensive miscue at 1st on a tough hop (which was in fact ruled a hit) and a base-running bouffe that turned a Loretta base-hit into a fielders choice was all tthat Youk wanted to talk about after the game. PLAYER! Other news, Stern flashing some leather at the end to save the soon to be president Jonathon Papadap and the end game with the bases loaded, while Papadap himself got his 7th save in 7 chances, recording 2 more Ks in the 9th. Matt Clement, the man I goaded just yesterday as being the wild card of out pitching staff went 7 very strong innings. One bad note of the game, if you could call it that, was TImlin letting in his first runs of the young season - though he did niftily escape a one out man on third situation.

This is indeed a whole new team. More pitching and more defense. But there is still that flare of the old sox. Meanwhile, Manny hit his first extra-base hit last night, which is a good thing and is showing strong signs of breaking out of his early season slump. A little more bang in our line-up is always nice to see.

What I have been most impressed with thusfar in the season has been our starters. I know yesterday I said I was worried about it. But they have been red-hot. Everyone knows of the Schilling/Becket show so far, but take away a bad outing by Wake in Texas and one by Clement and we have had tremendous starts in nearly every game (of course, take out Wells in this equation. We should pay him to fall down the stairs and end his season). In 14 games this season, our starters (Schill, Beckett, Wake, Clement, Wells and DiNardo) have pitched 88.2 out of 126 possible innings. And if you take away the game started by Wells (bc he shouldn't have started) you have the starters going 84.2 of 117 innings or 71.9%. For the record, thee yanks are sitting at (with Johnson, Mussina, Wang, Chacon and Wright at 78/111 or 70% - plus a lower era, less walks, less wild pitches - despite wakefield/bard its 8wp for the yanks and 5 for the sox, lower whip, lower oba, less hits per 9 innings and less walks per 9 innings)

Tonight, we have Schilling on the mound looking to stay perfect. I like his chances. Let's keep thee trend going.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Gosh Batman!! I'm Back

Ok, Slight little break from the Blog. Sorry about that folks. I guess that is what a trip around Europe without a computer will do do your internet life. But I am back and back at it. Below is the rest of my around the horn previews, but in a much more condensed form. Enjoy and Play Ball!!!!

Ok also, It is killing me being in Europe with no NESN...I don't know what to do here.

Wily Mo, Mohr and Stern

Wily Mo: Below average defensively, potential offensively. We have not really gotten a taste of the power (one monster shot...many monster Ks). You've heard it all. Could be terrible could be great. I dont know yet. Mohr: I love this guy. I have never seen him play, but I followed him a bit when he was with the Rockies and I love what he brings to the table. I am glad he decided to stay, a move that really surprised me. Some speed, some pop, and average defensively. A good 4th outfielder. Stern: Again, love this guy. I think, despite his success, he could profit form a year at AAA and become a force in years to come.

Grade B- right now
B+/A- (when Manny starts hitting/Coco comes back/ Wily Mo shows his potential)