Questions

Now that Jonathan Papelbon is the Red Sox’ closer, and happily so, based on his postgame comments today, some food for thought:

  • Is Craig Hansen now expendable in a trade for, say, Todd Helton?
  • Is it better for a team to have a lights-out closer with four solid starters or an iffy closer with five solid starters?
  • Which team is better suited for a postseason run?
  • With no set fifth starter, do the Sox drop the spot and utilize their off days in April, or do they potentially give away wins in the interest of resting Matsuzaka?
  • Does this move make more sense psychologically than statistically?
  • If so, do the psychological benefits help the Sox more than the statistical benefits of 200 innings from Papelbon?
  • How does this decision affect your mental calculations of the final AL East standings?

Talk amongst yourselves.

92 comments… add one
  • >Which team is better suited for a postseason run?
    Given that in the postseason a team will not use all five starters (and maybe only three in the early rounds or with certain lucky weather), I think the Sox are much better off in the playoffs with a closer like Papelbon or his equivalent.

    Hudson March 22, 2007, 7:55 pm
  • As a Yankee fan I can’t say I am happy. But in all honesty I have said this before, it was inevitable. Whether it be now or in October it was due to happen. Anyway the Red Sox just got scary. Congrats to Sox fans you a**h$%#@ LOL. JK.

    Triskaidekaphobia March 22, 2007, 8:49 pm
  • anyone else notice that most Yanks fans think this is a good move for the Sox, and most Sox fans think the opposite?
    These are all good questions by the way, Paul. I wonder if the Sox still believe in Hansen.

    Nick-YF March 22, 2007, 8:56 pm
  • I’m not a fan of a Helton trade. Yes, he’s a solid hitter, good defense, but (at the risk of sounding like Captain Obvious) he’s an injury risk and we’d be under his money for a LONG time. I like Youk and Lowell this year. Just say no on Helton.
    If they decide to trade Hansen, I’d like to see them get some quality position prospects, perhaps a 2nd or 3rd baseman. Or a catcher.
    As for the second question, five starters or four starters plus a closer, I’d take the five starters. Hopefully Lester steps up soon enough that the Age of Tavarez is a short one.

    Tyrel SF March 22, 2007, 10:21 pm
  • I dunno, the rubes responding on Schill’s blog seem pretty happy about it. BDD isn’t, though, which is odd given their reputation for, um, stupidity. I’m more upset about the timing then anything else; there’s no reason Boston couldn’t have waited until late April or May to make the decision if it becomes absolutely necessary. Just reeks of 2003-phobia.

    desturbd1 March 22, 2007, 10:23 pm
  • I think 2007 at some point was and could still be Craig Hansens only chance to win the closers job for the long run.
    Bryce Cox has dominated last year and if he does again this year hes the future closer. If Hansen proves he’s ready to be dominnt this year Papelbon could easily be moved back to the rotation giving Hansen likely his last shot at it in Boston.
    If Boston can get COlorado to eat part of Heltons money and take Lowell then I say send Hansen to Colorado.

    Anonymous March 22, 2007, 10:59 pm
  • Prospect Jose Jose is in the Red Sox minor league camp and playing, however Jose can’t sign with an ML until July second (like I posted before) and its only in camp for a look, however according to his agent there is a good chance he could sign with the Sox, but there’s other organizations in the picture. Jose is very similar to Engel Beltre in looks, physicics and hitting approach. Jose like Beltre is about 6-1 170 left handed hitting and thrower and also like Beltre has an slight upper cut swing, a quick bat and with very good pop. In my opinion Beltre at this time Beltre is the better prospect of the two.
    From Soxprospects.com
    http://p209.ezboard.com/fredsoxprospects57…rt=201&stop=211

    JB March 22, 2007, 11:00 pm
  • Thanks for the tip, JB. I’d like to see some of these young Dominican guys pan out.
    Just say no on Helton. Honestly, I think Helton could put us over the top this year. He’d make our lineup crazy. But he’s under contract for what, another five years, and he’s already on the decline? Acquiring him now would go against the Sox’ strategy on Pedro, Damon, etc. If his back issues keep up, we’ll be dealing with a six million dollar (at best ) back-up DH. It’s a huge risk to take, and not worth it.

