Thursday, March 21, 2013

Just three months ago...

I posted that the Yanks could be soon facing their own 93 loss seasons.  I took some liberties in that post. Suggesting regression for many and maybe some injuries. But so far, it's been even more pronounced than I ever expected.

Rivera struggles
Granderson out
Rivers shaky
Texeira hurt
Jeter hurting
Arod missing at least the first half

We have danced on their graves before. And we've celebrated their injuries too (Aaron Boone blowing out his knee in 2004). But maybe, just maybe.....

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Okay, I failed. And I wasn't even as ambitious as Jose Canseco

So in my last post, I put in the comments that I might compare/contrast the 2003/2004 Sox versus the 2013 (potential) Sox and see if there is any chance of the current version becoming the juggernaut of a decade ago.  I failed.  I didn't do it. Didn't really get past thinking about how I would do it.  Using my gut, you know, Joe Morgan style or using some of these new crazy statistics that Billy Beane made up in his book.

But, I did say I might.  I didn't promise. I got busy.  Houston, by sucking, force me to watch the Pats when I hadn't planned on watching a meaningless game.  But at least I didn't fail like Jose Canseco is going to fail in achieving his New Year's resolutions:

In case it gets deleted. Here they are in all their beaty.  And they are exact word for word. Including typos. And two number 5s.  Which are most bizarre or ridiculous? Feel free to discuss.

1. spend more time with my daughter
2. get stronger and fitter
3. help people who are getting screwed wherever i can
4. return to pro baseball as player or manager and have dinners with McGwire, La Russa, Bonds, and Selig.
5. Fight Shaq in MMA cage match
5. develop and launch Ponce de CAnseco a real anti aging drink
6. Get elected to a important political office in the U.S. or canada to help all people and governments with there problems
7. Become a world class entreprenur and found at least two great companies that make peoples lives better and funner
8. Write a third book and do a move deal for Juiced!
9. Do at least 100 promotional deals for good companies and products like Animal Rights, Human health, Environmental, and Beer companies
10. Use position as A List entertainer doing reality, TV, movies, blogs, columns, appearances to be able to do more charity

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

I am underwhelmed

So, Joel Hanrahan.    Talk about an underwhelming move.  And it feels like we've made this same move at least twice since Papel-douche left.  Acquire the closer from a small market team to come into the big boy division and be the closer. Oh and he has medical concerns and/or a bad history against the AL East.  Even better.  Andrew Bailey. Check.  Mark Melancon. Check.  This feels exactly the same.

Every article I've read  talks about how Hanrahan's velocity was down last year.  And his walks were up.

Frankly it feels like we traded Mark Melancon for the second coming of Mark Melancon.  Oh and we threw in two of the Dodger prospects we got, along with Stolmy who ahs shown some slow developing progress over the years.

I am sure they know more than me, but would the Sox have been worse off keeping Melancon and hoping one of the kids develops? Or use them for a piece that the Sox really need?

Monday, December 17, 2012

The AL East Knuckling Under?

Are the Jays the new Marlins?  Looks like a deal is done that will send Dickey from the Mets to Toronto.  In return the Mets get a top-rated (but injured) catching prospect and a box of Yodels.

The question now must be asked...How will the rest of the East respond?  Do they need to?

Adding Dickey goes a long way toward making the Jays rotation deep.


But...the question is how good?

Josh Johnson has yet to pitch in the AL.  His career numbers are outstanding pretty much across the board, but is he a top of the rotation guy in the AL East?

Buerhle is a high innings guy, but his results vary.  Since '05 he's been basically a .500 pitcher.  How will his soft throwing style be received in this heavy hitting division?

Dickey was outstanding last year.  What was so different?  He's been barely serviceable over his career.  Will he revert?

Morrow and Romero both have talent, but (again) will they finally produce?

Looking at every other rotation in the East brings much of the same.  X posted a bunch about the Yankees rotation.  The Sox rotation, even with Dempster, contains all sorts of high-end potential, but just as many question marks.

It looks as though the Jays are loading up for a run THIS year.  Overall, I see a cluster at the top of the AL East this year.  The unbalanced schedule is going to make it a fierce competition.  I don't see one team that stands out.  My prediction is that 3 teams finish between 88-93 wins.  The fourth place team will have at least 85 wins.  The last place team won't be far below .500.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

When will the Yankees have their 93 Loss Season

Okay to follow up on Dino's "request" for a separate post....

