Pair of Aces

Josh Beckett and Chien-Ming Wang — the undisputed aces of the rivalry and not surprisingly the focus of many a debate here at YFSF since the beginning of 2006 — each won their 17th game yesterday. Wang did it in predictable fashion, allowing just eight baserunners in seven-plus innings, and wriggling out of jams via the double play.

Beckett, too, was characteristic, pitching the best game of any starter in the game last night, striking out seven in eight innings, limiting his hits and getting burned just once on a mistake pitch to Matt Stairs. For the record, here are their lines this season:

  • Beckett: 17-6, 3.30 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 165 K, 36 BB
  • Wang: 17-6, 3.68 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 87 K, 48 BB

It was surprising — at least, to me — that Wang snuck into tying Beckett for the league lead in wins (going 10-2 in your last 13 starts will do it), but there he is. Back into the conversation.

The aces, perhaps as dissimilar as two pitchers can be — the one cool and dispassionate, relying on the grounder and his defense; the other hotheaded and emotional, amping it up for the strikeout in key spots — nevertheless have put up similar numbers this season, with Beckett’s slightly better. The difference has been the role each has been called on to perform.

Wang has carried his team. Aside from Pettitte, and even he only in the second half, the Yanks have not been able to rely on any of their other starting pitchers. Take away the ace, and the Yankee starters’ line crumbles from bad to awful:

  • 54-45, 4.77 ERA, 1.44 WHIP
  • 37-39, 5.09 ERA, 1.49 WHIP

Beckett, on the other hand, has had far less pressure in compiling his career-high win total (and his second-lowest ERA, a far more impressive feat, considering the division). Matsuzaka and Wakefield have been as good as expected, if not better, Schilling has been solid though not as much as we’d hoped, and the supporting cast of Gabbard, Lester, Tavarez and Buchholz have provided far more out of the five spot than any other comparable starter in the league.

Consequently, removing Beckett from the Sox’ rotation hurts them (obviously), but not as much:

  • 70-44, 4.09 ERA, 1.28 WHIP
  • 54-51, 4.29 ERA, 1.31 WHIP

Given the choice between the two, I guess you could summarize it this way: Give Beckett a vote for Cy Young, but give Wang a vote for MVP.

201 comments… add one
  • Hehe, I see YF and I were on the same track. Ah well. Consider this an entry into the discussion below.

    Paul SF September 5, 2007, 10:25 am
  • Two minor points:
    1) I don’t see how Matsuzaka has met nor exceeded expectations with a line of:
    14-11, 181.7 innings, 4.11 ERA, 67 walks, 177 K’s, 1.299 WHIP, 111 ERA+
    Those K’s look good (with the high innings) but everything else looks meh – especially for a guy that cost $100 million.
    2) I understand you’re a SF, but I pick Wang’s game any day of the week as the “best game of any starter”. Fewer K’s but fewer ER. Call me crazy but 17 ground outs of 22 outs recorded? That’s truly dominant stuff.

    Frank September 5, 2007, 11:08 am
  • Since the All-Star break:
    Beckett:
    72IP
    70H
    25ER
    6HR
    73K
    3.10 ERA
    1.17 WHIP
    .249 BAA
    Wang:
    69IP
    74H
    32ER
    2HR
    39K
    4.15ERA
    1.37 WHIP
    .280BAA
    These two, are nowhere near the same level right now. Beckett has been awesomely consistent save a few starts. Wang has been up and down, getting rocked here, going 8 scoreless there, and the post-all star numbers show it. Of course, none of these numbers are looked at when it comes to CY Young voting. Wins will get it done. If they are tied, it’s going to go to Beckett, since essentially, he’s the ace on the team that will probably win the division.
    Also, since we brought up the AL East comparisons. Both pitchers, in the AL East’s numbers paint a decisive picture as well.
    Beckett:
    3.94ERA against the AL East.
    Wang:
    6.28 ERA against the AL East.
    In fact, I can’t really find one area whatsoever that Beckett isn’t better than Wang other than wins, or ground balls.
    Both are having good years, but hardly as comparable as this thread indicates.

    Brad September 5, 2007, 11:10 am
  • 4.11 ERA, 67 walks, 177 K’s, 1.299 WHIP, 111 ERA+
    Those K’s look good (with the high innings) but everything else looks meh – especially for a guy that cost $100 million.
    ___________________________________
    Strange, because it kind of looks like the post-all star break stats from Wang. Minus the k’s from Wang, of course.

    Brad September 5, 2007, 11:14 am
  • What is awesome, for both, is that they both have missed two starts due to injury. They could be going for twenty wins in the fist week of September by now.
    That’s a huge blue ribbon for both guys, no matter the run support, or team, or stats. 20 wins is an awesome feat in the American League.

    Brad September 5, 2007, 11:15 am
  • Well, don’t forget:
    Wang = $489k
    Dice-K = $6 million (+52.11 million)
    Beckett = $6 million (+Hanley)

    Frank September 5, 2007, 11:18 am
  • Frank, I think everyone tempered their expectations for Matsuzaka based on a couple things. New league, new culture, different ball, longer season, etc, etc…
    I was willing to give him a year to get adjusted, as were most rational SFs, so in that respect, he’s done a lot better than I was expecting of him, but I think we will only start to see his real potential in the years to come.

    LocklandSF September 5, 2007, 11:23 am
  • That’s a complete guess on Matsuzaka’s future. He may improve or he may not or he could get hurt. From my perspective, that’s not what was paid for. And given his past few games, he could be getting worse this year.
    And Beckett too, doesn’t he have to do this every year for the trade to be considered “worth” it? Consider: Hanley with a 150 OPS+ and 45 stolen bases (making $400k) would be the best player on the Sox right now – at age 23.

    Frank September 5, 2007, 11:30 am
  • The consensus from SFs, Frank, was they would be happy with 15 wins and a low-4s ERA. Matsuzaka is giving us exactly what we said we would consider a success.
    Meanwhile, my statement about Beckett’s start was based on Bill Jams’ game score. Beckett had the highest GS of any starter last night. It’s not a perfect stat, but I like it, and it’s the only objective measure out there to suggest which starts are better than others.
    Strange that a YF is suddenly spouting salary data. Do we really want to play that game with Roger Clemens v. Tim Wakefield? Or Jonathan Papelbon vs. Mariano Rivera? Kevin Youkilis vs. sack of poo?

    Paul SF September 5, 2007, 11:30 am
  • That’s a complete guess on Matsuzaka’s future. He may improve or he may not or he could get hurt.
    And this is different from every other pitcher in MLB … how?
    And Beckett too, doesn’t he have to do this every year for the trade to be considered “worth” it?
    So you’re saying a lights-out bat (one of nine in the lineup) is better than a lights-out starting arm (one of five in the rotation)? Your oversimplifications make me think you’re more interested in picking a fight than actually discussing the issue.

    Paul SF September 5, 2007, 11:34 am
  • What Paul said.

    LocklandSF September 5, 2007, 11:34 am
  • More relevant info:
    Team record in appearances:
    Beckett: 18-8
    Dice-K: 15-13
    Wang: 19-7
    Given the bullpens, I’m surprised that Wang comes out so well. And Matsuzaka still showing himself as a .500 pitcher.

    Frank September 5, 2007, 11:35 am
  • Yes, call me crazy, but a player that plays everyday (and for peanuts over the next five years) is more valuable than a player that plays every five days (if that given the likelihood of injury).
    Meanwhile, on Matsuzaka, nothing can be assumed, exactly because he’s a pitcher. $100 million was a huge gamble and so far, IMO, it hasn’t paid off. Not that I expect Sox fans to agree on that point.

    Frank September 5, 2007, 11:38 am
  • Ah, the Yankee fan bringing up the money issue to the Red Sox fan when it comes to expensive rotations. I love it.
    Again, what will Wang cost when he hits the market after having a few +15 wins season in the AL?
    I could just as easily compare Wang to Papelbon, since both are still under their initial contracts, age, and other factors.
    Also, assuming that a pitcher will get hurt is fruitless. Of course he will – they all do at some point or another. By throwing the “injury card” into projections, you have done nothing but cast accusations and guess, which is exactly what you cited Paul as doing.
    Also, you’ve forgotten that Lowell was the “throw in” on that deal. So essentially, the Red Sox have gotten the potential Cy Young winner, and a guy who has carried the team at times this year, has over a hundred RBI’s and plays excellent defense.
    It was a damn good trade for both teams, so relax on the money issue. Unless of course, you really want to talk about spending stupid money. I’m all for it. Neither has a leg to stand on in this argument, but we can cast stones based on how much a player makes v. his performances if you’d like.

