Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Most. "Fuck!"s. Ever.

Things that caused Jere to scream out loud at his TV tonight alone:

Lester's usual four-pitch walks and 3-0 counts.

Hansen throwing the ball away.

Seanez and Tavarez appearing on the screen. (An idea: One time, let's take Seanez out and just not bring anyone in. Let him sit in the dugout knowing we'd rather place the ball on the rubber and hope the wind blows it to the plate and the batter swings and misses than have him pitch.)

Grounder under Gonzalez' glove to score tying and go-ahead run.

Wily Mo's double play. The guy's a dead body in the lineup, albeit one that occasionally hits really impressive home runs.

Ump calling Lopez out in key spot when he was clearly safe.

Error allowing Damon to reach as first batter of game.

Error allowing Jeter to reach late in game.

Ump saying A-Rod made tag when he didn't.

White Sox hitting into bases loaded 1-2-3 double play with bases loaded, no out.

Giambi getting hit with bases loaded in a tie game in the eighth.

White Sox tying game in ninth, getting the next guy on with no outs, but then failing on sacrifice attempt, pinch-running at first, and having that guy then get caught stealing.

And as I write this sentence, the White Sox actually give me some relief by beating the Yanks in the eleventh, right after A-Rod missed a foul pop which Jeter should've been hustling on but didn't even get close to, and the fucking Yankee announcers said nothing about (except to make the excuse that the ball was in no-man's-land).

Despite that, this goes down as the most frustrating night of the year. Easily. I am so happy this Yankee game just turned out right. I had been making suicide plans just in case. Or at least hibernation plans.

I want to just forget about this night that I thought would never end and get to sleep. Thank you, White Sox, you stupid assholes, for at least coming through.

Oh, and Leiberman lost, which is good, too. Great quote from the AP article:

"People are going to look back and say the Bush years started to end in Connecticut," said Avi Green, a volunteer from Boston. "The Republicans are going to look at tonight and realize there's blood in the water."

Comments:
Lieberman losing = awesomeness.

The Red Sox equals the opposite of this. I really, really, really don't think they're playing past September this year. Hope I'm wrong.
 
Sickening with The Sawx.
 
The most tragic disappointing loss of the year was the extra inning affair down in Tampa. At least for me. We had that one. Last night, we never did.
 
Don't forget how Paul "I'm just glad I was on those teams!" O'Neil said that A-Rod wasn't "used to running that far" because there's less foul ground at "The Toilet..."

And BSM, I'm with you. This team is built for June.
 
Peter: We were up 3-2 in that game. Anyway, not the worst Sox game of the year, but between the two games, just watching as neither Sox could pull away, it was the worst baseball watching night of the year, despite that the White Sox were able to pull it out. Another thing I forgot to mention: When Wang had reached like 80 pitches in the fourth or something, and the game just seemed over. He had completely lost it. But the White Sox hit into a double play and somehow found themselves facing Mo in the ninth instead of having a blowout win.

I think, and someone else said this first, that we ARE built for October, we just need to get there.

The league being like it is, we definitely have a really good chance of making the playoffs and winning the division. So, I've got hope. I just feel like I don't even want to turn on the TV tonight though, not because I don't think we'll win, but because I don't want to get internal injuries from stress.
 
I'm usually a pretty optimistic guy, but watching the two heavyweights slug it out in 11 innings in Chicago was a stark contrast to our little ballclub getting run around the field by the Double-A Royals.

I don't totally agree with every criticism Jere threw up there, but it almost doesn't matter. I'd probably have one to replace any I'd take off his board, and either way they're playing so bad that they probably deserve even some undue criticism.

It sucks.
 
Hey, Sox fans, it's a bad patch.
Meanwhile, with the CT Democrats rejecting that Bush lackey, the obscene sound you hear coming in just a little less raucously than usual is Osama Ben Laden who is, of course, still laughing at us while he hangs out with his ten wives.
 
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
 
I would love to see the Sox make it into the postseason, and we might see a miracle of some kind between now and then (or maybe something resembling a winning streak), but don't count on front office to hear our colective moans. Though we certainly have the offensive power to compete beyond September (my opinion), our pitching is sorely lacking and FO is, I think, just going to make a go with what we've got, as to avoid the risk of giving our future away. Also, there really isn't a lot of available inventory in the pitching department, so I think what you see is what you get, Sox pitching-wise. I'm hoping for the best.
 