    Tyrel SF March 22, 2007, 11:43 pm
  • At the very least we can certainly end the “Papelbon was thinking partially with his wallet by moving to the rotation” meme, at least if you believe what Paps says here:
    http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/redsox/extras/extra_bases/2007/03/paps_i_want_to.html

    SF March 23, 2007, 12:10 am
  • It depends on how good the 5th starter is that’s replacing the lights-out closer, and how bad the iffy closer is.
    In the Sox’s case, the iffy closer, whoever it was, was going to be awful. Think Cincinatti’s bullpen situation last year. However, Tavarez has shown he can be a serviceable starter last year, and how can you tell how good Papelbon would have been? You have a known, great quantity at closer and a kind of known, okay quantity at starter. Closers are definitely not overrated.

    Andrew March 23, 2007, 12:41 am
  • I’m happy if Pap is happy, but his self-comparison to Rivera I could have done without.

    Kazz March 23, 2007, 12:46 am
  • All it does is redirect the drama of “Who’s the closer?”.
    Now the Sox get through April fine, but they have no fallback. But what happens when they have to rest Paps one night and the bullpen blows a one-run lead? Or if Paps gets hurt again, who are they going to call on?
    Further, it places added emphasis on:
    Can Wake and Shrill make it through the whole year without injury? Me, I doubt it (The odds are certainly against the man who can’t see his own toes without a mirror).
    Can Beckett step up and perform like a legit #3? Me, I doubt it (It’s all about the gopher balls).
    Can DM perform like a #1? Me, I doubt it (A #3 yes, a #1, no).
    And after Slick, who’s ready to step in? Lester? And ???
    See, without Paps the Sox rotation has very little room for error.
    By contrast, I’ll take the injury risks for Moose and Andy over Wake and Shrill any day.
    And Wang has already proven himself in the AL Beast more than Beckett.
    Those three slots – I don’t see how the Yanks don’t have the edge going in. After that though, it’s going to depend on DM, Slick et al. versus Igawa, Meat, et al. The Sox get the edge to begin the season, but the Yanks have the better depth in case of inconsistencies or injuries.
    And of course the big unknown is one giant Rocket. The Sox have an open slot for him now. The Yanks may by May.
    It going to be fun!

    Jim - YF March 23, 2007, 12:57 am
  • What has happened to the idea that Papelbon’s arm is not suited to the irregular up and down closer’s have?

    john March 23, 2007, 8:05 am
  • I think if he does not have a third pitch, if he personally really wants this (it sounds like it from the interweb interview stuff, but who knows?), and if his arm will be fine, then it’s probably for the best on balance.
    But I do not give ground on the idea that if he were to start, he could eventually be (much) more valuable. I’d take a sub-4-ERA starter over a lights-out closer any day (or year for that matter).

    Devine March 23, 2007, 8:59 am
  • Well if Papelbon is enthusiastic about going back, and there’s no more risk of closing than starting, then I’d say more power to him, and more power to the Sox. Quite honestly the fellow Sox fans who are grumbling won’t be when he comes out in the 8th or 9th with the game on the line.
    “I’m happy if Pap is happy, but his self-comparison to Rivera I could have done without.”
    I didn’t see anywhere in the article that Paps was comparing himself to Rivera, only that he hopes to do what Rivera does with the Yankees. I think any closer with confidence would want to be like that, honestly. If anything, he’s giving a big prop to Mo by saying what he did.

    Scott SF March 23, 2007, 9:03 am
  • But if Mo needs a rest and the Yanks blow a one-run lead, what will the fans do? If Mo goes down with an injury, who will the Yanks get to close? Having Mo in the bullpen places added pressure on the Yanks’ starting staff to go out and throw pitches. Can they? Me, I doubt it.

