Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Hanley or De Aza?

Last night, I got in a little bit of a Twitter discussion about the left field situation for the Red Sox.

Jared Carrabis tweeted out that De Aza should be playing left field. He never wanted to see Hanley there again, and he didn’t care about Hanley’s bat.

I responded that it sounded like a foolish plan, and that Hanley’s defensive woes were vastly overrated.

The response from Mr. Carrabis? That he could think of four or five plays in the game last night that De Aza made that Hanley wouldn’t have made.

That’s not an uncommon response. People are under the impression that Hanley’s defense is killing the Sox in left. That if even an average outfielder were out there, the Sox would be winning a lot more games. As you know if you visit here a lot, I think defense is generally overrated. I would expect that an adequate athlete should get to most balls. Sure, the superior defenders get to more. But, they don’t get to enough to make up for any loss of production at the plate. Basically, Hanley’s bat makes up for the few balls he can’t get to in left. If that weren’t the case, Jackie Bradley Jr would be the Sox starting center fielder. Would have been for quite some time. But, even his superb defense couldn’t make up for his lack of hitting. And, he only had to make up the difference between himself and Brock Holt. Or, Rusney Castillo. If he can’t bridge that gap with a once in forever type glove, why can De Aza make up an even bigger difference with his glove?

It was the four-five plays in last night’s game that really stuck with me. People really think there’s that much of a gap? Let’s take a look. I checked out the MLB summary to see how much action Alejandro De Aza got out in left field.

Bot 2: Pillar doubles to left with two outs. Martin out at “home” 7-6-5
Bot 5: Martin flies out softly to left with one out.
Bot 6: Reyes flies out to left with one out.
Bot 6: Donaldson doubles to left, scoring a run.
Bot 6: Bautista flies out to left center ending the inning.
Bot 7: Colabello grounds a single to left with one out.
Bot 9: Donaldson flies out to left with one out.

That’s it. Seven plays. Which four or five do you not think Hanley would have made? Can we agree that Hanley would have fielded the groundball single in the seventh? The others?

You could maybe argue that only De Aza makes the play to nab Martin. Maybe. Although, I could argue that Bogaerts probably nails him at home, instead of third. Maybe you could say he doesn’t get to Bautista’s flyball to the gap…although Mookie looked like he’d be in pretty good position if he knew that Hanley would have been there. Maybe you could say that Hanley doesn’t reach Donaldson’s flyball, and it falls for a double. Although, in the bot of the ninth in a two run game, De Aza is probably in there for defense anyway.

So, really. Look at the plays the left fielder had to make last night. Which ones get by Hanley? Do you think De Aza stopped Donaldson from getting a triple in the 6th? Doubt it. Are there 4 or 5 plays? 2 or 3?

Any that cost the Sox the game?

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not suggesting that Hanley is a great defender. I’m not that crazy. I definitely think De Aza is a better one. That’s why I’d have him in left for the ninth. I’m just saying Hanley’s offense more than makes up for the plays he may not make in the field.

Otherwise Jackie Bradley Jr would be your AL MVP.

Monday, June 29, 2015


I keep saying it. I love looking at pictures! Don't you? That's why I keep asking people to send in pics for the 36 Pix page and all its features. I add new pictures all the time! But, are you still not checking those pages regularly? Here's a quick look at some of the great stuff you've been missing!

As you know, the Pix in 36 page shows people enjoying themselves in the greatest section in Fenway. Here are some of the most recent examples!

This one is from Elle
Matt sent in this great group photo
Another great group shot. This on from Anna.
Even Blue Jays fans know where the best seats are. Jane sent in this pic.
Some of my favorites are the Pix with 36. Since they can be taken from anywhere in the park, they offer a lot of variety! Here are some of the newer ones!
Here's one from Kimberly
Erin celebrated a big birthday by posing with the best Section
Here's one from the lovely Alicia with Section 36 just behind her!
Christina's back with another great pic, just in front of Section 36

Here's Lauren with a great angle on Section 36
Once again, even visitors know where to pose. Brad made sure to catch the best shot.
As always, I appreciate each and every pic that is sent in. So keep sending them! And, don't forget, that this isn't all the pics that are submitted. There are even more on the 36 Pix page, and even more than that are posted on the Section 36 Facebook pg.