Yes, I think the Yanks could very soon have a disaster season just like the one the Sox did.  I will say right up front that I will employ some shady slight of hand here and apply non-scientific analysis in MANY instances.  But this is really a bar room argument. Not a scientific thesis.

Sure, the Yankees won 95 games in 2012. Get it.  And suire the roster is not set for next year. But so far they have lost Russell Martin and look to be losing Swisher and Soriano.

They probably get a catcher like Pierzynski who would be about a wash with Maritn.  Rivera is back to replace Soriano next year.  Does anyone think that Mo at 43 will be as good as Soriano was last year? Soriano had a 2.6 WAR which is basically what Rivera had the last three full seasons before 2012. Do you think he steps in and picks up where he left off? Maybe. Maybe not. 

Swisher gone - replace by Gardner. Swisher's WAR was 3.5 last year.  Gardner has the potential to match that. And has twice in his career. But he is coming of an Elsbury-eque season - injured, non performing, disappointing.  Its possible he fails massively to pick up the slack.

As for the rest of the offense, I will just lump them into two categories.  Those that played WAY over their heads last year (Cano, Jeter, most notably) and players that careers are on a downward path (Arod, Texeira, and Granderson.)  I won't bother with WAR or VORP or any stats but I will jsut say that those last three guys make a lot more outs now than they used to. And I say that even having watched the Sox lose nearly every game to the Yankees this year. Usually by 10 runs.

And their pitching.

Sabathia - wasn't his elbow hurting at the end of last year? He had hsi worst season in 5 years.
Kuroda - 38 years old. Seems like to come back to earht and not repeat ERA+ 126
Petitte - he's old
Phil Hughes, Ivan Nova, Freddy Garcia?? These are guys that scare you?

So let's just say every starting Pitcher and Rivera are one game worse than last year, that's 6 wins. And then they 7 old guys in the field are one game worse. That's back to .500.  And then its just one big injury or PED suspension away from mayhem. And seriously, sure ARod will miss the start of the season. And Rivera was out from early May last year. And Gardner missed most of the season.  But really when was the last time the Yanks had a Major offensive piece go down with an injury for the year? Is their luck set to run out?

Its coming baby.  And I love that they have a budget.  They'll have noone to blame but themselves.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Say it ain't so youk!

My brother sent me this email this morning, which I think is fairly indicative of what some of Red Sox nation will be thinking today: "I’ve been trying to brainstorm ways to crowdsource the $12 million Youk would be paid by the Yankees. We could offer it to him to NOT play in the Bronx. We could get Red Sox Nation to pledge money to the Jimmy Fund in his name – but only if he walks out of the deal. In that case, the money would go to the Jimmy Fund and a big banner would be placed on the Dana Farber building thanking Youk. If not, the money could be paid for banners to fly over Yankee Stadium every time he comes up to bat reminding him that he let down the kids… including this one." I am an huge Youk fan, I was happy for him to go to Chicago because the situation last year was eating him up. I didn't agree with the move, but I think it was necessary. Youk had become too frustrated with our team and he is the type of guy that will/does spill over emotionally. We know he had issues with other players in the past. All that being said, I don't blame him for getting his pay day with the Yankees. After all we traded him! He has no loyalty to us what so ever.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Don't count the Patriots out... just yet

I am not sure how the other GYSers felt about last night's game heading into it, but I was NERVOUS. I thought the Texans had a nice balanced game and would prove too much for the Patriots. I was convinced that the Texans would establish a decent ground game and force us into man-to-man coverage in the secondary. This would over tax our "up and coming" secondary and cost us the game. Not to mention their swat-tastic defense would stiffle Brady and force some tight spots or bad decisions. Well not only did none of those issues happen, but it was like the Patriots stole the Texans' game plan and used it against them! Our secondary really stepped up last night. Yes, you read that correctly, our SECONDARY really stepped up last night. Our ability to play man-to-man on the outside WR allowed us to put 8 in the box to keep Foster from having a field day. This forced Schaub to read our secondary which as it turns out is a little tricky. I guess having a lot of quasi-cornerbacks in your secondary allows you to mix up coverage a lot. The end result was one critical pick and a tentative Schaub. On top of that, we played more 4-man fronts than we do typically thus allowing us to keep their offensive line guessing and, wait for it, put pressure on their QB! End result, more swatted passes than the swat-tastic Texans! The question is, is this a sign that the Patriots have sorted out a winning formula? Has the secondary cleaned up its act, or at least has Belichick figured out a way to make them effective? The 49ers will be a good test. Sure they are down their starting QB, but Kaepernick seems to have stepped in nicely. Certainly, it will be a better test than the Dolphins. Anyway, comments are welcome!