    Paul SF March 23, 2007, 9:33 am
  • Incidentally, I posted these questions because they’re the ones I’m struggling with. My heart says it’s a great move, my head says it’s not. I’m incliined to agree with Andrew that the difference between a mediocre closer and Papelbon is greater than the one between Tavarez/Lester and Papelbon in the starting rotation. Of course, now we’ll never know.
    If the Rockies pick up half the salary, sending Lowell, Hansen and Snyder/Tavarez to Colorado for Helton still strikes me as a great idea.

    Paul SF March 23, 2007, 9:35 am
  • I have the burning desire to reply to Jim’s short bus post, but I’m not.
    Andy Pettitte indeed.

    Anonymous March 23, 2007, 9:39 am
  • All I can think about is the guy from the Bob’s Discount Furniture (new england thing), screaming:
    “I doubt it” !

    Brad March 23, 2007, 9:40 am
  • Thanks NoMaas!
    Today:
    “I haven’t been sleeping well because there’s been that feeling deep down in my heart that I wanted to close,” Papelbon said after the Phillies and Red Sox played to a 4-4 tie in 10 innings on Thursday. and “This is something I want to do for the rest of my career,” he said. “It has nothing to do with Timlin’s health or us not having a closer or my shoulder. I broke into the league as a closer. They drafted me as a closer. In college, I learned to pitch in the bullpen. It’s where my heart is.” (Source)
    February 7, 2007:
    While it’s always been Papelbon’s goal to be a starter, he doesn’t believe every pitcher shares that dream. “There are a lot of pitchers I know whose goal it is to be a closer. Or to be a middle reliever,” he said. “For me, my entire makeup is to be a starting pitcher. That’s what I know. Since I’ve been in the Red Sox organization, I’ve been a starter until last year.”

    Triskaidekaphobia March 23, 2007, 9:42 am
  • “Or if Paps gets hurt again, who are they going to call on?”
    Listen I am a Yankee fan, but you can’t ever use the argument what will happen if ______ goes down what will the Yankees/Sox do. The Yankees/Sox are of a different ilk, if they need a part they go out and get it. The Sox were going to make a move for a closer anyway if one of those “Dynamic” closer candidates struggled, so not much changes. This has made the team from Beantown stronger. Try and spin it however you would like, but they are better today then they were 2 days ago. Even if that’s hard for us to swallow.

    Triskaidekaphobia March 23, 2007, 9:52 am
  • Thank goodness for Trisk. The lone commenter here able to see through the pinstriped colored water.

    Brad March 23, 2007, 9:58 am
  • Trisk,
    Just like every single other employee of any company, Papelbon is going to tow the line he’s expected to tow. Just like A-Rod moving to third – you think he wanted to do it? No, he did it (well outside the clear reason) because the Yankees wanted him to.

    Anonymous March 23, 2007, 10:12 am
  • must.use.preview.
    Just like every single employee of any company….

    Anonymous March 23, 2007, 10:15 am
  • Who are yee nameless typer?

    Triskaidekaphobia March 23, 2007, 10:18 am
  • Damn it. me.
    Stupid, stupid typepad.

    Brad March 23, 2007, 10:24 am
  • I’m more than a little worried about our ability to produce runs from top to bottom right now, which means we are going to be in a lot of close games, even with solid pitching, we need to win all of those close games and that best way to do that is to have Paps closing. I have to think the FO thought about this.
    Also, I’m not a 100% certain that one more year of closing puts a death sentence on Paps chances to ever be a closer.
    From what I have read over the last 24 hours, he’s not ready to be a MLB starter anyway, he doesn’t have necessary pitches.

    LocklandSF March 23, 2007, 10:26 am
  • CORRECTION: “Also, I’m not a 100% certain that one more year of closing puts a death sentence on Paps chances to ever be a starter”

    LocklandSF March 23, 2007, 10:29 am
  • “From what I have read over the last 24 hours, he’s not ready to be a MLB starter anyway, he doesn’t have necessary pitches.”
    …care to elaborate? Because he’s been lights-out all spring while presumably working on secondary pitches (I specifically remember him talking about his curve about a week ago). Further I’m not entirely sure why you’d be too worried about the offense…if it stays healthy it should be at least top-5 in the league–I’d put NY, CHW, CLE, and TEX in the same group, no particular order.

    desturbd1 March 23, 2007, 10:32 am
  • This is a whole other topic but….I have to ask. I watched the Sox yesterday and saw Lugo is batting leadoff are Sox fans comfortable with this? Just wanted to get your opinions.

