Gagging Again

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Let’s get things straight: No one knew this would happen.

No one in their wildest dreams or nightmares could have predicted that by swinging a trade for one of the most dominant closers we’ve ever seen, the Red Sox would actually give up ground in the AL East.

Some thought the trade unnecessary. They were wrong. Hideki Okajima’s meltdown has made Gagne’s presence very necessary. If ever the Sox needed a lights-out setup man, it’s right now, with Okajima hitting the wall. Whether prescient or lucky, Theo Epstein was right on the mark in acquiring the best reliever available in case of such an event.

Others thought the trade was brilliant, locking the Sox into the division and making them prohibitive favorites for the league championship. We were wrong, too. Instead, Gagne is directly responsible for four losses, without which the Red Sox would be 6.5 games up with 10 to play, instead of 2.5 up.

No one predicted the Red Sox would both need Gagne, and that he would fail them repeatedly. But it’s happened, and we’re watching the division lead slip away before our eyes.

276 comments… add one
  • Well said, Paul. I am posting this comment, which I put in the game thread earlier today, as it’s appropriate here and may generate some discussion:
    The implication from Tito is that they are trying to find the guy for the eighth inning, Gagne is that guy, and they need him. But why isn’t Delcarmen an option? Why not Buchholz? Why not give Manny or Clay a shot at that role, like the Yanks have given Joba? Delcarmen has been superb this year, and if Buchholz is on a limitation then why not use him in one-inning spurts for more appearances? That’s how Papelbon was brought in to the fold in ’05.
    I understand the need to test Gagne, but last night wasn’t his first appearance for the Sox, he was given a lot of rope (walking the bases loaded seems like a lot of rope to me, at least), and Tito didn’t need to give him another two batters to hang himself. Tito’s in-game management last night was indefensible, on a lot of levels. He had already accomplished what he wanted (seeing how Gagne reacted to adversity) by the time the game was tied. Had he not seen enough at that point to make a judgment? If, in fact, he still hadn’t seen enough by that time, I question just what the f*ck he was looking at.

    SF September 19, 2007, 9:30 am
  • I’m utterly speechless today. I’m crushed. What the hell is going on here?

    LocklandSF September 19, 2007, 9:35 am
  • I knew this would happen.

    Westboro - YF September 19, 2007, 9:38 am
  • Well, technically nothing has happened yet. Things look like they are happening, but the Sox are still the ones with the two game lead in the division, and they are still the worst choke in history (regular season, that is!) away from missing the playoffs entirely – the magic number for a berth is four, with ten to play. The playoffs seem like something of a lock, the division obviously now less so.
    So nothing has happened, at least not yet. If the season ended today…
    (damn, why can’t the season end today!?)

    SF September 19, 2007, 9:44 am
  • And here’s my response to SF’s post in that thread:
    I have no doubt that Delcarmen is the next option. They already know what they have there. But he’s just one guy. They need another at this point.
    Buchholz, I have no idea. If they’re allowing him to go 6 or 7 innings today, that to me is like 6 or 7 relief appearances. My guess is that they’re very afraid they’ll mess with his arm by throwing him into a set-up role. The Yankees at least slowly worked Joba into that role, starting at AAA. The other explanation is that they’re worried about one of their starters getting (or already being) hurt. And Buchholz would step in for a Game 4. The real problem is that Buck is already at his innings limit (20% increase over last year). With each extra inning he throws they increase the risk of injury next year.
    As for Gagne, they’ve been slowly working him back into the fold. That’s why some around here thought they were set. His recent non-pressure situations were solid. And with a quick two outs last night, I think Gagne was getting the long leash. Had he put all those runners on with no outs, there’s no doubt they would have pulled him. But they’re trying to build his confidence. Even with the bases loaded, if he had managed to get out of it, most everyone would think he was still working his way back. Instead, we are where we are.
    My guess is they’re going to keep going back to Gagne because they really have no other choice and they’re already in the playoffs. And once there, they still need Gagne. But I bet Delcarmen will start getting 8th inning slots, probably as soon as tonight. And we can only hope that Oki returns to form this weekend. It’s crazy that Gagne really is the Sox version of Farnsworth and with ten games to figure it out.

    Anonymous September 19, 2007, 9:45 am
  • i admit that i chuckled this morning when i heard the news guy on boston’s NPR station mention that “red sox pitcher eric gag-knee… uh… um… gagne surrendered three runs last night.”
    i admit to being more than a little nervous when the sox got this guy. he could still turn it around, but he’ll need the opportunity to work out of jams. that might have been tito’s thinking… still, it is amazing that he has gone all farnsworth on you.
    i empathize.

    Yankee Fan In Boston September 19, 2007, 9:47 am
  • Paul is right that everyone thought it was a great move by Epstein – the worst I heard said of it at the time was that it was unnecessary, but not that it was a bad move. It does make me wonder if Texas knew something about his arm.
    Far be it from me to provide any solace to SFs, but I think things look worse today, after another EG meltdown, than they really are for the Sox.
    Youkilis and Ramirez out of the line-up is enormous and both are due back before October.
    Yes, if you don’t establish a reliable bridge to Papelbon, and fast, you could have a very short October. But if the issue with Okajima is rest, you are giving it to him now and can even give him plenty more if you don’t get overly consumed with winning the AL East. I still think you will take the division, but even if you don’t, that really means so little in the post-season judging from practically every single post-season since the WC was introduced.
    For my part I am hoping the Yankees focus more on getting Wang/Pettite and the rest of their rotation set for the ALDS than they do on scrapping for the division, for the very same reason. The division really only matters more for bragging rights on this blog in my view than anything else.
    And as for best record so you can choose the shorter or longer-rest ALDS, that’s all good, if you don’t scramble so hard to do it that your #1 and #2 starters aren’t set up to make the first two starts of that ALDS when it comes.
    That’s all the kindness I can extend, but honestly, I think all that got proved last night is that Gagne is as bad as you thought he was three weeks ago. So you all will jettison him and move on. Of course, if Okajima also continues to falter, that would be scary for you.

    IronHorse (yf) September 19, 2007, 9:48 am
  • Everyone quit yer bitching. If the Sox lose it at least they’ll go in as a Wild Card, something that helped them in the past. I would be more ecstastic if they had the opportunity to miss the postseason all together, but that won’t happen.
    I am very happy with the way the Yanks are playing but again, I’m not getting too cocky. Anything can happen. I don’t care if we get the division, I just want to win 11 games in October and be able to go to a parade. That’s all.
    One thing that is nagging is who I want to play in the playoffs. One part of me, the smarter side says stay as far away from the Angels as one can get. Another part of me, the cocky side wants this to be what someone else called the Revenge Tour of 2007. That means knocking out the Angels, Sox and Diamondbacks. Obviously the RT2007 would be like a dream, but again, I’m not stupid.
    Sorry for the long post.

    snowballa September 19, 2007, 9:50 am
  • It’s a trade you have to make. Theo made the right move. He had a chance to push his team over the top by adding a top notch relief pitcher and really only losing complimentary pieces, not focal points of the team’s future.
    In Texas:
    33.3 IP – 29 K’s – 23 hits – 8 Runs – 12 BB’s – 2.16 ERA
    In Boston:
    14 IP – 15 K’s – 23 hits – 14 Runs – 7 BB’s – 9.00 ERA
    Just doesn’t make any sense, he was dominant in Texas then comes to Boston and forgets how to pitch? Maybe the bottom line is he needs to be a closer. He has given up the same amount of hits in 14 innings that he did in Texas over 33+ innings. Unfortunately for Sox fans, the only way to resolve this is to keep trotting him out there. He is too good to be this bad.

    John - YF (Trisk) September 19, 2007, 9:51 am
  • It still doesn’t excuse Theo. It has turned out to be a HORRIBLE move, probably one of the WORST mid-season pickups of ALL TIME.
    You have to take the good with the bad. Theo Epstein is completely responsible for Eric Gagne, no matter what people thought of the trade at the time. I can’t see how he can get a pass.

    AndrewYF September 19, 2007, 9:51 am
  • I think Paul is right here for the most part. I do wonder if the Sox anticipated a regression of sorts from Okajima given his work-load and maybe something they were noticing about his pitching at the time of the trade. At the time, it appeared they were getting another great arm in the bullpen. However, it should be said that Gagne, at the time of the tarde, was not the same Gagne of Dodger fame. His k-rate was down,he was just simply not as dominant as he had been. Still, he was pretty good- a great option for a set-up guy.

    Nick-YF September 19, 2007, 9:51 am
  • I looked at the box score today (got home late last night, saw the score, rolled my eyes, went to bed), and wondered why Delcarmen only pitched a third of an inning. I agree. Buchholz/Delcarmen could easily be dominant forces in the 7th/8th innings if Tito would ever use them. His predillection for veterans is nauseating sometimes.

    Paul SF September 19, 2007, 9:52 am
  • Me –
    And, sorry, when the trade was made I was calling it a mistake to my friends and family. (And now I don’t look “wrong”, Paul.) I actually found this place as things got worse and I needed somewhere to vent because they were sick of hearing it from me.
    I thought it was a bad trade both because the Sox gave away too much (and I fear Beltre will be the real kicker) and Gabbard would have been helpful down the stretch.
    The real problem though is that they tried to fix something that wasn’t broken. True, they needed to find support for Oki (though he’s been very poorly used, especially in the second half). But without Gagne to clutter things up, they could have been working Delcarmen, Lopez, and Timlin into higher leverage situations. Heck, even Romero would have been better than Gagne at this point. That’s plain disgusting.
    My final objection ot the deal is that it was over-kill. It was a move the Yankees would have made. I thought the Sox were supposed to be smarter than that – trying the kids where necessary and turning over stones for undervalued talent. Gagne at the price of three prospects and 5 million wasn’t going to be it.
    That said, he still has a chance to redeem himself. But that window is closing very fast.

    Pete September 19, 2007, 9:53 am
  • IH:
    you asked if perhaps texas thought that gagne’s arm was fading, etc.
    i read a couple of weeks ago an article that suggested that texas was pitching gagne less and less as the trade deadline neared. they were asking the same thing. i don’t know how accurate that story was, but the issue has been raised.

    Yankee Fan In Boston September 19, 2007, 9:58 am
  • IH:
    you asked if perhaps texas thought that gagne’s arm was fading, etc.
    i read a couple of weeks ago an article that suggested that texas was pitching gagne less and less as the trade deadline neared. they were asking the same thing. i don’t know how accurate that story was, but the issue has been raised.

    Yankee Fan In Boston September 19, 2007, 9:58 am
  • whoa. sorry about that, folks.

    Yankee Fan In Boston September 19, 2007, 9:58 am
  • Gabbard would have been helpful down the stretch.
    Doing what, exactly? Sweeping the dugout? Setting up? Come on. Gabbard’s non-presence hasn’t had any impact on the season’s results.
    Gagne, on the other hand…

    SF September 19, 2007, 10:02 am
  • The other thing they’re going to have to consider is throwing Paps for two inning stints. He’s throw 55 innings this year after 68 last year. In worrying about protecting him, they killed Oki.

    Pete September 19, 2007, 10:02 am
  • How many games did Oki pitch in with 4,5,6 run leads? For some reason, I recall questioning why Tito was trotting out this guy in games that were foregone conclusions against lesser opponents.
    I’d need to check the gamelogs, but if memory serves there were at least five or six appearances that seemed gratuitous, to say the least.

    SF September 19, 2007, 10:03 am
  • SF –
    Remind who’s starting today?
    If they didn’t feel like they needed Buck as a potential 5th starter, they could have started his transition to relief long ago, just like Joba. Sure, they we wouldn’t have the no-hitter, but at least we’d have a dominant two-inning guy in the pen.

    Pete September 19, 2007, 10:04 am
  • Oki has pitched in 10 games where he entered and the lead was greater than 4 runs.

    Pete September 19, 2007, 10:05 am
  • Buck is pitching today to line up the starters for the playoffs. Same reason why they are giving Schill 8 days between starts (he won’t go until next Tuesday).

    SF September 19, 2007, 10:06 am
  • >>>But they’re trying to build [Gagne’s] confidence.
    How’s that working out?
    I do hold Francona responsible for at least one thing: not anticipating Okajima getting tired, and not spreading out his use more over the second half.

    Hudson September 19, 2007, 10:07 am
  • Oki has pitched in 10 games where he entered and the lead was greater than 4 runs.
    And how long were these appearances? Any 1+ inning jobs?

    SF September 19, 2007, 10:07 am
  • Do you think they can bring Gabe Kapler to manage the Sox? I think I would feel a little more comfortable with him there than Tito with his blinders on.

    Pocono SF September 19, 2007, 10:08 am
  • Here’s the proper breakdown on Oki when he entered the game:
    Tie: 7 games
    1 run: 21 games
    2 runs: 13 games
    3 runs: 7 games
    4 runs: 10 games
    > 4 runs: 10 games
    So of his 64 games, about 30% have been where the lead was 4 runs or more.

    Pete September 19, 2007, 10:11 am
  • Today’s start could have been Gabbard’s. Buck could have been the bullpen arm. Unfortunately, the Sox chose the old Yankee way. And the Yankees chose the young and smart way.
    Oki has pitched 67 innings in 64 games. So few were more than 1 inning jobs.

    Pete September 19, 2007, 10:13 am
  • 4 runs: 10 games
    > 4 runs: 10 games

    This is positively Torre-esque.

    SF September 19, 2007, 10:15 am
  • Yup, Tito found he could “trust” Oki and Paps. But rather than forcing him to use the other arms (Delcarmen, Timlin, Lopez, even Snyder and Romero) while turning Buck into a relief guy, management went out and greatly overpaid for another trustworthy arm. The problem though is that as soon as Gagne stunk, Tito went right back to Oki. They had time to get this problem right. And they chose the easy and expensive path.

    Pete September 19, 2007, 10:20 am
  • Unfortunately, the Sox chose the old Yankee way. And the Yankees chose the young and smart way.
    That’s just not a correct statement. The Red Sox, possibly seeing that they were overworking their eighth-inning guy, went out and made a trade the Yankees themselves were also trying to make without giving up any top prospects for a dominant (not as dominant, sure, but still having a great year) reliever.
    You say you hated the trade because it was “overkill.” But time has proven that the trade was not overkill. Just because Gagne has faltered doesn’t nullify the the fact that the rest of the bullpen also has faltered, and that Gagne’s presence — assuming he wasn’t blowing leads all over the place — is absolutely needed. You can’t have your cake (“I hated the trade”) and eat it too (“It was overkill”). You may have been right in hating the trade, but your reasons were wrong.

