The Dord of Darien

Musings from the Mayor of the Internet

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Oh, Steve

He’s at it again. And by "it," I mean "being wrong about baseball."

By nearly any measure, the Red Sox ought to be well into a dynasty unseen since the Yankees of the 1950s. That it hasn’t exactly worked out is less a failing of manager Terry Francona, his players or the cerebral front office than a testament to an ultra-competitive division. Those pesky Rays. Those damn Yankees.

Well, no. Actually it’s because of pitching. Remember pitching, Steve? It’s a thing that exists in "baseball." The Red Sox have had awesome offenses for the last decade, but their pitching has been highly unremarkable. It’s had moments of brilliance, and those moments coincide — not surprisingly, mind — with the years the Red Sox won the World Series. But Pedro got old and broken-down and then left, Beckett’s always hurt, Daisuke has been pretty average, Buchholz hasn’t been very good, Schilling was old and hurt… the list goes on. The Red Sox have been piecing together their rotation from scraps every year and hoping it holds together. Sometimes it does, and they do very well. On the other hand, sometimes it’s 2006.

A revolving door at shortstop should end with the signing of scrappy, late-blooming Marco Scutaro.

I’d have written that sentence as: "A revolving door at shortstop should continue revolving right past crappy, late-to-swing-at-fastballs Marco Scutaro." Scutaro is 34 years old this season, and he’d never had a good year until 2009. He’s not "blooming," Steve, he just had a lucky year. They happen. He’s not half the player Julio Lugo was, and Boston hated him.

Veteran elite defender Mike Cameron was brought in to play center field, enabling Jacoby Ellsbury to move to left and provide a significant defensive upgrade over Jason Bay.

"Veteran elite defender?" Is Mike Cameron a Civilization unit? And, yes, this move is a defensive upgrade over Jason Bay — a pile of bricks shaped vaguely like a hand would be a better defensive left fielder than Jason Bay — but I’m less confident than Steve that this will overcome the significant offensive downgrade.

Adrian Beltre, perhaps baseball’s best glove man at third base, replaces tough but brittle Mike Lowell.

"Tough but brittle" is a contradiction, Steve. You go to hell. And, hang on, I need to call Evan Longoria (career UZR/150: 19.6) and let him know that apparently Adrian fucking Beltre (career UZR/150: 13.9) is the best defensive 3B in baseball. CHONE, for what it’s worth, predicts that Beltre will be worth 2.7 WAR in 2010.

Cameron and Beltre have pop but don’t hit for high averages.

Adrian Beltre, career: .270 / .325 / .453 / .779, 105 OPS+
Mike Cameron, career: .250 / .340 / .448 / .788, 107 OPS+

Not seeing much pop, Steve. Cameron will take a walk, which is nice, but… what’s good about Beltre? Especially when you consider he hasn’t hit his career averages in any recent season.

Just for fun, Mike Lowell, career: .280 / .343 / .468 / .810, 109 OPS+

Scutaro’s lifetime .721 OPS makes him a No. 9 hitter.

Yes, he just beats out Beltre and Cameron for the position. This .721 OPS is tied to the reason why the door should not stop revolving just yet, by the way, Steve.

The starting rotation could push the Red Sox to 100 wins or drag them down to 90.

It could drag them down a lot farther than that, Steve. Remember when they won 86 games in 2006, for example? That’s lower than 90, isn’t it? And their offense was way better that year.


February 12th, 2010 Posted by | Baseball | no comments