Check them out!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Panda Hats

It started almost as soon as it looked like Pablo Sandoval was going to be leaving San Francisco. The kidding began. “I bet the Sox are drooling over being able to sell Panda hats.” “I bet Tom Werner is already grabbing stock footage of pandas for all his new TV shows!”

Of course, it showed up tenfold once they signed him. “That’s a big contract…hope they sell lots of hats.” It was a lot of fun. And, of course, the Sox did quite a bit of that. There was a panda (Or, at least I think it was a panda…might have been a lemur) at Pablo’s introductory press conference. His player tees can be found with “Panda” on the back. And, I think I’ve even seen a panda hat or two showing up at Fenway.

But, the more Pablo has struggled, the more people have been commenting that they can’t believe they signed this slug just to sell hats.

Saying it like they believe that’s what happened.

That the Red Sox signed a guy to a five year deal to sell a few thousand hats.

Don’t they see how ridiculous that is?

First of all, Tom Werner isn’t a complete moron. He didn’t make all his money and win all his awards because he was stupid. Even he knows that a show or marketing campaign based on a bad player won’t sell, even if he’s cute and cuddly.

The rest of the Sox know that too. They know that even with Pablo on the team, the most marketable players on the Sox are still Ortiz and Pedroia. They’re still the best ones to build a television show around. Ortiz’s player tees have “Papi” on the back. Heck, you can even get them with “Mookie” on the back. Besides, if the Sox wanted a readymade line of merchandise, there are plenty of cheaper players with fun nicknames. People think the Sox chose Pablo over Josh Donaldson because he was Panda. But, Donaldson goes by “BringerofRain” on twitter. You don’t think the Sox could come up with a way to sell some t-shirts based on that nickname? After all, this is the same organization that built a whole line of shirts and hats and everything else based on beards. Beards, for crying out loud.

So, why would they see the need to weaken the team in order to lock themselves into a fun name?

A fun name they can’t even trademark.

I promise you, they’re not that stupid.

Monday, June 22, 2015

The Negativity in this Town…

Really. I’m actually curious.

I happened to turn on the EEIdiots this afternoon to see if, perchance, there was an interesting interview or something. So, I caught the beginning of the noontime hour of M-F-B. The first thing they said was, essentially, “We know the Sox had a big win yesterday, but we’re going to go to two talking points from Saturday’s loss” They wanted to ignore the good performance by Miley, and the barrage of hits. They wanted to ignore the bats waking up, if even for just a game, and talk about Porcello’s struggles on Saturday, and Papi’s ejection. So, ignore the good performance from a new acquisition and go back to a bad one. Ignore the good day Ortiz had, and go back to his bad one.

What is that?

What is the compulsion to focus on the bad? I know some of it is the headache that is talk radio. For some reason they’ve decided that negativity sells. But, it’s popping up other places as well.

I know that social media is the last place you should go to see how people really feel. If there was ever a place where people went for shock value, it’s twitter. But, they only ever seem to go for the negative shock. If the Sox are up 13-0, the tweets are all, “I can’t wait to see how they blow this.” Going for the shock. But, if the Sox are down 13-0, there’s never a “I can’t wait to see how they come back from this” tweet. Wouldn’t it have the same shock value? What is the disconnect?

