Friday, March 24, 2006


2-run homer by Luis Matos beats us in the bottom of the ninth. Which is good because you don't want to play extra innings in spring training.

Rodrigo Lopez appears to have pitched a complete game, two-hit shutout against us. [Update: Sure enough, had that wrong. It was only six innings. Regardless, the following lines still apply.]

Maybe Tito said, "Okay guys, you need to get used to being dominated by Rodrigo Lopez, because it's gonna happen a lot. So don't get any hits or anything."

It's Official, Jere;
I'm pissing off Steve Silva of "Dirt Pooches";
I'm now a Card-Carrying Member of Red Sox Nation.
Michael that is great! I bought my membership last year almost specifically to piss off Silva!

Jere, was that your basketball-boy crying last night? :-(
Yeah, that was my boy. Was very sad.

And I think Michael was referring to the last line of this post:
Three words for you, Jere:

Hee Seop Choi

claimed off waivers from the Dodgers today...I love this move
I'm glad we didn't give up any pitchers for him.
I KNEW you were going to say that :)
Heh heh. But I really think we could've traded Beckett for this guy, and everyone would still be psyched, because apparently NL, platoon, .250 hitters are, like, the best thing you can get. Upside!

Are these guys good for fantasy league teams or something? Is that what this is about?
I know you're being facetious there, Jere, but there is sort of a difference between trading arguably your worst starting pitcher, when you have six or seven of them, and trading arguably your second- or third-best.

I still think the Arroyo-Pena trade is defendable from a logical point of view. Would you be as upset with this if Clement had been traded, do you think? I realize Bronson has more of a history with the team, got a fairly raw deal (though even he says no promises were broken), and has the tinge of 2004 on him. I'm sorry to see him go emotionally as well. But basically one pitcher had to go somewhere and Bronson probably was the right choice objectively.

It gives you a PEFECT platoon partner for Trotman (around .285 against lefties--based on Pena's last two seasons against lefties with a little bit of pessimism thrown in--and about 14-22 homers are numbers I like to see in close to half of the right fielder's at-bats). Don't you think that's worth a starting pitcher who was more or less a spare part? If you believe Wells and Clement are untradeable (due to money or whatever) and are probably going to have similar or better seasons compared to Arroyo (as I believe), don't you HAVE to trade Arroyo? If you believe DiNardo is good or coming into his own (I happen to think he's good), doesn't that make it even more necessary?

Of course, if you objectively believe that Arroyo was better than some other pitcher or was a nice, flexible option and believe that is worth more than Pena's probable numbers, then I can understand. I can understand, also, if emotional attachment plays a role, but based on what I see and feel, I think the trade was good.

But as before on the topic of cell phones, we can agree to disagree.
Schilling has injury issues. So does Beckett. I wouldn't trust Wells to come through for me. Clement may never be the same after that shot he took to the head.

I am the most optimistic of Sox fans, but even if only two of these guys are out at the same time, we're going to wish we had a guy who could step in and start, who can throw a lot of innings and has big game experience. Instead, we'll be stuck with someone who probably pitches as well as Wily Mo does, and we'll be wishing we had Arroyo. (Especially when Papelbon's locked into the pen because Foulke is in Alabama.)

And even in just a case of, say, Wake "not having it" one day, we're gonna wish we had Bronson to come in in the first and go til the seventh.

We got rid of Bronson and gained two guys, neither of which is a starter, and neither of which has really done that well in the majors.

But, until I believe what BSM has said about batting average not being very important and a strikeout being the same as a deep fly with a runner on third, I'm never going to be convinced this was an absolutely amazing deal, regardless of whether I liked Bronson or not.
"We got rid of Bronson and gained two guys, neither of which is a starter, and neither of which has really done that well in the majors."

Again, though, Pena is only 24, and because the Yankees screwed up and signed him to a major league deal, he was toughing it out trying to face the best pitchers in baseball at an age when virtually all other young hitters are allowed to develop slowly against AA and AAA competition. I don't know if he'll develop along the very encouraging projections some have laid out for him, but his age 21-23 production is certainly not a fair indication of his likely production in his late 20's.

As for Choi, at $700K claiming his is a no-brainer. He did not have a good 2005 in LA, apparently in part because of a power struggle between Jim Tracy and Paul DePodesta that left him jerked in and out of the lineup, but he has shown good walk rates and a little bit of power to go with a decent glove. At worst, he's a decent platoon partner w/Youks at 1B, and if he develops and Lowell continues to falter, then he gives the Sox the flexibility to move Youks back to 3B. Nice move.

Here's John Sickels' write-up on him from a month ago, acknowledging that Choi hadn't developed as he expected, but still expressing hope that all he might need is a change of scenery:
I never sad anything bad about Choi or the pickup of Choi.

It's just that if all we were gonna get one guy for Bronson and then get another guy, maybe the money we're paying the second guy could have gone into getting someone in the Bronson deal who is either A. a starting player or B. has shown some type of actual proof of being good. You can say that about literally every person in the world, that they've got loads of potential.

What if, by some computer error, my roommate Chan was thought to have the potential to be a .400 hitter. I still wouldn't acquire him.
Well...he is around half a starting player and rather a reliable one offensively in the positions we'll be putting him in.