    Paul SF September 19, 2007, 10:29 am
  • I’m sorry I killed the thread. Please get back to discussing how “No one knew this would happen”.
    (By the way, Cashman didn’t know “this” would happen, but I have to say he looked at the price and came up with a better plan. Theo didn’t. And I’m still very angry about it. Besides, the one-two of Joba to Mo vs. Buck to Paps would have been outstanding baseball. And we would have had a preview this weekend when the Sox swept and locked up the division.)

    Pete September 19, 2007, 10:30 am
  • 2007 Sox bullpen:
    Paps: 250 OPS+ 54 IP 81 K 15 BB
    Okij: 200 OPS+ 67 IP 60 K 17 BB
    Delc: 194 OPS+ 38 IP 35 K 16 BB
    Timl: 145 OPS+ 51 IP 27 K 11 BB
    Lopz: 149 OPS+ 38 IP 25 K 17 BB
    Donn: 150 OPS+ 21 IP 15 K 5 BB
    Snyd: 118 OPS+ 53 IP 40 K 31 BB
    Gagm: 51 OPS+ 14 IP 15 K 7 BB
    They didn’t need Gagne. They just needed to be smarter. And they weren’t. Getting Gagne was the uncreative solution (like Drew and Lugo) and the repercussions mean worse use of Oki, not better. Tito was never forced to trust anyone else.

    Pete September 19, 2007, 10:40 am
  • Man, I thought Torre drove YF’s (or at least ME!) crazy with the way he used the pen, but really Tito looks almost as bad.
    I have no idea why Delcarmen hasn’t been given more of a shot – he’s actually looked like the best setup man I’ve seen on the Sox recently (in the half dozen games of theirs I’ve seen).

    Mark (YF) September 19, 2007, 10:40 am
  • Oh, and yeah, SF’s can’t really blame Theo for the Gagne move. Anybody in the world would have made that same move given the chance. Gagne for a couple of non-or-v. far from MLB propsects? It was a no-brainer. Just hasn’t worked out.

    Mark (YF) September 19, 2007, 10:42 am
  • I don’t know if it’s been covered already in last night’s thread or anything, but EEI’s flash is reporting that Manny hit a setback while doing some wind sprints, and is now being forced to sit out longer than anticipated; Youk is still hurting, Crisp is likely to not play again tonight, and David Ortiz will get a night off either tonight or tomorrow.
    I’ll say it again: I don’t give a shit it Manny Ramirez EVER dresses for the Red Sox again. I hope I never see him again, and I don’t really care the consequences of that. This team needs to realize that Manny leaves them out to dry every chance he has and turn on him accordingly. What a dirtbag.

    Brad September 19, 2007, 10:43 am
  • By the way, I have to say that your general pronouncements (“no one”; “you’re wrong”) are pretty annoying, Paul. Just cause you don’t agree with me, doesn’t make me “wrong”. And I seldom have the need to say “I was right”, but your constant need to characterize arguments and people and then dismissing them has me saying exactly that. I’m very sorry for doing it, but the best I can tell it’s reactionary to be dismissed and belittled. You don’t have to agree with me, but please state you’re case and avoid the pronouncements.
    Thanks.

    Pete September 19, 2007, 10:44 am
  • The Delcarmen usage is the most befuddling to me. He’s having a phenomenal year. He’s come up big in some very tight spots. His BAA is amazingly low, he has strikeout stuff, he seems, to me, to be a tough kid, considering his bounceback after the early-year troubles in Pawtucket. Why he is used in such short fashion and/or left to languish on the bench (Friday night, hello!) is both stupefying and frustrating. What do they know that we don’t? Or do they know nothing?!

    SF September 19, 2007, 10:48 am
  • It’s not worth it, Paul. Just ignore it. He is the wolf dressed as a sheep.

    Brad September 19, 2007, 10:48 am
  • Any asshole Yankee fan who comes out and says “Ha! Dumb move Theo; Cash knew to avoid that one!” is an idiot. Cash balked only because Texas wanted Melky. I know I wanted Gagne, and I was pissed and concerned when the Sox got him. This result…? No one saw this coming. It’s the equivalent of your rival neighbor getting a classic Corvette you were bidding on only to have it self-combust and set his garage on fire.

    bloodyank78 September 19, 2007, 10:48 am
  • brad, i take whatever EEI says and assume that it is completely fabricated until i hear it someplace else.
    as for manny, i hate the guy, but without him in ’04, your team would’ve been sunk.
    (same could be said for theo, minus the hatred.)
    but has that setback been confirmed anywhere else? this is the first i’ve heard of it.

    Yankee Fan In Boston September 19, 2007, 10:49 am
  • Nope. According to one Yankee fan, the Yankees went the smart and correct way, while Theo had his head up his ass and chose to go the route of the Old Yankees.
    Nice analogy, bloody. It’s perfect.

    Brad September 19, 2007, 10:51 am
  • Clay has pitched very little in the majors in high leverage situations. It wouldn’t have been smart to throw him out there and possibly turn him into this year’s Craig Hansen. They thought they were getting a proven entity in Gagne at a cost they could afford. Cashman would’ve taken the deal if he liked the price. I’m not completely happy that Gagne was left out there to die last night but I understand why they did it. What I can’t figure out is how certain commentators (e.g. Pete Abraham) seem to be caught up in the delight of a Sox “collapse” even though both teams will make the playoffs.

    DW-sf September 19, 2007, 10:52 am
  • dunno, bloody. I just heard it when I clicked on the radio thread.
    http://www.live-radio.net/
    USA
    Mass
    Boston
    Page Two.

    Brad September 19, 2007, 10:52 am
  • Pete Abraham is the web’s equivalent of cancer.

    Brad September 19, 2007, 10:53 am
  • DW:
    Ignore Pete Abraham. I don’t want to cast aspersions on a fellow blogger and beat writer, so the best and most tactful thing I can say is that you should just ignore him.

    SF September 19, 2007, 10:54 am
  • And people keep saying that the Sox gave up very little. Sure, Murphy didn’t mean much. But Gabbard was pitching very well and he could have made Buck an easy transition to the bullpen. Beltre is 17 years old with a huge upside. My fear at the time was that this would be a trade that continued to haunt – an overreaction to a “pressing” need.
    And I’m the one that’s a wolf? Calling Manny a “dirtbag”? Unreal.

    Pete September 19, 2007, 10:54 am
  • Paul brought up Cashman as a reason for the Sox to get Gagne- because the Yankees were trying to. But he left out the point that the Yankees deemed the price too high and came up with the cheaper and smarter solution. The Sox could have easily done the same with Buck. They didn’t. Who’s fault is that?

    Pete September 19, 2007, 10:56 am
  • Pete Abraham writes to his audience just as many other blog writers do. If SFs dont like his stuff then dont read it, its not meant for you anyway. I dont go around reading Sox blogs because they will just piss me off. I can assure you that many treated the yankees horrible april and may with delight as they should have since SFs reading it would enjoy it.

    Sam-YF September 19, 2007, 10:57 am
  • Pete you hold your opinions, and as Yankee biased and hidden as they are, I’ll not get into this with you today. I have absolutely zero desire to argue with you today, so lets just agree to not speak to, at, or about each other.
    I don’t believe a word you say, nor have I since your PeteYF slip up, which just doesn’t happen, and to be honest, can’t think of anything worse than a guy pretending to be the fan of a rival fanbase to talk shit about everything they do.
    And, Manny is absolutely a dirtbag. That’s my opinion. Just like your opinion of how terrible everything Boston is or ever has been.
    Lets just not talk okay. We’ll circumvent each other throughout this thread and all threads in the future.
    Thanks.

    Brad September 19, 2007, 10:59 am
  • Pete:
    I disagree with your opinion, but I understand what you are saying. Simply put, the pitchers who took Gabbard’s spot in the rotation have acquitted themselves nicely, so losing Gabbard hasn’t hurt a bit. And, Gagne has performed so far below expectations that any claim that someone saw this coming comes off as a bit convenient. Had Gagne pitched just garden-variety mediocre/badly(say, 4.50-5.00 ERA as opposed to NINE) the Sox would be coasting to the division, probably up at least 3.5 right now, if not more. The Corvette analogy is perfect. It’s one thing for the Corvette to never hit top speed, for there to be something wrong with the engine such that it’s not the ride you expected, it’s a totally different thing for the Corvette to come with a hidden key-activated explosive device.
    This all leads me back to the question of MDC, and why he’s not “trusted”. What do the Sox (or Tito) know about him that we don’t, what do they suspect would happen that we fans aren’t anticipating? We’ve all seen the kid pitch this year. What are we fans who like MDC missing?

    SF September 19, 2007, 11:01 am
  • Uh, let’s not speak to each other – but you’re speaking to me. That’s great. Whatever, man. That’s fantastic really. Almost as fantastic as people claiming to know me after two days of posting.
    When you have something interesting or intelligent to say, I’ll respond accordingly. But you’re right – from the looks of your posts we won’t have much to talk about.
    Meanwhile, I don’t have to prove my fan worthiness to you.

    Pete September 19, 2007, 11:03 am
  • I dunno what the problem with MDC is. My theory is that Francona is really trying to get a handle on what’s going on with Gagne before the playoff rosters are inked. There is no logical reasoning behind last night.

    Brad September 19, 2007, 11:04 am
  • You got it, dickhead.

    Brad September 19, 2007, 11:04 am
  • Brad:
    I posted earlier this year about Bobby Abreu’s spring training oblique injury, about how dicey these things are (as a ballplayer surely you know this). I caught grief from a couple of Yankee fans about it, as if I was stating something biased by uniform. I don’t think I am going to change my stance on this type of injury just because Manny has it, though, and his extended absence probably has less to do with Manny “dirtbagness” and more to do with the restrictions/complications of an oblique strain.
    Here’s the Abreu injury comment string:
    http://yanksfansoxfan.typepad.com/ysfs/2007/02/abreu_injured.html#comment-61655404

    SF September 19, 2007, 11:05 am
  • I was your typical SF last night when the sh*t hit the fan but, as I calmed down, I think I started to understand what Tito (and Theo) are doing. Who cares if we win the division by 6 games or 1 game? What matters is keeping the regulars healthy and figuring out who in the bullpen can be trusted. The risk is that we lose the division and end up in Anaheim but I’ll take that over possibly burning arms out in the final two weeks of the season. The most amusing thing to me right now is reading all of the very rational responses by YFs to SF angst.

    DW-sf September 19, 2007, 11:06 am
  • Thanks, SF. I agree completely on Delcarmen and I suspect that’s what they’re going to start trying. Giving that he pitched so little last night, I’m saying he’s the first arm out the pen tonight in the 7th or 8th innings if the game is close.
    Gagne, I have no idea what they’re going to try. Either they give up on the division and and just keep throwing him out there. Or they start fresh with low-leverage situations.

    Pete September 19, 2007, 11:06 am
  • Come on, guys, cut it out. And Brad, watch the attacks, ok?
    Seriously – we don’t need this kind of crap.

    SF September 19, 2007, 11:06 am
  • Wow. You guys put up with that kind of language around here? This is the first baseball forum I’ve really posted on, but others that’s I’ve been a part of in computer science quickly go to hell when people start talking like that. That’s a real internet cancer.

    Pete September 19, 2007, 11:08 am
  • “This all leads me back to the question of MDC, and why he’s not “trusted”.”
    Beats the hell out of me; he has excellent stuff.

    bloodyank78 September 19, 2007, 11:08 am
  • Hurt or not, I’m sick of it with him, SF. Every year it’s the same thing.
    Now, I know most of my posts aren’t intelligent enough, or well written enough to garnish a response from scientists and doctors, but I have to assume that I’m not the only person who’s tired of defending Manny. If Manny is on the Red Sox next year, since in reality I’ve already written him off for this one, it’s a terrible mistake on Theo’s part.

    Brad September 19, 2007, 11:08 am
  • I was reading Pete Abraham because he can be insightful regarding various aspects of the game and the Yanks. Right now, however, he seems a bit caught up in the thought of “epic collapses” which seems odd to me because both teams will make the post season. If the Sox fell out of the playoff picture entirely I’d understand his outsized glee.

    DW-sf September 19, 2007, 11:10 am
  • Great, glad to see it’s not tolerated. Thanks.

    Pete September 19, 2007, 11:10 am
  • Mostly it’s because I’ve been here, almost daily, for the better part of three or so years. Once, and only once I’ve lost my temper on another person before today.

    Brad September 19, 2007, 11:12 am
  • And I feel very comfortable posting my thoughts in a thread that starts with:
    “Let’s get things straight: No one knew this would happen.”
    and continues:
    “Some thought the trade unnecessary. They were wrong.”
    I stated my opinions in a reasonable way. If you can’t deal with that, go get a pacifier or scream into your blanket. But don’t act like a child here, no matter how long you’ve been hanging around. It’s recipe for killing communities. I’ve seen it many times going back to the late 90’s.

    Pete September 19, 2007, 11:18 am
  • Pete,
    Not to enter the name-calling parade, but I do think, even from your first post here, that there is a difference between predicing Gagne would stink and feeling the Sox were giving up too much talent for a short-term rental. As you explain your feelings at the time the trade, you were not predicting Gagne to stink. Paul is right in stating that no one was. Not YFs, not SFs, and not analysts.
    There were those, and it sounds like you were one of them, who thought he might disrupt what was becoming a solid bullpen, but if he had been lights out from the start, that issue would have quickly resolved itself, as such issues always do when quality emerges.
    So in retrospect, you are probably right that it was a terrible trade, but I think it has more to do with all the things no one expected to happen than it does the reasons you originally had for objecting to it. Of course, even if he was lights out, the Sox may have given up too much, but that wouldn’t have been judgeable until the young guys they shipped have a couple years to prove how good they are.
    On other points:
    1. Papelbon for 2 inning saves? The guy has tried that twice in his short career. Both against the Yankees. He blew both of them. I don’t think it is a good idea.
    2. Bucholz as a guy who WOULD be dominant in the bullpen or who WOULD HAVE BEEN if he had been eased into the roll a la Joba? I think this is a huge stretch. Maybe he could be, but transitations from rotations to bullpens are not always smooth, especially in September/October pressure-situations. Bucholz could still become your lights-out 7th inning guy, but this is at best a 50-50 proposition to me, if that, given a) he has had so few appearances vs. major league pitching and b) he hasn’t been doing it in late inning relief, not to mention huge pressure situations.
    And as for MDC being part of a possible “dominant” bullpen, he is a solid pitcher, but I would never use the word dominant to describe him.
    You guys need Okajima to return to form and then one of these other guys (Timlin/MDC/MAYBE Bucholz) to get hot. Or for gagne to be reborn. Simple as that. But what is for sure right now is that you don’t have a sure thing other than Papelbon. One might still emerge int eh next 2 weeks.

