Thursday, October 13, 2011

Red Sox

Well, things look pretty grim. Our boys of summer almost universally covered themselves with crap. Perhaps excepting Pedroia, who may be the only one who understands what playing baseball for millions of dollars means. I never liked Beckett or Lackey. I can't stand the owners. I hate NESN. Why would I continue to be a fan? Baseball is a glorious game, but it seems to have been totally corrupted by the 2011 Red Sox, from the top on down, Francona included. Losing is but a small part of it. Whatever happened to dignity and class?

What think the rest of you? Got any plans for your baseball future?


Caleb said...

Probably doesn't change TOO much for me, in the long run. I will cheer for wherever Francona ends up, and will likely pay a bit more attention to the Cubs. I'll still cheer for the Red Sox, but a) they've gotta got a grip on things right away and stop the garbage in the press and b) I won't be cheering for John Lackey next year, and will find it hard to cheer for Josh Beckett and Jon Lester.

I don't buy, for a second, the smearing of Francona in the press. It (the entire article, really) is couched in terms like "apparently" and relies on anonymous sources and supposition. The stuff about players is a bit more substantiated, and a bit more believable (and I'm a bit biased against them from the start - not so with Tito).

Dump Lackey. I don't care what it takes. Look into dumping Beckett. Wave goodbye to Wake, Tek, Drew and Papi. Pick up Scutaro's option and sign Papelbon to a long term deal. Explore trade markets for Youkilis, but make him the DH if there aren't good options. Build a team around Pedroia, Gonzalez, Ellsbury, Papelbon, Crawford, and Lester, and I'll keep watching. If 2012 has to be a real rebuilding year (given the terrible crop of free agents this offseason), I'm OK with that. Just put this crap in the rear view mirror as fast as possible.

Caleb said...

By the way, I don't mind seeing Theo go. As innovative as he was at the start, he has a phenomenally terrible history with FA signings. JD Drew may be his best big* FA signing of the last four years, and that's not saying much. Renteria, Lugo, Clement, Jenks, Wells, Lackey, Crawford**...I'm much more broken up about Francona. Seems like Theo would be leaving this offseason no matter what, and Francona was forced out because of the collapse.

* He's had good luck with minor signings like Aceves, but they're low risk.

** I actually like Crawford, and I think he'll get better next year. But his contract is terrible.

Dad said...

Good stuff, Caleb.

Mom and I have long admired Francona for his class and dignity. I, too, will be interested in where he ends up. I hope he can save his marriage. Schilling says the smears could have come from ownership and nowhere else. FWIW.

It appears that Theo drained the farm system. The Yankees were bringing up players that helped them. The RS not so much.

Regardless of next year's roster and manager, I still have the problem of my dislike for the owners and for NESN. It's torture to listen to the broadcasts. I feel like I'm constantly being sold. I watched a lot of other teams' broadcasts and none of them were like NESN. And it was such a pleasure to listen to Jim Palmer, or Buck Martinez, or Al leiter. Orsillo is very, very good. If only he didn't have to read so many promos. Remy is awful.

Now for a couple things the RS do well. One, they do a lot for charity. Two, when you watch a game and see the view from the center field wall past the pitcher to home plate, you see a sea of baseball fans, shoulder to shoulder and right on top of the plate. The way it should be. In other parks, except maybe Baltimore's, the view is very different. There's the fat padded seat view typified by the Yankees. Usually, many seats are empty, and the rest are filled by people who don't appear all that interested in the game. You watch them give orders to their waitresses, while they lounge comfortably in their super wide seats. At Tiger Stadium there is a walkway directly behind the plate and you watch people milling about, paying no attention to the game. It's weird. I hope the RS never decide to go the padded seat route. Though waitresses did show up somewhere in the middle of the season.

I don't know what I'll do come 2012. I used to lie on the chaise lounge under the cherry tree at 296 Bridge Road, listening to the RS on my Grandfather's transistor radio that I inherited when he died. It's hard to imagine caring about another team. But I've left them before and I'll leave them again if I don't like who they are.

Dad said...

Also: Victor Martinez stood at 3rd base last night. Right next to adrian Beltre. Last week I watched Johnny Damon play his enthusiastic brand of baseball. I thought the RS knew what they were doing when they let guys like these get away. Now I'm not so sure. Also, I wonder what these guys knew. Were they glad to get away?

Laura said...

I have so many thoughts on the Red Sox that I don't know where to start. The complete chaos coming out of Fenway right now is pretty embarrassing. The thing I've been feeling the most is utter disgust with the ownership. I agree with Schilling and a couple sports writers that John Henry & Co. is behind the pathetic Tito smear campaign. Dragging names through the mud is not a new activity for them. I don't put too much stock in John Henry's maturity level (see: his ridiculous twitter habit). I've read that Tito's marriage problems were just a few rocky days and they are back together now. I don't want to know anymore. I don't think his family situation is any of my business. For me, losing Tito has been harder to swallow than the September collapse. Maybe everyone is right and that a change is needed, but I think that the front office could have decided to make Tito part of the solution instead of pretending that he was the problem. I will miss him. He wasn't a player, but he was one of my favorite red sox.