    Brad September 5, 2007, 11:39 am
  • More relevant info:
    Are you kidding me?

    Paul SF September 5, 2007, 11:39 am
  • Huh Frank? Are you serious?
    Woo, is that you?

    LocklandSF September 5, 2007, 11:39 am
  • Frank, Clemens is a total and complete failure, don’t need to bring up Pavano, Moose looks done, Hughes is not anywhere near expectations, then there is your entire bullpen, except for Joba and Mo.
    Are we really having this discussion?

    LocklandSF September 5, 2007, 11:41 am
  • Wow, defensive bunch around here. I’m going to surf elsewhere.
    Have a good day!

    Frank September 5, 2007, 11:43 am
  • Also, and I know fact are not that important, but Hanley Ramirez will be a FA after his option year next year, so essentially, he’ll be making MUCH more than Beckett currently is, and also won’t be playing for the Marlins anymore. So, the Red Sox have an ace locked up for three more after this one, while Hanley will hit the big market for big money after next year.
    http://www.mlb4u.com/profile.php?id=601
    So, how does that translate into “locked up for five years at 500K/per?

    Brad September 5, 2007, 11:44 am
  • Ah, yes, compare Beckett and Ramirez, that’s clever. Wasn’t there another player who came to the Sox in that deal? Or is my memory faulty?
    I know why Yankee fans tout the Ramirez trade as a mistake for the Sox: I am guessing the Sox would be far worse off with Anibal Sanchez and Hanley in the fold in lieu of Lowell and Beckett, so for YFs this would have been a good deal, right?!

    SF September 5, 2007, 11:44 am
  • Yes, it is Paul. Two different people can’t have all of that in common.

    Brad September 5, 2007, 11:46 am
  • Frank, we’re not defensive, your argument just didn’t have any merit, or make any sense, all you were doing was trying to start a fight. We pounce on trolls.

    LocklandSF September 5, 2007, 11:48 am
  • Yes, call me crazy, but a player that plays everyday (and for peanuts over the next five years) is more valuable than a player that plays every five days (if that given the likelihood of injury).
    Ok, you’re crazy. A starting pitcher over the course of the season will be involved in as many — if not more — at bats as a starting batter. Pitchers have much more control than hitters over the results of the games in which they appear, and the best of them are much rarer than the best hitters, making them actually more valuable.
    Glad to see you go, Frank. Have a good time.

    Paul SF September 5, 2007, 11:51 am
  • Hanley has 1 year of service time. He’ll be eligible for free agency after 2011.
    But, yeah, defensiveness strikes me as the key word. I mean, why intelligently engage the new guy when you can jump all over him? I have opinions. Sue me if you don’t agree.
    Plenty of other places I can thankfully go. Good luck with your community.

    Frank September 5, 2007, 11:55 am
  • Hughes is literally (or maybe around) the youngest player in the league..

    Lar September 5, 2007, 11:57 am
  • 2 things:
    First, I believe Wang missed 4 starts in the beginning of the year, still getting his 17 wins over this time period is a little more impressive for that reason. He be shooting for 20 no problem in his next start or two.
    Second, the Beckett trade worked great for both teams involved. Count me out of the YFs who say otherwise.

    Sam-YF September 5, 2007, 12:05 pm
  • Frank, you were responded to intelligently. It’s your knee-jerk anti-Sox arguments with little backing that showed you for what you are.

    Paul SF September 5, 2007, 12:08 pm
  • Frank, I’m sorry you feel that way, but come on man, this post was just so off base, it’s absurd.
    “More relevant info:”

    LocklandSF September 5, 2007, 12:08 pm
  • Awesome site for Red Sox pictures, the Red Sox need to hire this woman.
    http://www.sittingstill.net

    LocklandSF September 5, 2007, 12:16 pm
  • Since I have a low threshold for people who pretend to know more than they actually do (and worse, when they author blogs then belittle people):
    Win Shares:
    Hanley –
    2006: 25
    2007: 24
    Beckett –
    2006: 12
    2007: 15
    And sure:
    Lowell –
    2006: 18
    2007: 21
    So let’s see, not only is Hanley (23 years old) more valuable than a starting pitcher, so is Lowell. But I suppose it’s the stats that are at fault…
    (I’m not interested in analyzing the trade – just the cost of the pitchers. IMHO – Beckett is good, but Hanley is so much better. Wang has been a revelation. And Matsuzaka has disappointed me.)

    Frank September 5, 2007, 12:17 pm
  • So, Frank, by your own preferred method of analysis, Lowell + Beckett = 36 win shares. Ramirez = 24 win shares.
    How was that trade bad for the Sox, again?

    Paul SF September 5, 2007, 12:20 pm
  • Some other stats on the two, for comparison sake, and to save everyone some time in searching for an argument:
    -Beckett’s .247 OBP v. Wang’s .321
    Beckett ranks 4th here v. Wang’s 20th with a min 160IP
    -Beckett’s .651 OPS v. Wang’s .689 (splitting hairs, but Beckett if third and Wang is tenth using the same 160IP)
    -Becketts 8.5K/9 v. Wang’s 4.5K/9 (5th v. 27th)
    -Beckett’s 57.5 v. Wang’s 52.5 Average Game Score. Beckett comes in at 5th while Wang ranks at 18th.
    -Wang’s run support average of 7.1 v. Beckett’s 6.6, so both are pretty close here, though both have been given several blowouts to help this average.
    -Beckett’s K/BB ratio of 4.58 v. Wang’s ratio of 1.81, which ranks him near the bottom of all guys with 150IP. Beckett ranks 4th. Behind CC, Shields and Santana.
    – Both have been give two tough losses, which is when the bullpen blows it for them.
    – Neither have been give “cheap wins”.
    -Both missed two starts.
    Wang has the HR surrendered advantage, along with GIDP induced, and ground balls, and P/PA.

    Brad September 5, 2007, 12:21 pm
  • How can I respect the opinions of folks here when they call me absurd and crazy?
    “More relevant info” means did the pitcher put the team in a position to win? And Wang consistently does that. Just cause Sox fans don’t like the way that looks (no surprise there) doesn’t change the stat.
    Meanwhile, the MVP of the 2007 Boston Red Sox?
    Wakefield or Okajima

    Frank September 5, 2007, 12:21 pm
  • Or we could just say that Lowell and Beckett, while more expensive, are leading Boston into the playoffs and collecting huge accolades along the way, while Hanley and Sanchez, while talented, are not.

    Brad September 5, 2007, 12:26 pm
  • Ummm/
    Neither.
    Beckett or Lowell, then Oki or Wakefield. And one could argue Pedroia and Paplebon as well.

    Brad September 5, 2007, 12:27 pm
  • I’m not interested in the trade. But if you are, consider:
    Anibal Sanchez had 11 WS in 2006. This year = 1.
    Also consider the cost of upkeep. Lowell is making 9 million this year. Add in Beckett that’s 15 million for 2007.
    And Lowell will get 30 million this off-season.
    Meanwhile, Hanley and Anibal are making 1 million combined in 2008.
    By the way, based on win shares, Hanley is twice as valuable as Beckett. But thanks for being a true jerk.

    Frank September 5, 2007, 12:29 pm
  • Sam, you are correct.
    Looking at the game logs, Wang missed 4 starts, while Beckett has missed only 3.
    Advantage – Wang.

    Brad September 5, 2007, 12:31 pm
  • Sam, you are correct.
    Looking at the game logs, Wang missed 4 starts, while Beckett has missed only 3.
    Advantage – Wang.

    Brad September 5, 2007, 12:32 pm
  • “More relevant info” means did the pitcher put the team in a position to win?
    This is simply not correct. What if the bullpen blows it? What if the pitcher loses, 1-0, as Matsuzaka has this season? Is the pitcher somehow not as good because of factors beyond his control? These are basic concepts — that wins and losses are highly deceptive, team-dependent stats and not as reliable as things such as ERA, WHIP, Ks, BBs and on down the line.
    To use a won-loss record as an example of a pitcher’s value is a crazy argument, Frank. Sorry.
    Also, you used that argument to belittle Matsuzaka. Now, having been rebutted, you’re shifting the goalposts to use it to praise Wang. If you can show how Matsuzaka is not one of the best 20 starters in the league and should be declared a disappointment by some metric — ANY metric — other than wins/losses, I’d be surprised.