    IronHorse (yf) September 19, 2007, 11:18 am
  • Sorry, SF.
    I’ll take my own advice from now on. A very bad night, in combination with a direct swipe at the construction of my posts caused me to wish I wasn’t behind a keyboard, and since I was, a very ill-thought out retalliation came too fast.
    Again, sorry.

    Brad September 19, 2007, 11:19 am
  • Blowing the division is more embarrassing to the fans, I would guess, than it is to the players, though I imagine every single player on the Sox wants to win the division. But the long picture is the playoffs. If Manny comes back and plays hurt and reinjures himself and is lost for the playoffs or completely useless, then is he back in your good stead, Brad, just because he ‘sacked up’? If he comes back early to DH does that mean that Papi has to play the field, thereby risking his further injury? There’s a little bit of a snowball effect here, and I am sure the Sox are considering the consequences, both short-term and playoff-term.
    The Sox are in a bad spot right now, the Youkilis thing (no matter how many times he was striking out, he’s a darn solid Major League hitter), the Manny thing, the Gagne thing, the Oki thing. But they need to plan for October considering these injuries. They need to get guys healthy first, play them later, if need be. That has nothing to do with Tito playing amateur psychologist with Gagne, mind you. But getting Manny as close to 100% for the playoffs and mitigating the injury risk for him is of absolute, primo importance, more important than getting him back to secure the division and injure his playoff effectiveness. I’ll trade the latter for the former any day.
    Now, as for the bullpen management, that’s something else entirely…

    SF September 19, 2007, 11:20 am
  • Pete, again: Please just avoid all things to do with me. I don’t like you, and really I just don’t want to have anything to do with talking to you. Now, there is no way you can possibly know that without me telling you so, so that is why I’m typing at all. Leave me out of your posts, and I’ll do the same. You say your part and I’ll say mine, but don’t belittle, compliment, argue, converse, or think of some way to respond to something I’ve said, and I’ll do the same respectfully. I really, really dislike you, but I love this board, so let’s just avoid it please.
    Thank you.

    Brad September 19, 2007, 11:24 am
  • I love you both.
    Actually, I am just saddened that this board can go negative without the presence of…the floppy-shoed one…

    IronHorse (yf) September 19, 2007, 11:25 am
  • No, SF. I could really care less at this point about what Manny does or does not do. I don’t expect anything from him, nor do I think he’s going to try to prove any of the media or fans wrong.
    I’m so down on the Red Sox lately that it just doesn’t matter to me what he does. At this point, just let Ellsbury have the AB’s and let the cards fall where they will. I just have very little faith in Manny, and while I clearly don’t want him playing “hurt”, he has been given clearance to play.

    Brad September 19, 2007, 11:28 am
  • Again, I’m sorry for the attack. It was not well thought out. I could actually use a smile, so BR would be well appreciated rigtht now:)

    Brad September 19, 2007, 11:29 am
  • Iron –
    You’re absolutely right. The trade and results are completely different matters. But Paul conflated them in the post:
    “Some thought the trade unnecessary. They were wrong.”
    I probably would have felt less motivated to respond without the second sentence. And that’s what I realized after I had to think about what got me so fired up.
    On Paps – See, they should be trying that against the Jays and O’s. I’m not saying it will work, but it can’t hurt to try this week and next (or when they had a six game lead this weekend).
    On Buck – They acquired Gagne in July. They could have been transitioning Buck through August. And if that didn’t work, they still had time, and games, to spare. Now they don’t. But Buck did dominate in his one three inning stint. He could have been a two inning guy two to three times a week. There’s nothing to suggest now he wouldn’t have dominated. Instead, he will have racked up over 20 innings starting when he could have given those in relief.

    Pete September 19, 2007, 11:30 am
  • IH about nails it, Pete. You insist you were right — I saw the back-patting in the gamer last night — but you never said you thought Gagne would suck, and you argued in fact the exact OPPOSITE of what would happen — that the Sox didn’t need him. Well, they do need him. Badly. In fact, who here doesn’t say the Sox now desperately need a reliable bullpen arm? Unfortunately, Gagne, who was brought in precisely to be that arm, is not delivering. I don’t think that’s Theo’s fault. You think he should have “forced” Tito into using a rookie starter as a setup man or trusting Delcarmen more or whatever. That’s fine. But Theo’s influence over Terry can only extend so far. And if you truly think using guys like Kyle Snyder and Javier Lopez MORE would have solved the problem abny better than bringing in Eric Freakin’ Gagne, I have nothing else to say.
    Neither I nor you nor anyone I’ve ever read online or in the papers ever predicted the simultaneous need for/collapse of Gagne. So, in my opinion, you were wrong. Just as wrong as I was and everyone else.

    Paul SF September 19, 2007, 11:30 am
  • “he has been given clearance to play”
    Is this true? I hadn’t heard that. Until now (and despite my own distaste for all things Manny) I would have been more partial to the view that obliques take a while so the guy needs the time to get right. But if the above statement is true, I can see Brad’s point pretty glaringly and would be pissed as a fan.

    IronHorse (yf) September 19, 2007, 11:31 am
  • Brad –
    First, how’s your plan of controlling my behavior working out?
    Second, if you don’t like what I say, it’s up to you to ignore it, tough guy. From my experience, that’s how these discussion board best work. If you have nothing nice to say, say nothing. My mom taught me that when I was six.
    Third, I don’t tend to make personality pronouncements of people I barely know. So, I will be responding to you if you ever manage to say something intelligent or interesting.
    Thanks.

    Pete September 19, 2007, 11:34 am
  • I’m also of the opinion that obliques suck, and we have all seen how long it takes for players to recover from those injuries. It’s hard to criticize Manny for that. I’d rather he be healthy for the playoffs.
    Another thing is we haven’t had any of the Gordon Edes anonymous-implication hatchet jobs like we saw when Manny sat last year, which also indicates to me the beat writers think this is serious.

    Paul SF September 19, 2007, 11:35 am
  • Paul, but has he in fact been “cleared to play”?
    Pete and Brad, I thought you were on the path to an on-line hug there for a second, then it went south again. Yes, we do need the floppy-shoed one after all to make us all realize what real inanity is. I will do my best to summon him…sadly, he tends to appear where I am all too regularly.

    IronHorse (yf) September 19, 2007, 11:38 am
  • GUYS, GUYS, GUYS. Come on.
    Pete, whether you like what he said or not (and what Brad said was inappropriate and shouldn’t be said again) Brad apologized for his outburst. Coming back at him antagonistically serves no purpose, other than to fan the flames.
    This can/should be a reasonable an intelligent debate about the Sox, Gagne, the bullpen, etc. Can we not make it into a circular firing squad, please?

    SF September 19, 2007, 11:40 am
  • “Actually, I am just saddened that this board can go negative without the presence of…the floppy-shoed one…”
    Thanks IH, I’m now cleaning spit up coffee off my desk. LOL.

    bloodyank78 September 19, 2007, 11:41 am
  • As I said, Paul, you conflated things in the post. You brought up the trade.
    And you’re opinion is that they needed him.
    My opinion is that without him, they would have come up with a smarter plan (Buck, Delcarmen, Lopez, heck even Romero). Good luck trying to tell me I’m wrong on that one.
    Further, the reason I said the trade was a mistake (As I said a few days ago when you proclaimed Paps+Gagne > Joba + Mo) is that relief pitchers ARE a variable bunch. You can never be sure what you’ll get. That was part of my thinking in regards to the trade.
    Hey, I’ll admit that I never thought Gagne would be this bad. But I also never thought he’d be lights out (as almost everyone seemed to think).
    And I don’t need to pat myself on the back. It’s your insecurities about being wrong that caused me to get so fired up. How could Paul be wrong when EVERYONE was wrong?

    Pete September 19, 2007, 11:41 am
  • SF: Good call. But if the floppy-shoed one does appear, can we call the circular firing squad back and put him in the middle of it?
    Just asking.

    IronHorse (yf) September 19, 2007, 11:41 am
  • SF –
    Please explain how Brad’s post at 11:24 is an apology.

    Pete September 19, 2007, 11:42 am
  • by78: send me the bill.

    IronHorse (yf) September 19, 2007, 11:43 am
  • heck even Romero
    Jeez, what about Tony Fossas? Why not convince him to get off the couch and rejoin? I heard he just lost 10lbs on Atkins and is back to his playing weight of 220, none of it muscle.
    Not sure that suggesting JC Romero might have been the answer is helping your case, Pete.

    SF September 19, 2007, 11:43 am
  • Try 11:29, Pete.

    SF September 19, 2007, 11:44 am
  • Well in mild defense of Pete on this one, he could throw any name out there and make a plausible argument that the guy would not have blown 4 games already and have only one 1-2-3 inning in all his 14 IP. Even, dare I say it……..KYLE FARNSWORTH!

    IronHorse (yf) September 19, 2007, 11:46 am
  • Romero is a strawman. I’ll freely admit that. But they did have other internal options that they didn’t try or trust. That’s the real problem with acquiring Gagne. And that’s what haunts them to this day. They never figured out what they had.
    As for our friend Brad, I see he never apologized to me. He apologized to SF at 11:19 and made a general apology at 11:29. But he called me a “dickhead” and twice told me not to talk to him. Sorry if I’m not feeling the warm fuzzies.

    SF September 19, 2007, 11:49 am
  • ?

    Yankee Fan In Boston September 19, 2007, 11:51 am
  • I can’t believe how hard I am trying to make SFs feel better today, but isn’t yet another incredibly fine performance by Lester being overlooked in all this? That guy has been A LOT better than I ever expected.
    And does anyone have the final word on whether Manny has indeed been “cleared to play”. I am harping on this because a. I soak up negative things about Manny like a sponge does water and b. I think that, if it is true, this has implications for his attitude, performance, etc. the rest of the way…and, well, I’d like that.
    P.S. Pete, I said I love you and now you say you don’t feel the warm fuzzies. I’ll never share my feelings again.

    IronHorse (yf) September 19, 2007, 11:51 am
  • IH: first of all, you’re killing me this morning.
    secondly, you deserve a medal for your work with despondant SFs.
    C) i have been looking and have found no mention of manny clearance.

    Yankee Fan In Boston September 19, 2007, 11:53 am
  • Wow, this board has gotten a bit testy lately. Calm down, guys. Relax.
    One thing I noticed after the games last night was the comments from both managers. Now, I recognize that some of this is boilerplate reaction to their respective situations, but I still think it’s interesting.
    Francona’s reaction was basically, ‘We’re looking at October, getting things ready for the playoffs. Losses now, including losing the division, don’t matter as long as we get into the postseason.’
    Torre’s reaction was basically, ‘There’s room for improvement, but we can’t take a postseason berth for granted, and we need to keep winning games until the end.”
    Like I said, some of that is pretty standard fare in response to a loss and a win, but I still think it’s valid. Francona is managing like he’s assuming he’ll be in October. That might be a reasonably safe assumption to make, but it’s still dangerous. And it frustrates the fans, as we’re seeing.
    How these philosophies translate into October will be interesting. I think resting everybody up before October can be overrated, because momentum can help a lot. At the same time, I think Boston thrives on the underdog thing, and they might actually get a boost if they have to go in as a wildcard.
    At this point, NY and Boston are both, in all likelihood, playing in October. And, really, it doesn’t matter much who wins the division. But the philosophy that guides the teams, and their managers, into the postseason matters a lot, and it’s unclear whose philosophy is going to win out.

    KurticusMaximus- YF September 19, 2007, 11:54 am
  • It’s your insecurities about being wrong that caused me to get so fired up. How could Paul be wrong when EVERYONE was wrong?
    Hmm, guess saying in the very same post, “We were wrong, too,” does nothing for you. This post wasn’t about calling you out, Pete. It was about stating the facts: NO ONE knew this would happen. Not you. Not me. Not anyone. And going back, rewriting your opinions and saying that anyone who has ever pitched a game this season would have worked better than Gagne is a desparate argument. It might be correct, but it smacks of hindsightism.
    I’m sorry you took it personally, Pete, but frankly, that’s not my problem.

    Paul SF September 19, 2007, 11:54 am
  • Sorry, Iron, but it’s going hard for me to love a guy named Ironhorse, unless I’m stuck in the pen and he decides he likes me. Even then I might have to shank him.

    Pete September 19, 2007, 11:55 am
  • OK, Pete, if you can explain to me why you used my handle “SF” up above I would be happy to hear it.
    Fire away – this doesn’t look good for you right now.

    SF September 19, 2007, 11:59 am
  • KM: I agree with you on the momentum thing up to the point when it affects one or both fo the following two things:
    a) your starting rotation being ready and in order for the ALDS. On this front, they are both doing well – Torre with his 6-man rotation, which I LOVE and Froncona with his shuffling of Schilling and others.
    b) the fatigue of your bullpen. On this point, Francona is in a mess that I am not sure anyone could easily manage. He doesn’t know who to trust and needs to establish that by throwing guys out there. But as he gets closer to the ALDS he doesn’t want to throw anyone, especially seemingly tired Okajima, out there too much. As for Torre, he knows he trusts Joba and Vizcaino hands down. Beyond that he has nice options of surpringly good Veras and the 5th/6th starters going to the pen as long relievers.
    Thanks to YFiB, for the props and for the info. Damn. And I was hoping to find proof that Manny was dogging it.

    IronHorse (yf) September 19, 2007, 12:00 pm
  • If you left it at that, Paul, I’m sure I wouldn’t have gotten fired up. But in saying:
    “Some thought the trade unnecessary. They were wrong.”
    You were specifically calling me out given our previous disagreements on the subject.
    Listing all the pitchers is silly – as I freely admit – but the Sox did have options. They chose the easy, expensive path.

    Pete September 19, 2007, 12:01 pm
  • Pete: “Even then I might have to shank him”. Very funny.
    Actually, I dare you to do just that. To assist you I will give you my physical description: I am 5’5 with orange hair, a red-ball nose, floppy shoes, and a bike horn in my hand. And my screen-name ends in RAW.

    IronHorse (yf) September 19, 2007, 12:03 pm
  • IH: if there was any “proof,” it would be plastered over these internets.

    Yankee Fan In Boston September 19, 2007, 12:04 pm
  • What? Where?
    I’m sorry. I need to just sign up for an account. Last time I did that I was responding to a YF. This time I’m responding to you. That’s the only explanation I can offer. My mind works faster than my fingers and I’m bad at proof-reading.
    Sorry, everyone. The post at 11:49 AM is mine.

