One Last Hole to Fill

No, it’s not a thread about the new Ron Jeremy film.  Rather, by request I provide an official thread devoted to all things Coco and all things shortstop-related.  Have at it.

30 comments… add one
  • Okay, I’ll start it.
    First off, let me say that this deal is not the greatest deal for the Sox if Marte ends up being what they say he may. But, since I love the Red Sox and get to see quite a few Pawtucket games every year, I know more than most about the hype surrounding a prospect that may not be deserving.
    The Sox got quite the outfielder and number two man in the lineup, but they gave up a lot to do so – and yes, he will het second behind Loretta provided he’s healthy (Loretta I mean)
    Shoppach is a great player, and I’ve seen him play on several occasions. I can deal with him being traded because he would have just turned into another Daubach in the system – always being blocked and not getting the chance until it’s too late, and I want to see him suceed at the next level.
    Marte may be good, and he may be another in a long list of failures, but I’m not brave enough to make either call.
    Mota is not a Red Sox, so it makes no difference to me. He was a simple addition to get a great starter, and the Sox did a great job to move his contract before they have to write him a check.
    Speaking of contracts, the Sox have done a great job of replacing Damon with another Damon. A charasmatic, open mouthed great hitter; a player that has improved a lot in ever one of his ML seasons. I watched Crisp play for the New Haven Ravens, which used to draw quite the crowd at the Yale Bowl across the stree from my house (the new home of the New Haven Cutters – independent leauge) and I loved him then. He’s a great player to have on a roster. The Sox are going to be a good team with him. Batting second, behind Loretta, they’re going to be a very hard combo to keep of base for Manny and Ortiz. In fact, that combo is better than any the Sox have put up in the past four years. Walker and Nomar were great setting for Manny, but this combo has the potential to be really good for both big bats to follow.
    I love the move as long as Marte does not
    turn into a all-world player. Even then, the Sox have a great player in Crisp.
    Oh yeah, they got Riske (risk-eee) to boot. Another power-armed workhorse in the bullpen. This little addition goes overlooked, but he is a great bonus in this deal, and the Sox will be much better for getting him thrown in.
    Anyone who thinks this team of good defensinve, solid hitting players won’t win a bunch of damn games is fooling themselves. This is a good, borderline great group of players, and while they probably won’t beat the Yankees in a fist fight (John-YF), they are def going to beat up on lesser opponents the way good teams do.
    There ‘ya go John, set the roster for a cage match agian. Let the whole world know that Sheff is going to kick the ass of anyone who pitches him inside and Giambi is going to take another step towards Cooperstown.
    Giambi and Manny equal indeed.
    This much I will say. It has to bother Yankee fans that the Sox let Damon go and got Crisp, essentially the same player with better away numbers, for nearly nothing. I’d be a little frazzled if I were happy one day about the Damon thing, and then it was all killed by the Sox getting Crisp for less money, the same time, and more upside.

    Brad January 29, 2006, 6:47 am
  • Sheesh… you should publish a book on the topic, Brad… One quibble with your tome, though: The Sox have already said Crisp is going to lead off, not hit behind Loretta.
    I really like this trade for Boston, regardless of how Marte turns out. Crisp should solidify our aging outfield quite well, and leave a lot of cash to go after some premium free agents next season.
    For any Yankee fans in doubt, you can count Steve Goldman of Pinstriped Bible fame in the “Crisp is as good if not better than Damon” camp. Can we get some YFs up in this piece? Whats a guy got to do? Hey! I’m wearing my “A-Rod Slaps Balls” t-shirt! Whaddya think of that?

    mattymatty January 29, 2006, 10:28 am
  • In a good post, Brad can’t resist throwing down the gauntlet.
    Look at it this way: when you compare the Yank and Sox lineups, yuo come to the three in the lineup, Ortiz versus A-Rod (two Dominicans, btw). Everyone “knows” the Sox have the best 3 and 4 hitters in baseball, Ortiz is great hitter, crucial for the Sox, and I think most Sox fans would automatically give Boston the advantage.
    But A-Rod just won the MVP, may be the most talented player in the game. So let’s say that’s a toss-up.
    Well, if the Sox have the best 3 and 4 hitters in the game and three’s a toss-up, what about the other position? Manny is a great hitter. Giambi has had equally great seasons, but not an equal career, because of his steroid and health problems (which were probably caused by steroids).
    I think he’s fully recovered and will have a great season. He’s been through a lot and certainly wants to have a great season. Sox fans say he won’t and will point to this and that. But Giambi has shown that he can be Manny’s equal. Manny has to be favored, but it’s a legitimate toss-up.
    BTW, the Damon / Giambi reunion is going to be interesting.