Lackey can NOT come back next year. There will be a riot if he shows up at Opening Day in a Red Sox uniform. He can take his sneer and his complete lack of talent and go somewhere else. Maybe it's not fair, but I've decided to lay a lot of the blame for September and for the odd clubhouse situations on him. I don't care if they have to eat all his contract, he CAN NOT COME BACK. I was never a fan of the guy, and all he has done since showing up in Boston is proving that I was right.

I agree with Caleb about rebuilding the team around certain players. I'd like to see Aceves on that list. He was one of the few guys that seemed to be really working in September. He may be a bit nuts, but I like him.

I'm not broken hearted to say good bye to Theo, but it seems to me that he should stay and fix this mess. If I were him I'd want to leave the Sox on a high note. The last three years are going to leave a big mark on his reputation.

I'm also bitterly disappointed in Lester. He has always been one of my favorite guys. After his no hitter he said that Francona was like a father to him. Now Francona is gone and we still haven't heard a peep out of him. He was apparently part of the beckett-lackey group that was causing so many problems in the clubhouse. If Lester's beer drinking, chicken eating habits caused a rift between him and Tito then he should be ashamed of himself. Actually, he should probably just be ashamed of himself anyway. You should choose your role models carefully, and obviously Beckett and Lackey aren't the guys you should hitch your wagons to.

Tito has been gone for 14 days and I am STILL waiting for a thank you from John Henry. Just a simple "Thanks for the 8 years and 2 world series championships" would do. Instead he just blames him for his yacht accident. Someone needs to muzzle Henry (AFTER he thanks Francona). He is making a fool out of himself.

All I know is I do not want to read anymore gossip articles in the Globe about what happened in September. I've been disillusioned enough, thank you. When they want to start writing about how they are going to fix the team, I'll start paying attention to baseball again. I can't pretend I'm not going to cheer for them next year, but I will probably have more complicated feelings about this team.

This year has only reinforced that Pedroia is a gem and needs to be treated as such. I love to watch him play. Hopefully next year he can take on a leadership role in fixing whatever is going on in that clubhouse.

Caleb said...

Henry is still talking, btw. He's on 98.5 in Boston right now, apparently making things even worse. I agree completely with Laura's comments regarding his apparent maturity. Lucchino does not compliment him well, either, as he seems to just be a straight up bad person. I don't know Tom Werner from a hole in the wall.

Dad, I've thought about the players who've gone away a lot recently - VMart was likely a good decision, as he's pretty much limited to DH and only occasionally catching in Detroit, and our DH slot was full. Beltre would have been great to keep around, but the other Adrian should provide similar and likely better value. Beltre was very likeable, though. It's starting to look like letting Damon go was a mistake. He'd be redundant with Ellsbury, but it seems like there's almost always been a hole somewhere in the OF he could have played.

NESN IS really annoying. I end up watching it pretty rarely, though, as MLB.TV shows home team broadcasts and so many games are on Fox or ESPN.

I've heard some thoughts that Pedroia can be a source of energy and optimism in the clubhouse but may not be a hardass enough to be a clubhouse leader. A good first mate, basically. Some people hope Ellsbury steps up, or even Papelbon if he sticks around.

I'm still invested, apparently. I can't stop reading SOSH yet. Cherrington, by the way, is an Amherst grad. Hired for the sox by a previous Amherst grad, Duquette. Maybe this is my opportunity?

Laura said...

RIDICULOUS that Henry is revealing that about Crawford. What a fool.

Luke Murphy said...

Ugh. I really, really hate these media guys. Honestly, they just make a living by finding people out there in the world who have accomplished something, and coming up with some way to trash them. I especially hate Dan Shaughnessy. I really don't know what to gather from his article at all; the article is so non-objective and devoid of facts. Hohler's article is much better, but even that I still can't trust fully. I do wish that there was some media outlet that I could listen to and KNOW I was hearing the truth, but I can't do that with any of these guys.

That said, it does sound like this team is really screwed up. To what extent depends on how much you believe what the Boston media has to say.

Luke Murphy said...

Dad, cancel your subscription to all the baseball channels, buy an AppleTV (or some other similar internet TV device) and hook it up to the TV, and get a subscription to MLB.TV. You can choose between watching home or away team broadcasts, you can DVR, you can set it up to allow you to always start a game from the beginning and not show you the score, even if you don't start watching it until later. And, if I remember correctly, there are no promos. The MLB.TV feed, for some reason, just sticks with the field camera. So every now and then they'll say "And now we're going to cut away to Tom Caron," but the shot doesn't cut away from the field, and you just get a few seconds of silence. If you get MLB.TV, FOX, ESPN, and MLB network then you've got every baseball game all season, except for maybe the NY ones that are on MY9 or whatever it is.