It shows up on the broadcasts too. It’s one thing to say things like “If this score holds, the Sox will drop a game” after the team ahead of them wins. It’s stating a fact, and passing along information. It’s another to say after the Sox go down by a run in the fifth that the “Sox are looking at their third straight loss” or whatever it is at the time. That’s not a fact. It’s a projection. And, they’re always a bad projection. If they go down by a run, they never say “the Sox are looking at their fifth comeback of the year.” It also comes up when the Sox have the lead. Say a pitcher loads the bases with two outs and a six run lead. The comments isn’t “The Sox are one out from being out of the jam.” It’s “A home run here would make it a two-run game.” Or, “A home run here would put the tying run on deck.” So, the guy not only has to hit a grand slam, but the next two guys need to also score before an out is made…and this is the direction they choose to report?

I’m not saying everyone should be sunbeams and rainbows. But, shouldn’t it be evenly split?

I remember during the 2007 World Series, the Rockies had a “one pitch away” slogan. No matter how bad things looked, the pitcher was always one pitch away from getting out of it. There were “one pitch away” chants in the stands. Why isn’t there ever any of that here? More often than not, a runner on base doesn’t score. Why do we always assume the Sox pitchers will allow theirs to come around? Why don’t we assume they just need one more sinker to get the groundball?

That’s usually what they do.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Blame Ben?

Ben Cherington fell on the sword a little bit yesterday when asked about the state of the team. He correctly pointed out that it wasn’t just one thing, or one player, that has dragged down the season to this point. He said it was a number of things all going wrong at once. So, if you needed one person to blame for wide sweeping failures, it would be him.

But what, exactly can we blame him for in regards to the first few months of the 2015 season?

After all, if we’re talking about this current team and its struggles, we can’t talk about overpaying for a guy, or signing him to a long term deal. So, you can think that Hanley Ramirez isn’t worth $20 million, or that they shouldn’t have signed Porcello before he threw a pitch. You’d be wrong anyway. But, those would at least be valid complaints if we’re three years from now and were saying that Hanley hasn’t help up to be productive in his fourth year, or Porcello didn’t develop into an ace when he was thirty. But, neither of those would affect April, May, or June of the 2015 season.

So, which mistake did he make that is affecting this current situation?

Should he have known that Pablo would perform so much worse than he had over his career, or last year? Should he have known that Porcello would be worse than he’d ever been? Should he have known that Craig, and Castillo, and Nava would all be terrible after Victorino got hurt?

Which ace was he supposed to sign? Have you seen Lester’s numbers in the NL? Should he have given up Betts and Swihart for Hamels? Would that have helped? Or would the Sox be in last place, without two top prospects.

You could complain that he didn’t get much for John Lackey, apparently, in the trade last year. But, really, Kelly was a 25-year old starter, with a World Series start under his belt. How much better did you want him to do for an older pitcher who may have been a two month rental in some team’s eyes? You could argue that they should have gotten more for Lester. But, the clean-up hitter for the team with the best record in the league? That’s a pretty good haul for someone you weren’t going to have in a couple months. Then, they traded that for a young starter…basically Lester four years earlier. So, they traded Lester for a younger version of himself. Not bad.

No, Porcello-Buchholz wasn’t Pedro-Schilling. So, maybe the blame can go to assuming the offense could score five runs a game to make up for the runs the staff gave up. But, who didn’t think this offense would score runs? Were there any signs that every player on the team would stink? Napoli was finally healthy, was he supposed to forget how to hit? Was he supposed to know that heart of the order would all play significantly below their career levels? Or even last year’s levels?

What was he supposed to know? What was he supposed to do?

Which specific mistake did he make?

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

From the Pedro Binder

2002 Topps 206

Topps is a big fan of its history. It has flooded the market recently with cards using designs or themes from their past. It might be reprints, or new pictures on old designs, or new players on old designs. However they could do it, they’ve celebrated their past. And, they should. For one thing, they have the most history compared to the other companies out there. Second, it makes for some variety in their card sets…even if its variety through similarity.

But, even their vast history only goes back to 1951. If they want even more designs, they’ll have to go back farther and use other companies. They’ve done that quite well with several brands, including T-206.