    john January 29, 2006, 11:15 am
  • Of course Manny’s another Dominican. How does one little island do it? Without seeing the rosters, the DR offensive team may be just as strong as the US team, although I don’t know who the pitchers are after Pedro, who for several years was the best pitcher in baseball.

    john January 29, 2006, 11:18 am
  • John, since you yourself just said that Giambi used steriods, hear me out on this. Yes, Giambi has had seasons in which he appeared to be manny’s equal, but wasn’t that the result of steriods?? With all the damage done to his health, plus thel ack of steriods, how will Giambi possibly have a season equal to what Manny can do? Giambi is a huge question mark. Manny is one of the most sure things the Red Sox has. We know he’ll put up great numbers, and we know that around midseason he will have a mood swing. But he’s dependable 95% of the time, and as far as we know has never taken steriods. Maybe Giambi will be great this year, but to say in January that he will be as good as Manny? That’s a bold statement, and it’s not something that can be backed up as of now. So don’t say that Giambi is equal to or better than Manny when there is absolutely no evidence. Please.

    Laura January 29, 2006, 11:39 am
  • Laura,
    We’ll find out this year who has the better season. All the rest will be irrelevent.

    john January 29, 2006, 11:56 am
  • Sorry, I should qualify that.
    The original question was, “Who’s going to win more games in 2006?”
    In the end, that comes down to, Who had the best season in 2006?, not who had the best career, who’s the better guy, etc.

    john January 29, 2006, 12:01 pm
  • Again. The quibble I have with this trade is that the Indians got Michaels for Rhodes. I might be alone on an island here, but I don’t see the difference between Crisp and Michaels as so great. I also don’t see how Lowell was blocking Marte’s way. The Indians 3rd baseman, Aaron Boone, had a spectacularly bad offensive season last year. The only full-time 3rd baseman to do worse was Lowell. The Indians have judged that Boone will serve as a stop-gap this season until Marte is ready to play in 2007. The Sox took the less patient route. If I were Theo, I would have held onto Marte, and waited for Vernon Wells or Andruw Jones next off-season. I would have packaged one of the team’s relievers for Michaels and gone to war with that team. It would hurt the team in 2006, but probably make them stronger in the long term.
    But, alas, I’m not Theo. And he seems to have a better handle on these things than me. So, probably it will turn out to be a good move.

    Nick January 29, 2006, 12:07 pm
  • But Giambi has shown that he can be Manny’s equal
    No, he hasn’t. That’s simply untrue. We’ve been through this before, and it’s not factual. Manny has been and is the superior player. By a long stretch.
    As for Michaels/Crisp, we’ve also been through this one, Nick. Michaels has never had 300 at-bats at any point in hs career (Crisp has three full seasons), is already 30 (Crisp is 26), and Michaels played in the National League so is unfamiliar with almost every pitcher (we all know where Crisp played). Crisp is a superior, more experienced player by almost every measurement, and that doesn’t even consider his upside and youth. You could question Theo’s patience more readily if the Sox had traded for an older, pricier veteran. But they didn’t. They traded for a player entering what we Sox fans hope is just the beginnng of the prime of a career. From your standpoint, the Red Sox might have exhibited patience by not trading Ramirez, Sanchez, et al for Beckett, and just held out for a free agent next year, or signed Esteban Loaiza for no compensation, or traded lesser guys for a lesser starter and held their high cards. That’s an unwise strategy with a deep farm system. Buy low, sell high. Smart.
    Knowing the depth of the Sox’ farm system, considering the additional draft picks they receive this year due to departing free agents, and also understanding their payroll flexibility gained by moving Renteria and not re-signing Damon, the Crisp pickup is a fantastic move on almost every level, conceptually. We’ll just have to see how it all works out on the field.

