They Get Paid to Do This? (Idiot Edition)

Mueller’s a Dodger. Millar’s an Oriole. Damon, as we all know, is a Yankee. There will be no Fab Five makeovers in Ft. Myers this year. Yes, says Jayson Stark, it’s the “end of the idiocy.”

And to think it wasn’t even a slow news day. Negro League HOfers! Schmidt on Amphetamines!

14 comments… add one
  • We’ll just assume that YF thinks Stark is off his rocker because he says that the Sox can win 100 games this year. It’s not as bad a piece as YF makes out. It’s not Pulitzer stuff, for sure, but Stark’s column is more substantial and thoughtful than Masarotti’s much thinner filler piece I linked to earlier on the site.
    (full disclosure: our appearance on the excellent Sportsbloggers Live last night was as late substitutes for one Jayson Stark, who was originally scheduled. YF ought not bite the hand that feeds, or else Jayson might show up and preempt another of our appearances!)

    SF February 28, 2006, 11:51 am
  • I’m with SF on this one (Sorry boss), except that I think one of the article’s claims is totally off. Stark says that in 2005 the Sox front office probably kept more players from the 2004 squad than they wanted to for purely sentimental reasons. Huh? They let Pedro and Lowe go, resigned Varitek and Mirabelli, and most of the other players were under contract. In my view, the world series victory gave Theo and Larry more power (most Boston media and fans thought them geniuses) to do what they wanted.
    The 2004 team is now almost totally gone. I don’t think I’m over-exaggerating when I say that 80% of the team has left via trade or free agency. I’m pretty sure that this number is even big for the free agent era. One thing it says to me is Theo is agressively building the kind of team he believes will be competetive year to year and that the 2004 team (built mostly by Duquette) was not such a team.

    NickYF February 28, 2006, 12:11 pm
  • Hey, that’s “bossES”, though no need to apologize for agreeing with me…

    SF February 28, 2006, 12:34 pm
  • Left from ’04:
    That means 64% of that team is now gone. So you were close, Nick, but not quite right. As for the team losing its personality, I don’t really associate Billy Mueller with the ‘idiot’ image. I didn’t actually read the article, but if it says he had anything to do with that, I just don’t see it. Billy Mueller was one of my favorite players to watch over the past few years and he will be sorely missed, but even though I associate him with the ’04 team, I pin the ‘idiot’ thing on Damon, Millar, and Manny more than anyone else. Maybe Stark didn’t say anything other than that, but YF did, so I just thought I’d put my two cents in.

    Laura February 28, 2006, 2:58 pm
  • Hey Laura, if you check out this post written in December at Mike’s Rants, he puts the number at 78% (he counts everyone who played on the 2004 team).
    It’s an interesting article which shows that the Sox’s retention rate from the 2004 team is historically low. That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a bad thing.

    NickYF February 28, 2006, 3:20 pm
  • There’s gotta be a 2600 word Baseball Prospectus analysis of retention rate to win proportions, or, as I like to call it: “VRTRR” (“Victories Relative to Retention Rate) in here somewhere. Get to it, gearheads!

    SF February 28, 2006, 3:26 pm
  • Nick: the “Mike’s Rants” numbers seem to be a little off. He left our Arroyo and Seibel, so the number of retained players is really 13, not 11 (14 if you count Kapler, a non-roster invitee). And of the 50 Sox players from 2004, this includes both Nomar AND the guys he was traded for; it’s probably wrong to include both. Another (Anderson) was also gone before the WS; and three of the 50 (Jones, Nelson, Snyder) appeared in 3 games or fewer. So 78% seems to be a bit high.
    The more straightforward number would be who on the World Series roster was still around 2 years later. That’s everyone on Laura’s list, plus Youk, for a 40% retention rate (44% if you count Kapler). Would be interesting to see how that compares historically. Probably better than the 1997 Marlins…

    Earl February 28, 2006, 4:52 pm
  • I forgot all about Kapler now that you say it Earl. And I was actually just looking at the 2005 postseason roster, but whatever. There is still a lot of guys gone from that team, that much we can agree on.

    Laura February 28, 2006, 5:01 pm
  • Good detective work Earl and Laura. Regardless of the number, you get my point. And what I’m trying to say is that the relatively large turn-over shows that Theo and Co are stubbornly sticking to their guns, however unsentimental those guns are.

    NickYF February 28, 2006, 5:08 pm
  • C’mon, no one’s talking about The Great Red Sox Cookie Off????
    This is priceless TV. I don’t care if it was staged. Gabe Kapler, you’re better than Millar. There, I said it.
    How can a man that jacked be so concerned about the state of his baked goods?
    And Trotter as Cookie Monster. Excellent.
    We could do without Bronson crooning at the beginning though.

    rk February 28, 2006, 5:17 pm
  • Nick — I agree about the turnover being high, and that it says a lot about the feelings of the front office, but how unusual is it? For example, how many Yankees from the 2003 WS were still on the roster to start 2005? I think it was just Jeter, Bernie, Matsui, Giambi, Posada, Mussina, and Rivera. That’s 7 of 25 — more turnover than the Sox between 2004 and 2006.

    Earl February 28, 2006, 6:00 pm
  • Good call, Earl, the only players I can come up with not on your list are Sierra and Flaherty. I guess the major difference between the 2003 yanks squad and the 2004 sox is the fact that one won the whole shebang and one didn’t. I’d imagine it’s unusual for a world series winning team to be overhauled so dramatically in two years time. But you look at the ChiSox this off-season, and Kenny Williams wasn’t complacent. He made some big moves, so maybe it’s just a reality of the day.

    NickYF February 28, 2006, 6:11 pm
  • Wow, Sierra and Flaherty — well done. I had to look up a box score just to remember to put Giambi on the list.

    Earl February 28, 2006, 7:46 pm
  • As I stated before, I think this would be an interesting study, to see what the turnover of championship teams are in relation to the next year’s record. I have a feeling the turnover is actually typically significant, with the exception being the Yankees championship teams of the late 90s. Even these teams had turnover, albeit not at the heart of the squad, and I think your own experience of the Yankees’ hyper-successful anomaly is coloring your sense of this issue, understandably. You make a charge that the Sox are the anomaly, not the opposite. It would require more study to corroborate this.

    SF March 1, 2006, 7:31 am

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