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Showing posts from April, 2010

Now jogging in from the bullpen... the starter?

My friend challenged me to refute this blog post by The New York Times’ Freakonomics folks (read it here). I strongly advise looking over the post before you read my response.

This guy has a very interesting argument. In case you are dying to read my knowledge-drop but don’t want to wade through the plebeian blather of "The New York Times,” basically the argument this reader of Freakonomic posits is that closers should start games and hand off to a starter who would finish up the game, thus letting the starter focus on 6-7 innings and not pace himself as much while getting consistent outings from their best short reliever, the “opener”. Where he misfires:
Using relief pitchers after the starter allows the manager to manage a scarce resource (relief pitchers) within a (generally) known number of innings (i.e. from when the starter depart through the 9th inning with something to spare in case of extras). What if your closer falters? Bring in your starter early? Or you could use…

Playing Pepper

Here are a few random thoughts (mostly about baseball):
Adrian Beltre really should take a pitch or two. I feel that it dilutes the whole lineup's approach when one guy clearly doesn't buy in to the general approach.
Speaking of Beltre, about the infield grass in Fenway, he said recently: "But when you’re playing in or you get slow ground balls, it’s like a snake coming at you, so you have to kind of take a guess where the ball’s going to go. I guess through the course of the season I’ll get used to it... It’s not nice. It’s not a good field. It’s a snake. The grass is a snake coming at you. It not only affects your defense, it affects your confidence. Like you get in that mind-set that, ‘Oh, where’s the ball going to go?’ So you start thinking instead of just reaction. I hope that I just get all the ground balls back on the dirt, not on the grass.’’ This is not ok. Youk almost lost his face and a wicked hope Thu. night. I understand having a slow infield or a…

Spring Training Re-Cap

Sitting in Florida, I feel like talking about spring training before turning the page to the regular season - hope vs. reality.

The good news out of camp is that John Lackey - to my surprise - looked like he was worth every penny. He walked only one batter and kept his ERA at 1.35 (to see the spring training stats for the team, click here.) He only struck out 8 in 20 innings, but he doesn't really seem like that kind of pitcher. He has a 7.2 strikeout/walk ratio for his career; Beckett's is 8.5. I surprised how optimistic I am about Lackey - and excited albeit still skeptical about the rumored closeness of a long term deal for Beckett.

Meanwhile, Wakefield look effective and healthy, Lester is great (though I'd love to see him finally start a season well) and Buchholz will be fine. I love this rotation.

The roster of insurance starters available for the Sox is still deep but has more questions than earlier in the spring. Dice-K starts on the DL and will probably surfac…