Of course, T-206 isn’t so much a brand as a catalog designation. Which makes things a bit more challenging when compared to, say Heritage, where each year a new design is available to copy. With T-206, there’s really just the one design. So, if Topps wants to carry on the line for more than one ear, they have to get creative. They need to come up with designs in the style of T-206.

Thankfully, in this case, they were able to hold pretty true to the standard set by T-206, except for one thing. I hate the clouds.

Sure, I know that some T-206 cards had different backgrounds. But, I always picture the solid color behind the players. Maybe that’s because the care I see most often, Honus Wagner, has a simple solid color. (And, by “see” I mean “See pictures of.” I of course don’t mean “see when flipping through me binder.”)  To me the addition of the clouds not only makes it seem like a cheap knock-off, but it somehow calls attention to the lack of quality in the Pedro image. It looks so fake and computerized. Definitely not what I’m looking for when I’m trying to replicate a set from almost 100 years earlier.

So, while this is a nice simple card of Pedro, it loses a lot of points for me by not holding true to the form of the original set.

If Topps wanted to make a modern version, they didn’t need to call it 206.

Friday, June 12, 2015

The Curse of a Balanced Line-up

The Red Sox have been working for a while now towards having a great balanced line-up. They, along with the rest of baseball really, have shied away from a lineup of a couple mashers and some extra parts. The idea it to have every player on offense put up a tough at-bat. To have the order progress from one tough out to another. No longer should Ortiz and Manny carry the team. Every player needs to do his little part for the team to win.

It’s a great plan, really. If for no other reason than it gives some insurance. If your line-up depends on Manny and Ortiz driving in 150 runs a piece, and something happens to Ortiz, you’re in a ton of trouble. If, however, you’re asking nine guys to drive in 70 runs a piece…losing one of them doesn’t seem as damaging. Want the ultimate example of that? Imagine the 2013 World Series without Ortiz. The Sox won those games almost entirely because Ortiz just wasn’t getting out. It would have been a lot nicer if everyone else helped out a lot more.

But, there’s one big problem with that approach. It’s sometimes not pretty.

Let’s say for the sake of discussion that you’ve built what the Sox would probably consider the perfect team. Every batter in it has a .500 OBP. That means that every time to the plate, there’s a 50-50 chance they’ll reach base somehow. So, they could very easily put up this mythical inning.


Or this one.

Double-walk-strikeout-walk-double play.

In each case, half the batters reached base. The team, overall, would have a .500 OBP. But, they would have left the bases loaded in each inning, and not scored a run.

That would frustrate fans to no end. But, really, who are you going to blame? Are we actually expecting every batter to reach base? Are we really going to complain that a guy with a season OBP of .500 happened to hit a groundball in a particular at-bat? Is that really fair? Don’t you just have to accept that those are the beaks somehow?

Of course, that won’t be the exact order of things every time. The laws of probability don’t work out perfectly all the time…unless you’re Gregor Mendel. So, sometimes everyone will be getting their hits in bunches, sometimes they’ll be evenly spread out like these examples, and sometimes nobody will be getting their hits. It’s the way the dice roll. When everyone gets hits at the same time, you can get innings like the bottom of the eighth last Sunday. Sometimes that lasts a month, like it did in April. Or, a whole season like in 2013. When, nobody’s getting their hits, you get shutouts, or months like May.

It gets even worse when you don’t have .500 OBPs for every batter. And, really who does. So, run those same examples, but use a .400 OBP. Suddenly in order to get those three or four hits you need to score, it takes a lot more batters. It’s a much rarer occurrence…just by probability. Then, replace one or two of those .400 OBP with a .300.


That’s what happens with balance. It’s the very thing the approach is supposed to solve. True, instead of just waiting for Ortiz and Manny to save you, any number of players can produce. The problem is that you really need everyone else to produce. Otherwise, it looks pretty darn ugly.