    Pete September 19, 2007, 12:04 pm
  • I guess this comes down, too, to how “creative” you want the Sox front office to be. Acquiring Gagne was not creative — more creative than throwing millions at Drew, Lugo or Matsuzaka (which was a little creatrive, considering the difficulties of blind bidding), but not as creative as finding David Ortiz or turning Nomar Garciaparra into a World Championship, certainly.
    But, also, what was the need at the time for being creative? The criticism I heard most at the time of the Gagne trade was that the Sox didn’t need him, that they were messing with the one part of their team that didn’t need work. Considering that, would not a move of Buchholz to the bullpen been criticized the same way? Why add more relievers — and mess with a successful formula in Buchholz — unnecessarily (as was thought at the time)?
    Let’s say the Sox did see a concern with Okajima’s performance and got Gagne knowing they would need him to essentially replace Oki. Going forward, which option was most likely to produce positive results for the team in August, September and the playoffs? Convering a rookie starter and throwing him in pressure situatuions, even if the conversion occurred slowly, or acquiring a proven veteran reliever who had performed well all season?
    In the heat of a pennant race, how creative could the Sox afford to be? I would submit that it’s very easy after the catastrophe to look back and say: “See. They had better, more creative options. They took the dumb, easy way out.” I’m not sure that accurately reflects the complexities of the situation in late July.

    Paul SF September 19, 2007, 12:05 pm
  • Pete, I’m sorry I called you a name. I thought I coverd it in a general “sorry” to everyone. It was out of character and I’m sorry.
    Also, most of my posts are both well written and intelligent, so there is no reason to big league anything I say, ever. I wasn’t trying to be “tough” or “control your behavior”. I asked you to avoid flame throwing at me with all hopes that you would. Again, I’m sorry if they’re not on an acceptable level for you. I do, at most times, bring something to every discussion we have here.
    Regardless, my Mother informed me of the same exact rule, so I’ll politely ask you to accept my apology.
    Thank you.
    Bloody, the clearance came from here…
    http://www.boston.com/sports/nesn/wilbur/sports_blog/blog/2007/09/18/oblique_forecast/
    At least my interpretation of the article is that they say it’s okay, but they’re waiting on him to feel one thousand percent before getting back into the game.

    Brad September 19, 2007, 12:07 pm
  • And, I’m pretty sure that’s where EEI is getting their “clearance” from as well.
    Like you said, it’s clearly their interpretation of the facts, and probably not the case at all.

    Brad September 19, 2007, 12:09 pm
  • “He needs to clear himself,” Francona said. “The medical people have gotten fairly aggressive, he’s swinging the bat fairly aggressively, but there has to be . . . a confidence from himself that he can go play the game and not hurt himself. And that’s a hard thing. Myself included, you see him go hit the ball out on the street, you go, ‘Oh man,’ but you can really make some disastrous mistakes trying to read somebody else’s body. It doesn’t work.”
    That’s the key quote. The rest of the inferences come from Eric Wilbur, far and away the worst, most hacktastic Sox blogger in the world. Knowing the problems with obliques, I’m going to go ahead and say that Francona said exactly what he meant: Manny looks good, but doesn’t feel 100 percent yet, and the Sox would rather have a 100 percent Manny all through the playoffs than a 90 percent Manny getting reinjured on Septembr 30.

    Paul SF September 19, 2007, 12:10 pm
  • All is forgiven, Brad.
    As for creativity, I don’t know. They could have done a few things. But the Gagne trade was very expensive at the time. They could have tried Buck at relief in AAA. They could have tried Delcarmen as a set-up guy. They could have told Tito to stop using Oki in game s of 4 runs or greater. They could have traded for a cheaper reliever or taken a chance on a guy like Wickman. The point is: They had plenty of breathing room and they didn’t use it wisely.

    Pete September 19, 2007, 12:14 pm
  • Thanks Brad. Yeah, that article is interesting, particularly th paragraph below, which makes it sound like it is Manny’s call. Having said that, if it’s true that he still feels something there, it would be much worse for Boston for him to rush back.
    “‘He needs to clear himself,’ Francona said. “The medical people have gotten fairly aggressive, he’s swinging the bat fairly aggressively, but there has to be . . . a confidence from himself that he can go play the game and not hurt himself. And that’s a hard thing. Myself included, you see him go hit the ball out on the street, you go, ‘Oh man,’ but you can really make some disastrous mistakes trying to read somebody else’s body. It doesn’t work.'”

    IronHorse (yf) September 19, 2007, 12:15 pm
  • Sorry Paul – cross-posted the same Paragraph there.

    IronHorse (yf) September 19, 2007, 12:16 pm
  • WOW, I returned to quite a poop storm!
    “It has turned out to be a HORRIBLE move, probably one of the WORST mid-season pickups of ALL TIME.”
    The key word is TURNED out. When you make moves like this you obviously make them hoping that a dominant pitcher remains dominant. Theo can be given a ton a sh*t for a lot of moves, as can any GM, but I think this is one he gets a pass on.
    Side note, IH you are hysterical.

    John - YF (Trisk) September 19, 2007, 12:20 pm
  • And I, for one, have no doubt that Manny is really hurt. The guy knows one thing very, very well: See baseball. Hit baseball. I believe he would be out there if he could. But injuries of those type suck.

    Pete September 19, 2007, 12:20 pm
  • They could have tried Buck at relief in AAA. They could have tried Delcarmen as a set-up guy. They could have told Tito to stop using Oki in game s of 4 runs or greater. They could have traded for a cheaper reliever or taken a chance on a guy like Wickman.
    I agree there were options. But are these better options (other than laying down the law on Okajima’s usage)? From a performance-only perspective, Gagne as the proven performer at a fairly minimal cost was the safest bet. Not terribly creative, but again, how creative do you want your team to be? Not trading for anyone and using all prospects in unfamiliar roles is creative, but not terribly practical when you want to win. The Sox went with what, at the time, was the safe bet — the safe bet the Yankees themselves wanted to make. To criticize the Sox for it just doesn’t make much sense to me.
    I’m pretty much busy the rest of the afternoon, so I’ll have to bow out. Great conversation so far.

    Paul SF September 19, 2007, 12:23 pm
  • That’s another thing we disagree on Paul. I don’t think it was a minimal cost – not in prospects or in cash or in the disruption to what was working.

    Pete September 19, 2007, 12:27 pm
  • Francona on EEI right now:
    Fans should not overreact…
    On Gagne not coming out:
    Don’t want to get Papelbon up too fast, and we need to stick to the plan with him on going one inning. Not bringing in Papelbon in a tie game in the regular season. The inning belonged to Gagne, and he didn’t do it.
    Gagne’s ability:
    He’s fine. We’re not sending him out there to be stubborn, but we know what’s in that arm, so we’re going to continue until he gets it right and finds it. We have faith in his ability.
    On Second Guessing himself:
    Absolutely not. We’re excited to get Eric (Gagne) in, and we’re not going to second guess our decision to put him in the game…
    Burnett:
    Some credit has to go to him…(this is stupid considering how they lost – me!) Probably the best pitcher we’ve faced all year. Best stuff in baseball no doubt.
    Lester:
    We’re working on his warm up scheme to avoid that first inning uphill battle, and once he gets into that flow he’s really tough.
    Manny again:
    Manny pounding the ball in BP, he hurt it again running in Toronto. Manny is very hesitant right now, and we were hoping he would play today, but that’s not going to happen. Manny is doing all he can, but he still feels it.
    On the injuries:
    We’re battling through it, and hope that none of it lingers. We’re resting everyone right now while we can. Coco wont play tonight. We’re hoping Youk on Friday or Saturday. Losses magnify the injuries, but we’re not going to force guys into the lineup when we don’t have to. We have games to play with.
    Sunday:
    Jeter’s AB: I never considered walking Jeter to get to Abreu. Schilling pitched his best game of the year, and I never considered taking Schill out – the game was his from start to finsish. Walking the bases loaded is never a good move regardless of who comes up – even with Schilling on the bump, who doesn’t walk anyone. Duh.
    Buchholz:
    We’re expecting a gem. He’s on fire right now, and the ball is dancing all over the place for him. His curve is easily as good as anyone’s we’ve seen, and his changeup is nearly impossible to hit when behind in the count.
    Youk, again.
    Probably Friday, but it depends on how he responds to BP today. Hand is so swollen that he can’t even hold the bat, much less field his position.
    As always, they’re kissing his arse pretty heavily, so not much to really get excited or down about. He clearly has mastered the media stuff, if not the bullpen.
    Tonight: Buchholz
    Friday: Matsuzaka
    Sat: Wake
    Sunday: Schill – on extra day’s rest.

    Brad September 19, 2007, 12:29 pm
  • man, that’s longer than I thought. ha.

    Brad September 19, 2007, 12:32 pm
  • Francona on EEI right now:
    Fans should not overreact…

    Hahahahahahahahahahaha. That’s funny.

    SF September 19, 2007, 12:33 pm
  • yeah, I thought so too.

    Brad September 19, 2007, 12:39 pm
  • Amazing. Tito is basically saying (with Gagne and Schill) that he WILL NOT ADJUST HIS PLAN no matter the results or scenario within a game. I don’t know how else to parse this transcription. It was Schill’s game, no matter what. It was Gagne’s game, no matter what. Clearly Friday was Oki’s game, no matter what. The other arms available in the pen and the moves made or not made surrounding those guys are irrelevant or inconsequential, effectively, according to Tito.
    Other than the amateur psychology of it all, I can’t figure out why a manager would cop to this kind of stubbornness, other than to let his players know he “trusts” them. I can’t say that this statement from Tito surprises me, but it still stings my ears, hearing him actually say it. The man is simply not an agile tactician, at least not from what I have seen.

    SF September 19, 2007, 12:40 pm
  • “Theo can be given a ton a sh*t for a lot of moves, as can any GM, but I think this is one he gets a pass on.”
    Why, because he made a move that looked good and it didn’t work out? If he had made the move and it DID work out, he would be getting all the praise in the world.
    Just because everyone likes the move at the outset does not mean it’s a good one. By that logic, Cashman deserves a complete pass for Carl Pavano, Jeff Weaver, Javier Vasquez, and Jose Contreras, but I hear those names all the time when Cashman’s performance record comes up.
    When you’re the GM, you’re accountable for moves you make, good or bad. Gagne turned out to be a bad move. A very bad one. You’re not going to go to your boss and say “well, Boss, it looked good at the time, so I totally deserve a pass on this one” when your business takes a million dollar hit based completely on a move you made.

    AndrewYF September 19, 2007, 12:41 pm
  • If want overreacting he should hear Mets fans here in NY/NJ on the radio…Oh My!
    “I don’t think it was a minimal cost – not in prospects or in cash or in the disruption to what was working.”
    *1 year/$6M (2007), plus performance bonuses
    *Acquired in trade (from Texas) 7/31/07, with Gagne waiving his no-trade clause in exchange for $2.5M in performance bonuses being guaranteed (Boston to pay $2.1M, Texas to pay $0.4M)
    To me that’s not a lot to give up for a dominant closer. Especially not for the team with the second highest payroll in the game.
    Prospects? The Red Sox traded left-hander Kason Gabbard and minor league outfielders David Murphy and Engel Beltre to the Rangers for Gagne. When was Gabbard going to fit in on this team? Murphy? Sure Beltre might someday being very good, but when you have the best record in the game RIGHT NOW, that’s really not a concern. Especially when you have a pretty decent minor league system to begin with.
    As for disrupting what was working, just not true. Gagne has pitched 15 innings since he came to Boston. It’s not like Francona suddenly stopped doing what he had done all season to fit in Gagne. If the guys have struggled it’s on them, not Gagne.

    John - YF (Trisk) September 19, 2007, 12:46 pm
  • Ahem, I thought the point of my posts, is that “everyone” didn’t like the move.
    They went with the priciest model in the showroom when they already had cars that were running well or just needed a tuneup. That’s a old Yankees move. I really did think the organization was supposed to be smarter than that.

    Pete September 19, 2007, 12:47 pm
  • “Why, because he made a move that looked good and it didn’t work out?”
    No because he made a no brainer trade. A trade that Cashman WOULD have made if the Rangers weren’t asking him for the special “Yankee Price.” You are getting a DOMINANT relief pitcher for 2 extra pieces and one future prospect. No GM in their right mind passes that up.

    John - YF (Trisk) September 19, 2007, 12:52 pm
  • What’s the urge to blame Theo because Gagne has dropped off the face of the Earth, other than to get in a dig at the Sox and the franchise? Take the uniform out of the equation (yeah, I know that is hard), and just look at the logistics of the deal:
    Contender has setup man who has been lights out, but who may tire.
    Contender has spare parts available who will likely have zero impact on current season, in which they have the best record and a serious shot at a championship.
    Contender is offered an elite relief pitcher for said spare parts.
    Contender is a really, really rich franchise so money isn’t really an issue.
    Contender not only is really, really rich, but the elite relief pitcher is only on the books through the end of the year and brings draft picks as compensation when they don’t resign him.
    Contender makes move, acquiring relief pitcher to bolster bullpen. Elite relief pitcher kills rabbit, puts it in boiling pot of water in GM’s office. To add insult to injury, elite relief pitcher is arrested after stealing sports memorabilia, having previously been acquitted of murder– er, wait, that wasn’t the elite relief pitcher. Elite relief pitcher turns into A-ball level headcase despite no track record of psychological issues.
    Not sure how this last item can be pinned on the GM of the contender, but if that’s what makes you happy, then go for it.

    SF September 19, 2007, 12:54 pm
  • Add Pete to the list of people I am no longer responding to. I give you facts and you give me nonsense. You and BRaw should get your own Blog.

    John - YF (Trisk) September 19, 2007, 12:55 pm
  • Ya, I was a big fan of Gagne, and only not because of his uniform, and this was particularly shocking to me.
    He still has his stuff, mostly, but he’s not going at it right, it seems. I didn’t watch yesterday’s game, only the highlights, so not too sure.
    I thought the deal was wonderful (for the Sox), and they were up 7-8? Maybe more? At the time, so my only complain was that it was an overkill (and that Yanks needed to catch up!) Go figure.