    Paul SF September 5, 2007, 12:32 pm
  • I don’t see how you can emphasize K’s for Beckett and under-emphasize GB’s for Wang. Wang getting 17 ground ball outs of 22 total is simply absurd.

    Frank September 5, 2007, 12:34 pm
  • And Lowell will get 30 million this off-season.
    I rest my case.
    And explain again why salaries matter? Last I checked, Lowell’s and Beckett’s salaries did not hurt the Sox’ efforts to sign free agents this offseason — which is the only tangible effect teams like the Sox and Yanks will ever feel from the highly inflated salariees they’re in a position to give out. (For example, the Yanks unable to go after Beltran after signing Johnson, or if the Sox were unable this offseason to pursue A-Rod because of, say, Drew’s cotnract).

    Paul SF September 5, 2007, 12:35 pm
  • Holy Shit.
    Guy, for a Yankee fan to always revert back to the money a player is making versus what they are bringing to a team has absolutely nothing to do with the players worth. If you are to add the win shares of both players for each team, the Red Sox come out on top. How does the money have anything to do with this? Again, if we’re going to get into a money v. performance argument, I’m all for it, but lets not just concentrate on this trade, since essentially you are the one who brought it up. Let’s look at the overall spectrum of money v. performance for both pitching staffs, say for the past few years.
    This debate was over Wang v. Beckett and postseason accolades, so to bring how much money each makes into the argument sounds like the last ditch effort of a desperate man with nothing more to flame throw with.

    Brad September 5, 2007, 12:37 pm
  • Frank, I didn’t.
    I clearly said that Wang had the better ground ball and induced GIDP ratio. Also, I have to say that 17 of 22 balls hit finding gloves is impressive too. I wish all of Boston’s pitchers had that kind of aim.

    Brad September 5, 2007, 12:38 pm
  • Money should NEVER be the basis of an argument for the Yankees or the Sox. It’s foolish, they both spend more money then any team in the game. The Yankees are the big spenders and the Sox are no longer the low budget “Scrappers” bottom line.
    As for Wang, I still think it’s smoke and mirrors and I will never back down from that. Like I said in the other thread I agree with Paul (I think?) that he might get some MVP votes for keeping the Yanks in the WC race, but he is NOT a Cy Young pitcher. In my opinion it’s Escobar, I provided the numbers in my post in the other thread.

    John - YF (Trisk) September 5, 2007, 12:42 pm
  • Also, if you’re not “interested in the trade”, Woo, err, Frank, then why were you the one to bring it up at all? If it carried no weight in your decision, then why automatically revert to it in support of why Wang is better than Beckett, which he isn’t. You are the one who brought up the entire argument, then when we informed you that if you were going to use win shares you had to use ALL of them. Now, you’re not interested in the trade?

    Brad September 5, 2007, 12:43 pm
  • I will not be upset if it’s Escobar, Trisk. He’s been brilliant this year on the whole.

    Brad September 5, 2007, 12:45 pm
  • Yeah, that’s what I was saying, Trisk. Seems like Wang has to be the Yanks’ No. 2 MVP after A-Rod, no? Maybe Posada?

    Paul SF September 5, 2007, 12:46 pm
  • How about the guy who they will definitely start in game one of the postseason – Pettitte? He has been spectacular, save his last start, since the break, somehow stayed healty, and gives them a great chance to win each time out.
    Oh, yeah. Without A-Rod, this team is a .500 team to date. Steve Lombardi has the numbers to back that up over at Was Watching. A-Rod has to be considered the MVP of this team to date, then Andy, the Posada, then, and maybe, Wang.

    Brad September 5, 2007, 12:49 pm
  • Wow, I wandered into the midst of a wildly defensive bunch.
    Paul, brought up a pitcher being better a position player.
    Win Shares clearly show they are not.
    Otherwise, I don’t care whether Wang or Beckett or better. As you can see in my first post, I had two “minor” complaints:
    1) Matsuzaka has been a disappointment to me (24th in the AL in ERA – not an ideal stat).
    2) I’ll take Wang’s game last night over Beckett’s.

    Frank September 5, 2007, 12:51 pm
  • Hmm, this is true, Frank. But when Brad did a comparison of Wang and Beckett completely apart from your response, you replied:
    Well, don’t forget:
    Wang = $489k
    Dice-K = $6 million (+52.11 million)
    Beckett = $6 million (+Hanley)

    When we responded that to us, Matsuzaka has been exactly what we’d hoped for from a first-year transitioning ace starter, you tried to dismiss our argument because we have no idea how he’ll do in the future, etc.
    You have escalated each discussion with non sequiturs backed by the most superficial facts and statistics, then accused us of being defensive when we rebutted you. Sorry, to borrow a phrase, but that dog won’t hunt.

    Paul SF September 5, 2007, 12:55 pm
  • Brad, brought up Matsuzaka first as a comp to Wang.
    I am going elsewhere. Don’t take it personally, but I’m not enjoying talking baseball here. It’s obvious that a newbie can’t state their opinion without getting the locals are riled up. Have fun with your closed community.

    Frank September 5, 2007, 12:59 pm
  • Well, lucky for you that you are a blinder wearing Yankee fan, so it matters very, very little (if at all) how impressive Matsuzaka is to YOU. What matters is how he is to us, and you know, the 200 or so guys he’s going to strike out on his way to 16 or 17 wins in a new country, new and much better league, new lanuguage, new teammates, along with a new ball.
    It’s a good thing what YOU think means very little to how good he’s actually been thus far.
    And, of course you’d take Wang’s start last night over Beckett’s. I would have too. Except, you know, Beckett worked his way through Wells, Rios, Overbay, and Glaus through eight innings while losing one pitch to Matt Stairs. Count me in as being impressed, especially late, when he cruised thought the seventh and eigth.
    Side note: Stairs is 11 for his last 15 with four homeruns in that time. He’s not been the guy to make a mistake to.

    Brad September 5, 2007, 1:00 pm
  • “I am going elsewhere.”
    youve been saying that for a while now….

    Ric September 5, 2007, 1:01 pm
  • I brought up Matsuzaka first, Frank, and you disagreed with what I said and quoted his stats. When Brad noted those stats were just like Wang’s since the second half, you brought up salary, which frankly continues to make no sense.
    We enjoy debate here, and we welcome all newcomers, but the debate has to be reasonable, well-informed and respectful. Based on your comments here, you have done very little to encourage that kind of debate.

    Paul SF September 5, 2007, 1:02 pm
  • disengage, SFs!
    24th in the league in ERA is damn good for a rookie, if you consider that there are five starting slots per team, 14 teams in the AL.

    SF September 5, 2007, 1:02 pm
  • Frank, if your argument is fruitless, it’s probably not going to last long. This community is more than patient and open to new discussions, but you know, they have to make sense. They can’t just be all LoHudish and biased without an argument. Hence the URL. It’s a site that offers a place to, you know, argue sensibly (most times).
    Don’t let your lack of support by YF’s on this thread soil your opinion of the place as a whole. Maybe they’re working. Maybe they don’t have argument to counter with.
    We’re all good guys.

    Brad September 5, 2007, 1:05 pm
  • Right, like my argument that a position player is more valuable than a very good starting pitcher.
    That was a worthless.

    Frank September 5, 2007, 1:07 pm
  • It could take Frank (or any other Yankee fan) all day to find a Yankee fan that believes Wang is the Cy Young fave.

    John - YF (Trisk) September 5, 2007, 1:11 pm
  • Well, yeah.
    Johan Santan is a valid comparison, using worth numbers to Hanley. Would you choose Hanley over Santana based on the same argumet: that a position player is worth more than a SP?
    If so, my talk with you is over.

    Brad September 5, 2007, 1:13 pm
  • Santana, I mean.

    Brad September 5, 2007, 1:13 pm
  • Nick is feverishly working on that right now, Trisk.
    ha.

    Brad September 5, 2007, 1:14 pm
  • I just don’t get it. He isn’t dominant. Sure he’s effective and he wins. I know that’s the results that matter most, but eventually (it’s taking longer then I thought, SEE Westbrook) those GB’s are going to find holes, instead of gloves.

    John - YF (Trisk) September 5, 2007, 1:17 pm
  • We all know who this guy is, it’s pretty obvious.

    LocklandSF September 5, 2007, 1:21 pm
  • THANK YOU!
    Trisk, depsite the huge mistake you are getting ready to make when the nurse looks to you for a name, you are making perfect sense lately.
    That comment has made me forget all about the name thing.
    ha.