The FO would wake everybody up, if they made a deal to get that noted outfielder, The Great Lastings Milledge.
 
Unless Milledge has some great splitter I'm unaware of, that is not what we need. And Jere, I disagree that we're built for October. These five-game series are a whole different animal. You need two knockout starters, and you also need to secure your playoff spot a week in advance, so you can set your rotation. In theory, Schill/Beckett is that star tandem, but on the field, are you ready to trust your postseason dreams to Beckett? I'm not, that guy is one of the most frustrating pitchers I've watched in awhile. The Twins may have dumbassed themselves right out of their duo, if Liriano is hurt as bad as the worst-case scenario. But right now, if we had the wild card, we'd play Detroit. Fun. Doncha think?
 
I think you're being unfair to Pena based on how he got here. He certainly was productive last night, and I can't see Kapler doing any better as a regular. Bronson is kind of struggling right now anyway - the NL may have figured him out, so at the moment the trade is kind of a wash.
 
Well, I was about to say this anyway, but you just made it actually fit in:

Arroyo, as I've said since the day he was traded, is exactly what this team needs. Exactly. We'll never know what his stats would've looked like if he stayed, but imagine him instead of Seanez. Or Tavarez. Everything we are doing is good for this year AND the future EXCEPT for getting rid of Bronson. Do you want to debate with me that we wouldn't be two or more games better right now if Bronson had stayed?

Now, about Wily. He's come back from injury and had two good games. He's started all 7 games in August, and is hitting .185. Besides RBIs he got on the HR last night, he doesn't have any over that stretch. Even in July, take away the 2 good games, and he went 1 for 7. He's missed two cutoff men allowing runners to advance that I've seen. He didn't hustle home on a sac fly nearly allowing the guy at third to get thrown out as the third out before he scored. I don't know what year it is that this guy's supposed to get good, but it hasn't happened yet.

I think he's a great guy and I love big, long home runs, but him being up is a rally killer.

I would've taken my chances with Arroyo this year and if they really absolutely had to have acquired Wily, they should've given up something else, specifically NOT pitching to get him.

And Matt. If we can't trust those guys, we have no shot. In these next two days, they could both no-hit the Royals, and we'll all be psyched again. Remember, the team we're only 2 back of is the choking Yankees.
 
Milledge is my way of being sarcastic:

The Arroyo Deal is a "Yo Yo" of a deal;

In retrospect,think of it as "Jay Buehner For Ken Phelps";

In other words, hideous!
 
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Arroyo, as I've said since the day he was traded, is exactly what this team needs.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Another below average pitcher? No thanks. Arroyo is right in line with what we've got Jere, I hate to tell you. He'd qualify as warm body at this point for us, in this league.

At the very least Pena kept us in games starting in CF when Crisp was hurt, and now starting in RF with Nixon hurt. Without Pena, we're starting Willie Harris and Gabe Kapler in OF spots for a huge, huge chunk of the season.

Arroyo in July-
33 IP, 0-3, 5.45 ERA, 8 HR
August-
11.2 IP, 0-0, 6.94 ERA, 3 HR

His BAA has crawled every month of the season. His HR rate is crawling up. His ERA is crawling up.

He's turning into the guy we'd have seen in the AL. I have no doubt he'd be among the guys we'd all be bitching about right now.

I'm inclined to call this year a "building" year- the kind Theo mentioned in "Feeding the Monster."
 
I don't know, I think if we have him, that's at least 2 more wins, and then instead of talking about building, we're in first place.

I don't see how Kapler is worse than Wily Mo. Meaning the WM of right now.
 
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I don't see how Kapler is worse than Wily Mo. Meaning the WM of right now.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

If that's the case, then no offense- but there's a fundamental breakdown in your point.

WMP's upgrade over Willie Harris during Crisp's absence alone- using VORP is worth at least two wins, and his upgrade over Kapler from now until the end of the season probably represents just under one.

