Monday, September 18, 2006

Small Victories...Much Satisfaction

A few things I noticed in the taking 3 of 4 from the Yankees over the weekend...

There is no way a team with 10+ game lead should lose 3 of 4 to a team who has been sucking for a while now without one of their biggest hitters, a decimated rotation, and zero bullpen.

David Murphy will vie for a spot on the roster next year...Meaning, Manny, Wily Mo, or Crisp will be gone (and maybe two of them will be gone).

Coco Crisp has a ton of potential...making him a trading chip. His numbers should be better, but he might not be cut out for Boston.

Tavarez is pretty good as a starter (and that might look good to NL teams in the offseason).

Trot loves to play for Boston. Maybe it is because it is his contract year, but that guy is still going all out for a team very far out of it all...

The Yankees rotation is not all it is being written up to be...But it isn't terrible. Their worst starter seems to be Randy Johnson.

To continue with their pitching...their pen definitely isn't good. Whoever plays them in the playoffs, if patient against their starters, can do damage late in the games. If the Yankees want to do anything this post-season, they better pray Rivera returns strong and can carry the late games 2-innings at a time...

Their vaunted offense (which is loaded with All-Stars) couldn't do much against guys like Snyder, Tavarez, etc...Good luck against Santana, Harden, Verlander, etc...

Losing Tek killed their season. If you look back over the time that Tek was out, they record was atrocious. He's back...they're better.

It's going to hurt if they sweep the Twins. Seeing how a healthy Sox team (even without healthy all around pitching) can actually play and beat really good teams, will make this seem like a lost season.

The thing that hurts the most and is probably the most obvious. To me, the Yankees are the odds on favorite to win the AL penant. What does this mean? It really means that there isn't a standout team in the AL, meaning (of course) that this definitely could have been a year the Sox had a chance to win another...

With all that said, I'd love to see another subway series with the Mets unloading on the Yankees pitching staff and taking the thunder in NY away from their beloved Yankees...However, the Mets just got swept by the Pirates when they could have clinched the division and started resting people.

Baseball is strange that way...


  1. It was nice to not have to watch the Yanks celebrate, but also misleading to take too much away from the series.

    “There is no way a team with 10+ game lead should lose 3 of 4 to a team who has been sucking for a while now without one of their biggest hitters, a decimated rotation, and zero bullpen.”

    One small problem with that is the Yanks did not roll out there projected playoff lineup in ANY of the four games even though everyone was healthy. The closest they came was in game 1 Saturday, which had everyone but Posada. After that, they had pretty much 3 regulars out of every game. Of course this is a shrewd move by Torre. They don’t have to win. And if he puts out a spring training lineup, observers will say exactly what I just did and for the most part shrug it off. If he throws his A-lineup out there and they lose all that will do is raise some questions.

    It would be interesting to see the Yanks have to play in October without a healthy Rivera. That bullpen is suspect.

    ” Seeing how a healthy Sox team (even without healthy all around pitching) can actually play and beat really good teams, will make this seem like a lost season.”

    I would like to see the numbers of the Sox against over .500 teams (by league) and even broken down by month. Even before they got banged up, they didn’t seem to be beating the good teams. MN swept the (healthy Sox) and they lost 2 of 3 against the Yanks in June. They really were all over the map – winning 2 of 3 against CHI before the break and then losing 3 of 4 against TB after the break.

  2. Yes, I know that Torre sat some of his starters, but he still managed those games like he always does. And he wanted to win those games...and the players wanted to win those games...and the Sox had minor league lineups in those games. They won a game where their bottom 3 was Murphy, Mirabelli, Cora...and with no pitching.

    When you saw who was going to pitch in this series, didn't you think there'd be at least one Yankees 15, Sox 3? I certainly did. Especially with how this team has been playing.

    Sox against the White Sox...

    Sox against the Yankees

    Sox against Tigers

    Sox against Angels

    Sox against Oakland

    Everyone knows they can play with the Yankees...That 5-games series (with Tek gone and their play against KC and Tampa) many people, myself included knew it was bad news coming for the Sox...