Which is why the Sox are 5-5 in their last ten games, but all anyone can think about is how terrible they’ve been. It’s depressing. It’s disheartening. It’s a harder game to watch because there’s no light at the end of the tunnel. You can’t watch a scoreless inning end, and comfort yourself with thoughts of Manny and Ortiz batting second and third the next inning. Every inning is the same. Every inning you just need three or four guys to string something together. There’s nothing to depend on. So, it seems hopeless. Even when it’s not. Even when you’re getting exactly what you want. It just doesn’t always work. For every May, there’s an April. For every 1-2-3 inning, there’s a rally. If the Sox are down at the moment, it’s because the ups are coming. It’s the way things go. It doesn’t mean it’s awful. Or pathetic. Or emotionless. Or hopeless.

It just seems that way sometimes.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Mariano Rivera Live

With all the talk of Mariano Rivera’s son being drafted by a team not playing in NY, I thought it might be fun to see how Mariano Rivera Sr. performed while I was in the Park. So, I flipped through my scorebooks, and found seven games where the Sandman entered. Again, this might not be a complete total, but just the games I scored. I may have missed a game or two for one reason or another (Game 4 of the 2004 ALCS jumps to mind).

What surprised me was that it was only seven games. Since I had 24 Derek Jeter games, I would have expected Rivera to at least reach double digits. I guess that’s a good sign. Apparently the Yankees didn’t have very many save situations when I was there.

So, how did Rivera do? Take a look.


Not exactly utter domination. Sure, it works out to 46 saves if you stretch it out to a 65-game season. (By the way, I didn’t know what to consider a “full season” for a closer/reliever. Is there a better number than 65 games?) But, a 3.53 ERA doesn’t scream at me. 74 K’s in 51 innings is pretty good. But, for instance, take Koji in 2014. In 64 games he had a 2.52 ERA, striking out 80 in 64.1 innings. And that was supposed to be a down year for Koji. He only saved 26 games, after all, and people we calling for him to be removed from the role.

So, clearly Rivera was nothing special while I was there watching him. Maybe I made him nervous. It’s certainly one reason why I never really feared seeing him come into the game.

Just in case you cared.

Monday, June 8, 2015

That's More Like It!

If you’re looking for a turnaround game for the 2015 season, you might want to mark down yesterday’s date.

Oh, I know. It’s only one game. But, July 24, 2004 was only one game too.

They’re all one game. So, you can only go by what happens within each one game.

And yesterday, a lot sure happened. Even if it was just one inning. Of one game.

When a team is struggling, sometimes it just takes a little confidence to get the ball rolling again. Yesterday’s game certainly provided a lot of that.

Rusney Castillo made key contributions, hitting his first home run of the year. He doesn’t have to look at that zero any more. Pablo Sandoval had a big hit to put runners at the corners. They weren’t rallying in spite of Panda, they were rallying because of him. Mookie Betts had an important steal. Hanley Ramirez had a bit hit, driving in a run. David Ortiz had an RBI. Dustin Pedroia got a hit and scored a run. Brock Holt had a hit and scored a run. Bogaerts had an absolute crushing two run double. De Aza had a pinch hit RBI for crying out loud. They had four hits with a runner in scoring position. Three of them in a row. With two outs. Maybe this can let everyone stop trying too hard. This proves that they just need to all do their part, and let everyone else take it from there. Panda only needs a single, because it’s will be followed by a double. This could help them realize that they don’t need to hit a three run homer with nobody on base.

This wasn’t them winning a game because Mike Napoli had two homers and drove in four runs. This was a team win if there ever was won. A team win where they had a huge comeback in a game they could have given up on. If you were thinking this team didn’t care, or wasn’t vested in the games, this was the perfect chance for them to prove it. Down four early, it was the perfect time to just mail it in. Instead they held on and rallied. Everyone. The whole team.

Now, they say that momentum is the next day’s starter. Well, with Eduardo Rodriguez next in line, they seem to have that covered as well.

