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Jeff
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What I'm talking about is the culpability of the media in fanning the flames of "controversy" while avoiding the tough questions. They're cowards and unfortunately that's the standard in journalists today. If they're going to ask the softball, but headline-provoking, questions with their mic turned on, have the guts to ask a tough question or three. For Gossage: Did you ever use greenies? Did any of your teammates? Weren't they cheating by the same definition? For the record, greenies have been regulated by the federal government since 1970. And there wasn't an exemption for baseball playing.
Toggle Commented Jan 15, 2010 on Not Good for the Goose at YFSF
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And hell, what about their HOF teammates who used greenies?
Toggle Commented Jan 13, 2010 on Not Good for the Goose at YFSF
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And yet not one "journalist" asks him or Morgan about their use of greenies?
Toggle Commented Jan 13, 2010 on Not Good for the Goose at YFSF
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I'm salivating over a rotation with two outstanding lefties at the top, especially in Yankee Stadium. I agree on the Yankee catching situation. They seem committed to developing their own. Between Montero and Romine to Murphy and Sanchez they'll be fine. The longer it takes the Twins to re-sign Mauer, the more skeptical I become. I have little doubt that the Sox would pay whatever it takes to sign him. Where they screwed up the Teixeira negotiations, they won't make that mistake again. But he's exactly the player to do it for. That's the only way I interpret the Sox off-season any ways.
Toggle Commented Jan 8, 2010 on Projecting the 2010 Red Sox at YFSF
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Personally, I don't think Pierce is all that. A good writer, sure. A wonderful writer? Meh. But then Wait, Wait is my least favorite NPR program. I hear special guest Paula Poundstone and I'm changing the station and waiting for Car Talk and This American Life.
Toggle Commented Jan 8, 2010 on Bookmark Now! at YFSF
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Shoot, I missed Texeira. So that's four players and $100M. 21 players for the other $100 million is actually pretty interesting.
Toggle Commented Jan 8, 2010 on Projecting the 2010 Red Sox at YFSF
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As for your last point, Andrew, wait until the Sox outbid everyone for Mauer. After this off-season, I have little doubt they will. The Yankees don't need him as badly.
Toggle Commented Jan 8, 2010 on Projecting the 2010 Red Sox at YFSF
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"What's wrong with $180 million for a projected 98-win talent ballclub, even if their talent level is subject to wide variability?" I don't think they're that good. I see 93-95 wins. "Do you look at the Yankees and think "$200 million for THAT?"?" You must have missed the last line. It's no surprise the Yankees have that payroll. They're paying almost $80M for three outstanding players (Jeter, A-Rod, and Sabathia) plus overpaying for their closer and their catcher. Outside of those five players, they're actually pretty efficient and even more so now with Granderson and Johnson. When you go down the Sox roster, they're not paying $20M for one player. Instead, they're basically paying $8 million to every player on the roster (and some on other teams). It adds up quickly.
Toggle Commented Jan 8, 2010 on Projecting the 2010 Red Sox at YFSF
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At least Papelbon is a moron. Schilling is a fuckface. And Valverde hasn't signed yet. I think the days of big contracts to closers (besides DHs) is over. In honor of the Unit, here's a great piece by Pat Jordan from 2002 contrasting Schilling and Unit: http://www.nytimes.com/2002/09/29/magazine/the-odd-couple.html?pagewanted=all Reading that, Unit comes away as simply misunderstood. I mean, I've known tall people who were uncomfortable in their own skin. But someone 6'10"? I can't imagine the abuse and the interviews with a short player just for the circus act? I know the media doesn't often dig deep to understand their subjects, but has there ever been a more dominant pitcher more disliked simply for being irascible? And I say that as a guy who never liked the public Unit. But you have to appreciate what he did in the game and how hard he worked to get there.
Toggle Commented Jan 8, 2010 on Laugh. Cry. Retch. at YFSF
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By the way, the Sox are getting absolutely hammered in the Boston media. But I think they've had a very good, if uncreative, off-season, especially if they're planning to spend major money in the next two years. Still, I look at this club and think "$180M for THAT?". I mean, it not like they're paying big money to a 6 or 7 win player. All those little contracts add up quickly, huh? Though I do understand, and appreciate, that it's only one year.