    Triskaidekaphobia March 23, 2007, 10:33 am
  • Yeah, I have to agree with D here. I’ve seen him go a few times now, and his curve is awesome (like to the tune of Burnett-ish). I really think this is just move of must-have for the Sox. As far as the offense goes, I think that they will be good to great depending on health, but who doens’t have that issue? Also, I’m not ruling out the possibility of Helton quite yet. I think that Colorado is still looking to get out from under that contract. Since we’ve already stated that moving Papelbon back to the bullpen is going to tighten at least the fourth or fifth games, I see the Red Sox looking for another bat, and a big one at that.
    I dunno, maybe I’m just offset the loss of a starter, but I do see something being talked about.
    But, on the other hand, how much worse is Tavarez than Pavano or Igawa or any other fifth starter for that matter? Those fourth and fifth starter games normally end up being 7-5 affairs anyhow, so if you really think about it, how big a deal is it – especially in April?
    Maybe I’m just a huge homer and I’ve convinced myself that it’s not that big of a deal to lose that starter.

    Brad March 23, 2007, 10:39 am
  • I think Lugo is the perfect guy to bat leadoff – especially if Crisp isn’t what he’s expected to be. Both guys are going to turn singles into doubles and score from first a lot more than anyone else. I don’t mind as long as he remembers that he needs to take a walk every now and then!

    Brad March 23, 2007, 10:41 am
  • I think in an ideal world, Boston’s lineup would start with something like Youk-Drew-Manny-Ortiz, but since there’s no way that would ever happen, I’m OK for now. If Youkilis’ sudden power surge is for real–and I do expect him to hit for more power this season–then maybe batting him second could be a good thing. So long as Lugo doesn’t put up a sub-.345 OBP I can’t get too worked up, at least not right now.
    And for the record, if this move had come in May, after Papelbon got 3-4 starts and the bullpen had been given a chance to gel, I might not be as upset. It’s easier to switch from starting to relief midseason, not so much the other way around. Hell, if Paps began the season an average or mediocre starter–I personally think he would have been the first or second-best pitcher on the staff–this would be easy to stomach. Of course, if the FO shared my sentiment there’s no way they would make this move…so maybe the secondary pitches are weaker then I think or maybe he truly did ask to be switched to the pen. Anyway, I think that while this matter will probably be revisted again next season, I hate the long-term effect this has on his possible development as a starter regardless of whether it’s the right move to make for the team this season.

    desturbd1 March 23, 2007, 10:47 am
  • I like Youk or Coco, I think it increases RBI opportunities for those beasts at 3 and 4. Coco’s OB% could be very good, Lugo on the other hand…ehhh.

    Triskaidekaphobia March 23, 2007, 10:51 am
  • “So long as Lugo doesn’t put up a sub-.345 OBP”
    Something he has done 5 of the past 7 seasons. That’s my point. I hate the Sox, that much is clear and far be it from me to try and help, but Coco has that .370+ OBP capability and Youk already has that.

    Triskaidekaphobia March 23, 2007, 10:55 am
  • where to put him then? eigth?

    Brad March 23, 2007, 10:57 am
  • The one thing I keep going back to when Lugo comes up is that he’s come from the Trop to Fenway. As trite as that may sound, I am certain it’s going to make a difference with him and I think he’s going to have a hell of a year.
    I will dig it up later, but a lot of the scouting I have read says that although Paps has improved his curve, to pitch 6-7 innings he needs another out pitch, with his current pitches, he’s being projected at 170-180 innings, basically a 5 inning starter based purely on the number of pitches he has to throw per batter on average. That’s not close to the ideal 200+ you want from a starter.