    Brad September 5, 2007, 1:22 pm
  • “I know that’s the results that matter most, but eventually (it’s taking longer then I thought, SEE Westbrook) those GB’s are going to find holes, instead of gloves.”
    Wang is a revolution, he is a paradigm shift. Referring to supposed comps such as Westbrook misses the point. He is something we have not seen before, like the Talking Heads-something that shouldn’t sound good given bandmembers skill levels and the singer’s odd vocal stylings but is. Learn to embrace this new thing, Trisk, and you will be set free.
    Cy Young winner?! Who cares.
    Nobel Peace Prize winner? More like it.

    Nick-YF September 5, 2007, 1:28 pm
  • 2006. AL
    Win Shares leaders, players: Derek Jeter (New York) 33
    Joe Mauer (Minnesota) 31
    David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez (Boston) 29
    Justin Morneau (Minnesota) and Raul Ibanez (Seattle) 27
    Jermaine Dye and Jim Thome (Chicago), Carlos Guillen (Detroit) and Michael Young (Texas) 26
    Travis Hafner and Grady Sizemore (Cleveland), Ivan Rodriguez (Detroit), Vladimir Guerrero (LA/Anaheim), Alex Rodriguez (New York) and Vernon Wells (Toronto) 25
    Ichiro Suzuki (Seattle) and Jorge Posada (New York) 24.
    Win Shares leaders, pitchers: Johan Santana (Minnesota) 25
    Roy Halladay (Toronto) 21
    Jon Papelbon (Boston) and Barry Zito (Oakland) 18
    John Lackey (LA/Anaheim),Joe Nathan (Minnesota), Chien-Ming Wang (New York) and B.J. Ryan (Toronto) 17
    Erik Bedard (Baltimore), Curt Schilling (Boston) and Francisco Liriano (Minnesota) 16
    See, I can’t bring myself to believe that (in hte AL) there are that many guys more valuable to a team than having Johan Santana as the team’s ace. I know what the numbers mean, and what they say, but reality is not found in the win share state. In fact, every GM in the league would trade every player in the first list for the top four in the other.

    Brad September 5, 2007, 1:29 pm
  • “In fact, every GM in the league would trade every player in the first list for the top four in the other.”
    Really?! When the Twins had the choice to pick first in the draft, they had the choice of Mark Prior or Joe Mauer–an elite pitcher versus an elite catcher. Who did they choose?

    Nick-YF September 5, 2007, 1:32 pm
  • A couple of comments:
    1) Just because Hanley is lights out in FLA does not mean he would be the same in Boston. As I recall, he was a serious head case in Pawtucket, getting suspended more than a few times, once for conduct detrimental to the team. My thoughts at the time of his inclusion was the SOX just wanted him gone.
    2) Sanchez was lights out in his brief appearance last year, then could not make FLA’s opening day roster, then was lost for 2007 with injury.
    There should be no question which team got the better of the trade, what with Lowell being either a defensive or offensive stud in both years with Boston, and a number 1 starter being so hard to find.
    3) Dice has done a fine job, in my book. First year, in the AL East no less, and he has been quite reliable. He will wind up topping all ML rookie starters in a number of catagories, and 17 QS (the same as Wang, BTW). Give the guy a break.
    What the hell is a troll?
    Am I one?
    Should I shower?

    BostonRAW September 5, 2007, 1:34 pm
  • Nick, we’re not talking about catchers. We’re talking about top of the line established aces. A Top pitching PROSPECT over top catching PROSPECT, when your sytem already has a fair amount of top pitching prospects and void of catchers? – of course you make that pick in the draft.
    But, the question is this – would you rather have Johan or Mauer (or any position player) right now?

    Brad September 5, 2007, 1:39 pm
  • Since it’s well-known that position players accrue more win shares than pitchers, don’t you guys see how to build the ultimate Baseball team? Check it out:
    Only position players!!
    They couldn’t lose!

    FenSheaParkway September 5, 2007, 1:40 pm
  • Johan versus A-Rod? Johan versus Pujols. Johan versus Miguel Cabrera?
    The answer in each case is not so straight forward. With pitchers I am always worried about injuries.

    Nick-YF September 5, 2007, 1:41 pm
  • I pick Santana. But, maybe I’m crazy. What good is a position player if the pitchers are average?

    Brad September 5, 2007, 1:41 pm
  • I’ll take a Manny-type cleanup hitter because they are less common and often make a lineup.

    BostonRAW September 5, 2007, 1:43 pm
  • Me and my worthless arguments.
    The comparison was Hanley to Beckett, and, of those two, you take Hanley every time.
    Meanwhile:
    2006-07 (Both in AL East)
    Wang: 30 WS (13 in 07)
    Beckett: 27 WS (15 in 07)

    Frank September 5, 2007, 1:44 pm
  • The trade between Boston and Florida is very interesting one. It’s fascinating actually because both teams won big. The Marlins ended up with one of the most valuable players in all of baseball, and the Sox ended up with two players that have played key roles in their run to the post-season. What’s more is that both these players get paid reasonably and address key positions. It’s hard to see a loser in this deal.

    Nick-YF September 5, 2007, 1:45 pm
  • Nick, I like Wang, I do…I just don’t think he’s the Cy Young Award winner. That my friend should be Kelvim Escobar.

    John - YF (Trisk) September 5, 2007, 1:47 pm
  • “It’s hard to see a loser in this deal.”
    Well, re: today’s arguments, I can see one.

    FenSheaParkway September 5, 2007, 1:47 pm
  • yeah, okay Frank. Just ignore all the other stats and facts. What good are they when we can just use win shares for everything.
    I’m sure Boston is happy with the move, and again, it makes very little difference what you, or win shares, think about it.
    And yes, Hanley was a head case of sorts at Pawtucket. He was a smaller-scale Lastings Milledge.

    Brad September 5, 2007, 1:49 pm
  • Glad to see some folks have given up all hope of an interesting response.
    You know, when the stats prove people wrong the next step is to say the stats don’t matter.
    Bingo.

    Frank September 5, 2007, 1:51 pm
  • True.
    Remember when all the talking heads for the Globe were giving the SOX crap for picking up Lowell’s ungodly contract?
    Ha!

    BostonRAW September 5, 2007, 1:52 pm
  • Trisk,
    I like Escobar as well, but if Josh ends up with 21 or 22 wins, and Kelvim doesn’t, the other numbers are close as well, and I think it goes to Beckett. If it does, I’m happy, but if it doesn’t and goes to Kelvim, I’m okay with that too.
    I’m happy as long as it DOESN’T go to Wang, but unless Nick is voting, I don’t think it will.:)

    Brad September 5, 2007, 1:52 pm
  • Kelvim and Haren would be fine Cy picks.

    Frank September 5, 2007, 1:53 pm
  • What?
    You’re the one ignoring the stats. Please see the fist twenty post of this thread (mine) which do nothing but point out the on the field performances of both guys. How is that ignoring the stats? I posted all of the important pitching stats I could think of, and Beckett comes out on top in about 90% of them, to which you decided to use win shares to overtake all of the actual pitching statistics I posted.
    How is that not having an argument?

    Brad September 5, 2007, 1:54 pm
  • And Beckett isn’t?
    Must be a uniform thing.

    Brad September 5, 2007, 1:55 pm
  • The numbers are not that close…
    Kelvim Escobar
    15-7, 3 Complete Games, 1 Shutout, 174 IP, 154 Hits, 58 ER, 8 HR’s Allowed, 57 BB, 142 K’s, 2.99 ERA, 1.20 WHIP
    Beckett
    16-6, 1 Complete Game, 0 Shutouts, 174 IP, 165 Hits, 64 ER, 12 HR’s Allowed, 36 BB, 165 K’s, 3.30 ERA, 1.15 WHIP
    Escobar has 5 outings where he gave up 5 or more ER’s. Included in that were his 2 worst efforts of 6 ER’s and 7 ER’s. Escobar also has 13 outings where he gave up 1 or less ER’s.
    Beckett has 4 outings where he gave up 5 or more ER’s. Beckett’s worst outing was 6 ER’s on June 14th. Beckett has 8 outings where he gave up 1 or less ER’s.
    Taking how I feel about Beckett out of the conversation, his numbers aren’t as good as Escobar’s. Escobar has 2 more complete games, 1 more Shutout, less Hits same amount of IP, less ER, less HR’s allowed and a lower ERA. Beckett has him beat in K’s and walks.
    ..From my post in the other thread.

