Monday, March 07, 2011


Wow...despite the new additions to the Sox, I just can't seem to muster any excitement, yet, for the upcoming season. I guess one might attribute it to the excitement around the Bruins, or maybe just the success of the Sox in general.

Could it be that rooting for a team like the Bruins reminds one of the 86-year struggle Sox fans went through? Is there more excitement in a team struggling to win rather than one that's recently won?


Is it the professional demeanor of the Sox?


Is it the band wagoners that are just enjoying the winning and buying all the tickets making it next to impossible for others to go?

I'll tell you what a big portion of it is for me (and LISTEN up Sox Front Office and NESN). It's the incessant advertising. In between almost every pitch the camera pans Fenway (or other ball park) and a burn appears on the screen. Orsillo or Remy's voice reads the copy. Or...Friday night games...Not only do you get the countless commercials, but you get the booth guests.

It is NOT the speed of the game. If allowed, Remy and Orsillo could lay out strategies and options for the next pitch. The director would not cut 10-12 times in between each pitch (except to maybe show player positioning and pitch calling).

Nope...the Sox have commercialized the game to death. I understand that they need revenue to compete. I guess. I do make the trips to the New York area (family down there), and I'll watch the Yankees or Mets games. Aside from the fact that their announcers aren't very good, you at least don't get killed with non-stop product placement. One can't enjoy the game when one feels they are watching 3 hours of commercials. It isn't cohesive. The game has a flow that NESN and the Sox don't want to get across on television. They are too busy trying to suck pennies from their viewers.

The Bruins games have very little of this. The games keep moving. The announcers provide great play-by-play and thorough analysis. The Sox brass have made big moves to bring back TV viewers by acquiring players. They should look, however, at their over-advertising as the next move. Maybe then, we can start to enjoy the televised games.


  1. Holy Crap. I posted a long rebuttal. And came back today and it wasn't here. Damnit. Serious user error, I guess.

  2. Okay, just testing now to see if comments were working and they are. I'll have to abbreviate my comment, but it was basically two fold.

    I don't really think the commercialization is that bad. Seriously, the Sox are not even close to the Yanks, especially when it comes to the Yankee radio broadcast. Every half inning has a sponsor, there is some contest every inning, replays and game recaps are brought to you by XYZ corp. Even the damn broadcasting booth is sponsored by Meineke. Its silly.

    I'm not a huge fan of Orsillo and Remy - too much mindless banter. But I guess it was a lot worse when Remy was out. some of those games with Eck were painful.

    Worst thing they ever did was let McDonough go.

    Okay, but on to baseball.

    Last year. Starters were 70-50 with a 4.17 ERA (6th in league). Lester and Bucholz were studs. With lackey and Becket sucking. Dice-BB being Dice BB.

    I bet one of Lester and Bucholz slips a bit, but one of Lackey or Beckett steps up and improves a bit. And Dice-BB is Dice-BB.

    I'd expect similar numbers.

    Last year. On offense, Pedroia went out in June, Youk shortly thereafter. Elsbury played in 18 games. And they Sox finished second in runs in the league.

    Granted you lose Beltre and Vmart, but get Youk back and Adrian Gonzalez. Agree Pedey will screw himself up and get hurt again, but Lowrie is insurance.

    And LF sucked all year (230/303/396) and now we have crawford. I can't imagine a scenario where this team is not either first or second in runs scored. Again.

    So we have a top two offense. And probably a top 5 (or better rotation). That leaves...... the bullpen.

    I still believe that last year's team lost not because of the injuries, but because the bullpen sucked.

    Pen was 19-23 with a 4.24 ERA (third worst in AL). For comparisons, TB was 3.33 and NY 3.47. Not including inherited runners scored. We're talking about 50 runs. And probably in high leverage situations.

    Now. Paps, Jenks, Wheeler, Bard. All can close. If paps starts and stays in the same form as last year, Tito will make a change at some point. He has options at closer. And lots of options to move guys in and out. last year, Sox had one pitcher with an ERA below 3.90 who pitched more than 10 innings (Bard). Think about that. The Sox had one pitcher who could have pitched in the pen for NY or TB and made them better. That won't be the case this year.

    Even if this is a league average bullpen they will be fine.

    So, bottom line. I like this team a lot. I think they are the team to beat. BUT. The Yanks will be tough as well. They have the same offense (number one). Losing Pettite is not that big a deal (he sucked for much of the second half), Burnett could be better, their pen will be very good).

    But barring more disastrous injuries, this team should make the playoffs and be poised to make a run. what more can we ask for in March/April.

  3. Holy crap! I am just excited the GYS Network is showing signs of life.

    I am too tired to say much of anything, but I would like to add that our gain of Crawford is a serious dent to Tampa Bay. Granted they picked up two of the idiots who will make them competitive for the first half.

    My hope is that net-net we pick up a couple of wins simply because TB isn't as strong. I guess the same could be said for the Yankees thou.

  4. Biggest gain for the sox this season could be Garza gone from TB. I'm only half kidding. Half.

  5. Matt Garza vs. Red Sox in 2010:

    2 wins, 2 losses, 1 save?!

    35 IP, 16 Ks, 38 hits

    5.14 ERA

    Matt Garza vs Red Sox past 3 years:

    5 wins, 4 losses, 1 save

    99.2 IP, 66 ks, 89 hits

    3.97 ERA

    I can say this, Garza goes deep when he plays the Sox. He averaged 5.2 IP per outing. He also pitched 50% more games against the Sox than any other team.

    The only other team that he "dominated" more is the Blue Jays. He averaged 7 innings per outing against the Jays (past 3 years) with a 1.47 ERA.

    Net-net, I would say I a more than half glad that Garza is in the NL.

  6. Ok.. so Garza doesn't exactly go "deep" on the sox, nor did he "dominate" them. Clearly, a solid competitor that I am happy we don't have to face any more.

  7. And those numbers are a bit misleading on Garza. The Sox got to him twice last year which distorts things a bit. But he did shut them down (8IP 0 runs) in April and then had a good start later in the year also.

    In 2009, he pitched against the SOX 6 times and in 5 of those games he went 7+ innings and gave up 3 runs or less.