All is Not Well

Frankly we are sick and tired of being told “all is well”. All is not well. And while all might eventually be well sometime down the road it is time that people recognize that it could be a long time before that “sometime down the road” arrives.

The Sox, staring at a potentially rain-shortened loss tonight, could be sitting at 2-9 entering tomorrow. Which means that if the Sox play above .500 for seven weeks straight (that’s June, everyone), it will take until what is nearly summer for them just to get back to .500 for the year.

All is not well, and this travesty of a season is fully upon us, less than two weeks in. Maybe it will turn, maybe it won’t. But all is most certainly NOT well.

17 comments… add one

  • Worst team in baseball (Only if you go by, you know, their record.)

    HodgeSox April 12, 2011, 10:12 pm
  • “…But all is most certainly NOT well….”
    i’ve been trying to be optimistic for your sake sf, but i just watched kyle farnsworthless close tonight’s game…oy…yep, something is not well…are there enough games left?…of course, you’re only 5 games out and not mathematically eliminated…it’s the other math that’s starting to make me wonder…if the sox win 90 games, they will have lost 72…they have already lost 12.5% of those in less than 7% of the games played thus far…i’m starting to get what you’ve been saying, but i still think there’s plenty of time to go on a run…the worry is that this team does not look like a team ready to go on a run…not yet anyway…

    dc April 12, 2011, 10:21 pm
  • “Which means that if the Sox play above .500 for seven weeks straight (that’s June, everyone), it will take until what is nearly summer for them just to get back to .500 for the year.”
    Or they go 9-2 in their next 11 games.
    This team is too talented.
    Is Carl Crawford a .386 OPS hitter? Is Youkilis a .685 OPS hitter? Ellsbury a .645 OPS hitter? And all three?
    This team is 9th in runs scored. That will change. In Fenway, that can change their luck quickly.
    I was never convinced on the pitching and it has a very weak under belly too. And what were they thinking at catcher? Too many people were too enamored by what the Sox did this season. They were too distracted by the new shiny objects to notice the things they didn’t do.

    James YF April 12, 2011, 10:26 pm
  • When the Yankees go 2-9 you know what I do? I tend to stop paying close attention to them until they start looking like a major league team again.
    Unless every member of the Sox save Pedroia and Lester have suddenly lost all their talent, I would’t worry too much about the team ending up over .500. You do have a right to worry about the division title, though. But the playoffs? I still say there is zero competition for the wild card. It’s going to be the Red Sox or the Yankees. Or maybe Toronto if things get really wonky. The Rays will be in full-on sell mode by midseason, because with their payroll and their start they can’t afford not to be.
    Check back on the team on Monday, SF. Things will probably be back to normal.

    AndrewYF April 12, 2011, 11:22 pm
  • I agree with Andrew, there’s not a lot of parity in the AL this year. If the Sox win the wildcard it will probably be by 8+ games.

    Atheose - SF April 13, 2011, 7:27 am
  • “…The Rays will be in full-on sell mode by midseason, because with their payroll and their start they can’t afford not to be….”
    and that will be exacerbated by a lack of fan support that was already lackluster even when they had a contending team…i plan to go to a game or 2 this season…when the yankees are in town, and maybe one other…i don’t expect to have any problems parking, or getting great seats…and no lines for the $8 beers

    dc April 13, 2011, 8:01 am
  • DC, I’ll be at the Rays-Yanks game on May 16 or May 17. Lucky that the Rays are at home while my wife and I are down there, and lucky that they’re playing a team I care about watching.

    Atheose - SF April 13, 2011, 9:52 am
  • Just remember, Sox friends, there are more important things:
    http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=6339703

    James YF April 13, 2011, 11:11 am
  • James YF April 13, 2011, 11:14 am
  • Once again I agree with the YFs and disagree with SF. This sucks. A lot. But if it’s going to happen, I’d rather it be in April than September.
    If the Red Sox go .600 from here on out (97 wins in 162 games), they would cross the .500 mark in mid May. Six weeks of .500 baseball. When did we see that before? Oh, right. Last year, when they were 20-20 on May 16 and 8.5 games back … and one month later, they were tied with the Rays a half-game behind the Yankees.

    Paul SF April 13, 2011, 11:23 am
  • Nothing I am proclaiming says the Sox won’t bounce back, or that they should contemplate trading someone, or that they can’t bounce back.
    My only claim is that this is a terrible position to be in, and they are making everything harder on themselves while hurting their overall chances. I fail to see how this is not a fair statement. Wouldn’t they be increasing their margin for error and win expectancy if they started 11-0? Wouldn’t we be talking about how much a start like that mitigates future losing streaks? In this case the opposite is true: with this horrid stretch the Sox can not likely afford many more poor stretches. And the longer THIS poor stretch runs on then that margin shrinks even further, to say nothing of what the growing sample size says about the team’s abilities itself.
    I am not panicked, but I am not living in fantasyland either. I am a pragmatist, and this is a bad, bad start. I don’t like starting my own projects two weeks behind. I imagine the Sox don’t like it either.