    Lar September 19, 2007, 1:00 pm
  • Trisk: Great point…as a YF I am taking more glee in the Mets meltdown than anything having to do with Boston right now. I was walking home from work ery late last night after all but the latest games were already over and I swear the Mets fans were psychotic. Just tuned in to Mike and the Mad Dog. This should be good.
    Boston is a side-show for me right now, especially since I still beleive they’ll take the division and, regardless, the playoff spots are secure…quite unlike the Mets’ playoff spot. Willie Randolph’s post-game was priceless. “This feels normal to me, like a penant race should…” and “the champagne will taste all the sweeter thanks to this…”.
    Yeah.
    “Earth to Willie (who I like!): this is reality calling. We should meet”

    IronHorse (yf) September 19, 2007, 1:07 pm
  • Alright, this is turning into a blame game about Gagne, and an “I told you so!” contest. Both of which are just stupid.
    Look, Gagne is a bust so far. Did anybody see his collapse coming? Not publicly. Maybe Texas saw something ominous, maybe Cashman or some other GMs did, but nobody predicted this sort of mediocrity in public. From our point of view, this is totally unexpected, and by all indications it was unexpected for Epstein as well.
    Maybe it was unnecessary, maybe it wasn’t. Who cares? Would any baseball fan ever complain about adding another strong arm to the bullpen? Is there any baseball team in the history of the game who couldn’t use another good arm?
    Put it this way- is anybody complaining now that Torre has what looks like 6 strong starters? Sure, he only needs 5, but is the extra one a problem? No. Same thing with your bullpen- if you have the chance to add a strong arm, and the cost isn’t too high, you do it. End of story.
    As far as we know, Cashman turned down Gagne because the price was too high. NY didn’t need him for that price. The price was lower for Boston, so Epstein jumped on it. And, if Gagne was playing like he was expected, the price would have been just fine.
    Epstein made a mistake. There’s no way you can say getting Gagne was a good thing for the Sox, at least not at this point. Could Epstein have foreseen this? We don’t know. The fact is, we don’t know whether there were any ominous signs about Gagne, because nobody talked about any. So from our point of view, Epstein did the right thing at the time, and the decision went sour. He’s responsible, because he’s the guy making the call. But by now, what does it matter who’s to blame? It is what it is.

    KurticusMaximus- YF September 19, 2007, 1:10 pm
  • John –
    And folks said that Bagwell wasn’t giving up much too. Beltre is 17 years old and already very good.
    Gabbard could have been helpful as a 6th or 7th starter and esp. now would mean Buck didn’t to be a starter.
    Add the cash and disruption, and I’d just argue with the “minimal” assessment.

    Pete September 19, 2007, 1:13 pm
  • Or –
    GM of the best bullpen in baseball acquires reliever with questionable health, who had pitched recently, but with clearly diminished stuff. The team he was on had been pitching him less and less as the deadline neared, perhaps masking another injury? Who knows. Reliever is acquired and slotted into the setup role. Fails miserably. Singlehandedly costs the team 4 games. If the GM had never made the move, the team would most likely be up by 6.5 games…if not more.
    I don’t see how Theo avoids blame in this at all? Do we just ignore his bad moves that we thought were good at the time? Do we still give Brian Cashman praise for prying Jose Contreras from the Red Sox’s grasp, or outmaneuvering teams for Carl Pavano (remember that Cashman actually got Pavano at a discount). No, because the moves turned out to suck horribly. It doesn’t matter that the Yankees are the preeminently wealthy team in the majors, it’s still a waste of money, and cost the team games in that the pitcher was relied upon as part of the rotation.
    Gagne was acquired to be relied upon as part of the bullpen, and he cost the team games. Net negative. It was Theo’s ‘fix’ to prevent Hideki Okajima from being overused because there was no other good option for a setup man.
    He deserves blame in bringing him to the team. If Gagne succeeded, he’d get all the lauding and praise. But somehow GMs are screened from criticism when people with just as little future-seeing ability as the GM deem it ‘good’? Mind-boggling.

    AndrewYF September 19, 2007, 1:14 pm
  • What is this a “high school” forum? People not talking each other?

    Pete September 19, 2007, 1:19 pm
  • I should amend – “pitched WELL recently”

    AndrewYF September 19, 2007, 1:20 pm
  • has eric gagne earned the honorary F. for a middle initial yet? at what point does that happen?

    Yankee Fan In Boston September 19, 2007, 1:26 pm
  • Mike Francesa’s comment just now:
    “For the next hour, we will take uninterrupted panicky Met fan calls”.
    This should be good.

    Anonymous September 19, 2007, 1:27 pm
  • Sorry, anon Met-schaudenfreuder was me.
    Do the Red Sox have any team they hate almost as much as the Red Sox, as many YFs (at least those based in NY) do the Mets?

    IronHorse (yf) September 19, 2007, 1:29 pm
  • Theo can’t get a pass. Even if the productivity isn’t what was expected, or if there was no way of knowing how this would go, the buck stops with him. I personally thought the move was a great one. I also thought that Pavano, Contreras, and Farnsworth were great moves too. On paper, they were awesome moves, but to suggest that the GM of said deals, as someone above stated, doensn’t get the blame is missing the overall pecking order of responsibility. The Red Sox did not have an immediate need for Gagne, so in the end, they didn’t have to get him. But, since they didn’t have a need for him, it can’t be considered in the same light as the Pavano or Contreras deals – those players were absolutely vital cogs to a year long plan.
    I think that the Red Sox took a flier on Gagne, didn’t give up too much, and have gotten burned. It’s no reason to fire anyone, sans Francona, for Gagne’s performance. Yeah, Theo is to blame in the end, but he’s not the one running the guy out there and leaving him in to give it away time and time again.

    Brad September 19, 2007, 1:29 pm
  • Uhh, second “Red Sox” tehre should have read “Yankees”. Really having problems with the keyboard right now.

    IronHorse (yf) September 19, 2007, 1:30 pm
  • I absolutely hate the Rangers with an unadulterated passion. If that craptastic excuse of a stadium fell into the darkest regions of hell to never be played in again, I’m fine with it.
    It’s a stupid organization from top to bottom, and they do nothing but absolutely lay down for New York like no other team I’ve ever seen. Less, of course we’re talking about this month’s Red Sox:)

    Brad September 19, 2007, 1:33 pm
  • C O U N T
    T H E
    R i N G Z
    B I T C H E S!!!!1111

    CTRBYanks1978 September 19, 2007, 1:41 pm
  • “Put it this way- is anybody complaining now that Torre has what looks like 6 strong starters? Sure, he only needs 5, but is the extra one a problem? No.”
    Isn’t that the “problem” the Sox tried to fix – first with Arroyo then with Gabbard?

    Pete September 19, 2007, 1:43 pm
  • Brad,
    What’s wrong with the Ballpark in Arlington? If memory serves me correctly it was rated the #1 Baseball Stadium in America by some architecture magazine a few years ago.
    I lived in Dallas from 1986 to 1994, so I love the place. Though seeing a couple of Nolan Ryan’s no-hitters (and seeing him give Ventura a helping of knucke-sandwich) makes me a little bit biased. Also, the Rangers have a lot of loyal fans, despite the team’s suckiness.

    Atheose September 19, 2007, 1:50 pm
  • Pass, no pass, whatever…Bottom line is he did what was best for his team at the current time. He was offered a dominant reliever for a pretty low price, he did what any GM would have done. You can never have too much pitching.
    “GM of the best bullpen in baseball acquires reliever with questionable health”
    If his health was a question mark, the trade would have never gone through. If you mean he has had health issues, then I agree, but up until the point he came to Boston there were no signs saying he was injured.
    “but with clearly diminished stuff”
    Again you are stating things that you can’t prove. By all accounts Gagne was said to have most if not all his velocity back. Also keep in mind his best pitch is his changeup, he will be 100 and throwing from his wheelchair and still have a nasty changeup, you don’t lose that. It doesn’t “diminish.”
    “Do we still give Brian Cashman praise for prying Jose Contreras from the Red Sox’s grasp, or outmaneuvering teams for Carl Pavano (remember that Cashman actually got Pavano at a discount). No, because the moves turned out to suck horribly.”
    Praise, no he gets no praise for it, but also don’t blame him for making those moves either. GM’s do what they think is best for the team. They don’t have crystal balls, so they make the best moves possible and live with the consequences. Contreras by EVERYONE’S account was nasty, turns out he is a mental midget and can’t pitch in NY. Same can be said for Pavano, you can’t measure someone’s heart in meetings like that and that’s where Pavano was lacking. Cashman signed him based on his ability.

    John - YF (Trisk) September 19, 2007, 1:53 pm
  • And folks said that Bagwell wasn’t giving up much too.
    The only one saying that about Bagwell was Lou Gorman, who was an idiot. Likewise, Bagwell was a prospect playing in AA or AAA at the time putting up great numbers, not in the low, low minors putting up great numbers that may or may not translate against tougher opposition. Your analogy is flawed, and reeks of desperation.
    Likewise, thanks for the non sequitur attack about the Arroyo trade. Just when I think you might just be simply a very pessimistic Red Sox fan, I start to wonder… but then you’ve even pissed off a Yankee fan here, too.

    Paul SF September 19, 2007, 1:56 pm
  • Just as a note – I thought the deal was a great one too. I thought it was an absolute steal, and was pissed that the Rangers were asking for Ian Kennedy and Melky from the Yankees…and accepted fricking Kason Gabbard from the Sox. I also don’t think Theo is a bad GM. He has his share of great moves and his share of blunders, like most GMs in the game.
    I just continue to be annoyed as Theo continues to be rated one of the best GMs in the game while they ignore crappers like Matt Clement, and yet Cashman is grilled because of Carl Pavano. You can bet your ass that if Gagne were wearing a Yankees uniform right now and Chamberlain were shut down for the year due to reaching his innings limit, Cashman would be getting every single bit of the blame…and the boot.

    AndrewYF September 19, 2007, 1:56 pm
  • The Ballpark is actually a very nice stadium, and it’s hard to hate the Rangers because their suckitude almost always guarantees a win when I see the Sox in person…

    Paul SF September 19, 2007, 1:58 pm
  • “Unshunned” in the words of Dwight…
    Pete, do you watch baseball or just come on blogs to piss people off?
    The Sox have 6 starting pitchers.
    Lester, Buchholz, Beckett, Daisuke, Schilling and Wakefield.
    Gabbard WAS NEVER going to exceed the production of Lester or Buchholz by EVERY scouts estimation. So they didn’t abandon a plan for the future by trading him. To put it in simpler terms it would be like the Yankees trading Matt DeSalvo, Chase Wright or Karstens. Are any of those 3 ever going to be better then Chamberlain, Kennedy or Hughes, by ALL scouts estimations NO.
    Re-Shunned.

    John - YF (Trisk) September 19, 2007, 1:58 pm
  • On Epstein-blame, the only move I questioned from the start was J.D. Drew and I was so happy that the Sox wrapped him up (or was it vice versa?) for so many years. I know SFs say there is a great plyer in there who will break out because he has shown greatness in past years, but I can’t imagine a time when this guy will play consistently well over the course of entire seasons – as opposed to intermittent ups and downs and/or injury-riddled seasons.

    IronHorse (yf) September 19, 2007, 2:01 pm
  • Andrew:
    Theo has put together a team that is in first place in the East. He’s made good moves, bad moves. He’s been criticized here for many of the bad moves, and vociferously. I personally have had major issues with Epstein and his ability (in the past, maybe now) to put together a bullpen. I didn’t love Lugo, was less than supremely excited about Drew. But he also drafted Pedroia, Ellsbury, signed Oki, perhaps helped grab Beckett. He’s re-engineered a 2004 team into a younger contender. He’s a good GM. No free passes, I agree. And it’s taken some time for me to see this, but Cashman is a damn good GM too. Both guys have done admirable jobs, even considering the wealth of their teams. I am not sure where you are going with this, other than having a desire to hear a lot of people join you in piling on with a “Theo ain’t all that” stream of comments, and how interesting is that in the end?

    SF September 19, 2007, 2:01 pm
  • Nail on the head, Trisk. You summed it up very nicely.
    Also, I still have a small bit of hope that the adrenaline-pumping playoff atmosphere will help Gagne turn around.
    Not a huge amount of hope, but just a glimmer.

    Atheose September 19, 2007, 2:02 pm
  • “Again you are stating things that you can’t prove. By all accounts Gagne was said to have most if not all his velocity back.”
    What? By all accounts, Gagne was sitting in the low-90s. That was the one questionable part about the move.
    Gagne was putting up good numbers, but his strikeouts, his signature, were down significantly. His stuff was diminished from his ‘glory days’, no question.

    AndrewYF September 19, 2007, 2:06 pm
  • It’s not the park, Atheose – it’s the team. I hate them. Nearly as much as New York. Nothing bad enough can happen to them. The one reason I hope A-Rod doesn’t opt out is so that idiot there can keep paying for him.

    Brad September 19, 2007, 2:06 pm
  • What? Is that the biggest insult around here? Call each other fans of the other team? I know which team I root for, thanks.
    Bagwell also wasn’t 17 years old. I’ll admit the comparison is forced (Paul, when’s the last time you admitted you were wrong? Try it. It’s actually god for you.). But to say the cost was “minimal” is asking for Bagwell 2.0 all over again. And me, I had read a lot about Beltre’s potential. His inclusion was the kicker for me on why it was an awful trade for all the reasons I’ve stated.
    And what? You’re going to defend the trade of Arroyo too? What need did they have then – a RH platoon RF? Then when they didn’t give him a fair shot, they dropped 70 million on Drew. And they followed that doozy by trading Pena for a guy who’s actually worse defensively and a weaker hitter. Meanwhile WMP is putting up a line of .291 .336 .553 in Washington playing full-time. Not that we need his bat now or anything.
    As for that YF, I have no idea what I did to earn the vaunted status around here of “not being talked to”. Somehow, he came in with his opinion that disagreed with mine, but I was the one who didn’t respond to his “facts”. That’s precious.

    Pete September 19, 2007, 2:08 pm
  • “perhaps masking another injury?”
    Good question, IMO.
    “If his health was a question mark, the trade would have never gone through.”
    The sox’ med staff did their due diligence, no doubt, but even with today’s advanced sports medicine, you never know the complete story about a players health. Maybe they saw things that they bet would not emerge as a problem, given the 20 odd innings Gagne was expected to pitch for the team? Possible?
    Gagne’s injury history is the reason I wasn’t particularly disappointed the yanks didn’t get him.
    With two old starters, Schilling and Wake; one import in his first 162 gm ML season; and one starter in his first season after battling cancer, Gabbard as a 6th starter down the stretch would probably have made a lot of sense – indeed, wouldn’t most of the rotation benefit, as opposed to primarily resting one guy, Oki, by acquiring Gagne?

    Andrews September 19, 2007, 2:09 pm
  • Detroit losing already today. Cleveland must be peaking in a big way. And at the right time. Detroit came into this series playing great and are in danger of being swept and being all but knocked completely out of wild-card contention.