    LocklandSF March 23, 2007, 11:03 am
  • Heck yeah, that’s when pitchers start to put it in cruise thinking there are breaks in the lineup. Think of how many more RBI’s Papi and Hair Net McGillicuty will have if you have a .400 OB% guy as compared to a guy with a .340 OB%.
    Coco
    Youk
    Papi
    Manny
    Drew
    Lowell
    Varitek
    Lugo
    Pedroia
    Keep Drew 5. Reason being if Hair Net McGillicuty drives in both runs you still have a high OB% guy to start it up again. The 2 spot really hinders his HR/Power numbers. That’s a contact spot, hit and run, etc…You don’t want him there.

    Triskaidekaphobia March 23, 2007, 11:04 am
  • I think he’s a heck of an offensive player, dont get me wrong Lockland, but OB% doesn’t change overnight. Historically other numbers can change based on lineup and so on, but OB% is a skill set that you pretty much own.

    Triskaidekaphobia March 23, 2007, 11:06 am
  • I agree. I once tried to improve my OB% by laying off of pitches I thought I could hit, and the result was that I struck out more, and the % went down. I had to nix the idea fast! ha. I watched my idea go right by me for strike three too many times. It’s an ingrained skill, and some guys just don’t have the ability to take the walk or lay off the close pitches. Those that do have that ability are special, to say the least.

    Brad March 23, 2007, 11:14 am
  • Trisk, understood, completely, but say his walks and Ks stay the same, but he hits more, his OB% will go up a bit. Have you ever been to the Trop? It’s like playing baseball in the novel 1984, set in a strip mall, with 8 people watching you. It’s the suck.
    A player like Lugo going from that to either Yankee Stadium or Fenway is going to find new life.
    Well, find new life or crush under the pressure, but I’m an optimist.

    LocklandSF March 23, 2007, 11:15 am
  • Back on topic for a second…
    Papelbon’s mom checked in at Soxpropects.com:
    “First of all, this move is 100% what Jonathan wants, it has nothing to do with want anyone else wants. We have had many discussions over the last couple of days and I can say closing is in Jonathan’s heart, he thrives on the pressure and competition… He has not been able to concentrate, sleep or enjoy playing without thriving in the postition of closer. I have always said if the day comes when you are no longer having fun playing it’s time to get out. He loves closing and I’m just glad he doing what he loves.”

    Anonymous March 23, 2007, 11:18 am
  • That was me.

    LocklandSF March 23, 2007, 11:18 am
  • His Mom? hahah.

    Brad March 23, 2007, 11:20 am
  • If I were his mom, I’d be concerned too. You’re talking about your kid funding YOUR retirement.
    After having a night to sleep this over, I’m a little more for this move than I was yesterday. I still don’t like weakening the rotation, but really, as stated above, how much worse (if at all) will Tavarez be compared to Pavano? I think Julian can put up a 4.5 ERA for 5-6 innings, it doesn’t really need to be anything better than that.
    He’s only keeping the seat warm for Jon Lester, as well.

    Steve March 23, 2007, 11:40 am
  • Sorry, here is Papelmom’s full quote from Soxprospects.com, FYI, her user name over there is Noblepap…
    “I just got back from dinner and the game today so I couldn’t post. I’ve known for days that this was happening but couldn’t say anything. First of all, this move is 100% what Jonathan wants, it has nothing to do with want anyone else wants. We have had many discussions over the last couple of days and I can say closing is in Jonathan’s heart, he thrives on the pressure and competition. Chach is completely right on with his shoulder analysis. His shoulder was never injured, his MRi in 2003 was exactly the same as his MRI in 2006, the muscles were tired and couldn’t hold his shoulder joint together. Jonathan is comfortable as the closer he wants the game to be on his “shoulders”. He has not been able to concentrate, sleep or enjoy playing without thriving in the postition of closer. I have always said if the day comes when you are no longer having fun playing it’s time to get out. He loves closing and I’m just glad he doing what he loves.”

    LocklandSF March 23, 2007, 11:51 am
  • Oh man, you guys have to check out her posts, she’s a firecracker and seems like a baseball nut too, of course, if I were, I would be too.