    When Tek went down...the young guys other way to put it. Put the Sox at .500 in August and they are right in the thick of things right now.

    And, aside from Oakland, they seem to be able to beat any of these teams.

    I am not saying that this Sox team is very good. In fact, I've been saying quite the opposite in alot of my posts. What I am saying is that the rest of the competition isn't that much, and that a healthy Sox team could have, in a short series, had just as good a chance as any of them.

  3. Yeah, the part that I guess I left out is that the AL really is a crapshoot.

    Of course the one missing from that list is Sox versus MN 0-3. And I think they are under 500 against TOR (something like 6-8). Which means all told they are about 10 games under 500 against teams with winning records.

    So its hard to tell - is the glass half empty or half full?

  4. Well, I guess we can look at it this way...

    The only teams to give up more runs in the AL are:

    Tampa Bay 797
    Baltimore 831
    Kansas City 892!!!

    AND that if the Sox were in the NL they would have leads in TWO divisions...

    Thank God for Baltimore...without them the Sox would be in a worse way.

  5. I guess that is why I asked if the glass is half empty or half full. In one comment you say (basically) that they can beat anyone and then a couple comments later pointing out how crappy their pitching is. And it all can't be blamed on Tek's injury - the team ERA was not good before he got hurt.

  6. That is exactly right about my comments. There pitching is crappy, but had it remained healthy (as with Tek), they would have been right in the middle of the race for at least the Wild Card.

    The ERA was bad prior, but Papelbon, Delcarmen, and Hansen struggled mightily when Tek wasn't there. And it definitely got worse during the injury. You can see confidence back in the kids with Tek back...Oh, Lester can definitely be thrown in this pack, as well...He was much worse after the injury to Tek.

    Essentially, due to injuries, the Sox didn't have a number 5 starter this year ever, went very long without a 4, and now for a stretch, you can't even apply numbers to who is pitching.

    Gabbard, Tavarez, Snyder, etc...

    I guess the frustration and confusion comes into play with the fact that the pitching sucked all year, but they were in first and in contention until not too long ago...

    This glass to me is more than half empty now...I am actually very concerned about this team next year...they don't have a lot coming off the books, really, and they have many holes to fill/fix. I don't think Lester will be back next year, not at full strength...You are looking at Schill, Beckett, Wakefield, maybe Pap, and possibly Clement as your rotation. They have NO pen...Well, Delcarmen and Hansen and Tavarez...

    Theo and the boys have a ton of work to do, and again not tons of money with which to do it...

  7. I can’t really get worked up about them not staying in contention this year. Hopefully everyone learned from the combination of 2004 and 2005 that it takes a special team to win in October. Last years team was very much like some of those late 90s early 2000s teams that were in the playoff hunt (or the actual playoffs) but really were one dimensional. Like last year, had this year’s version made the playoffs, I suspect they would have been quickly eliminated. Sure anything can happen. But not likely.

    As for next year, I am a bit more optimistic. I think they have some money to play with – gusy coming off the books are Trot ($8MM), Loretta ($3.2MM) assuming Pedroia fills in, Wells ($4), Seanez ($2MM), Foulke ($7.75 if gone or $4MM less if he exercises his option), Timlin ($3MM), Alex Gonzalez ($2.5), JT Snow ($2MM). those total in the ballpark of $30MM and there are probably $6-8MM in increases. So you have $20MM to improve – granted some of that money will go to replacing the $$ coming off (like SS and some bullpen help).

    I think the biggest and toughest needs will be an extra bat in the lineup (and that is assuming they keep Manny) as well as some help for the rotation. I think the penis probably the easiest to rebuild. As we’ve talked about before, Theo has always been one to stockpile arms. As reliever data suggests, there is huge variability from season to season among relievers, so it is not an exact science. But one of these years, Theo is bound to have some luck with the relievers he chooses. And they could structure deals to be more heavily loaded after 2007 when Schilling, Clement and Lowell are off the books.

    And this does not even address the potential of blowing this thing up – I assure you this, we will hear every name in trade talks this winter, except for Ortiz, Wakefield and Schilling. They will look at every deal out there.

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