Theo’s made a lot of defensible moves in the past two years, as far as I am concerned, but at some point his defensible moves are going to need to work out. How many clever, non-“let’s blow money out the tailpipe”-moves have panned out, besides Hideki Okajima?
A quick, superficial look at the big acquisitions and some others:
Lugo – marginally defensible, negative
Crisp – a totally defensible pickup, but negative
Drew – defensible, but negative (I think this one is going to get better, though)
Pena – marginally defensible at the time, negative
Renteria – defensible pickup, modestly negative, but impatient with the move to boot
Mirabelli – reflexively defensible at the time, but stupid in retrospect, and negative
Daisuke – positive (this one is going to be just fine, based on Matsuzaka’s first foray into MLB)
Javier Lopez – LOOGY, been competent if not spectacular
Romero – DFA
Pineiro – Mopup
Snyder – positive, but a fringe player in general
Remember, Beckett and Lowell, probably the best acquisitions the Sox have made in the last two years, weren’t brought in on his watch, technically.
The bloom should be completely off the rose.
I guess we don’t count Curt Schilling, Dave Roberts or Bill James?
Credit, perhaps, for the non re-signings of Pedro/Damon?
Pedro – obvious reasons. Who knows what he’ll be like if/when he comes back this season.
Damon – if he could no longer play CF for the Sox, there would be no way to work him into the lineup. Which I suppose speaks to the flexibility the Yankees have with Juicin’ Giambi on the shelf.
Orlando Cabrera (big positive), Doug Mientkewicz (positive), Matt Clement (HUGE negative), Brendan Donnelly (positive)… I guess we have to wait and see on this year’s group. I too think Drew will be fine, but the Cabrera/Renteria/Lugo and Crisp debacles do threaten to tarnish — at least somewhat — Epstein’s sterling legacy.
The bloom should be off the rose? Didn’t he win a WS? Aren’t they in first by 8.5 games? Not crazy about your florist.
I guess we don’t count Curt Schilling, Dave Roberts or Bill James?
Schilling signed in 2003. Roberts was a great deadline pickup, obviously, but moved on. Bill James? I have no way of qualifying or quantifying how James has helped (or hurt). I don’t see why Theo gets credit for James, since Henry probably had a lot to do with that too. Letting Pedro and Damon go, sure, he was correct in his judgment. But he didn’t reinforce that correctness with replacement players of note, which would make those intelligent decisions ever smarter.
This isn’t just a ‘what have you done for me lately’ inquisition. It’s a legitimate topic: what has Theo done of real note since the 2004 deadline? We’re almost at the three year mark.
That’s BS, YF. There’s lots of room for criticism. It’s easy to look at the Sox’ record and think everything is peachy keen, but if you’ve watched the team (not just lately, but for a long stretch), you’d see that there are some significant flaws. If the front office doesn’t manage to correct these flaws, the Sox will be in some trouble; this past week is indication. I was criticized in these parts for worrying last August before the “Massacre”, and we were proven right (this thread – http://yanksfansoxfan.typepad.com/ysfs/2006/08/question_of_the.html#comments – is an excellent compendium of pre-massacre sentiment, and I stand by my logic that was on display there). I’ve seen enough baseball to know when something isn’t quite right, and the Sox are flawed, 8.5 game lead and all. There’s room for improvement, obvious room.
I see no reason to veer away from criticism, just because of what happened in 2004. I have been a big Theo booster and I (along with many other SFs) have been accused of blind partisanship (unfairly, but accused nonetheless), but there’s legitimate room for criticism, whatever ther record.
Ah, I missed the “past two years” portion of your comment, SF (right at the top too). My bad. I agree that most of Theo’s acquisitions since then have been questionable, and that’s disconcerting. Still, I still hold out measures of hope for Drew/Lugo.
The Mirabelli deal was awful, and I thought and said so at the time. The Pena deal hasn’t turned out well. Signing Clement was a mistake, trading for Crisp — and trading away Kelly Shoppach — sure looks like one. The Riske-Lopez trade has turned out positively, and thus far, I’d give high marks for getting Matsuzaka and Okajima and trading for Donnelly (Phil Seibel = nothing). Romero was a bust, but give him credit for realizing it quickly and getting rid of him. I also like the Bryan Corey trade at least year’s deadline.
Edgar Renteria might be the worst of both worlds — a decent signing given first-rate hype, leading to disappointment and a too-quick hook. If Epstein kept Renteria, we never trade for Crisp because we never have Marte in the fold. Shoppach is our backup catcher, Renteria is our potentially All-Star-caliber shortstop, and David Murphy is probably manning center (or Jeremy Reed is on the DL). I think that’s a better team than what we have now, and that’s wholly on Theo.