    IronHorse (yf) September 19, 2007, 2:09 pm
  • The Arroyo trade was a bad one. I was very surprised when I saw it, as he was effective for the Sox, as well as being a fan favorite. I understood why Theo did it, but it was still unwise from the get-go.

    AndrewYF September 19, 2007, 2:11 pm
  • John –
    It was like if the Yankees trading Karstens, Gardner, and Tabata. I’d be willing to bet that a few Yankee fans would be going apeshit if they lost Tabata even when the trade happened. And after this performance? And three or five years ago the Yankee make exactly that trade. Lucky for you guys, they got smarter.
    I worried at the time that this trade would haunt the Sox – this season and into the future. So far, I haven’t been wrong, no matter how much Paul wants to believe otherwise.

    Pete September 19, 2007, 2:14 pm
  • “The Sox have 6 starting pitchers.
    Lester, Buchholz, Beckett, Daisuke, Schilling and Wakefield.”
    Trisk, since Buchholz has only been used in spot situations, I don’t think you can consider him a member of the rotation, esp with that innings limit we keep hearing about.

    Andrews September 19, 2007, 2:14 pm
  • And John, what you still haven’t countered (because there’s no way to simply tell me I’m wrong) is that keeping Gabbard would have allowed them to shift Buck to relief. Instead they’ve had him start 3 games? Those same three games Gabbard would have given them a chance to win. And instead, Buck would have been available for 10 to 20 relief appearances.
    The Yankees were creative. The Sox were woefully not.

    Pete September 19, 2007, 2:17 pm
  • Sorry, but Beltre is nowhere near the prospect Tabata is.
    It’s like, I guess, if the Yankees traded Jesus Montero.

    AndrewYF September 19, 2007, 2:18 pm
  • “but I was the one who didn’t respond to his “facts”. That’s precious.”
    Your Facts: “Isn’t that the “problem” the Sox tried to fix – first with Arroyo then with Gabbard?
    My Facts: “The Sox have 6 starting pitchers. Lester, Buchholz, Beckett, Daisuke, Schilling and Wakefield.”
    From Baseball America “He’s loaded with tools, starting with power potential, speed and arm strength. Though he has a huge ceiling, he’s still raw and years away from the majors, as his performance in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League debut indicates. Making his pro debut, Beltre is batting .215/.314/.413 with five homers, 13 RBIs and six steals in 33 games.”
    My Facts: “Sure Beltre might someday being very good, but when you have the best record in the game RIGHT NOW, that’s really not a concern. Especially when you have a pretty decent minor league system to begin with.”
    Now go back to NoMaas.

    John - YF (Trisk) September 19, 2007, 2:19 pm
  • “Trisk, since Buchholz has only been used in spot situations, I don’t think you can consider him a member of the rotation, esp with that innings limit we keep hearing about.”
    I won’t argue him being part of the rotation, I will argue that he is part of the Sox forseeable future in the rotation and that was the question posed. The Sox have 6 SP’s or more, that’s the point.

    John - YF (Trisk) September 19, 2007, 2:22 pm
  • Gabbard’s line in Texas:
    2-1 in EIGHT games. 40 1/3 innings pitched, so that’s 5 innings per outing. 40 hits allowed, 25 Earned Runs, 5 HR’s allowed, 23 BB’s, just 26 K’s, an ERA of 5.58 and a WHIP of 1.56.
    Tell me please how that is a better option then what the Sox are putting out there OR could CURRENTLY put out there night in and night out.

    John - YF (Trisk) September 19, 2007, 2:27 pm
  • Sox needed Buck starting because they traded their surplus. Instead he could have been in the bullpen. But who knows. They never tried it. Instead, they took the easy and very expensive route.
    And your “facts” on Beltre conveniently leave out the fact that after the trade he put up a line of:
    .310 .388 .583 .971 – 27 games
    In Rookie ball. At the age of 17 years old.
    If I had to bet, he will be listed in the top 100 prospects next year.
    (And no Andrew – I’m not going to get into a who’s better argument about Beltre and Tabata. But Gabbard and Murphy are clearly better than Karstens and Gardner).

    Anonymous September 19, 2007, 2:28 pm
  • me
    And I now I’d rather have Buchholz affecting 10 to 20 games this year (with his innings limit) and Gabbard starting than Buck starting 3 games and Gagne affecting 10 to 20 games.

    Pete September 19, 2007, 2:33 pm
  • detroit 2
    indians 4
    top of the 8th
    2 outs
    bases loaded with tigers

    Yankee Fan In Boston September 19, 2007, 2:34 pm
  • r. betancourt gets out of the inning, going to the bottom of the 8th, 4-2 indians.

    Yankee Fan In Boston September 19, 2007, 2:38 pm
  • Threat over. Cleveland up 4-2 and batting in bottom 8.
    Detriot is done probably already but certainly if they lose today.
    As close as some races are, the AL is actually prety devoid of drama right now. We all know the 4 teams for October.
    The only real drama is in the NL right now, and there is plenty.

    IronHorse (yf) September 19, 2007, 2:39 pm
  • IH: cleveland is only .5 games back of boston for the best record in the league. this game has ramifications beyond the tigers and their WC hopes.

    Yankee Fan In Boston September 19, 2007, 2:41 pm
  • Question for YFs (even the belligerent one):
    a) Division and Angels?; or
    b) Wild Card and Indians?
    Cause that’s how it’s looking. I’m guessing most would say B? And that works perfectly cause I bet most SFs would rather take A.

    Pete September 19, 2007, 2:42 pm
  • if the angels get the best record (at the moment they are .5 behind as well), i’d love the division and the indians.
    (a guy can dream.)

    Yankee Fan In Boston September 19, 2007, 2:44 pm
  • You know what the tie-breaker is for the Angels and Indians?

    Pete September 19, 2007, 2:45 pm
  • going to the top of the 9th in cleveland. still 4-2 indians. detroit’s last licks.

    Yankee Fan In Boston September 19, 2007, 2:46 pm
  • Pete-
    Indians have the tie break over the Angels. They are tied in the regular season but Cleveland has a better in division record than LA.

    Sam-YF September 19, 2007, 2:50 pm
  • cleveland wins!

    Yankee Fan In Boston September 19, 2007, 2:52 pm
  • YFiB: I don’t think the best record in the league means much. If Cleveland gets it, they are certain to choose the shorter-rest series so they can double up on Sabathia/Carmona.
    If Boston gets it, they are most likely to go for the normal rest series given their bullpen issues.
    I’m not pretending I know these things, but I think they are the msot likely decisions.
    To me, the only real AL drama is the LAA/Cleveland record comparison, because it will determine who the WC (probably NY) plays in the ALDS, but that’s not nearly as dramatic as “who is going to get in”, which is over in the AL.

    IronHorse (yf) September 19, 2007, 2:55 pm
  • The Sox probably wouldn’t have put Gabbard in the rotation had they not made the trade. The rotation would be:
    Schill
    Wake
    Beckett
    Dice
    Lester, with Tavarez as the sixth.
    Where is this need for Gabbard, who was a fill-in? Buck could have been transitioned to the bullpen whether they traded for Gagne or not. That’s a dead-end argument, claiming trading Gabbard screwed everything up. It’s nonsense.

    SF September 19, 2007, 2:57 pm
  • Thanks Sam. With the way the Indians are playing, it really does look like it will be A or B. And if the Sox get the Angels, that will certainly wash away the bitter taste of the division.

    Pete September 19, 2007, 2:59 pm
  • One point to beat to death as a Yankee fan…the Gagne thing was totally unforeseen. So any Yankee or Boston fan who would claim at the time it was not a good move for Boston seems a little suspect to me given the status of Gagne and what was given away at the time. Sometimes the players simply fail. As a Yankee fan I think back to the trade made for an Estaban Loaiza (spelling?) in ’04 that was made for the stretch run, dumping Contreras, which just so happened to trump a similar offer by Boston of Derek Lowe for the same pitcher. Lowe had a little bit of say in how the playoffs turned out, and was thisclose to being dumped prior to October. My point being, sometimes these trades, or non-trades, are simple happenstance and nobody is to blame.

    Jrprofess YF September 19, 2007, 2:59 pm
  • I’d rather play Cleveland. They are unbelievably hot right now, but so is LA and, for that matter, NY. The only post-season AL team stumbling right now is Boston. And I don’t care how well Clevland is doing right now, I think Carmona is as likely as not to crack in the post-season AND the team does NOT play fundamentally sound defense for anyone who has watched them lately. They are exciting, have a great ace, and are scrappy. But compared to them, the Yankees are a machine right now.
    Angels on the other hand have been there and done that more times than I can count vs. NY and their style of play (run-run-run-run) matches up as badly against this crop of NY pitchers as it has in any of the previous years. And they play much better D than Cleveland.
    Also, the cross-country travel (likely twice in a 5-game series) is not something I want NY to go through.
    No. I want Cleveland, regardless of whether it is as the WC or ALEast champions.

    IronHorse (yf) September 19, 2007, 3:01 pm
  • IH: Wouldn’t the Sox choose the LONGER rest schedule, given, as you say, their bullpen issues?
    Their starters past Beckett are fairly comparable right now, so there’s no real detriment or advantage to the rotation. But the longer amount of rest allows their bullpen to be more effective.

    AndrewYF September 19, 2007, 3:01 pm
  • Also, if you are the Yankees, with the best record in the league (hey, it’s possible), and facing Cleveland…which schedule do you choose?
    The rotation past Sabathia and Carmona is Paul Byrd and Jake Westbrook. If you are the Yankees, why wouldn’t you want Wang for two games against Sabathia, Pettitte against Carmona, and then Clemens vs. Byrd and Mussina vs. Westbrook?
    Otherwise it’s Wang vs. Sabathia and Pettitte vs. Carmona x2, which makes for excellent pitching matchups, but less advantageous for the Yankees.

    AndrewYF September 19, 2007, 3:05 pm
  • Andrew: That’s what I meant by “normal rest series” but in fact you are right – the “normal rest series” would be the shorter one, which is not what I intended.
    Anyway, what you said is what I meant to say. Cleveland wants short rest, Boston wants long, and so regardless of which gets the best record, I don’t think it matters.
    Of course, LA is just as close to the best record as Cleveland and I am not as sure what they do.

    IronHorse (yf) September 19, 2007, 3:06 pm
  • I’m not saying Gabbard “screwed up everything”. I was simply countering a few notions that are running rampant:
    1) Sox had extra pitching (never true – that’s where Arroyo came from, Paul)
    2) Sox gave up nothing (not true and still to be determined)
    3) Sox needed Gagne (not true with the other options they had).
    As for Buck and the pen, we’ll never know. But looking back, he’s won the two games he started (and hopefully another tonight). But another starter (sure Taverez or Lester or Gabbard) could have just as easily won those games with Buck being a positive force in the bullpen for 10 to 20 games. He’s pitched 18 innings so far – Gagne is at 14 innings. Who would you rather have where? The Sox never tried it – not even at AAA.

    Pete September 19, 2007, 3:06 pm
  • “IH: Wouldn’t the Sox choose the LONGER rest schedule…”
    Probably. And not the least concern for the Yanks is having a shorter series would impact Joba’s usage, yes?

    Tyrel SF September 19, 2007, 3:07 pm
  • I’m telling you, carmona really doesn’t concern me in the postseason. The Indians in general don’t. I guess if I’m the Yankees in your hypothetical situation, I go with the longer rest series more for he bullpen then starting rotation just because it allows extra Joba/Vizcaino-rest-time.

    IronHorse (yf) September 19, 2007, 3:08 pm
  • At this rate, if the Yankees could have a series with 3 day-night doubleheaders in a row, that’s what they’d go for. The difference between their starting rotation now and in April is like two completely different teams. It’s amazing.

    IronHorse (yf) September 19, 2007, 3:10 pm
  • i think i read that the joba rules would be either modified or completely ignored in the postseason. does that sound familiar to anyone?

    Yankee Fan In Boston September 19, 2007, 3:12 pm
  • PS: Cleveland wants the long rest schedule so they can start Sabathia and Carmona twice each. Boston wants the long rest schedule so they can rest their bullpen.
    Who doesn’t want the long rest schedule for themselves?

    AndrewYF September 19, 2007, 3:13 pm
  • Abraham poses a good question today if nobody has seen it:
    Does NY pitch Pettitte, Wang and the rest hard to win the division, or do they let them pitch a few innings and rest for the first round if they’re still in contention to win the East?
    To me, the division means very, very little in the grand scheme of things, but resting those pitchers that last few days could be very interesting. It’s equally as important, if not more so, to use that last week to get the rotation set up. If, say Beckett Schilling, Pettitte and the lot are tired going in, what good is the division or best record.
    If I’m Francona or Torre, give that we’re pitching Schilling and Pettitte, I shut them down to some extent the minute that the spot is certain. I don’t think any team has a pitching advantage over the other after the first starters, so resting the older guys, who can’t come back as strong or early is soooo important. Much more so than the division.

    Brad September 19, 2007, 3:19 pm
  • “i think i read that the joba rules would be either modified or completely ignored in the postseason. does that sound familiar to anyone?”
    makes sense. but then what the hell will joe morgan talk about during the playoffs?

    Tyrel SF September 19, 2007, 3:19 pm
  • Brad why are you reading Abraham if he is an internet cancer or whatever it was you called him earlier?

    Sam-YF September 19, 2007, 3:20 pm
  • Just to reiterate, with Detroit losing the Sox can clinch a playoff spot as early as Friday (with a win tonight and a win Friday and a Detroit loss Friday), a full 9 days before the end of the regular season.
    The last eight days will all be about the division, the AL’s best record, and the implications of being a wild card team. But the playoff hunt, as we know it, will be over, possibly by the time we go to bed on Friday.

    SF September 19, 2007, 3:21 pm
  • Just got my email from the Red Sox saying that once again was not selected to buy playoff tickets from them. No face value for me this year! Maybe one day!

    Brad September 19, 2007, 3:22 pm
  • I agree Brad. Setting up the rotation is more important than winning the division or homefield advantage.
    And Brad must be a secret YF – reading Abraham and all :)

    Pete September 19, 2007, 3:23 pm
  • Sam, I visit him nearly everyday. I don’t post there, as some Sox fans do, but I do in fact go over there and read his headlines. He is, afterall, a beat writer who often has immediate news posted.
    That being said, he’s no longer what he used to be journalistically.

    Brad September 19, 2007, 3:25 pm
  • hey, brad, i saw your mention of the sox’s dear john email and went to my account.
    i was shot down as well.
    you are not alone, if that is any consolation.

    Yankee Fan In Boston September 19, 2007, 3:26 pm
  • He’s a damn good journalist in that he breaks most news before everyone else does. I love his blog but not so much the morons who post on it.