    John - YF (Trisk) September 5, 2007, 1:55 pm
  • Beckett pitches @ the Fens, Escobar does not. Don’t think that is not a factor considered by voters.

    BostonRAW September 5, 2007, 1:58 pm
  • If we are drafting players right now Santana would be my first pick. Over Arod, Pujols, etc.

    Seth September 5, 2007, 1:59 pm
  • And I agreed, but I think Beckett is going to end up with more wins, which always seems to be the determining factor. Either guy is worthy of it. Also, Kelvim Escobar has been hit hard by New York, Seattle (kills him), Detroit, and hasn’t faced Boston.
    Also, Kelvim didn’t help his cause this week:)

    Brad September 5, 2007, 2:00 pm
  • Another start or two like that, and he’s out of it altogether.

    Brad September 5, 2007, 2:01 pm
  • Since we’re talking crazy talk here today, we should probably discuss the fact that CWS manager Ozzie Guillen has been offered a contract extension?!?
    Now, that’s crazy!

    Brad September 5, 2007, 2:03 pm
  • Pure numbers Escobar wins the Cy Young, that’s my only point. And I don’t care if Beckett pitches in a Little League park. Escobar also has 13 outings where he gave up 1 or less ER’s.
    Unfortunately that won’t be the case, it will be Santana or Beckett.

    John - YF (Trisk) September 5, 2007, 2:05 pm
  • “Clemens is a total and complete failure”
    This statement is far from true. I think clemens has done more or less exactly what the yankees needed him to do and expected to do when they signed him. Their rotation was in shambles due to injuries when they signed him and he has certainly pitched better than whatever the other options would have been.

    Sam-YF September 5, 2007, 2:06 pm
  • Ha! Come on, Sam. You aren’t serious, are you?

    BostonRAW September 5, 2007, 2:07 pm
  • If Cashman was not so enamored with Hughes 91 mph fastball, and was not paying Clemens such an ungodly amount, I think NY would have far more options than they do.
    Buerhle, for starters… easy

    BostonRAW September 5, 2007, 2:10 pm
  • Im completely serious. Who was available in May? Certianly not Buerhle.
    Also, FYI Hughes certainly doesnt have a 91 MPH fastball and not only Cashman is enamored with him he was widely condsidered one of the top prospects in baseball coming into this season. Trading him for anyone like Buerhle would have been nuts.

    Sam-YF September 5, 2007, 2:15 pm
  • We can’t just dismiss the home/away number for Escobar. His numbers are much worse away from LA, while Becketts are much better (insanely better in fact) away from Fenway.
    Again, we’re splitting hairs here both guys have been great, and each has reasons for their numbers. Each is an ace in their own right.

    Brad September 5, 2007, 2:15 pm
  • John, look at the numbers. The case to make for homefield disadvantage is how would Escobar perform in Boston, so which pitcher was actually more valuable to his team.
    Escobar:
    Home
    Record 9-4
    IP 103.2
    Hits 86
    Ks 75
    ERA 2.69
    WHIP 1.18
    BAA .228
    Away
    6-3
    71.0
    68
    3.42
    1.25
    .254
    Not quite E. Santana but still..
    Beckett:
    Home
    8-4
    97.0
    95
    4.18
    1.21
    .249
    Away
    9-2
    77.2
    70
    2.20
    1.08
    .238
    Again, do not think CY voters do not consider those numbers.

    BostonRAW September 5, 2007, 2:17 pm
  • Actually, Sam – I don’t want any part of this argument, but unless something is wrong with Hughes, he certainly does live around 91-93 on his fastball. A lot has been said about it on severl sites in the past three weeks. Maybe it’s the leg still bothering him, or maybe it is what it is. We for sure don’t know now.

    Brad September 5, 2007, 2:17 pm
  • “If Cashman was not so enamored with Hughes 91 mph fastball”
    It’s just Cashman that’s enamored? No scouts? Raw you are the Red Sox fans equivalent of Frank, except at least Frank provides data.

    John - YF (Trisk) September 5, 2007, 2:18 pm
  • “FYI Hughes certainly doesnt have a 91 MPH fastball”
    The primary writer for the Post says he does. He was, in fact, quite dumbfounded as to where Hughes 95-96 heater he supposedly had in the minors went.

    BostonRAW September 5, 2007, 2:19 pm
  • Brad
    I totally agree that Hughes fastball has been down since coming back from the DL, injury, mechanics who knows. I was responding to the earlier post saying Cashman was enamored with his fastball.
    He was hitting 94/95 before getting hurt. I dont think there should be much argument that he has the stuff to be a good to great MLB pitcher.

    Sam-YF September 5, 2007, 2:20 pm
  • I saw the guy throw 95 with mine own eyes so whatever you want to say buddy.

    Sam-YF September 5, 2007, 2:21 pm
  • No, John. One just tends to roll his eyes after seeing the results of NY’s supposed farm system. Yea, I think their players are overhyped because they’re Yanks.

    BostonRAW September 5, 2007, 2:22 pm
  • “Again, do not think CY voters do not consider those numbers.”
    I don’t think they do, but I also don’t think they will vote for Escobar. I don’t think they look at splits, they look at totals, that’s just my opinion. The voting process is a flawed system, it’s a names race, rather then the most qualified.
    Again, Beckett is having a tremendous year, no arguing that. I just think that providing your team THIRTEEN starts with 1 or less runs negates the 2 blow ups you had all season.

    John - YF (Trisk) September 5, 2007, 2:23 pm
  • And Wang, Melky and Cano were overhyped farm products?

    Nick-YF September 5, 2007, 2:23 pm
  • Only Yankees overhype their prospects.
    Hows future closer Craig Hansen’s development coming along?

    Sam-YF September 5, 2007, 2:27 pm
  • I’d be very surprised if Hughes doesn’t get the velocity back by next season. Wouldn’t we expect a few MPH shaved off following a leg injury?

    FenSheaParkway September 5, 2007, 2:27 pm
  • no, they weren’t.
    They have all proven most wrong.

    Brad September 5, 2007, 2:27 pm
  • Hughes has been averaging 88, so let’s get it right. LOL. Seriously though Hughes was never considered a flame thrower, if you thought that you were misinformed. He topped out at 95, sure, but consistently from all reports he was a 90-93 guy. Joba is the flame thrower. His velocity could be a number of things, most importantly the ankle and the hamstring. He’s a baby, let him pitch before we make conclusions.
    “No, John. One just tends to roll his eyes after seeing the results of NY’s supposed farm system. Yea, I think their players are overhyped because they’re Yanks.”
    Not an argument you will win these days bud. With Posada, Phillips, Duncan, Cano, Jeter, Cabrera, Hughes, Kennedy, Chamberlain, Pettitte, Rivera, and Wang all coming from the over hyped farm system you might want to change your tune.

    John - YF (Trisk) September 5, 2007, 2:29 pm
  • I always hated Hansen. He’s got that smug ahole long island dbag trait you usually see in lacrosse players from long island.

    LocklandSF September 5, 2007, 2:30 pm
  • Sam, CH had a decent year, showing flashes of brilliance at several of the game I went to, but then backing it up with poor outings.
    He’s not ready to pitch in Boston yet, but a talent he most certainly is.
    But again, I think Hughes is going to be a good pitcher, but I have to wonder where that fastball has gone. Was he throwing that hard by overdoing it? I’m sure guys like Papelbon, Joba and Beckett could match the velocity of Burnett if they wanted, but it would take too much from the arm and risk injury. Maybe, if he’s pitching within his comfort zone, that’s where it is.
    I’m sure we’ll see in time, so there is no real sense in pondering it now.
    Also, this thread has taken so many left turns I can’t keep up.

    Brad September 5, 2007, 2:31 pm
  • ha, Lockland!
    He certainly does, but he also has a cannon for an arm and Boras for an agent.

    Brad September 5, 2007, 2:31 pm
  • Wang was purchased like Matsuzaka, with several teams so if we’re considering him, I get to consider Varitek who also spent a year in AAA! hahahahah.

    Brad September 5, 2007, 2:34 pm
  • Hansen?
    Come on. I’m talking the Baseball Prospective here.
    For example, While Hughes is touted as the 4th best prospect, and best pitcher (except Dice), Buchholz is at 41 and Gabbard isn’t even on the list of top 100. Would you Gabbard over Hughes today?
    You should because his sinker looks like Wang’s
    JK
    Who would you take today, Buchholz (41) or Hughes (4)?