    LocklandSF March 23, 2007, 12:01 pm
  • “I hate the Sox, that much is clear and far be it from me to try and help, but Coco has that .370+ OBP capability and Youk already has that.”
    I know Lugo’s hardly been a consistant leadoff guy, but that’s what he was brought here to do and I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. In the beginning, at least. If he falls somewhere between his 2004-2005 versions, then I’m perfectly fine leading him off. Like I said, in an ideal world the top four would be Youk, Drew, Manny, and Ortiz–but that’s not going to happen. The difference in the number of ab’s between the 1 and 2-holes is, I would imagine, fairly negligible. Would I prefer Youk to leadoff with Lugo in the 2-hole? Sure…although I do wonder if Youkilis’s power potential makes him a better 2-hitter. Am I that worked up about the possibility of Lugo at the top? Not yet…
    I like Crisp, and I think he’ll bounce back a bit this season–though his continued shoulder/finger issues and awful spring do have me very worried–but I don’t really think it’s fair to say he has any more of a chance to get on at a .370 clip then Lugo. I like his potential to continue improving from his 04-05 seasons, but I’d say the odds of him getting up that high in 07 are about the same as Julio’s would be.

    desturbd1 March 23, 2007, 12:12 pm
  • I don’t think Youks is ever going to develop a ton of power with his current swing.
    He’s a big guy, so of course there’s going to be some pop, but it never looks like he gets his arms fully extended to really smash a pitch, you know? I think at this rate 15 HR would be a fair expectation from him, although I’d be thrilled if he could hit 30 and keep his current average/OBP.

    Steve March 23, 2007, 12:27 pm
  • Youk was a 20-HR hitter last year until he tired at the end of his first full season.
    I don’t understand this tendency to downplay Lugo by pointing to his “last seven years,” when his trend is upward. His 2005 was excellent and 2006 was even better — until he was shipped to LA, sat on the bench, had to learn three new positions and hurt his finger. I understand the rationale for leading him off, as well as for him being ahead of Youk (a big waste to hit a speed gus right behind an OBP machine who doesn’t run all that well). That said, I’d still like Youk at the top in an ideal world.

    Paul SF March 23, 2007, 12:48 pm
  • Wow, the MLB Audio online SUCKS. Trying to listen to Schill’s start today against Baltimore, awful quality.

    LocklandSF March 23, 2007, 1:33 pm
  • Eric Bedard is friggin dealing today.

    Brad March 23, 2007, 1:46 pm
  • Schilling doesn’t sound to bad either, but Bedard is mowing it down.

    LocklandSF March 23, 2007, 1:48 pm
  • Bedard is nasty. I’d love to have him on our squad.

    Steve March 23, 2007, 1:59 pm
  • Last I checked, Peter Angelos is still running the team. Theo should offer a bag of wet leaves. I bet Angelos will bite.

    Paul SF March 23, 2007, 2:02 pm
  • Yeah, if that guy owns your team, you know year in and out that it’s going to be crap, with a side of whipped cream.

    Brad March 23, 2007, 2:12 pm
  • Jaret Wright

    Nick-YF March 23, 2007, 2:19 pm
  • Just think, if Angelos had pulled the trigger on that Ervin Santana+Erik Aybar for Miggy Tejada deal last season, Baltimore could have been in contention as early as next year…this year if everything worked exactly right; sure, Danny Cabrera and/or Adam Lowen would both have to take huge steps forward, but it could happen. When Bedard’s on he’s as good as anyone in the league; he, Markakis, and Ray would be the beginnings of a pretty scary ballclub if they played for a competent owner.

    desturbd1 March 23, 2007, 2:23 pm
  • I totally fogot Wright was on that staff. Drew just had a homer robbed over the wall by Bynam. He’s going to be a monster this year. Laugh all you want, and make all the snide injury comments you want to, but I think this will be far and away his best year to date.

    Brad March 23, 2007, 2:24 pm
  • Meanwhile, Schill has given up four doubles, three in one innings, 2-0 O’s. Otherwise, though, he’s been sharp: 0 BB, 5 K. Bedard’s got a no-no going against the Sox regular-season lineup (which has looked pretty pathetic this spring, I’m sorry and scared to say).