    Sam-YF September 19, 2007, 3:26 pm
  • For the same reason we all scan the headlines from Shaughnessy, Chass, Wilbur and others. They’re hacks, but we still scan what they’re writing about daily. Every person on this board has said something negative about one of the above listed writers.

    Brad September 19, 2007, 3:28 pm
  • Sam, he breaks news on the Yankees faster because he’s with them all day. It really has nothing to do with his capabilities, but to each his own. You’re a Yankee fan, so clearly you’re going to lean that way, which is fine.

    Brad September 19, 2007, 3:30 pm
  • Andrew: You have now broken my brain with my own circular reasoning. I swear I started with a good point but I now see no…
    To answer your question though, I think you want a short rest series IFF your opponent has excellent # 1 and 2 starters but not much after taht in their starting rotation. SO, if Boston is to play Cleveland and Boston has the best recrod, they may choose the short rest series even with their bullpen issues. But I don’t know any more. I have broken my brain now.

    IronHorse (yf) September 19, 2007, 3:31 pm
  • In fairness Brad he breaks stuff much faster than the other yankees beat writers. I digress…

    Sam-YF September 19, 2007, 3:36 pm
  • Any YF partial-season tix holders here? If so, they told me today that they are sending today or tomorrow (read as tomorow or Friday) the passwords and instructions for the partial-season-tix-holder pre-sale for playoff tickets. It’ll be held on-line starting 10am Tuesday the 25th. That’s before the lottery-for-the-public pre-sale which starts at 10am on the 27th. Just fyi.

    IronHorse (yf) September 19, 2007, 3:37 pm
  • It’s going to be Craigslist time if they make the ALCS this year, which will suck financially. ha.

    Brad September 19, 2007, 3:39 pm
  • I wouldn’t skip Wang’s or Pettitte’s starts. I would, however, give them 100-pitch pitch counts, so they don’t go in exhausted. Maybe pull them early from their last start of the season. But why skip their starts and get them out of rhythm? Wang isn’t tired, he missed an entire month. And Pettitte regularly pitches 200 innings a year, he’s fine. Aiming for the best record in the AL should also be a goal, as it helps the Yankees in the playoffs.

    AndrewYF September 19, 2007, 3:42 pm
  • ” Tell me please how that is a better option then what the Sox are putting out there OR could CURRENTLY put out there night in and night out.”
    Since Buchholtz is not a night in, night out option, here are Gabbard’s sox numbers compared to Lester’s and Tavarez’
    Gabbard with sox in 7 starts: 41.0IP 28H 17ER 3HR 18BB 29SO 4-0 3.73ERA
    Lester in 10 starts: 56.2IP 54H 28ER 8HR 28BB 39SO 4-0 4.45 ERA
    Tavaras in 22 starts: 117.2IP 132H 67ER 12HR 43BB 68SO 5.13ERA
    We all know trades sometimes affect players in adverse ways; Gagne proves that well. Being traded to a terrible team from the team with the best record in baseball can’t make you enthusiastic about going to work everyday, IMO.
    If Gabbard had continued to pitch like he did with the sox, he’s a better option than either of these guys.

    Andrews September 19, 2007, 3:53 pm
  • I’m speaking stricly in terms of this season only.

    Andrews September 19, 2007, 4:03 pm
  • strictly, not stricly…

    Andrews September 19, 2007, 4:04 pm
  • Since the Abraham question was raised here, I’ll post this here too- I was looking at the postseason schedule, and Torre doesn’t really need to do much to rest his starters. All he has to do is put Kennedy in for the last start of the year, and everybody gets at least 8 days off before the ALDS.
    9/19- Pettite
    9/20- Off
    9/21- Wang
    9/22- Clemens
    9/23- Mussina
    9/24- Hughes
    9/25- Pettite
    9/26- Wang
    9/27- Clemens
    9/28- Mussina
    9/29- Hughes
    9/30- Kennedy
    10/1- Off
    10/2- Off
    10/3- Pettite (ALDS)
    10/4- Off
    10/5- Wang (ALDS)
    10/6- Off
    10/7- Clemens (ALDS)
    This assumes they play the “B” schedule- the “A” schedule would just switch 10/3 and 10/4. So I’m not sure how much Torre would really need to move things around to give guys a rest.
    It’ll be more interesting, I think, to see how much he benches the position players next week. ARod, Posada, and Jeter could all use some days off, I think.

    KurticusMaximus- YF September 19, 2007, 4:06 pm
  • Good point on Gabbard Andrews.
    oh, and thanks for the mvp vote earlier today…

    IronHorse (yf) September 19, 2007, 4:07 pm
  • I know this is only tangentially related to the thread at hand, but I want to talk about the Sox’s schizophrenic usage of Buchholz.
    As I understand it, they want to limit his innings this year to reduce wear and tear on his arm that would hinder his development over the next several years. Theoretically, if we want to get the most impact from him then we should spread those innings out over the most games possible, meaning that he should be working out of the pen. However, I also have the impression that working from the pen is more stressful than starting, since usage is not consistent and you have to spend more time warming up, etc. And it seems obvious that there’s some psychological strain in switching roles.
    To me it makes the most sense to have Buchholz take Wakefield’s spot in the rotation, an extra 30 innings or so this year be damned (maybe skip his last turn through if it’s not critical to win the last couple games). Wake has proven himself successful in both long and short relief, and can also handle consecutive days of work very well. He’s also shown that he’s willing to take on whatever role will help the team the most, so there are no worries about bruising his ego. Taking Tavarez’s spot might also be an option, although I don’t think JT is as flexible of a pitcher as Wake.
    I haven’t heard this idea floated anywhere else (maybe I’m just not reading the right blogs), and I’m wondering why. Any thoughts?

    Jackie (SF) September 19, 2007, 4:08 pm
  • All of this stuff about Gagne, Gabbard, etc. obscures one thing: the unease about the division lead that many Soxfans feel hinges on only one sequence of events, and that’s Friday’s meltdown. Without that (and five run leads in eighth innings are probably 99.8% safe, in general) the Sox are up 4.5 right now and we’re only discussing whether or not Gagne is ok for the postseason, nothing else.
    So there’s a very fine line being drawn here about the Gagne deal; had Oki done HIS job Friday we might not be discussing Gagne, which is I guess how baseball works.

    SF September 19, 2007, 4:13 pm
  • KM: Thanks for this. Torre says he is on a 6-man rotation right now though and has already announced Clemens’ next start as Sunday, so I think they are doing the following aren’t they? (though it is all pretty much the same):
    9/19- Pettite
    9/20- Off
    9/21- Kennedy
    9/22- Wang
    9/23- Clemens
    9/24- Mussina
    9/25- Hughes
    9/26- Pettite
    9/27- Kennedy
    9/28- Wang
    9/29- Clemens
    9/30- Mussina
    10/1- Off
    10/2- Off
    10/3- Pettite (ALDS)
    10/4- Off
    10/5- Wang (ALDS)
    10/6- Off
    10/7- Clemens (ALDS)

    IronHorse (yf) September 19, 2007, 4:14 pm
  • Oh and KM, are you sure it’s Pettitte/Wang in that order in the ALDS? That would surprise me. Torre likes Pettitte in high-pressure possible post-loss situations – i.e. game 2s.
    If they face LA, which has runners we need to hold on base, I’d prefer Pettitte as number one/five (in the shortened rest series). But otherwise I think it should be Wang/Pettitte. And in the end, I think Torre will take Wang/Pettitte no matter who the opponent is.

    IronHorse (yf) September 19, 2007, 4:17 pm
  • Jackie,
    I think these managers, and certainly Francona and Torre, are very veteran-conscious come playoff pressure time. The “been there done that” feeling is strong. Wakefield has been there and done that and, unless he is hurt, I’d be surprised to see them put a kid in who has pitched so little. First of all there is the number of innings issue. But there is also (primarily) the inexperience factor – Buchholz, unless I am wrong, hasn’t even pitched in a high-ressure regular season game.
    And if they are worried about physically scarring him, they are also probably worried abotu psychologically scarring him a la Rick Ankiel. Few things are probably more detrimental to a young pitcher then being shelled in a playoff game. He’d be remembered in Boston for that game next year and not for all the good things he has done.
    I get what you are saying, but I don’t think they’d go taht way.
    And switching him for Tavares this late (bullpen outing debut’s in late Sept/early Oct are pretty scary) seems iffy. If Okajima does not seem ready to rebound, they may scramble something like this, but I’d expect them instead to pray for MDC and Timlin, with possible Tavarez support, to get them through the bridge to Papelbon.

    IronHorse (yf) September 19, 2007, 4:24 pm
  • IH- Ah, I missed the Clemens announcement. I knew Torre had talked about using the 6 starters.
    You’re right, though, it still works out to naturally give them all a fair amount of rest. And it would probably be pretty easy to switch things up a little bit to add in an extra day here and there, without sacrificing much in the way of chasing the Division (assuming it stays close).

    KurticusMaximus- YF September 19, 2007, 4:25 pm
  • IH: the no-hitter could count as pressure.

    Yankee Fan In Boston September 19, 2007, 4:28 pm
  • i should say that i agree with your overall sentiments on buchholz though, IH.

    Yankee Fan In Boston September 19, 2007, 4:29 pm
  • SF –
    I still would have been complaining pretty loudly about the deal, if given the chance. And following last night, I was given a chance esp. with the post.
    That said, I was the voice of reason last night! And I still think it makes sense to keep trotting Gagne out there. They have very little to lose – except the pride of their fans.
    Iron –
    Buck could have been slowly worked into the bullpen starting as early as July. They knew he was going to hit his innings cap very quickly, just as the Yankees knew with Joba.

    Pete September 19, 2007, 4:34 pm
  • Re: Buchholz
    I’m more surprised that Boston is so willing to move him between starting and the pen so much. I don’t think there’s much danger of blowing his arm, but it’s a lot to ask a young guy like that to switch between the two mindsets.
    There are a lot of veteran pitchers who have trouble going from starting to the pen, and I’d imagine Clay is going to be a reliever in October. I think it would be a lot safer for Boston to commit him to the bullpen, no matter what.
    I mean, NY could just as easily have asked Joba to start- realistically, his arm could handle it. But I think it helps Joba’s mindset to commit him to the pen for this season. Clay might pull off the starting-and-relieving thing, but I think it would be much safer to pick one and stick with it.

    KurticusMaximus- YF September 19, 2007, 4:34 pm
  • YFiB: Not being argumentative, but I don’t think of a no-hitter as pressure so much as win-or-go-home pressure. It’s a very different thing. Like the pressure of trying to hit a record number of freethrows in a row is very different from the pressure of getting the ball with 5 seconds left on the clock in a must-win game. I definitely don’t mean to denigrate the kid’s accomplishments – he’s been great.

    IronHorse (yf) September 19, 2007, 4:36 pm
  • IH: i agree that the pressure of tossing a no-hitter is quite different than that of having your team’s season on your shoulders, but i was just pointing out one situation in which the kid held his own.
    that was probably as close to postseason pressure as he’s come so far.
    i agree that he’s been great. i also agree that i’d probably use him out of the pen.
    also, angels lead 1 – 0 over TB in the 4th.

    Yankee Fan In Boston September 19, 2007, 4:42 pm
  • i wonder how the discussion would go relative to the successes and failures of our respective gm’s if they both had less resources to work with…the high payrolls and consequently higher expectations for both teams tend to magnify the results of a simple transaction that might get little attention if they involved many of the other teams…we’re in a position to have these conversations because our teams are successful [and wealthy]…is cashman smart because he can afford to pay jeter $20m per year to remain a yankee?…how many other teams can afford to do that?…how many other teams can afford [and recover from] disasters like pavano, contreras, even farns-unworthy?…i’m not saying cashman and theo aren’t smart, i’m just saying money can make you smarter than the average gm…
    specifically on gagne: theo should be held accountable for every move…no passes…did i think the trade was a good move at the time?…yep, but i did say i thought they might not need him [good thing i’m not a gm], but it was good to keep him away from the yanks, who did appear to have the greater need…in fact, i was bummed that the yanks didn’t get him…it wasn’t that long ago, but at the time oki was looking like he had the sox setup role nailed, and we couldn’t have predicted that joba would emerge as a setup guy for mo [thanks, farns-unworthy]…things can change a lot over a few short weeks, and something we thought was set, we’ll it just isn’t…anybody saying that they knew gagne would implode isn’t being honest…they may have wished it, but they didn’t know it…

    dc September 19, 2007, 4:43 pm
  • Paul, when’s the last time you admitted you were wrong? Try it. It’s actually god for you.
    Pete: I did it in the post to which you responded! Lose the snark, up the logic, and you might find yourself better received here.

    Paul SF September 19, 2007, 4:52 pm
  • I know this risks being taken as rude by some SFs here, but if you just looked at performance for the past 2-3 weeks,the best teams in the AL are NY, LA, Cleveland, and Boston in that order (with LA closely matched to NY for the top). I know that means nothing come postseason, but I am just looking at all the winning eing done by the first three lately and they all seem to be peaking at a good time.

    IronHorse (yf) September 19, 2007, 4:53 pm
  • Or they’re using up all their wins now.
    You’ll get arguments that it’s best to peak at the end; you’ll get arguments that teams that go in cold win it all.
    I don’t think it matters…

    Devine September 19, 2007, 5:02 pm
  • I feel like I am in some bizzaro YFSF today after arguing in defense of a Sox move.
    All I want to know is this and please simply answer Y or N:
    1. Clay B. is better (Long Term)then Gabbard?
    2. Jon Lester is better (Long Term)then Gabbard?
    3. Jon Lester, Clay B., Beckett, Daisuke and Wakefield will most likely make up next year’s rotation IF a free agent isn’t brought in/Wake picks up his players option?
    4. Jon Papelbon and Okajima AT THE TIME OF THE TRADE made Boston pretty much unbeatable from the 8th inning on?

    John - YF (Trisk) September 19, 2007, 5:04 pm
  • Few things are probably more detrimental to a young pitcher then being shelled in a playoff game. He’d be remembered in Boston for that game next year and not for all the good things he has done.
    Normally, I would completely agree, but I think that pitching the no-no inures him to that. Maybe I’m just being optimistic, but for the most part I think people would be disappointed but not ready to call for his head. In terms of his own psychology, I have to think that having as much success as he has so far will also protect him from mental anguish. Of course, I don’t expect him to have any trouble in the post-season anyway. ;)
    KM(yf) – That’s exactly what I was getting at. It’s weird for them to be switching him back and forth so much; I don’t want him to spot start and then be expected to come out of the pen too. It can’t be healthy for his mental space OR his arm.