    BostonRAW September 5, 2007, 2:35 pm
  • Sam, come on man, you can’t be serious in telling that they paid 28 million for Clemens to pitch .500 ball with with a 4.45 era?
    Come on man, let’s not turn this place in to a den of lies.

    LocklandSF September 5, 2007, 2:36 pm
  • “signed 2000 as undrafted free agent from Taiwan, $1.9M signing bonus”
    Wang was not purchased…

    John - YF (Trisk) September 5, 2007, 2:36 pm
  • Umm, I’d take Hughes?

    Nick-YF September 5, 2007, 2:37 pm
  • 2006-07 (Both in AL East)
    Wang: 30 WS (13 in 07)
    Beckett: 27 WS (15 in 07)

    Win shares are based by dividing the number of wins a team has among the players on that team. So relying solely on win shares without the context (the Yankees have more wins to divy up between 2006 and 2007) is misleading, and Frank is either naive or deceptive to rely solely on them.
    Also interesting that Frank chooses to use the last two years, which happily (for his already flawed case) includes Beckett’s transition year and the year in which the Yankees finished 10 games better than the Sox.
    For the record, Josh Beckett is sixth in VORP (49.7), while Wang is 10th (42.8).
    To further out Cy Young discussion, Peavy is blowing away the rest of the bigs, followed by Penny, who also is well ahead of the rest of the majors. Sabathia, Santana, Bedard, Haren and Escobar are the AL’s top five.

    Paul SF September 5, 2007, 2:40 pm
  • We are all over the map here.
    Clemens even at .500 and a 4 plus ERA is better then any option the Yankees had. Sure they paid a ton of money, but last time I checked BOTH teams spend money like it’s on fire, so that doesn’t matter. The money argument is pointless. They needed a SP, they went and got one. I am much happier that they spent money, then traded away Kennedy or Hughes for a guy like Buerhle.
    “Who would you take today, Buchholz (41) or Hughes (4)?”
    Let’s have this discussion in 5 years, not after 2 starts.

    John - YF (Trisk) September 5, 2007, 2:40 pm
  • Why?
    Buchholz is noted for a better FB and dominant change, two pitches that make ML pitching careers (along with location). What I thought I knew about Hughes was a domnant FB, but 91-93??
    I don’t think so.

    BostonRAW September 5, 2007, 2:41 pm
  • Lockland, im telling you basically that. Clemens last outing seriously blew up his ERA it was right around 4 before that. W-L record means nothing to me, a few more runs of run support he could have been .700. Finally, sure they could have hoped for more but calling him a complete and utter failure is wrong.
    RAW – Bucholz has had 2 MLB starts and Hughes has had 8. Hughes is 21 years old, its way too early to be projecting his career based on this season. But going on what many people who know a whole lot more about talent evaluation than me or you id go with hughes. Dont tell me that Clay pitched a no-hitter i dont care, it was a great day for him and the sox but it doesnt mean much as far as future projections are concerned.

    Sam-YF September 5, 2007, 2:42 pm
  • Clearly you dont know much about hughes, his curve ball was considered one of the best around possibly better than his fastball.

    Sam-YF September 5, 2007, 2:44 pm
  • Agree on the money thing, Trisk, sorry to bring it up, but I think it’s fair to say that the Yankees were expecting Clemens to be better.

    LocklandSF September 5, 2007, 2:44 pm
  • I’m pretty sure Suzyn Waldman’s head didn’t nearly explode in the announcer’s booth over the prospect of Roger Clemens being a below-average pitcher for the Yanks this season. (97 ERA+)

    Paul SF September 5, 2007, 2:44 pm
  • Suzyn waldman doesnt represent me or many other YFs world wide. I certainly didnt think that clemens was gonna come in at 45 years old and win every start with a 3.00 ERA. I was hoping for better than De Salvo, Igawa, etc. which he has been.

    Sam-YF September 5, 2007, 2:46 pm
  • Also, Trisk and Sam, the post that’s being referred too was mostly intended as a comical response to Frank’s absurd positions.

    LocklandSF September 5, 2007, 2:46 pm
  • Sam, I’m not. I’m simply applying my understanding of what makes a truly good ML pitcher. From what I have read Buchholz has the presense and stuff (noting his changeup) for a good career while Hughes fastball will hardly cut it since he does not change speeds very well.
    Although, I guess he can learn.
    Gotta go

    BostonRAW September 5, 2007, 2:46 pm
  • Lockland you are 100% correct, I know I was expecting more. But the best part about Clemens is didn’t set the team back anything but cash. For too long we have given up arms for “Now” guys or patchwork SP’s, the farm system is still in tact and that’s my #1 priority.

    John - YF (Trisk) September 5, 2007, 2:48 pm
  • “…while Hughes fastball will hardly cut it since he does not change speeds very well.”
    I guess the NASTY curve doesn’t count as changing speeds. This is a dumb argument.

    John - YF (Trisk) September 5, 2007, 2:50 pm
  • Anibal Sanchez had an ERA+ of 150, 10-3 season last year.
    Oh ya, he also had a no hitter.
    Just saying that you must be kidding me if you’re “buying high” right now. Don’t forget even Hughes had a pretty good day awhile back..

    Lar September 5, 2007, 2:51 pm
  • Ya.. Baseball Prospective wouldn’t take those things into account when they rank pitchers.. it’s not like they get paid or anything.. =P

    Lar September 5, 2007, 2:52 pm
  • That’s true, Trisk, Can’t blame the Yanks for bringing in a pitcher who undoubtedly is better than Kei Igawa, the likely starter if Clemens weren’t there.
    The middle ground seems to be that Clemens is better than what would have been but not as good as hoped/expected.

    Paul SF September 5, 2007, 2:54 pm
  • Looking at Clemens’ stats, I see now why he chose NY to bring his career full circle. The last time he had an ERA+ below 100? In his very first season with New York! Awwwww….

    Paul SF September 5, 2007, 2:56 pm
  • Don’t get me started on Igawa, LOL.
    My main concern at the time they signed Clemens was that it would stunt the growth of the young SP’s like Hughes, Chamberlain and Kennedy by keeping them down in the minors. Well that certainly has not been the case. Due to injuries and Mike Mussina, we need all of them and more!

    John - YF (Trisk) September 5, 2007, 2:57 pm
  • “Anibal Sanchez had an ERA+ of 150, 10-3 season last year.”
    All I have to say is that he’s not a good pitcher. He wasn’t last year, either. ERA+ of 150, but ALL his other numbers either sucked or were just very mediocre. In a pitcher’s park. In the NL.
    114 IP, 90 H, 9 HR, 72/46 K/BB, 1.19 WHIP, .217 BAA.
    The ONLY reason he had success was because of an extremely lucky hit-rate; he didn’t strike out nearly enough people to justify that many walks. His FIP was almost 1.5 runs higher then his ERA, and his HR/rate was lower then you’d expect.
    He never would have helped Boston. Or if he does pan out–still possible, he’s only 23–it’ll be a good two or three more years from now.
    I have a personal problem with Sanchez for reasons I can’t begin to explain…

    Josh SF (D1) September 5, 2007, 2:59 pm
  • Yeah, it’s not like the Yanks traded a future MVP or anything.
    And that start against Boston last week he looked decent enough (Game Score = 61) – better than a certain Cy-caliber pitcher (Game Score = 37).

    Phil YF September 5, 2007, 3:00 pm
  • Yeah that 1.19 WHIP is just terrible.

    Anonymous September 5, 2007, 3:01 pm
  • But Anibal threw a no-hitter!!! He HAS to be great!!!

    Phil YF September 5, 2007, 3:02 pm
  • this is getting ugly…

    Ric September 5, 2007, 3:10 pm
  • Anon, you must have missed the part where Josh pointed out that Sanchez had a lucky hit rate. Of course you know that WHIP includes hits in its calculations.
    Anyway, this debate has really been great. Pretty civil all around considering all the topics and viewpoints presented. Let’s not ruin it now…

    Paul SF September 5, 2007, 3:17 pm
  • speaking of Igawa where was he in this Cy Young discussion?