    Paul SF March 23, 2007, 2:25 pm
  • Drew robbed, the Tek puts one to the same spot – only forty feet further.

    Brad March 23, 2007, 2:25 pm
  • somehow my post got chopped up. I guess I shouldn’t use less than signs. But I was saying Wright is actually less than a bag of leaves and Britton is less than Bedard, so it could happen. Hilarious joke!

    Nick-YF March 23, 2007, 2:25 pm
  • Agree completely, Brad. I think he and Youk are in for giant years. The 2-5 are gonna be sick. Hopefully the 1, 6-9 will be decent.

    Paul SF March 23, 2007, 2:26 pm
  • Drew robbed, then Tek puts one to the same spot – only forty feet further.

    Brad March 23, 2007, 2:27 pm
  • what the hell???

    Brad March 23, 2007, 2:27 pm
  • Our lineup’s had some trouble scoring, in large part because Ortiz is batting .179 and Manny’s at .250. Both are walking a ton, but neither are hitting for power. Can’t say I’m too concerned about that trend continuing once the season begins.

    desturbd1 March 23, 2007, 2:28 pm
  • That Bedard. He sucks.

    Paul SF March 23, 2007, 2:36 pm
  • Easy inning for Schill. Doing nicely through six. Bedard’s gone after five. With only one start left, you’d think he’d be ramping it up a little more…

    Paul SF March 23, 2007, 2:39 pm
  • With 8 K’s through five, it’s at least possible that Boston made Bedard work a bit. I wonder what his pitch count looks like…80 or so wouldn’t really surprise if they managed to at least foul some pitches off.

    desturbd1 March 23, 2007, 2:44 pm
  • The redsox.com box score doesn’t include pitches-strikes for some reason. Has everything else…

    Paul SF March 23, 2007, 2:46 pm
  • Scoreless inning from Hansen. Boosting that trade value. ;-)

    Paul SF March 23, 2007, 3:19 pm
  • hahah. I really believe that, Paul.

    Brad March 23, 2007, 3:26 pm
  • lester will be on the dan patrick show in about 15 to 20 min.

    sf rod March 23, 2007, 3:26 pm
  • Hey, Tom Verducci is umpiring third base. Funny… Sox tie it at two on a Hinskie RBI.

    Paul SF March 23, 2007, 3:34 pm
  • is anyone else starting to get excited about drew? every at bat i’ve seen this spring, he has hit the ball on the screws to all parts of the park. i think i’m gonna end up liking this guy a whole bunch.

    sf rod March 23, 2007, 3:40 pm
  • is anyone else starting to get excited about drew? every at bat i’ve seen this spring, he has hit the ball on the screws to all parts of the park. i think i’m gonna end up liking this guy a whole bunch.
    count me in. In fact, someone better get him before I do in our draft! He’s going to have a huge year – I know it.

    Brad March 23, 2007, 3:42 pm
  • lesters on espn radio right now.

    sf rod March 23, 2007, 3:45 pm
  • Funny, the constant barbs and questions about Drew’s personality seem to have died down in the Boston press. Sure, that probably has more to do with the fact that it’s hard to maintain that kind of idiotic vitriol for an extended period of time, but I bet if he was batting .200 we’d still be getting some of it.

    desturbd1 March 23, 2007, 3:47 pm
  • ehh. that will always go away when a guy is raking. Besides, if I was to base my opinions around those offered by the Boston media, I’d hate the whole damn team.

    Brad March 23, 2007, 3:50 pm
  • Maybe it has something to do with the fact that the biggest Drew detractor of them all was just found asleep at an intersection in his hummer in the middle of the night. Maybe we’re not all as perfect as we think we are.

    Brad March 23, 2007, 3:51 pm
  • I’ve had Drew on my fantasy teams 3 out of the last 4 years. He is one of the most talented players…when he plays. We all know this. He is also the kind of player, like Abreu, who is underrated by the mainstream media and a lot of fans. He contributes to almost all facets of the game, but there is not one part of his game that blows people away. People just don’t realize how much these players are helping the team win.