I think at least one of the current relievers is gonna be crappy (and probably two), but I also believe that this spring has taught me a few of the young 'uns are about ready to pitch. Playoff experience or no. I don't think Hansen, DiNardo, and Delcarmen are all gonna be the equivalent of or superior to Arroyo. But I'll bet my next paycheck one of them turns out to be. As soon as this year.
Well, I guess I should just think of Wily Mo as a prospect we got for Bronson.

By the way, what's your salary? The future of those three now depends on whether you're a hot-shot lawyer or a cashier.
But, until I believe what BSM has said about batting average not being very important and a strikeout being the same as a deep fly with a runner on third, I'm never going to be convinced this was an absolutely amazing deal, regardless of whether I liked Bronson or not.

No, no- never said either of these things. BA isn't as effective a tool in analyzing a player as other stats are- but it is a measure of something. It happens to be a current deficiency in Choi and Pena's games- which is why people tend to undervalue them, and we can get them.

Next, obviously a K with a runner on third and one out isn't as good as a long fly. But since we're not counting on the continual fixed circumstance every time a guy bats, you take the whole spectrum of situations into accout. In this way, the effect of being a strikeout hitter is a wash- sometimes bad, sometimes really bad, sometimes less bad than if contact was made. Big, big difference.

You're still pimping on Bronson on the day that his replacement DiNardo has added to his Spring resume, which is on the heels of an excellent 2005 in AAA and MLB. Bronson Arroyo was a long reliever on this team, Jere. You're not going to miss him on the field. He's (fairly) easily replaced.

As for "proven" vis a vis Pena and Choi- Pena HAS proven at least one thing- demonstrable MLB power at a very young age. Since NOTHING is guaranteed in the future- not Pena, Ortiz, Ramirez, ARod- nothing- you go by indicators. So without rehasing all the arguments, the indicators are positive on Pena. They're really not on Arroyo. That's where the optimism comes from.

Choi's just a great pickup all around- very good defense, very good plate discipline, undervalued, came for free, cheap as hell, good power, and provides insurance on the almost inevitable Snow/ Lowell suckfest. This is where Theo beats the other guys- depth and roster construction.
Videogame tester (I am working tomorrow--Saturday--and have been home before 9 exactly once this week, so it's not as cushy/fun as one might imagine), pretty comfortable salary (more than the median American teacher, let's say). I would definitely bet one of my (bi-weekly) paychecks. I'll even narrow it down to Hansen and DiNardo. One of those boys is the real deal.
I think Lenny's gonna be fine, just didn't want him to be Bronson's replacement.

So I don't get it. Is the Reds GM also reading Red Sox message boards, and going "Oh crap, why didn't I think of this stuff? Foiled by Theo again!"? I mean, thy must have had some reason to make this trade. Please advise.
Wow, even at 1 AM I'm doing that thing where I reply to one comment but someone else throws one in while I'm typing.

So, Devine, a video game tester, huh? I understand "Across 110th Street" is a helluva tester.

And, I agree that all those dudes will most likely have sweet careers.
Jere, I love your blog, but here's what happened as far as the Reds perspective. They needed at least a good starting pitcher who was pretty cheap. Arroyo, and this is the part that makes it cruel as far as the Red Sox management is concerned, agreed on a cheap contract in order (he hoped) to stay a Red Sox. Although Pena had a great upside, the Reds were desperate for a decent starting pitcher in order to even pretend to contend, so they settled upon Arroyo who was affordable. It wasn't a bad trade for the Reds, I'm sure if Boston could get Pena without trading a starting pitcher they would have, but Boston has enough starting pitching depth that they were able to make the trade without it harming them. I think of it as a no-harm, no-foul trade.

I miss Arroyo a lot, I mean he's the only Red Sox whose shirt I've bought, and I still think he's the Red Sock I'd most love to talk shit with. I feel for him, and if I were a major league player who just got traded, I would react the same way. Still, when you are a major league general manager, you have to learn to leave emotions behind. If Arroyo had figured out lefties and pitched a no-hitter (like I hoped he would), then I would be more upset at the trade.

But, dude, I'm with you, I was always hoping for a way to keep Arroyo with the Red Sox. I understand why you're upset. My brain doesn't care, but my heart sunk when I heard the news.
But they have to mix in "give the people what they want," or they won't have any more fans, and therefore, no more cash. So it is good business to do that

Let's say Ortiz hits .270 with 32 homers next year. I think it's safe to say that a majority of Sox fans would want him to still be on the team the following year (and for the rest of his career). So, what if Theo sees a projection thing that says Otiz will continue to decline. Is he really going to just be willing to let him go?

Well, I guess that's what happened to Damon. I don't know why I bother sometimes. Why should we clap so loudly for Lou Merloni if his heart and style of play just means nothing because it doesn't show up in the stats.

I'm going to bed.

"The handshake seals the contract
From the contract there's no turning back
The grabbing hands grab all they can
Everything counts in large amounts"

Glad you love the blog, Hunter.
Why don't you just post an "Okay, you were all correct about the Arroyo-Pena deal and I was totally wrong" post, Jere? What's the next step? Is someone going to track you down with a mallot and pound the sense of the deal into your brain until you succumb? I see both sides of the argument and I love the reading the debate, but there comes a point when you sort of respectfully agree to disagree and let the shit go. Wait, I just realized that I'm continuing this by virtue of my comment. Doh!
Thanks for your support, WCSG.

Maybe the fact that I've finally posted on a new theme--abortion!--will let this blog move on...

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