Luke Murphy said...

Well, I'll still be a Sox fan, because I love Ellsbury and Pedroia (and Scutaro and Papelbon, although they might not be back), but I won't be excited for the start of the 2012 season the way I saw for this season. I couldn't WAIT for baseball this year since about January or so. Next year I probably won't watch as many games, I'll probably just follow the scores, and maybe I won't even get MLB.TV.

I do think they'll still be good next year though. Crawford will bounce back and be back to his normal 5 WAR per season self, which will make up for losing Papi if that is what happens. WHOEVER gets plugged in for Lackey, even if it's some random minor leaguer, will be better than Lackey. I imagine that they'll re-sign Papelbon and Scutaro, and probably pursue a pitching free agent (maybe CJ Wilson?).

Luke Murphy said...

Theo's problem was that he spent a lot of money on players who were never going to be worth that money simply because they were the only available option at the time. That was the case with Lackey, Renteria, Lugo, and many others. I would tell him that if the right guy is available, spend whatever you need to get him, because the Sox can afford it, but if he's not, then don't try to force it by overpaying for some chump. That never worked well for us. Also, it loses you DRAFT PICKS.

Look at what the Rays have done with so much less money. They've done it with draft picks and by cleverly signing minor league prospects to cheap, long-term deals BEFORE they hit the majors (Longoria is theirs for 9 years for only 45 mil). In my opinion, teams like the Red Sox and the Yankees should follow the same sort of strategy as teams like the Rays, but then go ahead and splurge ridiculous sums of money on the free agents who are truly worth it. I mean guys like Cliff Lee, or Teixiera, or Adrian Gonzalez. If you take a $40 million team like the Rays, and add 2 or 3 free agents of that caliber to it, which the Red Sox could easily afford, you end up with a 100-win team.

I'm totally fine with the Crawford deal, because Crawford had a tremendous track record of being one of the most valuable players in the game for multiple seasons, and he should be in his prime right now. Nobody could have predicted he would be this bad this year. He just couldn't adapt to the pressure quickly, but I think he will next year.

Dad said...

Is the AppleTV HD?

I hear ya on the media. I've never liked Shaughnessy, and I hate Ryan, but now I want to know what the hell was going on, and, like you, I'm not sure where to go to find out. It irks me even more than the media do that I'm spending my money rooting for people that are one, taking me for granted, and two, have no class. Francona had class. Pedroia has class. Ellsbury may have so much class that he just showed everybody how good he is, without bitching about being called out last year. But Lackey and Beckett make me barf. It's the same with the movies. Can't watch 'em if someone I know too much about is in 'em. Can't watch Obama, either.

Dad said...

OK, it's HD and only $99! Will it download fast enough at 2.5 MBPS? I'd have to move the router into the kitchen. Unless we buy another house and then I'd have to move it to the other house.

Luke Murphy said...

Can you watch Herman Cain? :)

Luke Murphy said...

I don't know if it will work on 2.5 MBPS. I bet Apple could tell you though. I think my connection is a bit faster than that, and I can do HD no problem.

Dad said...

>Can you watch Herman Cain? :)


Of course, being a racist homophobe, he will be my candidate.

Luke Murphy said...

According to, my internet gets about 19.5 MBPS downloading, and 6.6 MBPS uploading.

Dad said...

Almost 8 times the speed of our DSL.

Caleb said...

Luke, following the Rays pattern is easy. First, lose 90 games or more for 9 years straight, giving you a top 5 draft pick every single year, until you amass enough young cost controlled guys to make a run at it for the 3-5 year window during which you can afford them.

In other words, in 2015 the Rays won't be able to afford Longoria, Price, Moore, Upton, Jennings, and Davis, and they will have gone 7 years without prime draft picks. They look great right now, but it's not a sustainable* kind of success.

*Don't you love that word?

Caleb said...

We're getting FiOS in our new apt. Should I invest in an Apple TV?

Luke Murphy said...

Well, that's a good point about the Rays. I do think that their management is a bit smarter than that though, and that we'll continue to see them be competitive. They had those high draft picks for years under their old management and were unable to translate them into anything. And it seems like guys just keep coming up for them. This year they had Hellickson and Moore.

Also, I'm not sure in baseball how big of an advantage it is to have the 1st pick instead of the 30th. It seems like you see a lot of good major leaguers who were drafted pretty late.

And I don't have an Apple TV myself so I don't really know a lot about them. My roommate had one in Pittsburgh and it was pretty cool. You could watch MLB.TV, YouTube, NetFlix, and then basically all the content that's on iTunes (which you have to pay for, of course). There's nothing on it that isn't already available on a computer, as I understand it, it's just simplified down to just the TV stuff and it's cheap.