FIRE HIM, FIRE HIM NOW!
1. J.D. Drew, RF
2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
3. David Ortiz, DH
4. Manny Ramirez, LF
5. Kevin Youkilis, 1B
6. Mike Lowell, 3B
7. Jason Varitek, C
8. Coco Crisp, CF
9. Julio Lugo, SS
— Josh Beckett, SP
I think Youk and Drew would be better in reversed spots, but it’ll be interesting to see if this works. I won’t knee-jerk-react to this lineup…not until after the game at least. ;)
looks like a good line-up to me.
I don’t really see much of a problem with this. Drew’s a high-OBP guy with some speed — actually probably the closest thing the Sox have to an ideal leadoff man, his struggles notwithstanding. This lineup essentially marks the first time the Sox have a 1-7 lineup that could be considered fearsome. Let’s see if they can do anything with it.
So…I called for Drew leading off awhile back. Neener neener to those who thought it wouldn’t happen.
Neener neener, I say!
However, did this have to start exactly when he’s facing a lefty? When his average, OBP, and slugging drop like a rock over his career against lefties?
I dig this lineup a lot. Can they stick with it for a while though? Is Tito capable of not equating speed with automatic top-of-the-lineup status?
His SLG, for sure, but his avg and OBP aren’t ridiculous drops.
It’s not like he goes from .290/.378 to .214/.307, like another LHH RF I could name from recent Sox history.
FWIW, Drew is slugging 70 points better vs. lefties this season than righties, though his OBP drops 50 points against them. In all, his OPS is actually higher against lefties this year (sample size caveat).
Okay, you’re right, Quo. I was exaggerating. And if they could stick with this lineup pretty much forever, I’d be pretty damn happy.
Sorry to double-post, but it’s also nice to see that the OBP drop is accounted for almost entirely by the AVG drop…that his eye is always good.
I think that Tito is trying to set a record for different lineups used each night. I don’t disagree with Drew in the 1 hole, but I would really like to see some consistency in his lineups.
Youk has stated that he is least comfortable leading off. I’d still put Pedroia there for about a 10 game stretch and see how he handles it.
Terry Francona finally realizing, after weeks of awfulness, that Chanel and El Vacio are awful. Interesting him putting Drew leadoff, based I guess solely on his on base percentage. Dunno how fast he is, but OBP is more important than speed at the top of the lineup anyway. Bill James lineup all the way.
How much does it *really* matter who bats leadoff, anyway? After the first inning, it’s kind of irrelevant, isn’t it? What *is* relevant is that Lugo and Coco are batting one after the other again, effectively negating any pluses from not having them bat leadoff and in the 2-hole.
monkey – yeah, it does matter who leads off..actually it matters who hits in the top 3. They get an extra at-bat per game on average. Wouldn’t you want your better hitters to get that advantage??
You mean getting the worst hitters fewer at-bats is not relevant?
Like jp says, this has little to do with the first time through the order, but rather the fourth and fifth times through the order. Get your better on-base guys more plate appearances for the long haul. Another reason why to have faith in your better hitters and stick with a lineup.
i have a hard time understanding what to blame theo for, and what to give him credit for…can a move be “defensible”, yet still characterized as “negative”…he was hired by the sox in nov. 2002 and “left” briefly in late 2005, although he supposedly remained “in contact with” the front office…he is then [largely] responsible for all personnel transactions after 2002…i’d say the biggest reason for this latest doubt is that the players have stopped performing on the field…just as many were calling for cashman’s hide a few weeks ago, it’s theo’s turn on the hot seat…
dc, this is baseball discussion. Why is it not right to try to assess the kind of job someone is doing? I haven’t called for Theo to be fired, nor am I suggesting anything like that. But I think there are so many times when SFs jump to his defense (I have done it) that it’s only fair to call him out when it’s clear that he has done things poorly. What’s wrong with that?
actually, nothing wrong with it sf…i was agreeing with you in a way, just expressing my confusion about when a gm is doing well and when a gm is doing badly…and i give you credit for not always jumping to theo’s defense when he’s questioned…in fact, you’re leading the questions…a couple of weeks ago, he looked like a genius, this week he’s not…same thing with cashman in reverse…theo’s timeline also gets fuzzy for me [just like cashman’s frankly], so i was just trying to clarify it for myself if no one else…and i think the other point i was making is that the measure of a gm’s success is so directly connected to the success of the team that a little slump can really make the gm look bad [i can hear you say “no duh”]…the only reason i point out the obvious is that it’s so true in theo’s and cash’s cases…as you know, losing is not tolerated in boston and ny as it is in most other cities…theo’s on the hot seat even if you haven’t called for his head on a platter…
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