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Dempster and Lohse at the top of the list

I think we can all agree that we need some serious improvement to our starting rotation. A quick scan of shows that really only two names are in the running: Dempster and Lohse. Both achieved a 3.3 or higher WAR (according to Fangraphs) in 2012, which puts them at or slightly better than Lester in 2012. To that point, I think we all agree we need more than another Lester (2012). What this tells me is that Cherrington and crew are hoping that Farrel will work his magic and get Lester to improve. We can then supplement the line up with another Lester type (e.g. Dempster and Lohse). Feels to me like this is a stop-gap.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

And Now....Victorino

Are the Red Sox done with their lineup?  Will there be other moves?  One's answer to these questions would need to be based on which opinion you hold: 1. Is this a bridge/rebuilding year or 2. Are they trying to win now?

The Sox just completed a 3-year deal for Shane Victorino.  That's the third multi-year contract they've handed out this off-season.  Why do all these multi-year deals if you have younger guys ready to go?  Why go from Cody Ross to Shane Victorino, especially with other teams driving the latter's price up?

Put me in the camp of the Sox think they can make a run with this new look team.  So, to me, they aren't done wheeling and dealing.  As of now here is their opening day lineup:

CF  Ellsbury
2B  Pedroia
DH  Ortiz
1B Napoli
3B  Middlebrooks
RF  Victorino
C  Saltalamachhia/David Ross
LF  Gomes
SS  Iglesias/Ciriaco

That's a pretty deep lineup, a little weak at the bottom, but they are not done.  They are in a position to deal Salty and have Ross teach Lavarnway how to call a game.  They could trade Ellsbury.  There are still outfielders to be had.  And let's not forget the Victorino is a natural CF.  Swisher and Hamilton may still be in play.

The school of thought out there is that they need another starter.  But what if Lackey's woes were because of his injury?  Would a 1-2-3 of Lester, Buchholz, and Lackey be horrible?  The answer is no, but it wouldn't be enough against the pitching depth of the Yankees and Rays in the AL East, not to mention the other Wild Card competitors.  So they need another top of the rotation guy. They obviously have major league talent to trade for it. Ellsbury could bring you that.  And, heck, Greinke is still out there as a FA.

Put me in the column of "The Sox have a plan".  They have a lot of flexibility, and signing all of these guys to 3-year deals makes it seem like they aren't mailing it in for one year to wait for the youngsters...

Monday, December 03, 2012

Napoli On Board

I am going to continue with my analysis of the Sox.  Readers or not...

Napoli agreed today to join the Sox.  The roster is shaping up, but it isn't what Sox fans generally expect.  They are going for good guys, but are they going for good players.

The two additions they've made this far are Gomes and Napoli.  This is not the Crawford or Gonzalez of the past.  They will/should make for a better clubhouse, but will that translate to competing in the AL East?

Current Sox lineup:

CF  Ellsbury
2B  Pedroia
DH Ortiz
1B  Napoli
LF Gomes
3B  Middlebrooks
C   Salty/Lavarnway
SS  Iglesias/Ciriaco
RF  ???

This is not a bad lineup.  I am thinking they will now go hard after Swisher.  He fills out the RF role, and can play 1B while Napoli could catch.  That would most likely make Saltalamacchia a trading piece.

Again, let's not forget that there's been a lot of talk about Hamilton including Lucchino saying they wouldn't do long deals but then quickly taking that back.  That could mean a change of position for Ellsbury (RF) or a trade.

Having Ellsbury and Salty available for pitching may go a long way in this FA dry off-season.  Are the Sox building for a run this year despite all this talk of bridging and rebuilding?  It is starting to look that way.