    Sam-YF September 5, 2007, 3:20 pm
  • Whew, lots going on here. The only item I want to offer an opinion on is whether or not Clemens has done what was expected of him. I am not sure how any YF can, with a straight face, say that he has met expectations. That doesn’t mean he’s been a failure, though. Certainly Clemens has done better than the other options the Yankees had at the time of the signing. But I think that expectations weren’t as low as simply “hey, at least he’s not going to suck like Kei!”. Clemens hasn’t done anything like what he did in Houston (not that he was expected to meet those numbers, but he’s not even standing outside that ballpark, let alone in it), he’s now hurt, and money as a semi-irrelevant issue, hasn’t reached performance levels commensurate with the hype over his return — if I remember correctly the Sox were vilified in some circles for not spending for him, for not going the extra mile when the option arose. Obviously the Sox knew exactly what was going on, and were willing to spend a certain amount, no more, for what they thought Clemens would add to the team on and off the field. If the Sox had signed him and he performed like he has to date in a Boston uniform rather than a Yankees uniform, I’d be disappointed.

    SF September 5, 2007, 3:22 pm
  • Nick gets the FLA/Boston trade spot-on: great for both teams. What’s the point in isolating Ramirez and Beckett, except to degrade the level of debate? It’s an absurd move to decontextualize the trade, to not look at the context of the deal and the full scope of the move.
    Who knows what Hanley would have accomplished in Boston, who knows what the Sox would have done to fill out their rotation without Beckett, who knows who would be manning third, etc. etc.

    SF September 5, 2007, 3:26 pm
  • The only thing that matters with Clemens is how he performs in October.
    And based on his out-pitching Beckett last week, I’m satisfied and he’ll be fine #3 in the post-season.

    Phil YF September 5, 2007, 3:27 pm
  • SF, the list of things I am disappointed in regarding the Yankees in ’07 is far to long to list. But if I did compose such a list I can honestly say Clemens performance would be near the bottom. He hasn’t been what I thought he would be, but like I have said too many times before we didn’t have to give up a prospect to get his mediocre arm.
    #1. Carl Pavano
    #2. Kei Igawa
    #3. Kyle Farnsworth…You get the point.

    John - YF (Trisk) September 5, 2007, 3:28 pm
  • By the way, Buchholz is also lucky this year.. ;) His BABIP is nearly 100 points lower than league average!

    Lar September 5, 2007, 3:30 pm
  • And based on his out-pitching Beckett last week, I’m satisfied and he’ll be fine #3 in the post-season.
    If I thought you actually belived that, Phil, as opposed to trying to start a flame war, I’d respond to it.

    Paul SF September 5, 2007, 3:32 pm
  • What the resident Game Score expert doesn’t believe in them any more?
    This post-season, Clemens starts the third game. I’ll take that, thanks.

    Phil YF September 5, 2007, 3:34 pm
  • I think Phil was just pointing out that in the sort of single-game matchup that a playoff series could hinge around, Clemens is capable of bringing it. I don’t see anything incendiary there.

    FenSheaParkway September 5, 2007, 3:36 pm
  • That said, I like our chances in a hypothetical Schilling or Wake vs Clemens Game 3.

    FenSheaParkway September 5, 2007, 3:38 pm
  • Except that Clemens is likely to miss at least one start with an elbow injury. Seems like that’s a rather large item to overlook between the start against Boston and now.

    Paul SF September 5, 2007, 3:38 pm
  • And presumably Beckett wouldn’t start game 3 anyhow..
    If he can just pitch okay enough for the Yanks (the ones that can hit) to score some runs, that should be enough. We didn’t lose the last few years because we lost 2-1 games, we lost because we couldn’t pitch beyond Wang (and Moose at times).

    Lar September 5, 2007, 3:39 pm
  • > much happier they spent the money
    I agree with John here. It’s a ridiculous sum paid even prorated, but it’s not my money so I don’t care one whit. I doubt there is any way Clemens could have met expectations if you base that on dollars/runs allowed or wins. The influence he would have on the young players (especially pitchers) in the organization in terms of work ethic and just his presence must have been a very attractive and important component of the decision to offer enough money to bring him in.

    attackgerbil September 5, 2007, 3:42 pm
  • No way Wake starts over Schilling. He should, but he won’t.
    And the elbow is no big deal. MRI came back clean. Sure, he’ll miss a start, maybe two. But I see that as a good thing. Rest never hurt a 45 year old pitcher, especially since he was already approaching his innings and games from last year.

    Phil YF September 5, 2007, 3:42 pm
  • Point of fact to consider…
    Both pitchers have 26 starts and Beckett has pitched exactly one more inning.
    So that mutes the “Wang missed a whole month…” argument.

    LocklandSF September 5, 2007, 3:42 pm
  • As silly as the money was, two years of it still wouldn’t have been enough to talk to Matsuzaka.
    Nah, he’s not a disappointment either.

    Phil YF September 5, 2007, 3:44 pm
  • Clemens wasn’t changing countries, cultures, leagues, size of the ball, language spoken, sets of rules, style of game, etc, etc, etc…

    LocklandSF September 5, 2007, 3:46 pm
  • Well, Clemenas was changing leagues. But based on Clemens’ playoff performances in the last five years, he wouldn’t be my biggest fear in a series anyway. I’d much rather avoid Wang and Pettitte.

    Paul SF September 5, 2007, 3:48 pm
  • Rest might not hurt Clemens, but as we’ve established, two starts from Kei Igawa or whoever else could hurt the Yankees and make that rest a moot point come the end of the season.

    Paul SF September 5, 2007, 3:50 pm
  • Ok, true about the leagues, the NL might be on par with the Nippon.

    LocklandSF September 5, 2007, 3:50 pm
  • Count me as one fan who would be thrilled to have Matsuzaka putting up his “disappointing” numbers as a Yankee. I said it the day when Boston was announced the winner and the financials were disclosed: brilliant maneuver.

    attackgerbil September 5, 2007, 3:52 pm
  • If Matsuzaka is “transitioning”, why has he actually been so much worse in the second half?
    1st: 18 G, 10-6, 3.84 ERA, 110 hits, 51 ER 38 BB 123 K 12 HR
    2nd: 10 G, 4-5, 4.65 ERA, 59 hits, 32 ER 29 BB 54 K 9 HR

    Phil YF September 5, 2007, 3:56 pm
  • Part of the transition was to a 5-man instead of 6-man rotation.

    FenSheaParkway September 5, 2007, 3:59 pm
  • Um, because transitions ebb and flow? Beckett clearly was in transition last year, yet had stretches throughout the season when he was brilliant and stretches following those where he was awful.
    Matsuzaka is two full runs of ERA worse at Fenway. It could be as simple as playing more home games in the second half.

    Paul SF September 5, 2007, 4:00 pm
  • Not that that is the only possible explanation, but it should be considered at least.

    FenSheaParkway September 5, 2007, 4:01 pm
  • Also a good point, FSP. Matsuzaka is clearly better on five days’ rest. He might have fewer starts on longer rest as the schedule tightens in the second half.
    It seems strange that you’re so antagonistic on this issue, Phil. Do you have any concrete reasons for why you’d doubt that Matsuzaka is a transitioning pitcher?

    Paul SF September 5, 2007, 4:01 pm
  • But the transition magically ends when the season does? That’s not my logic – that SF’s here. And all the evidence suggests he’s “transitioning” in the wrong direction.
    Yeah, no kidding, a 5.24 ERA at Fenway. That portends a happy future – this October and in the coming years.
    BTW: When can I expect Dice-K to show up? 2008? 2009? 2010? When is that transition ovah?

    Phil YF September 5, 2007, 4:06 pm
  • Clemens is a transitioning pitcher as well. He is transitioning into retirement.

    Sam-YF September 5, 2007, 4:06 pm
  • “Do you have any concrete reasons for why you’d doubt that Matsuzaka is a transitioning pitcher?”
    Uh, yes:
    1st: 18 G, 10-6, 3.84 ERA, 110 hits, 51 ER 38 BB 123 K 12 HR
    2nd: 10 G, 4-5, 4.65 ERA, 59 hits, 32 ER 29 BB 54 K 9 HR
    I’d say that’s pretty concrete!

    Phil YF September 5, 2007, 4:07 pm
  • P.s. I love when facts are antagonistic. Gotta love Sox fans.

    Phil YF September 5, 2007, 4:09 pm
  • Hey Phil…remember Beckett last year? Do you doubt that Matsuzaka is having a rougher time of it than Beckett, personally and culturally?

    Devine September 5, 2007, 4:09 pm
  • I’m not saying that a year goes by and pitchers magically transition, but the numbers he’s putting up this year are (now, with the recent ERA jump) exactly what I expected out of him. A #3 who eats innings.
    I also do think he’ll improve next year.