Again, there's a lot of evidence that shows Arroyo wasn't cutting it in the AL East anymore, and really isn't a pitcher that can't be replaced. Organizationally, he was- by Lester, in an upgrade- we just so happen to have lost Matt Clement, David Wells, Keith Foulke all for essentially the entire year. Arroyo wouldn't really have changed much there.
 
WMP 2006 WARP- 1.8
Gabe 2006 WARP- .5
Willie Harris- 0.0

That's just under 2 over Harris, and just over one on Gabe.
 
I think all of those Johnson/Snyder/ Pauley starts would've turned out better if Arroyo was there instead, as well as the pen being better when he was out there.
 
Probably a bit better, but you're talking about something like ~15 starts. Remember, the Sox have avoided the 5th starter wherever possible.

Meanwhile, Pena has covered out OF absences to the tune of something close to 50 games. That's almost a third of the season.

I know you liked Arroyo and all, but there's nothing much more than a hunch on the side of anyone betting he'd have been even decent in the AL East this year. He was showing a solid decline, and though his numbers looked nice to start the year, they've gone in the shitter over his last ~50 IP and he's in the NL, which is now inarguably a weaker league.

This also makes no mention of the oft-cited fact that at the time of the trade, the Sox were well setup for pitching. As a result of the loss of nearly 500 innings in Clement Wells and Foulke, they weren't. Hard to foresee these thing.

My guess, if in the AL this year? We'd be looking at a guy with something like a 5+ ERA in the rotation. Starting pitching is a lot to give up, and CIN certainly benefitted, but we got a player that helped us tremendously this year, and will down the line. The proof on all this in the pudding, Jere.
 
I think Wily Mo hasn't proven anything yet.

And aside from the hunch, and liking him, I've said it so many times, the other things we would've gotten with Arroyo that you can't just replace.

I also said at the time that pitching is too valuable to just assume you have enough, and pointed out all the possiblties for injuries on our staff.
 
Jere's final point is, I think, the most salient. Here's what we had to start the year: an old Schilling from whom no one knew what to expect; an old, injury plagued, overweight Wells; an old, inconsistent but loveable Wakefield; a proven head case, and overall mediocre Clement; and Beckett, who had never won more than what, 16 games in a year. If that's what Theo was banking on, then I absolutely think you have to take possible injuries into consideration. I'm not asking him to have a crystal ball, but have some foresight. Also, wouldn't you rather have B-Yo has the long man in the 'pen, rather than Kerosene Rudy, Freddy T, Snyder, et al? WMP has been a fill-in in the OF, but are you telling me we have no one in the minors that can play better D and hit .250 till Crisp and Trot were healthy? We're in worse shape than I thought.
 
It's more about blisters than wins on the Beckett thing, but yeah. BSM's counterpoint to this was that we had minor leaguers who could easily step in, but yeah, why couldn't minor leaguers step in for those outfielders. Or, Kapler.

And another thing people said was that Pena hasn't done well yet, but he could simply be taught to do better. So, why couldn't Arroyo, who already had proven he was pretty good, be taught more and improve himself?

I looked at Arroyo and said he was a good player who could still benefit the Sox staff. Why am I just never allowed to be right about that? You can't say "well the numbers said he peaked so there's absolutely no reason in the world to keep him." I get the feeling if he goes on to be a HoFer and Pena never plays a game, I'll still be told the Red Sox made the right move because the numbers said so. (Even though I've still never even seen numbers that tell me Wily Mo was ever any good.)
 
********
I looked at Arroyo and said he was a good player who could still benefit the Sox staff. Why am I just never allowed to be right about that?
********

Hey, don't blame us, blame Arroyo. His ERA is 4.86 since the all-star break - and that's in the NL. Add a run or a run and a half to that for the AL translation.

As to MattySox's points - you are forgetting Dinardo. He was the reason why we were confident enough to deal Arroyo. And then Dinardo got hurt - there wasn't any forseeing that. You don't understand Pena if you think his contribution is to "hit .250" - we do not have anyone in the minors who can slug over .500 and absolutely mash righthanders (1.057 OPS!!!!).

I guess I don't understand how people can see Pena club the monster with a broken bat and not see how ridiculously good this trade could turn out. Right-handed power is such a rarity - it was the reason why we held onto Millar for so long.