    Nick-YF March 23, 2007, 3:53 pm
  • I think this will be a big year for him. I think he knows exactly what he’s burdened with, and I honestly believe that all the talent surrounding him is going to put him on another level.

    Brad March 23, 2007, 4:11 pm
  • Breaking News Sweeney Murti’s reporting Chien Ming Wang Suffered a hamstring Injury.
    Wfan Sweeney Murti’s reporting Chien Ming Wang Suffered a hamstring Injury.

    JeterFan_YF March 23, 2007, 4:17 pm
  • that’s not good.

    Brad March 23, 2007, 4:21 pm
  • I still don’t like weakening the rotation, but really, as stated above, how much worse (if at all) will Tavarez be compared to Pavano?
    The point here is to build a winning team not to go position by position witht the Yanks. How good or bad the Yankee fifth starter is is irrelevant to what the Sox should do with that position. There are 12 other teams to beat.

    john March 23, 2007, 4:33 pm
  • I completely agree, John. This is why, later in the sentence, I added the whole “or Igawa or any other fifth starter for that matter?” to my point. Building a great rotation is obviously the goal here, but in reality, what team has a shut down fifth starter out there? And, if this is the case (which it is), the Red Sox are not hindered any more or less than any other team (nearly all of them) by pitching Tavarez. He’s the norm when it comes to his role was all I was saying.

    Brad March 23, 2007, 4:45 pm
  • nevermind, I just realized it wasn’t my quote you cited above.

    Brad March 23, 2007, 4:46 pm
  • “Francona noted Papelbon’s workload was especially heavy in August, just before he was injured. He threw 259 pitches that month in 12 appearances. Papelbon threw more pitches that month than such premier closers as (Mariano) Rivera (207), Francisco Rodriguez (242), Bobby Jenks (200), and Joe Nathan (167). That’s not going to happen again, if Francona is to be believed.”
    This from Olney’s blog. That averages out to about 18 pitches per inning, which seems a bit high for a closer. I’m wondering if there is going to be some work on pitching more to contact; if he can get the curve or 2-seamer to be effective pitches, he can shorten his outings a bit with some easy groundballs. So far his spring hasn’t exactly shown any change in style, but I wonder if this is something that’s at least been considered.

    desturbd1 March 23, 2007, 5:32 pm
  • “The point here is to build a winning team not to go position by position witht the Yanks. How good or bad the Yankee fifth starter is is irrelevant to what the Sox should do with that position. There are 12 other teams to beat.”
    When you have to play the Yankees 18-19 times and beat them in the division because they’re the main competition, it IS about comparing favorably to them. Each position in the rotation and lineup is very relevant.

    Steve March 23, 2007, 6:38 pm
  • The Sox finished behind the Jays last year. The first goal is to put together a team that will win 95+ wins. Then you worry about specific teams.
    Or to put it another way, if Taveras and Pavano both suck and the Yanks still finish ahead of the Sox …

    john March 23, 2007, 6:53 pm
  • With 19 regular season games, it’s reached the point where the Sox and the Yanks play each other too often, because they just beat each other up. The last time I saw the stats, in their last 88 regular and posteason games, they were 44 and 44.
    At the same time, they Yanks finished first 9 times. Sure, they got Myers to pitch against Papi, but they put most of their effort into figuring out where their 95+ wins would come from.

    john March 23, 2007, 6:58 pm
  • Think about it this way:
    If the Sox compare favorably to the Yankees, how do they look in respect to the rest of the league? Pretty damn good, wouldn’t you think?
    IMO, the only reason the Sox finished behind the Blue Jays is because after everybody (and I mean everybody) got hurt and the Yanks smoked them in that 5-game series, they tossed the year into the dumpster, traded away an aging pitcher for a prospect, and started playing guys like Kevin Jarvis regularly. Even with them giving up on the year, the difference was what, a game? Maybe two?
    There’s absolutely nothing illogical about comparing yourself to a team that beat you last year. As far as the comment about “figuring out where the wins would come from”, that’s why we now have Lugo, Drew, Donnelly, and Matsuzaka instead of Gonzo, Trot, Seanez, and Wells.

    Steve March 23, 2007, 7:38 pm

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