    SF January 29, 2006, 12:35 pm
  • SF,
    SF continues to hammer a point that is not the point under discussion.
    The question is not, “Who has been the better player?” (We know the answer to that is “Manny.”)
    The question is, “Can Giambi have a better season than Manny?”
    Here are the comparative stats in 2000:
    Manny had 38 HR 122 RBI .351 BA .457 OBP .697 SLG
    Giambi had 43 HR 137 RBI .333 BA .476 OBP .647 SLG
    Manny had a good year. His BA and SLG, the 2 places where he beat Giambi, were significantly above his career averages (.314 and .599).
    Giambi won the MVP.
    Who had the better season?
    Giambi did have a better season, so the only answer to “Can Giambi have a better season than Manny?” is “Yes.”

    john January 29, 2006, 1:26 pm
  • Manny had a good year. His BA and SLG, the 2 places where he beat Giambi, were significantly above his career averages (.314 and .599).
    And each the highest of his career.

    john January 29, 2006, 1:29 pm
  • Perhaps SF would say, “The Red Sox can beat the Yankees in the playoffs” is a ridiculous statement, because it’s only happened once in the last ten years.
    Oh, he wouldn’t?

    john January 29, 2006, 1:35 pm
  • But John, wasn’t Giambi on steriods at that point?? You were talking about 2006 earlier, were you not? So he had some great seasons earlier in his career. What I was saying earlier, and I thought I said it clearly, was that you had no evidence that Giambi could have a better season than Manny in ’06. He’s a question mark. One season six years ago does not prove that Giambi has any chance of having a better year than Manny at this point. I am really very curious as to what point you are trying to make here.

    Laura January 29, 2006, 1:40 pm
  • Can Giambi have a better season than Manny?”
    You say “yes”. And of course, you are right. It’s possible. But you have written and continue to write like it is likely. My point is that history and health would point to this being one of the most improbable occurrences of the last several years. As Laura states, his best performances were ENHANCED. And like I said, I don’t bet, so I am not wagering. But I would, in almost every likely scenario, take your money. Going away.
    Las Vegas loves people like you, John, betting crazy longshots (Vegas loves anyone who bets, in fact). Do you play the lottery, too?

    SF January 29, 2006, 1:49 pm
  • Was Giambi on steroids in 2000? I don’t know, having skipped all that testimony.
    Was Manny on steroids on 2000? I don’t think any of us know.
    Some people think up to 40% of players were on steroids when they were at their peak.

    john January 29, 2006, 1:51 pm
  • You’re right John–we don’t know. But what we do know is that since 2000, Manny has been far superior to Giambi. We also know that Giambi definately was using steriods at one point in his career. There is absolutely zero evidence that Manny ever has
    and he has been consistently productive and with the exeption of the one wrist injury and the mystery of the tight hammys, has
    always been healthy for the most part.

    Laura January 29, 2006, 2:09 pm
  • Now you’re going to suggest that Manny was on steriods? Ok.
    Hey everyone! I have a credible source (me) that says that Jeter might have been on steriods. And Rivera. And Zimmer.
    If you don’t have anything to say john, you should just spare us all and not bother saying anything.

    mattymatty January 29, 2006, 2:14 pm
  • Oy, John.

    SF January 29, 2006, 2:15 pm
  • I think that SF just summed up my thoughts perfectly.

    Laura January 29, 2006, 3:59 pm
  • I don’t think Zim was juicin’.

    Spidey January 29, 2006, 8:21 pm
  • Well, that’s the end of that argument.
    I do think it’s excessive to say that Crisp > Damon. Crisp doesn’t walk enough to be a great leadoff hitter, and he hasn’t shown much consistency on the basepaths either. And on defense, he’s another noodle-armed guy. (There’s the one Damon comparison that DOES work.) Remember, this is a guy whose move from CF to LF, and from the leadoff spot to the 6th-ish spot in the order, sparked Cleveland’s revival last season.
    That doesn’t mean he won’t still succeed… Loretta can share the table-setting burden, so that it’s not 100% on Coco’s shoulders. But it’s important to realize that Coco isn’t a Damon clone. He’s just Plan A among the replacement options. That’s it. He will be either a) exactly what he is right now, no more no less, or b) a work in progress.
    So let’s all calm down and just appreciate that the Sox’ gaping hole in the middle has been filled with Coco.

    pstar-sf January 30, 2006, 10:39 am
  • Here’s a question
    who would sox fans rather have?
    Michaels and Lugo, or
    Crisp and A. Gonzalez

    Nick January 30, 2006, 1:30 pm
  • Crisp and Gonzolaz for sure, Nick. I didn’t hesitate a second answering that. Lugo would probably have cost us Marte anyway, and Lugo is worth way less than Coco Crisp, IMO. He can’t play defense for shit anyway, so I’ll take the sure defense that Gonzalez provides. We have enough big bats that I think defense needs to be a priority at this point. Plus we would have had to trade for both Michaels and Lugo. Personally, I’m happy with the way things went down. I’m also glad that we didn’t really go after Lugo. If it would cost us Papelbon or Lester, I want no part of that deal.