Toggle Commented Jan 8, 2010 on Projecting the 2010 Red Sox at YFSF
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"2009: 25.4 WAR // 2010: 28.9 WAR CHONE projects the 2010 Red Sox to be 4.5 wins better on offense and defense. That's pretty significant." Math was never my specialty. But isn't 28.9 - 25.4 = 3.5 wins? As for specific concerns: 1) In what universe is Ellsbury a 4 win player? He's averaged 2 wins in his three years. Now in moving to a more demanding offensive position, he's going to suddenly double his value? For reference, a 3.9 WAR would have put him in 6th place among qualifying LFs, just behind Ibanez. But his production would have put him between DeJesus and Posednik. Which seems more likely? And DeJesus, as an outstanding LF in 2009, was worth 3.2 wins with an OPS, again, that topped Ellsbury. Where Ellsbury falls in 2010, between 2 and 3 wins, will depend on whether his problems tracking balls continues. 2) The last time Martinez caught more than 120 games? 2007. Good luck with that. 3) Before 2009, Scutaro had never topped 3 wins. In 2008, he came close with a 2.8 WAR. He's the problem: In 2008, he had a below average bat but an outstanding glove. In 2009, he had an outstanding bat, but an average glove. That variability is exactly why projections are pretty silly. We have no idea what Scutaro will give. 4) One point in the Sox favor is how negatively CHONE sees Cameron. He should be closer to 3 wins than to 1 win. My big problem with projections is they generally assume the best case scenario. But as fans we know teams seldom reach a best case. And for the Sox I think the big worry in 2010 should be the lack of options beyond the starters - both offense and pitching - especially given the age of half the lineup and the lack of depth behind Wakefield. Projections don't cover that variability and in the AL East the difference between 92 and 98 games is the difference between golfing in October versus playing. Thank goodness the Yankees are still the best team in the division! ;)
Toggle Commented Jan 7, 2010 on Projecting the 2010 Red Sox at YFSF
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Mike Cameron and Adrian Beltre will not be beloved by SFs.
Toggle Commented Jan 5, 2010 on Fangraphs: Adrian Beltre Is Amazing!!! at YFSF
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Moreover, is Lackey truly a "massive" upgrade? If anything he seems to replace Dice-K's expected production of 2009 and as the #3. Still, that doesn't seem like an upgrade.
Toggle Commented Jan 5, 2010 on Yo Adrian, It's Me, Theo at YFSF
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Wait, why is the comparison to the 2004 and 2007 clubs? What's that supposed to mean? That the 2009 club could have won a championship as constructed? From a glance, I don't see that. The 2009 club didn't have the same outstanding players on offense and pitching sides - the ones that can truly carry a team. I mean, can anyone here seriously argue that the 2009 Sox were capable of a championship? Now compared to the 2010 club, I see the Sox treading water. They sure seem capable of 95 wins. But is that a championship club? And if the offense was average on the road in 2009, how is it not below average in 2010? They just sacrificed offense at three lineup spots. I guess if all of Beltre, Cameron, Scutaro, and Ortiz have peak seasons, then they're a 100 win club. But what are the chances of that? What I still don't understand: Why not Hardy and Figgins for the same money as Beltre and Scutaro?
Toggle Commented Jan 5, 2010 on Yo Adrian, It's Me, Theo at YFSF
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One more question for SFs: Did you think your 2009 was a championship club? The 2010 version seems, to me, like a bunch of pieces were moved around without a net difference. But if most things go right, I still don't see how this is a championship club. Can you convince me? "Pitching a defense win every single time." The 2009 Yankees had the best offense in baseball (road too, by 40 OPS points). They had one of the worst defenses. Their pitching was good, but it wasn't outstanding.
Toggle Commented Jan 5, 2010 on Yo Adrian, It's Me, Theo at YFSF
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Answered my own question. Sox in 2009 were 9th in MLB in road offense. Let's remember that the Sox were also below .500 (39-42) on the road. That figure has to improve because it's hard to see how they could win more games at home. So better pitching/defense vs. loss of offense on the road? I don't see much of a difference. Then again, Theo consistently says the goal is 95 wins. If all goes according to plan, this is a 95 win club.
Toggle Commented Jan 5, 2010 on Yo Adrian, It's Me, Theo at YFSF
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"Bottom line, they are better defensively, I just don't see it working on offense though. Too many variables." I agree with this statement 100%. The other problem is they play in a park designed for offense. 2004 was about pitching and defense but they still had big bats. "The Red Sox had the 2nd-highest OPS in baseball last year." Isn't that misleading? Where were they on the road? Cause if they manage the wild card, again, that's where they'll play the majority of their games. Trading offense for defense is one way to build a team. But neither Texas nor Seattle made the post-season. In some ways th Sox are clearly better. I'm just not sure they're clearly a better baseball team, especially since they play in a tough division.
Toggle Commented Jan 5, 2010 on Yo Adrian, It's Me, Theo at YFSF
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"the Sox are hardly tied to this strategy, as they don't have expensive long-term deals" I think this fact explains the strategy more than anything, esp with Mauer, Pujols, Fielder, Beckett, Lee, and Webb coming up in the next two years. But, going after the undervalued skills is not a default upgrade. And no one here can deny that the offense is taking a big hit. The question is whether Beltre rebounds, Scutaro doesn't regress, and Cameron defies his age even while their defense stays constant. "Beltre probably turned down something like a 3/21 deal" I'd love to see one report of this. Even the Sox blog that Neyer links to says Boras couldn't get a 3 or 4 year deal. Essentially, Boras got 2/14 from the Sox with an opt out after the first year. They may have sacrificed a few million for that option, but I can't possibly see how it was any more than that.