    SF April 13, 2011, 11:38 am
  • Paul, last year the Sox ended up with 89 wins and out of the money. I don’t think that’s a comforting thought.
    SF’s right, it’s not a good start and it hurts a little extra because it’s happening right out of the gate. Having a bad stretch in April doesn’t take away a future bad stretch. I feel like some suffer from some version of the Gambler’s Fallacy – that the Sox had some predestined win total and they’re just taking care of the losses now. Better now than in September, right? Well, not really. Because it doesn’t do anything to prevent a bad stretch in September.
    But I’ve said it before – this looks like a good year to be mediocre if your hope is to simply make the playoffs. The Rays’ offense looks shot, the Yankees are still reeling from losing out on their primary free agent target, and the rest of the AL (sans Texas who is running away with the West and thus is not important in this discussion) is either rebuilding or struggling to put a good team together.
    There’s discussions to be had about the long-term wisdom of the Sox’s offseason, but in the short term they still look to be all set, bad stretch or no. They were projected to run away with the AL title, but it doesn’t mean they have to win by such a large margin to still acquire it.

    AndrewYF April 13, 2011, 12:17 pm
  • I feel like some suffer from some version of the Gambler’s Fallacy – that the Sox had some predestined win total and they’re just taking care of the losses now. Better now than in September, right? Well, not really. Because it doesn’t do anything to prevent a bad stretch in September.
    This.

    SF April 13, 2011, 2:30 pm
  • 5 games back with over 150 games to go is not a big deal. This has nothing to do with Gambler’s Fallacy. It has to do with ignoring altogether any “predestined win total” and instead focusing on all that matters and all that is certain: where is this team relative to 1. the leader in their division and 2. the wild card.
    This is not at all saying that “all is well” or that this is how any sox fan would have chosen the season to start. It simply looks at the reality of what the Sox have to overcome.
    They do not have to overcome a certain percentage of expected losses keeping in mind what proportion of those losses they’ve already incurred. They do not have to reach a certain number of total wins that can be predicted 5 months in advance. Simply put, they have to overcome the gap between their record and that of the current wild card holder or division leader. The larger of those two numbers right now is 5 games. That’s the most they have to do. As that number fluctuates during this season, it is the only one that matters – until of course the number of games left and that number start to come close to one another. 5 is nowhere near 151.

    IronHorse (YF) April 13, 2011, 3:01 pm
  • Paul, last year the Sox ended up with 89 wins and out of the money. I don’t think that’s a comforting thought.
    Well, there was a reason the Sox ended up with 89 wins — several of them, actually. As I’ve mentioned before, the Sox pulled to within a half-game of first, and then Dustin Pedroia broke his foot. And Victor Martinez broke his thumb. And Clay Buchholz tweaked his knee running the bases. And Jason Varitek broke his foot. And Kevin Youkilis tore a thumb ligament. All within one month. The team that played July through September was far different than the one that roared back to a near-tie in the AL East.
    So, given that I expect the Sox to remain at least reasonably healthy, I see the 2010 Sox as a sign of how quickly a very good team can erase a bad start.

    Paul SF April 13, 2011, 3:12 pm
  • I agree IH, your comment is right on, too. I don’t see the two ideas as entirely disconnected though. We have some historical reference for win expectancy, and obviously that varies year to year. The gap is the key, as you say. I get that.
    But all is still not well. The Sox are in real danger right now, and need to win a few. Maybe not all in a row, but they need to keep the gap steady at least.

    SF April 13, 2011, 3:20 pm
  • I agree that they’re not mutually exclusive concepts SF. On the “all is not well side” I assume the biggest concerns are less about relative wins (as in Boston vs. Baltimore) and more about whether any of the underperformance issues are likely to be more than temporary slumps.
    I have to think that there are no serious concerns about the bullpen or the offense, esp a guy like Youkilis, who seems to simply be slumping, but there are concerns about the rotation and catcher.
    Re: the rotation I commented elsewhere that I really don’t expect any of Boston’s 4 underperforming (so far) starters to continue with the exception of Dice-K, who I think just isn’t very good. But I also don’t follow the team closely enough so if you were to say that Lackey or Beckett is a really serious concern I’d take your word for it I guess.
    As for catcher, my biggest concern would be whether the pitchers are not happy with Saltalacchia, but again I don’t follow closely enough to know if there are even murmurs of that. As for his offense, I don’t think you need an all-star bat at every position and Boston’s got plenty of others.
    These are the reasons why I haven’t extrapolated this poor start to the rest of the season, but because I don’t really follow them that’s something I’m much less confident about saying than I am about the point that the current distance to first place/wild card is all that really matters.

    IronHorse (YF) April 13, 2011, 3:49 pm

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