I think that if there's one deal the Red Sox are going to regret it's going to be that godawful Coco Crisp deal. We got Bard and Riske in that deal and ended up throwing them both out. Shoppach and Marte could make that deal look terrible.
 
I was at that game. I turned to my girlfriend in disbelief, saying I've never seen someone break their bat and hit one off the Monster. He has amazing power.

So did Sam Horn.

What's this about "not understanding Pena"? I'm watching him, with my eyes, do lots of bad things and only a few good things. I'm sure he's, like, the league leader in all the fantasy league stats, and I'm sure he's the all-time upsdide leader, which must count for a lot in those leagues, but in real life, he has yet to prove he's a good ballplayer.
 
The "not understanding Pena" statement was in response to this :

****
WMP has been a fill-in in the OF, but are you telling me we have no one in the minors that can play better D and hit .250 till Crisp and Trot were healthy?
***

Wily Mo Pena isn't a fill-in - he's a long term OF answer. Offensively, the only OF better than him on the Sox is Manny. He's better than Coco or Trot offensively, and with Varitek out he's probably the best Manny-protection in the 5-slot the Sox have.
 
jellyfish's basically got it.

Without being a dick, I'll put it this way- you seemed from the start unwilling to accept the terms of Wily Mo's potential, as evidenced by comments like this:

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
but yeah, why couldn't minor leaguers step in for those outfielders. Or, Kapler.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Gabe Kapler not only is not a good player, he's not a starter. Furthermore, the pitchers we had in the minors ready to assume the Arroyo role were not "minor leaguers"- they were versatile pitchers stashed in PAW with no room on the roster and ready for emergency. The OF in the minors right now are not major league players at the moment.

This is why Arroyo was at the time a commodity both able to be replaced and on the road to a decline.

If Bronson Arroyo ends up a HoFer and WMP blows out his legs TOMORROW, never playing another game, it was a good trade that turned out bad. Just like if we traded Manny for Tony Womack would be a bad trade gone good if Manny decided to become a monk three days later while Womack played like Charlie Gehringer for five years.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
I think Wily Mo hasn't proven anything yet.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

This is demonstrably false. He's proven to have star-level power. He's proven to have improved in every facet of his offensive development. These are not small things.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
the other things we would've gotten with Arroyo that you can't just replace.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

What are these things? To put a fine point on it- do you think that Bronson Arroyo would have done any better than his July/ August NL numbers, given everything we know about his track record, the NL/ AL disparity, and the quality of hitting in the AL East? If yes, why?

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
I also said at the time that pitching is too valuable to just assume you have enough, and pointed out all the possiblties for injuries on our staff.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

You pointed out a highly improbable worst-case scenario that actually happened to come true, only worse. Would Arroyo be useful to the team rght now? Yes, by default. No one's arguing that. But, I think I've made a fair case with some solid numerical evidence that Wily's been more valuable.

And will be leagues more valuable down the road. There are no viable OF on the FA market this winter, just for the record.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
And another thing people said was that Pena hasn't done well yet, but he could simply be taught to do better. So, why couldn't Arroyo, who already had proven he was pretty good, be taught more and improve himself?
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

This has been repeated here often, but it's pretty simple- Pena is 24 and through circumstances out of his control, has had a cicuitous and bizarre development pattern. As a result, he's still a developing player.

Arroyo is nearly 30 and has maximized his value. 30 year olds are often at the plateau of their value.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
I looked at Arroyo and said he was a good player who could still benefit the Sox staff. Why am I just never allowed to be right about that? You can't say "well the numbers said he peaked so there's absolutely no reason in the world to keep him."
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

The point was never that he isn't a useful player. That's why we were able to pick up such a great commodity with him. However, the reasons to feel good about the trade are tied to these repeated signs of decline.

There are two POVs to look at the trade from- when it was made, when it was hard to find a reason not to love it, and now, when the loss of a pitcher feels viscerally bitter.

But as I've pointed out, WMP's presence has helped the Red Sox- through injury- at the very least as much as Arroyo's would have, adjusting for league. When you take this into consideration, and then consider that WMP is either

a) a young, power hitting corner OF with the great potential to turn into something special, or
b) a young, power hitting corner OF with the great potential to turn into something special that could potentially land us a pitcher better than Arroyo down the line should we deem that better value

...then it looks like an entirely defensible trade.