Toggle Commented Jan 5, 2010 on Yo Adrian, It's Me, Theo at YFSF
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By the way, with this deal, are the Sox now at $175-180M? The last number I heard was about $170M.
Toggle Commented Jan 5, 2010 on Yo Adrian, It's Me, Theo at YFSF
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Can someone here explain to me why the Sox are going the defense and pitching route? They scored 7 runs (and six in the last game) on 15 hits in the 3 games of the ALDS. They've surely improved the defense and pitching. But at what cost to the offense? Career Lugo (88 OPS+): Scutaro (92 OPS+) Lowell (109 OPS+): Beltre (105 OPS+) Bay (131 OPS+): Cameron (107 OPS+) The defense is obviously improved. But I don't see how the offense hasn't taken a big hit. At best Beltre and Cameron are around their career norms. I guess time will tell if trading offense for defense worked. Seems more like the front office taking advantage of short-term deals through an undervalued skill. "That's some significant improvement without a single contract over $10 million AAV." That's a bit misleading: Lugo = 9M Lowell = 12M Beltre = 9M Cameron = 7.25M Scutaro = 5M That's $42M on three positions. Obviously they're helped if they trade Lowell without eating a huge chunk of the salary. But that total isn't exactly cost conscious. "Apparently Beltre turned down 3 and 4 year deals with other teams in order to come to the Sox." I don't believe that for one second. I could see Beltre turning down 2/16 for this deal but no more than that. You're nuts if you think Boras turned down significantly more guaranteed money for a one year "challenge" contract.
Toggle Commented Jan 5, 2010 on Yo Adrian, It's Me, Theo at YFSF
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They paid less for equivalent offense but with the occasional opportunity to have Nick play the field. Hard to argue with that. Goldman also nicely points out that what Matsui expected the Yankees to pay is not the same as what the market would bear. Damon is showing the same logic. An insult from your employer is an opportunity from someone else. Mmmm, Casey Kotchman....
Toggle Commented Dec 18, 2009 on Yankees Rumors at YFSF
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"Found any other nine-game sample sizes to use for projecting the next five years of performance for us?" Further proof that you don't actually know what a projection is. "And you are further aware that he actually doesn't like projecting pitchers at all, as his books state over and over, right?" Why is that?
Toggle Commented Dec 18, 2009 on A Brief Look at YFSF
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After Granderson, I can deal with any of Damon, Thome, or Nick the Stick. What's needed is a left-handed hitter who gets on-base. They all fit.
Toggle Commented Dec 17, 2009 on Yankees Rumors at YFSF
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"So there is sketchiness in the comparison at the top of the rotation as well as the bottom." Exactly why this entire exercise is a lesson in futility. "To call a stat or projection contrived is kind of silly because ALL stats to some extent are contrived." I have never read a more absurd statement on any website, let alone a baseball one. Statistics are a collective record of what happened. They're "contrived" to the extent that ALL of human observation is. Projections are a best guess of what could happen based on the previous observations. Too bad the perspective offered in this post "without comment" is neither a statistic nor a projection. It's just a sloppy rendering of previous seasons with only the vaguest correlation to some index of reality. That it fits some preconceived bias only makes the outcome that much more suspect. I don't expect honest debate on baseball sites. But if someone thinks ALL statistics are contrived then there really is no hope of honest debate with them. Statistics will only ever be used by that person to fit whatever they want them to fit. In that case it's just an exercise in misdirection and outright illusion rather than clarity. Here are some projections from a Sox employee, but one who uses statistics intelligently and honestly wherever they may lead. Lester - 13-10, 3.84 Lackey - 13-10, 3.81 Becket - 15-9, 3.62 Dice-K - 12-10, 4.02 Buchho - 10-8, 3.91 Wakefi - 6-5, 4.03 Sabath - 18-9, 3.40 Pettit - 13-9, 3.91 Burnet - 15-10, 3.75 Hughes - 9-5, 3.27 Joba C - 11-8, 3.94 If we're going to argue about projections, let us do so based on something actually worthy of the term. Based on James, it seems like the staffs are pretty well-matched. And where they're not, it's going to take some actual games, rather than empty headed chest thumping, to settle it. If only that were the end of this.
Toggle Commented Dec 17, 2009 on A Brief Look at YFSF
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"the Sox have proven that they are completely willing to eat dollars in the case that something isn't working." At what point does it become too much? Between Penny, Smoltz, Lugo, and Lowell that's almost $30 million in the last year. Sometimes being too clever means being pretty dumb. Those same resources could more than make up for the more solid but expenasive signings that don't require being cute.
Toggle Commented Dec 16, 2009 on Lackey of Thought at YFSF
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