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Showing posts from July, 2008

To New Beginnings. Cheers

I am happy I was wrong about the Manny trade. Today the Sox traded Manny, Brandon Moss, and Craig Hansen for former Vermont Expo, outfielder Jason Bay. Since I was living in Burlington during the time he played there and did go to many Expos' games, I consider Jason Bay a close personal friend, despite never having "met" him.

This is a good trade for the Sox. They had to take a leap of faith within the next year or two to acquire a younger slugger. Such a trade will by it's nature be a risk. Nonetheless , I think this is about as low a risk trade as there is. The frustrating part will be potentially watch Moss turn into a strong corner outfielder in the mold of... Jason Bay. And given his stuff, there's still a chance that Hansen will be an elite closer in the not-too-distant future.

I look at the trade this way:
In order to get Bay, we gave up Manny(and have to pay the rest of his salary for the year, $7 million).
In order to get a power hitter 6 years younger…

Manny Fun Times Were Had

First let me present an idea: there should be a video game in which you play the management of a baseball team and you have to deal with Manny Ramirez. The Sims, move aside. It's Manny's world and we're all just laughing and groaning through it.

Now to business: Manny is a baby. Everything is a slight, nobody respects him, contrary to what a "rational" person might read into the huge contract, constant recognition as one of the best hitters of his generation, and, most of all, a generally bemused affection for his Manny-being-Manny antics which would have put a non-superstar player on the Jose Guillen, talented but not-in-my-back-yard category. The guy is given more leash than a Great Dane that just scarfed down some beano, but he nonetheless wants out.

The Sox will not trade Manny by noon tomorrow. They expect to make a serious run at another title this year. In that light, they will only trade Manny if they can get near-equal value. They cannot afford to p…

The Knuckler

As you may have noticed, I am fascinated by the knuckleball. Wake is having another great year. John Farrell recently said in this great article breaking down most of the pitchers about Wakefield: "He's 42, yet he continues to evolve and improve." How does that happen?

Meanwhile, PawSox righty Charlie Zink is dominating this year. His stats are out of this world: 11-3, 2.54 ERA, 1.07 WHIP. Zink is 28 years old and seems to be ready to be given a shot (see the NY Times article about him from June). But I don't know how they'd use him. He's too old to really trade for much and there's no room for him in the rotation, or in the pen. He used to throw 95 mph in college and, most interesting to me, uses a change up as his secondary pitch. I have no clue why that works?

Lastly, the Sox get a taste of their own medicine tonight when they face Seattle's righthanded knuckler R.A. Dickey. While Zink was undrafted and Wake was a (bad) minor league first bas…

Mid-Season Report

As the Sox head into the second "half" of the season, they are in pretty good shape. They've won rather consistently all year, are in first place, have Papi almost ready for a return, and have shown strong pitching, hitting, and fielding. That said, I'm a Red Sox fan, so, here are my concerns:
Papi's Health: I feel like he'll come back this year. But I'm starting to worry that he's Mo Vaughn all over: a great power hitter who just starts falling a part as he gets older. I hope I'm wrong.Bullpen: This seems to be the #1 concern for the fans. I'll go on the record here that I think they should stand pat come the trading deadline. Pap is a money closer (remind me to rant later about the Newsday cover). Mini Manny, Oki, Timlin, Hansen, Masterson, Lopez, and Aardsma are frankly as good as you are going to get on the market. No Larry Anderson, Gagne or Brian Fuentes is worth giving up a good prospect for. They are not great, but I truly bel…

Young Guns Flipped

My first reaction was decidedly negative regarding the Sox' decision today to send Justin Masterson down to Pawtucket to get him bullpen-ready in exchange for Clay Buchholz. That's my initial reaction. Now, I'm going to try to unpackage it for good and bad.

Masterson really has been about as good as you can ask of a end-of-the-rotation slinger. He has gone six innings in all but one of his nince starts - in which he went five. In only one of those starts has he given up more hits than innings pitched. Here's the game log for his nine starts. He had one more start than Clay who was drastically less effective with only three out of eight starts getting through six - and he only had three starts last year so it's not as if he's quite a known commodity in the majors quite yet.

I do believe that Buchholz will be the better starter long term. He has more pitches and most of them are plus. When he's going, he can locate them all and keep any batter very off …

What a mess

The game last night was ugly. The Sox pitching fell apart, losing their fifth straight game, all but one by one run (and that one by two) (and two by one by four by three, sorry, if you're going to be annoying, just go with it).

The obvious issue last night was the bullpen. Tito handed the ball over to Delcarman who looked desperate to give it back. Hansen then came in and was even worse. I think we can call see that we'd like last year's Oki and Timlin from four years ago back. Fact is, we're only going succeed this year with these two guys stepping up, Oki and Timlin being serviceable, maybe a trade if there is anyone out there worth it (doubtful), AND starting pitching that goes at least seven innings.

Dice-K has thrown better the last two games by 5 innings? Did you mom by you a Push Pop after the game for that Dice-K? Everyone gets a trophy!!! The starting pitcher can throw 5 nice innings but he has not done his job if that's all he throws. You're a…