    Laura January 30, 2006, 3:41 pm
  • Sox fans think it ridiculous that Manny might have been on steroids? Why?
    Half his friends were, and it was A) not against the rules of baseball, and B) legal.
    I understand why Sox fans prefer to think that Giambi’s washed up. They should understand that Yankee fans look at Giambi’s great months and think this year he’ll back.
    So when someone says “If you don’t have anything to say john, you should just spare us all and not bother saying anything” my spidey sense detects a BIG load of BS. We don’t know what Manny did, but he’s no saint and his competitors were doing it. Do we think Manny looks down on Barry Bonds?
    No, he doesn’t.

    john January 30, 2006, 5:51 pm
  • I heard Manny also likes to kill puppies, after stealing them from animal shelters.
    Actually, I never heard that, but I did hear that some guys he knows killed some puppies, and that’s good enough for me – Manny must hate puppies!!
    Again, John: Oy. You aren’t covering yourself in glory here.

    SF January 30, 2006, 6:07 pm
  • Laura, last year Lugo’s VORP rating was 10 points higher than Crisp’s. Michaels (in less than 300 ab’s) had a VORP rating 7 points higher than Gonzalez’s. In terms of win shares, Lugo had 3 more than Crisp, and Michaels and Gonzalez were tied. It seems to me that for the 2007, Michaels and Lugo would add more. As far your comment about Lugo’s defense, I was always under the impression that he was good fielder. But I could be wrong.
    But I wouldn’t have gone for the short-term anyway, as it meant giving away Marte.
    Manny injects puppies with steroids and then watches them try to hit pitches he throws their way. When one succeeds, he calls it “Barry Bonds!”, and then promptly knocks it in the head with his Louisville Slugger. The puppy dies, but dies at the top of his/her game as it were.

    Nick January 30, 2006, 6:39 pm
  • Really?? Their VORPs were that much higher? Although you do have to remember, in the case of the Crisp/Lugo comparison, Lugo was playing short, Crisp was playing left. Considering that left is a power position and center is not, the difference will likely decrease, right?? Also, I have absolutely no clue about a lot of the defensive stats out there, but Lugo was fourth in the AL last year in errors (after Rent, Russ Adams, and Angel Borroa). I was trying to find zone rating but for whatever reason, that seems to be beyond my abilities today. Anyway, you can look, but I’m pretty sure that Lugo is a bad defender. We traded Rent because of his awful defense. I want a defensive upgrade at short, and Lugo is not the answer, at least IMO. VORP is just offense, right?

    Laura January 30, 2006, 6:57 pm
  • good point about the cf/lf difference. Yeah, I believe VORP (from the Baseball Prospectus site by the way) is just offense. But I could have sworn that I saw somewhere that Lugo was a good fielder, or had very good range.

    Nick January 30, 2006, 7:10 pm
  • I know that VORP is from BP–I thought range factor was too, but I looked and it’s not. Maybe Lugo does have good range, but I really thought he wasn’t a good fielder. I may get up the courage later to venture onto SoSH and see if I can find it there (I’m 99% sure that it is; it’s just a matter of finding it). It doesn’t really matter, I suppose, considering that Lugo seems destined to be a D-Ray until he hits free agency, considering how hard the Tampa Bay front office seems to be to work with. I’m curious now though, and my mother just turned on “Skating With Celebrities”, so it doesn’t look like I’ll be going back to my book anytime soon.

    Laura January 30, 2006, 8:14 pm
  • Whoa–I totally just realized that zone rating (which is what I meant in my last post, not range factor, fyi) is available on ESPN. That’s amazing. For SS, it looked like this:
    RF, although I think it is a stat most people think is less reliable, looked like this:
    Honestly, I don’t have that great a grasp on what this means, but I think you were right, Nick. Lugo has good range, it would appear. There are, of course, some elements of luck involved, park factors to consider, etc, etc, but what can I say? I still don’t want Julio Lugo on my team, but I now kind of understand range factor and zone rating. I guess that’s something. Maybe.

    Laura January 30, 2006, 8:31 pm

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