Everyone is into it now.

This could be fun.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Patient Aggression

Jorge Posada used to drive me nuts. Well, OK, lots of Yankees used to drive me nuts. But, him especially. He was always being praised for being patient. He’d stand at the plate, and take a close ball four on a full count, and be heralded as he walked down to first. What a patient hitter! But, he wasn’t really patient. He just wouldn’t swing.

Yes, there’s a difference.

Sometimes, he wouldn’t swing at a pitch the whole at-bat, and walk on a full count. Sometimes he’d strike out looking. Sometimes, he’s foul off eight pitches before walking on a full count. Again, look how patient he is! Yeah. So patient that he swung at 10 pitches out of twelve. But, the point is, just because he didn’t swing at the last pitch, it didn’t make him patient.

When a kid is anxiously waiting for his ice cream to be scooped, the parents will remind it to be patient. That’s patience. Calmly waiting for a positive result. A kid waiting for an ice cream that isn’t coming isn’t patient. He’s stupid.

That distinction came up again with the 2004 Red Sox. Both the Sox and the Athletics were known for taking pitches. Terry Francona was asked if there was a difference between the teams. He answered that if the Sox saw a pitch they like, they hit it.

They were patient. The A’s were just waiting.

Which is important to remember when you’re watching the 2015 Red Sox. Patience doesn’t mean taking pitches. It means waiting for a pitch you like. That pitch might be the first pitch. How frustrating is it to have a batter watch a first pitch fastball go right down the middle for strike one, then strike out on two tough sliders. Bet you wish he had swung at that first meatball. It bugs me when people whine after a player makes an out on the first pitch. Somehow a flyball on the first pitch is bad, but on the third pitch it’s acceptable.

That’s some of what is happening with the Sox. They’re so busy being patient, that they forget to swing. I wonder if that’s the difference between players like Kevin Youkilis who were naturally selective and someone like, maybe, Castillo who is being told to be selective. I remember when I was playing Little League, my coach told me not to swing at the first pitch. Usually, that just meant I started my at-bat down 0-1. Pretty much guaranteed that I was swing at the second pitch at that point. I wasn’t naturally selective. I was told to take pitches.

Maybe even the veterans on the team need to be reminded that they’re supposed to be patient. Not just take pitches. When they see their pitch, though, they need to aggressively swing at it. Maybe it’s a reminder to go back to their natural flow. Maybe they’re trying too hard to do it all at once. Maybe they’re waiting too long before jumping into action.

Maybe they need to stop taking so many pitches.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

From the Pedro Binder

2002 UD Ovation

I had to get a copy of my birth certificate at one point. I drove to my birth city to have them print me out a new one. The important part was that it needed to be embossed with a seal from the city office. Anyone could make a photocopy of a certificate. Or, even create their own certificate. But, only the select official few could emboss it with a seal.

Apparently Upper Deck is one of those select few. After all, they chose to emboss this card with the Red Sox seal.

While it doesn’t make the card any more official, it does give it a nice look. I do like that it’s not embossed just for the heck of it. It’s not bumpy stripes. It’s not raised letters. A large Red Sox logo is exactly the sort of thing that might be embossed on a regular basis. I could just imagine Ben Cherington sitting in his office with a trade proposal in front of him. If he agrees with it, he’d sing it and emboss it with his Red Sox stamp. Then put it in an envelope, and melt some wax on the back. Now, I doubt Ben handles proposals in that manner…although, I suppose he might. But it certainly does give the feeling that the Red Sox approve of this card.

Maybe it makes the card more official after all.

(Am I allowed to change my mind after just a paragraph?)

Another thing that’s nice about the seal is that it provides an huge design element without detracting from the rest of the card. It’s different, visually, than if the logo was a red and blue circle behind Pedro. It’s obvious without being distracting. The rest of the card? Lots of clutter. If you have the big stamp, what do you need all the gold foil lines for? Or the different colored background effects? It makes it a lot more cluttered than it should be.