    Jackie (SF) September 19, 2007, 5:07 pm
  • Enough with the no-hitter references! Its essentially a statistical anamole, the ultimate in small sample size. Great pitchers, bad pitchers, so-so pitchers, guys with good and bad catchers, pressure performers and folders have all pitched no-hitters in the course of baseball history. It cant be used as a yard stick for anything…

    Sam-YF September 19, 2007, 5:18 pm
  • Maybe…but they are also totally sweet.

    Devine September 19, 2007, 5:20 pm
  • I’m not saying I think it actually means anything, just that the majority of fans will go easier on him because he threw one.

    Jackie (SF) September 19, 2007, 5:20 pm
  • Devine- they are totally sweet to watch, i agree completely.
    Jackie – i also agree but how the fans treat a pitcher has very little bearing on his performance. (except kyle farnsworth)

    Sam-YF September 19, 2007, 5:26 pm
  • “performance for the past 2-3 weeks,the best teams in the AL are NY, LA, Cleveland, and Boston in that order”
    Brilliant. By your reasoning they should just hand the WS trophy to Phiily and their best in baseball 6 straight wins, right?
    Sometimes I really wonder about you Yank fans.

    BostonRAW September 19, 2007, 5:29 pm
  • Hey – look who’s back! I was hoping he’d been banned.
    Too bad we needed comedic relief a few hours ago.

    Pete September 19, 2007, 5:32 pm
  • Yes Raw thats exactly what IH was saying. If new york can stay hot for the remainder of the season they will cancel the playoffs and hand us our 27th WS trophy. So awesome.

    Sam-YF September 19, 2007, 5:33 pm
  • Damn bud Selig. Always changing the postseason rules on us.

    Paul SF September 19, 2007, 5:34 pm
  • yeah Paul sucks for the sox but it sure works out well for the yankees. Maybe Tito will think twice about resting his SPs now…

    Sam-YF September 19, 2007, 5:38 pm
  • Clownboy!!!!!! We so missed you. Like my a&% missed the pimple I had on it a couple months ago.
    Well, you’ll be happy to note you were referenced frequently and fondly here. SFs and YFs alike think so highly of you. It must feel nice.
    And no, I don’t think they should hand the WS trophy to Philly. I think they should give it to the person closest to you so they can drop it on your head. Honk honk!!!! Zipadeedoodahh!!!! Honk!

    IronHorse (yf) September 19, 2007, 5:40 pm
  • Sam – I was responding to IH’s comment that “he’d be remembered in Boston” for blowing a playoff game, and that that would damage his psyche. Not having played pro ball, I can’t say what effect the actual blowing of a playoff game would have on Buchholz, but again I think his early success (including but not limited to the no hitter) will help protect him mentally. But who knows.

    Jackie (SF) September 19, 2007, 5:41 pm
  • 1. Clay B. is better (Long Term)then Gabbard?
    I will not respect that with an answer
    2. Jon Lester is better (Long Term)then Gabbard?
    I will not respect that with an answer
    3. Jon Lester, Clay B., Beckett, Daisuke and Wakefield will most likely make up next year’s rotation IF a free agent isn’t brought in/Wake picks up his players option?
    Beckett, Dice, Schill, Buch, Lester. No clue what happens to Wake. If gone, I will miss ‘Belli terribly.
    4. Jon Papelbon and Okajima AT THE TIME OF THE TRADE made Boston pretty much unbeatable from the 8th inning on?
    If they brought in Pap’s every game in the 8th he would be brilliant too. Until his arm fell off. They needed another reliever and they got one most thought was the best.
    Judging by hindsight should be left for little boys and girls.

    BostonRAW September 19, 2007, 5:41 pm
  • “I will not respect that with an answer”
    You just did!!
    HONK!

    IronHorse (yf) September 19, 2007, 5:43 pm
  • “Enough with the no-hitter references! Its essentially a statistical anamole”
    Ok, how about we just say he went a whole freaking game without giving up a single hit.
    You feel better now?

    BostonRAW September 19, 2007, 5:43 pm
  • Was any of that post in english BRaw?

    John - YF (Trisk) September 19, 2007, 5:44 pm
  • Lay off the paint chips, IH.

    BostonRAW September 19, 2007, 5:45 pm
  • SF: Is that circular squad still available (ref: 11:41am) or did they go home?

    IronHorse (yf) September 19, 2007, 5:46 pm
  • I answered to the best of my ability, John. I think the rotation for next year is obvious, sans Wake.

    BostonRAW September 19, 2007, 5:47 pm
  • Standing ready, IH.

    Paul SF September 19, 2007, 5:48 pm
  • thanks for clarifying Raw. what would this site do with out your amazing insight into this confusing game of baseball.

    Sam-YF September 19, 2007, 5:48 pm
  • I often wonder the same

    BostonRAW September 19, 2007, 5:48 pm
  • I didnt realize it was a foregone conclusion that Schilling was going to resign with the sox. Apparently Raw knows something that neither Curt or Theo knows. Well done!

    Sam-YF September 19, 2007, 5:49 pm
  • Aim!!!!

    IronHorse (yf) September 19, 2007, 5:50 pm
  • BRaw, just so we are clear I was defending the move that brought Gagne to the Sox, so please feel free to answer all the questions. You and I, gulp, are on the same side this time…

    John - YF (Trisk) September 19, 2007, 5:52 pm
  • Guys, lay off clownboy. After all, his recent post to John did say “I answered to the best of my ability…”.
    The last 6 words of that sentence are the all-encompassing qualifier of all time given the source.

    IronHorse (yf) September 19, 2007, 5:54 pm
  • “My opinion is that without him, they would have come up with a smarter plan (Buck, Delcarmen, Lopez, heck even Romero). Good luck trying to tell me I’m wrong on that one”
    I’ll tell you you are wrong.
    Buck is a starter. Moreso, his arm may have been deemed not suited for short relief.
    Arguing for Delcarmen is essentially labeling the guys who know him morons. They like him a hell of a lot, so I assure you that if he was ready he would have been in there long ago.
    Lopez couldn’t get my grandmother out.
    Romero was so good they waived him.
    I assume you were just throwing out names by including thore two.
    Gagne – the best reliever in baseball 3 years ago, and pretty damn good in Texas (of all places) in 2007.

    BostonRAW September 19, 2007, 5:55 pm
  • Trisk
    Buchholz > Gabbard
    Lester > Gabbard
    Next year, I want both Schilling and Wakefield back. I worry about 2/5ths of the rotation being Lester and Buchholz. I like going into the season 6 starters deep, because sh*t happens.
    As of July 31st, there were some concerns about Oki having thrown too many innings, but for the most part Gagne wasn’t seen as necessary, just as icing on the cake.

    Tyrel SF September 19, 2007, 5:56 pm
  • Schill wants to stay, the SOX should have him. I think it’s a done deal.

    BostonRAW September 19, 2007, 5:58 pm
  • Tyrel: has Lester been inconsistent? I feel like every time I look up, he is having another strong outing. Isn’t he a solid #5?
    Whoever said it is bizzaro world today has it exactly right. From the very start I have never written so many Red-Sox-supporting notes in my life.

    IronHorse (yf) September 19, 2007, 5:58 pm
  • With Tek showing some age, I don’t think they can afford Mirabelli next year, Tyrel. Wake may be gone.

    BostonRAW September 19, 2007, 6:01 pm
  • With Tek showing some age, I don’t think they can afford Mirabelli next year, Tyrel. Wake may be gone.

    BostonRAW September 19, 2007, 6:03 pm
  • “From the very start I have never written so many Red-Sox-supporting notes in my life
    Apparently you’re attempting some reprieve from hell damnation. God hates Yanks. I know that cause I talk to him regularly.

    BostonRAW September 19, 2007, 6:06 pm
  • Angels winning 2-1 in the 9th vs. Tampa – same score as last night’s game. Tampa Bay is quickly becoming the best 63-90 team in a long time. They are giving a lot of very good teams a tough time, even without Kazmir pitching.

    IronHorse (yf) September 19, 2007, 6:09 pm
  • FFFFIIIIIIRRRRRREEEEEEEE!!!!!!
    (got that Paul? and SF?)

    IronHorse (yf) September 19, 2007, 6:10 pm
  • This is a link I posted this morning on another thread that got zero play. It’s a nice article though, one that every SF should read, if they have not already.
    http://www.boston.com/sports/nesn/tom_caron/2007/09/what_does_a_sep.html

    BostonRAW September 19, 2007, 6:20 pm
  • IH: TB’s pitching stopped _seriously_ sucking in the second half of the season. Unfortunately for them, their offense “picked up” the suckitude slack. They are an riddle wrapped up in an enigma inside of a turd. Gotta love their speed, though.

    attackgerbil September 19, 2007, 6:21 pm
  • I read that Caron article – it’s interesting, and I agree with him to a point, but the trend that our bullpen is on is extremely worrying. We won’t go far in the playoffs if we can’t hold 2-3 run leads in the 8th inning.

    Jackie (SF) September 19, 2007, 6:23 pm
  • Agreed

    BostonRAW September 19, 2007, 6:30 pm
  • > the once-distant sound of the New York Yankees’ footsteps is now a full-volume thunder that has Red Sox Nation in a full panic.
    Bah. Prove it.
    > It isn’t just the fact that the Sox are losing games, it’s how they are losing those games.
    So one should panic? Wait, one shouldn’t? Wait, maybe it is just the fact that the Sox are losing games. Way to play the Moses and promise the Promised Land though.
    > And come October, it might not matter a lick.
    As long as you ignore everyone’s home/away run differentials when thinking about home field advantage.
    > The Twins of 2006 were this year’s Yankees
    The ’06 Twins scored 4.94 r/g while their pitching allowed 4.22 r/g; the ’07 Yankees are 5.99/4.73. Maybe the Twins of ’06 were this year’s Indians who are at 5.05/4.40. Or maybe they are three teams that have nothing to do with each other.
    > Then what happened? The Oakland A’s swept them in the ALDS. So much for momentum.
    Zito, Loaiza, and Haren happened. The Twins scored seven runs in three games.
    > The Tigers, in the meantime, eliminated the Yankees in four ALDS games, and then won four straight against Oakland to move into the World Series. Yes, they lost the Fall Classic, but they were able to put a horrendous September behind them and win seven of their first eight playoff games to become American League champions.
    Yahoo. I bet they felt great to make it to the dance and take one in five against a team that won 83 RS games which was the fifth best total in the NL.
    > You do, however, have to pitch well to win it all.
    Fair enough, but scoring more than 11 runs in five games might have helped the Tigers a bit too.
    > Test in the morning.
    On an article about nothing? I think I will ditch class.

    attackgerbil September 19, 2007, 6:37 pm
  • “Tyrel: has Lester been inconsistent? I feel like every time I look up, he is having another strong outing. Isn’t he a solid #5?”
    No, not recently at least. It’s just that he’s never thrown more than 150 innings. Nor has Buchholz. I worry about counting on those two for 65 combined starts. I’d rather have Schilling and Wake back, have Lester and Buchholz fight for the 5th spot out of ST, and have the odd man in Pawtucket until someone inevitably breaks down.
    Best case scenario, Lester and Buchholz both pitch great and Wake is moved to the pen/spot starter role currently occupied by Tavarez. Worst case, people around here are still talking about Kason Gabbard and are wondering why we let Tavarez walk…

    Tyrel SF September 19, 2007, 6:45 pm
  • “> And come October, it might not matter a lick.
    As long as you ignore everyone’s home/away run differentials when thinking about home field advantage.”
    Beckett at home – 3.98 ERA. Beckett away 2.23. Beckett will likely start games 1 and 5, which if we’re the WC will both be away. So maybe Tito’s actually using his head here…

    Tyrel SF September 19, 2007, 6:50 pm
  • Tyrel, I see your point, but Beckett gets the Game One ball every time, whenever possible, wherever it may be. He’s awesome.

    attackgerbil September 19, 2007, 6:54 pm
  • The “test in the morning” quote-pull was from the other thread where the link was posted, btw.

    attackgerbil September 19, 2007, 6:56 pm
  • AG, what I got from the article was that with the playoffs essentially being a new season one should not be too concerned how the regular season ends, but instead how high quality a starter the team can send to the mound every third game.
    Hence, both NY and Minn got knocked out because of weak staffs.
    Of course my opinion may be biased :)

    BostonRAW September 19, 2007, 6:58 pm
  • AG, I was being facetious, ou’re comment just reminded me of a slight silver lining, that Beckett actually pitches better away than at home.

    Tyrel SF September 19, 2007, 7:00 pm
  • Tyrel, do you know Wangers road stats? I seem to have misplaced them ;)

    BostonRAW September 19, 2007, 7:00 pm
  • BRAW: Fair enogh, but I think that Boston has a much stronger leg to stand on then “good feelings” and “anything can happen in a short series, and I think the article, by comparing NY to last year’s Twinks along with by ridiculous suppositions comparing the Sox to the Tigers (FAILURE) is farcical.

    attackgerbil September 19, 2007, 7:06 pm
  • Tyrel, sorry, I completely missed your facetious take. It was a stupid truism for me to observer that Beckett pitches well everywhere.

    attackgerbil September 19, 2007, 7:08 pm
  • observe, rather.

    attackgerbil September 19, 2007, 7:09 pm
  • Oh, hell ya. He probably would not have even wrote it if the SOX won those two games against NY last week. A shallow piece, for sure.
    He did make a few decent points, though.

    BostonRAW September 19, 2007, 7:10 pm
  • > It isn’t just the fact that the Sox are losing games, it’s how they are losing those games.
    So one should panic? Wait, one shouldn’t? Wait, maybe it is just the fact that the Sox are losing games.

    Bingo. If the Sox were getting blown out every game, Soc fans and pundits would be equally panicked. Why? Because losses, particularly in September, are bad.

    Paul SF September 19, 2007, 7:47 pm
  • You mean like last night? Ugh.
    One thing I wanted to add to this thread that hasn’t been mentioned: With Gagne’s suckitude, what are the chances that he doesn’t net ANY draft picks? Aren’t the rankings based on recent performance? Double ugh.

    Pete September 20, 2007, 8:09 am
  • pete, i was thinking the same thing, but didn’t want to even raise the issue.
    if that is the case, gagne had better find a NL team to play for, either that or invest in a disguise to wear when his team visits boston.
    i imagine pitchforks and torches, gagne scurrying through the narrow beacon hill streets, and it all coming to close when RSN declares war upon quebec.
    unless of course, he becomes the post season hero…

    Yankee Fan In Boston September 20, 2007, 8:51 am

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