If they die, they die

October 2, 2011 | 56 comments | in Featured | by SJK

– Speakers on –

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6.1 IP in “relief”, 2 ER (Thanks Luis Ayala), 4 H, 5 K, 4 BB

The Tigers probably wished in rained again. Led by Ivan Nova’s solid “relief appearance” and Robinson Cano’s ridiculous hitting, the Bombers killed the Tigers 9-3 in the finally-completed first game of their division series.

Cano’s monster grand slam was just crazy.

Looks like Jim Leyland picked the wrong week to quit smoking.

Party in the Sox clubhouse!

October 1, 2011 | 55 comments | in Quick Analytical Blurbs | by SJK

ESPN Boston:

Starting pitchers drinking in the clubhouse during games on days when they weren’t pitching, which can leave one boozily indifferent to the plight of teammates after they’ve just lost in extra innings. Originally reported in the Boston Herald, it was not only confirmed here, but with the added twist that it has been going on the past two seasons.

Francona didn’t want to go there Friday afternoon, reasoning that if, as manager, he’d never singled out players before for petty crimes and misdemeanors, including the poster boy for such behavior, Manny Ramirez, he wasn’t about to start now. Fair enough, although a public spanking might have been just desserts for Josh Beckett setting such an embarrassing standard for the other starters on the team.

“Josh has some real leadership qualities, but this time he didn’t lead left, he didn’t lead right, he led wrong,” one uniformed member of the team said.

No clubhouse leadership. “They don’t need a leader,” one prominent Sox player said Friday. “They need a babysitter.”

Ain’t no party like a Third Place Party, cause a Third Place Party don’t stop!

SHOCKER: Red Sox players not the gritty, hardhat-wearing types their fans pretend they are

September 30, 2011 | 47 comments | in Quick Analytical Blurbs | by SJK

Boston “Best Team Ever” Herald:

Francona, unfailingly loyal to his players, took an uncharacteristic jab by labeling the team “challenging” and disclosed that he called a meeting Sept. 7 in Toronto, after a 14-0 victory one night earlier, to express some concerns about what he perceived to be a lack of accountability by some within the clubhouse. A source told colleague John Tomase that more than one pitcher had been drinking beer in the clubhouse during games and there was grousing from players that team buses were departing for the ballpark too early each day on the road.

Brockton (MA) Enterprise:

And Red Sox manager Terry Francona and GM Theo Epstein revealed that there was even more going on behind the scenes that contributed to the unprecedented malaise.

“Normally … there are events that make you care about each other,” Francona said, often looking stunned before a large group of media. “This club, it didn’t always happen as much as I wanted it to. And I was frustrated by that.”

“Ultimately, you don’t need a team that wants to go out to dinner together,” Francona said. “But you need to have a team that wants to protect each other on the field and be fiercely loyal to each other on the field. That’s what, ultimately, is really important.”

It’s time to rumble

September 29, 2011 | 78 comments | in Featured | by SJK

Time to switch focus from laughing at the biggest bust in baseball history to the ultimate task at hand — the Yankees winning #28.

NoMaas will be with you all the way through….

Make sure to check out our Live Game Chat, which will no doubt be hopping with fellow fans when the first pitch is thrown.

Let’s go Yanks.

Enter the playoffs.

And here’s a little something to get you ready:

Garcia finished the year worse than Bartolo

September 29, 2011 | 28 comments | in Quick Analytical Blurbs | by SJK

Freddy Garcia to start Game 3. AJ Burnett to the bullpen. Colon looks like he’s off the roster.

If we’re going to discount an entire season (see: AJ Burnett) and make a decision based on two months of work, why is it that Colon was automatically disregarded? Look at the numbers below:

For all the talk about how Colon finished the season poorly and how his velocity diminished, Garcia’s final month was even worse. And for Burnett, the first 162 games do not count apparently.

Regardless, it was a great year for The Bartolo, who was arguably the Yankees 2nd-best starting pitcher (depending on what metric you use).

A historic collapse

September 29, 2011 | 198 comments | in Featured | by SJK

Good recognition by Girardi

September 27, 2011 | 13 comments | in Quick Analytical Blurbs | by SJK

It’s a move that could have been made long ago, but we like it anyway:

The AL East champion New York Yankees have switched the lineup spots of Mark Teixeira and Robinson Cano.

Teixeira was moved from his normal position of third to fifth, while Cano went from fifth to third in manager Joe Girardi’s lineup for Tuesday night’s game against Tampa Bay. The change will likely continue against right-handed starters in the playoffs that begin Friday.

“I told Joe, not only am I for it, it’s a great idea,” Teixeira said. “Left-handed, my average isn’t where it should be, and Robby’s had a great season. He’s hot.”

Teixeira has a .338 wOBA against RHP, the worst-mark since his rookie season (.377 wOBA career split). The last two seasons for Teixeira have seen significant dropoffs in his production versus RHP.

2009: .282/.373/.579
2010: .244/.342/.457
2011: .221/.324/.450

Boston bows to their superiors

September 27, 2011 | 103 comments | in Featured | by SJK

Only a game away from becoming a $170 million laughingstock, all members of the Red Sox organization and their red-bracelet wearing fanbase will turn to their superiors, the 27-time World Series champion New York Yankees, and beg them to defeat the Tampa Bay Rays in the final game of the 2011 season.

We recommend that Joe Girardi takes the advice of the Orlando Sentinel:

Having clinched the division title, the Yankees can send most of their regulars to Bern’s Steak House for a fine Châteaubriand, or if the mood strikes, meet up at one of the area’s fine adult establishments.

Yes, sir, I’ll get these shoes mighty clean for you, skipper.

Jacoby “Buckner” Ellsbury blows it for Sox

September 26, 2011 | 114 comments | in Featured | by SJK

With two outs in the bottom of the 6th, Jacoby Ellsbury dropped a ball that was in his glove, resulting in an inside-the-park home run for Baltimore’s Robert Andino and the game-winning runs for the Orioles.

AL Cy Young Award: Not so clear-cut

September 26, 2011 | 45 comments | in Quick Analytical Blurbs | by SJK

It’s a foregone conclusion that Detroit’s Justin Verlander will win the AL Cy Young Award. In fact, there’s even a push for him to win AL MVP in some corners of the media. The gaudy 24 wins of Verlander will be enough for sportswriters, because as we know, most sportswriters still take pride in analyzing baseball like the back of a 1987 Topps card. It’s a badge of honor for these people not to educate themselves.

Verlander had an incredible season, there is no denying that. However, if you take a deeper look, it’s not so clear that he was the best pitcher in the league. Our very own CC Sabathia has a legitimate claim to the title also.

Both pitchers have generated the same amount of Wins Above Replacement with seven, so right away Sabathia is even with Verlander. And both FIP and xFIP show Sabathia to be the slightly better pitcher.

The number that really jumps out is Verlander’s unnaturally low BABIP of .236. It’s by far the lowest BABIP of his career (career avg. .285). Looking at Verlander’s batted ball profile, there’s nothing that really accounts for the ultra-low BABIP. On the other hand, Sabathia’s BABIP of .318 is the highest he’s had in any season of his career (career avg. 291). While Verlander had a stellar season, it certainly appears that he either had some good luck or some good defense on his side during his starts.

While Verlander is obviously worthy of winning the Cy Young, this shouldn’t be the one-horse race that is currently being discussed in Mediotville.

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