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He has amazing power.

So did Sam Horn.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

The comparisons between Sam Horn and Wily Mo Pena are poor, for a number of reasons. Sam Horn at 24 wasn't an eighth the player WMP is.

Put it this way- if WMP had stayed in the minors through his development period- ie, still there- he'd be by far and away the best prospect in baseball. He hasn't, so his growth has been compromised, but the risk brings a real high reward.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
What's this about "not understanding Pena"?
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Again, no offense- we're just talking baseball here- but it comes from comparing him to Sam Horn and saying Gabe Kapler is a better player "right now."

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
and I'm sure he's the all-time upsdide leader, which must count for a lot in those leagues, but in real life, he has yet to prove he's a good ballplayer.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Again, this is totally untrue. A flawed player, but demonstrably very much a good one.

I can do this too. Bronson Arroyo has yet to prove that his 178 IP in 2004 were anything but a slightly-above-average fluke, and has yet to prove that once a league adjust to him, that he isn't immensely hittable.
 
*****
Put it this way- if WMP had stayed in the minors through his development period- ie, still there- he'd be by far and away the best prospect in baseball. He hasn't, so his growth has been compromised, but the risk brings a real high reward.
*****

I don't know if I'd agree with this statement - I'd still take Delmon Young, Justin Upton, Carlos Gonzales, Homer Bailey, or Brandon Wood over Pena in a heartbeat. That's not a knock on Pena though. There's no way that Bronson Arroyo fetches you any of those guys mentioned above.
 
I have the time later, and I've got the energy now, but I simply don't want to keep arguing this point by point, since we know where the other stands. My whole deal is I'm not stupid, and I enjoy statistics, but I'm not into this whole projection thing. I still think it's unfair to act like I can't be right, simply because of what the numbers said at the time. If you traded Manny for Craig Wilson, and Wilson became exactly what Manny was immediately, and manny never got another hit, why couldn't I call you a genius? Unless you admitted to simply picking names out of a hat. Which I'm not doing with this Arroyo thing.

I'm admitting that you could be right. Arroyo could never do well again, WMP could go on to have a great career. But you're saying I can't be right no matter what happens. I think the Reds can relate to how I'm feeling abou that.

About Kapler, I'm not saying "Hey, everybody, here's my plan! Kapler all the way! We don't need nobody else!" I'm just saying I'd suffer Kapler as our starting (when needed) right fielder, and Stern for center when needed as well, if it meant getting a starting pitcher on this team--one that's just like Bronson.
 
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I'm admitting that you could be right. Arroyo could never do well again, WMP could go on to have a great career. But you're saying I can't be right no matter what happens. I think the Reds can relate to how I'm feeling abou that.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Not at all. If that's how I came across, I didn't really make a solid point.

It could very easily end up as a poor trade. My argument has only ever been that with the circumstances at the time of the trade, it made the Red Sox better now and in the future. But we can agree to disagree. I certainly never meant to imply the Reds weren't getting a useful player in the deal.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
If you traded Manny for Craig Wilson, and Wilson became exactly what Manny was immediately, and manny never got another hit, why couldn't I call you a genius?
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

This is probably the crux of our disagreement. I firmly believe you judge a trade on the available evidence when it is made. What happens after is subject to countless factors that are impossible to control/ anticipate. If we made that trade, it would be a bad trade, for obvious reasons. If the result was as you described, I'd call it blind stupid luck, and I don't think a GM should get credit for that (or, in the converse, get blamed for it).

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
I don't know if I'd agree with this statement - I'd still take Delmon Young, Justin Upton, Carlos Gonzales, Homer Bailey, or Brandon Wood over Pena in a heartbeat. That's not a knock on Pena though. There's no way that Bronson Arroyo fetches you any of those guys mentioned above.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

A fair point. My only point on that is it's fair to assume two things if WMP is still a minor leaguer, and developing-

a) that his development would have made him a better player, and a better player relative to his mLer peers

b) that if he was a minor leaguer the entire time with a full compliment of development, Bronson Arroyo would never have been enough to fetch him either.

Again, these are hypotheticals however.
 

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