And, makes it look much more official.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

What Would You Do?

I’m going to play along with you for a minute. I don’t agree with you, but let’s pretend a change needs to be made with the Red Sox. Right now, to save the season.

What would you do?

Actually, the better question might be, what would you do next?

I see lots of opinions out there. Blow the team up! Hanley needs to go. They need a bat. All of those flood twitter…usually right after the team leaves a few men on base.

So, let’s pretend that one of those is your plan. What do you do next?

After you “blow the team up” or trade your clean-up hitter. What’s your plan to actually improve the team from there? And don’t give me “that’s not my job, it’s up to Ben.” If you’re telling him how to do half his job, you need to finish it.


Which player on the offense do you move? Personally, I’ve been begging them to trade Pedroia for years. But, whenever I suggest it, I’m attacked like I’m suggesting pulling the eyelashes off kittens. So, I’ll assume that he’s still off limits. Is Swihart killing the team? He’s certainly underperforming. But, he’s so young. You’re certainly not going to trade him. But…you could bench him certainly. He wasn’t supposed to be with the team yet anyway. You could drop Leon, move Swihart to the back-up and get an offensive catcher to play most of the time. Someone like…umm…yeah…him. Guess that’s not going to work.

OK…first base. Yes. You could trade Napolil. That might even make sense since he’s in the last year of his contract. Fine. Who are you trading him for? Or, more to the point, who are you replacing him with? One of your extra outfielders that weren’t good enough to play for you in the outfield? That doesn’t seem like a good plan. Are you replacing him with a minor league first baseman? Don’t think the Sox have any of those ready to go. So, you’re going to need a first baseman from outside the organization. This first baseman needs to be both available, and better than what you hope to get from Napoli.

Who’s on your list?

Oh, sure Napoli’s not hitting well at the moment. But, do you expect that to change? Then you need to trade for something better than what you think he might be. Or, do you think he’s going to hit .202 the rest of the year? In that case, what are you replacing him with? Someone hitting .210? .260? Is that worth it to you? Are you so sure Napoli won’t hit that you’re dumping him for an average player?

Have that same discussion about the rest of the team. Who are you so eager to get rid of? Who are you getting in their place?

Different isn’t always better. If you’re plan is to just be “different,” that’s not a plan.

If you have “better” ideas, let’s hear them.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Red Sox Magic Number is 116!

The Red Sox are not good right now.

They’re in last place.

They have a sub-.500 record.

They’re 3-7 in their last ten.

They have the worst run differential in, like, the history of mankind.

They look worse than the Patriots did in September.

But, here’s the key. They’re only 4 games back.

ALL that garbage has happened. Nothing his gone right. Nothing they’ve tried has worked. Everyone is slumping. Nobody is hitting.

And they’re four games back.

Just like the Patriots, though, they’re not a bad team. They’re just playing like it at the moment. Water WILL find its own level. All these hitters will play to the back of their baseball card. And, when they do, they’ll only have to make up four games.

Because, actually, the entire season hasn’t been terrible. If you look at the OPS for the non-rookies, only Ortiz is significantly off his number from last year. They just had a high peak in April, and a low valley in May. If June is a plateau somewhere in the middle, things are going to be just fine.

Is there reason to think there will be a plateau? Of course there is. Ramirez has been crushing the ball the last couple games. He might not be April Hanley, but even “regular Hanley” will be a big boost to the offense. Pedroia and Bogaerts are definitely trending upwards. They’re definitely getting plenty of runners on base.

Everyone who tweets out their disgust at ANOTHER double play is missing the obvious point. You need a runner on base to ground into a double play. Or, to strand a runner. So, they’ve been getting their hits. It’s just a matter of getting them in a different order.

Odds are that will start happening very soon. Once it does, the Sox should be off and running.

With only four games to make up.

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