    Devine September 5, 2007, 4:11 pm
  • Actually, Beckett sucked the whole year. And it will take next year to figure out whether last year or this year is the exception.
    Meanwhile, how come the “transition” excuse (and that’s exactly what it is – an excuse) only works for some pitchers? Pettitte didn’t have any trouble. Schilling had no trouble in 2004. Nomo had no trouble in 1995.

    Phil YF September 5, 2007, 4:14 pm
  • Woo, I mean Frank, I mean Phil….
    You’re just trying to start a fight and it’s kind of silly.
    What’s your “excuse” for the entire Yankees pitching staff?

    LocklandSF September 5, 2007, 4:18 pm
  • Paraphrasing Phil:
    “With Beckett, you have to wait until next year to see if he’s awesome.”
    “With Matsuzaka, you CAN’T wait until next year to see if he’s awesome.”

    Other Topics:
    “As far as Afghanistan goes, this is all about getting Bin Laden.”
    “As we move into Iraq, it’s important to remember that the objective is not Bin Laden.”

    QuoSF September 5, 2007, 4:19 pm
  • Wait, so it’s only next year if we’ll know Beckett’s good…but it’s not possible to wait till next year to find out how good Matsuzaka is.
    Riiiiiiiight….

    Devine September 5, 2007, 4:21 pm
  • Ha, Quo!

    Devine September 5, 2007, 4:22 pm
  • One more bit of evidence:
    1st PA: .223 .314 .290 .604
    2nd PA: .237 .316 .384 .700
    3rd PA: .276 .338 .510 .848
    I know most starting pitchers show similar trends, but those are very extreme. If anything, it looks like the league has been adjusting to Matsuzaka. After they’ve seen him, he gets rocked.

    Phill YF September 5, 2007, 4:22 pm
  • Actually, Beckett sucked the whole year.
    16 GS, 109.2 IP, 27 ER, 26 BB, 83 K, 2.22 ERA
    That’s Beckett line in his 16 wins. Not exactly sucking “the whole year.”
    Using your logic to Beckett, who had an anomalous crap year that, according to you, must have coincidentally occured at the same time as he transitioned from a hitting-poor league to a hitting-rich one, from a hitting-poor division to a hitting-rich one and from a small market to a big one, then Matsuzaka should be due for a huge year next year.
    After all, the nontransitioning Beckett had a worse year last year than Matsuzaka is having now, and his August ERA was over 6. So either he was transitioning and managed to get worse as the season went on (just like Matsuzaka, according to you), or he wasn’t transitioning — in which case we can expect a big year out of Daisuke anyway.

    Paul SF September 5, 2007, 4:24 pm
  • SF: We’re not going to know how to evaluate the Clemens signing until the season is done. He’s had great moments and he’s had dreadful moments this year. But he was acquired to get the Yanks into the playoffs and then to perform once there. If he can do that, he will not be a disappointment to fans, and I suspect ownsership will be happy with the financial investment.
    This discussion of the relative value of Matsuzaka/Beckett/Ramirez/transitioning is pretty sad–that’s the word for it. I hate to see stats used here as a bludgeon to reduce the complexity of debate, rather than augment it. Let me say this: I’d be very surprised if the Sox front office is anything but thrilled with their investment in Dice and secure with their Beckett acquisition.

    YF September 5, 2007, 4:24 pm
  • Because ‘transition’ is just a one-word synopsis of what is actually a more complex picture – it’s different for everyone. If that sounds like it’s an excuse, then it’s one that was anticipated to some extent. Not that anyone needs to be writing excuses for Matsuzaka’s overall 2007 performance.

    FenSheaParkway September 5, 2007, 4:24 pm
  • “You’re just trying to start a fight and it’s kind of silly.
    What’s your “excuse” for the entire Yankees pitching staff?”
    Who’s try to start a fight? that statement was just as inflamatory as any that phil has made.

    Sam-YF September 5, 2007, 4:25 pm
  • Phil is actually Frank. Same IP address. Disregard.

    Paul SF September 5, 2007, 4:30 pm
  • Who are you, Michael Kay? Wang allows fewer runs when there aren’t men on base! Beckett was great in his wins!
    If you look at Beckett’s year in 2006, he was pretty craptastic throughout – month after month.
    Meanwhile, Matsuzaka has had a completely different “transition” year. He was bad, then superb, and now godawful. The evidence suggests the league is catching on. All the teams hitting him hard have seen him before.

    Phil YF September 5, 2007, 4:30 pm
  • What!? That’s impossible [checking driver’s license].
    I do work in a big office building.

    Phil YF September 5, 2007, 4:32 pm
  • I get a kick out of these trolls that don’t realize how easy it is to recognize when they try to change their name.
    Are people really that stupid?

    LocklandSF September 5, 2007, 4:36 pm
  • That was NOT me, just an FYI.

    John - YF (Trisk) September 5, 2007, 4:53 pm
  • comment made by imposter deleted – ag

    attackgerbil September 5, 2007, 4:59 pm
  • Wow. Unreal.
    Obviously not me, but I guess I was right about who was back.

    LocklandSF September 5, 2007, 5:03 pm
  • ibid.

    attackgerbil September 5, 2007, 5:04 pm
  • In other news…
    Jacoby Ellsbury starting in CF tonight.

    LocklandSF September 5, 2007, 5:05 pm
  • Red Sox
    1. Julio Lugo, SS
    2. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
    3. David Ortiz, DH
    4. Mike Lowell, 3B
    5. J.D. Drew, RF
    6. Kevin Youkilis, 1B
    7. Jason Varitek, C
    8. Coco Crisp, CF
    9. Alex Cora, 2B
    SP – Curt Schilling
    Blue Jays
    1. Vernon Wells, CF
    2. Matt Stairs, LF
    3. Alex Rios, RF
    4. Frank Thomas, DH
    5. Troy Glaus, 3B
    6. Lyle Overbay, 1B
    7. Aaron Hill, 2B
    8. Gregg Zaun, C
    9. John McDonald, SS
    SP – Shaun Marcum

    LocklandSF September 5, 2007, 5:05 pm
  • Part of the problem with comparing the pitchers to the position players is that it is different in the regular season and the post-season. In other words, if you gave me a choice between adding Pujols or adding Santana to the Sox for the regular season, I would probably take Pujols. But even on a Sox team with this good of pitching, I would still take Santana to head into a playoff series.

    Pete September 5, 2007, 5:06 pm
  • HAHA! Looks like I spoke too soon. The Red Sox going with the 2 CFs tonight. I guess they are both fast enough to cover LF too.

    LocklandSF September 5, 2007, 5:07 pm
  • Sorry, didn’t mean to thread-jack, I will save it for the gamer. Feel free to delete.

    LocklandSF September 5, 2007, 5:07 pm
  • This thread lost any sense of cohesion some time ago.

    attackgerbil September 5, 2007, 5:11 pm
  • I think right around the second comment, actually.

    Paul SF September 5, 2007, 5:15 pm
  • SF: We’re not going to know how to evaluate the Clemens signing until the season is done
    I agree wholeheartedly, YF. If he helps lead the Yankees to the promised land, surely it was a success. But to date, which I agree with you is somewhat premature, it’s hard to say he’s met or exceeded expecations. Your point is well taken, though.

    SF September 5, 2007, 5:17 pm
  • I think you can argue both ways to Josh Beckett looks as though he’s better.
    “Beckett:
    3.94ERA against the AL East.
    Wang:
    6.28 ERA against the AL East.”
    Theres something REALLY misleading about that.
    Josh Beckett vs Yankees: 5.49 ERA
    Wang vs Red Sox: 3.24 ERA
    The only reason Wang’s ERA is really high up against the AL East is because of that one game against the Toronto Blue Jays which skyrocketed his ERA.
    To me, I would rather have a pitcher than can win when it is REALLY needed.
    But I guess the only thing the Cy Young voting are going to look for are just the ERA, K/BB, and innings.

    yankeeboy September 5, 2007, 11:26 pm
  • YB: the CY is the one award left that I don’t really seem to get sideways with in comparison to the other Meaninless Individual Accolades™, but Wang is just not in the conversation this year when talking about Santana, Beckett, CC, and (thanks for the illumination Trisk, I hadn’t given him as good of a look as I should) Escobar.

    attackgerbil September 5, 2007, 11:35 pm
  • For the record, Hughes was reaching back and throwing 94 when he needed to today. That includes the first inning K of Beltre. The guy can throw heat when he needs to but the rest of his stuff is good enough to not need to rely on simply blowing hitters away.

    Sam-YF September 6, 2007, 12:39 am

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