April 07, 2003

Now it's time to focus on winning. : Finally, the Red Sox picked up Pedro's 2004 option. That sound you hear outside isn't the snow and wind whipping around the streets of Boston tonight -- it's the collective sigh of relief of Red Sox Nation.

Not to be greedy, but uh... can we get a closer now, please?

posted by jerseygirl to baseball at 11:24 PM - 17 comments

You don't need a closer. It's an artificial position. The Red Sox are being smart and not letting any one pitcher rack up "saves". "Saves" cost money the next year in arbitration/free agency. What you want to do is what they have in mind: bring in the best pitcher available for the best time. That said, their bullpen has looked shakey, but it's really too early to panic. Trust Bill James and Theo Epstein. They know what they are doing.

posted by grum@work at 11:19 AM on April 08, 2003

Maybe Larry Andersen can come out of retirement.

posted by vito90 at 11:55 AM on April 08, 2003

Very decent points as usual, Grum. That being said, my panic should subside once Chad Fox stops trying to close games.

posted by jerseygirl at 12:50 PM on April 08, 2003

Pick up all the options you you want Red Sox fans the Yankees will always be one step ahead. It will be a happy day when the A's can no longer afford Zito, or when Vlad Guerreo is a free agent, because they're both going to look good in Yankee uniforms. Now I'm heading down to The Wiz to spend money at one of the numerous Yankee corporate supporters so we can maintain our dominance over you pathetic Red Sox lovers.

posted by jbou at 12:58 PM on April 08, 2003

Oh. Oops! I didn't know we were turning this into a third grade playground fight. Sorry, my bad!

posted by jerseygirl at 01:31 PM on April 08, 2003

Are surprised by the Yankee comment? I love the assertion that Guerrero and Zito are automatic Yankees...Pedro would have been also had this measure not been taken? Right? I have to say that the beginning of this season amplifies Pitino's famous last words I agree that Boston shouldn't run out and throw some money at the best (crappy) reliever available (like some teams...and even they might be inclined to do)...Chad Fox might be the guy, Robert Person might be the guy, Anastascio Martinez might be the guy in time. Defense has hurt them as much as lock of control. It's all about being timely. Plus, there are a half dozen teams w/o closers. Theo Epstein was the only one who shouted it to a major-market media shark tank.

posted by YukonGold at 03:57 PM on April 08, 2003

That's okay, jerseygirl. You can laugh at the Yankees as they get saddled under bigger and more onerous contracts than Jason Giambi's or Roger "paying me twice for the same thing" Clemens. Especially when the Boss goes apeshit about losing in the first round again and fires the last remaining smart men in his organization. "We lose 3 year in row? Boss SMASH! RAHRRR!" The A's and Jays know the financial rules now. The Red Sox know the statistical landscape. Their turn will come and the Yankees will begin to emulate the Mets in more ways than one.

posted by grum@work at 04:08 PM on April 08, 2003

The Red Sox statistical landscape: Insert joke here. We should have a contest.

posted by 86 at 04:39 PM on April 08, 2003

The A's and Jays know the financial rules now. The Red Sox know the statistical landscape. Their turn will come and the Yankees will begin to emulate the Mets in more ways than one. The only number Red Sox fans need to know is 85, that is the amount of years since the Red Sox last won a world series. As for the rules, the A's better learn how to pack their moving vans because they couldn't even sellout opening day, and the Blue Jays play in a thriving city and they still can't generate revenue, or is the problem that most team owners are greedy bastards that won't open up their wallets to spend some money to put together a good team? The only way the Yankees will ever look like the Mets is if someone drops orange paint on them. The Red Sox do have a good team, it's a shame that they always seem to be letting opportunities slip between their legs.

posted by jbou at 05:06 PM on April 08, 2003

Oh, could I be allowed to stoop so low as to riff on jbou's "between the legs" comment? Perhaps how someone in his family should have kept hers closed? Taking the trash talk somewhere else, pal. Overlords (and I mean that nicely), feel free to remove this if it's just too MeFi, and I'll post separately behind it. :)

posted by wfrazerjr at 06:01 PM on April 08, 2003

As for the REAL issues, I agree about the closers to a point, but also look at it this way what confidence does it build for the rest of the Red Sox team when they know that NONE of the guys in their bullpen were good enough to be closers elsewhere? They have no lights-out guy to come in and slam the door. I have to think that hurts them psychologically, especially when they look in the other pen and see Billy Koch or Mariano Rivera or someone of that ilk.

posted by wfrazerjr at 06:03 PM on April 08, 2003

The problem with the Red Sox is that because the bullpen started the way they did, no outing (other than a perfect one) is going to seem successful. Peter Gammons had an interesting set of closer stats (scroll to or search for "Benitez in elite company"). I always knew that Hoffman was lights out, I guess Benitez just has a bad wrap. ...

posted by YukonGold at 10:02 PM on April 08, 2003

The Red Sox statistical landscape: Insert joke here. Ooh! Ooh! Can I start? They once traded Babe Ruth. I believe it was around 1917. come on somebody has to pick low-hanging fruit...

posted by vito90 at 12:41 AM on April 09, 2003

Well, the folks at the Prospectus make an interesting case against picking up Pedro's option so soon. It's under their premium selections, so I can't link to it. But they point to: a) Pedro's fragility-- From their argument: Pedro's Rank among American League innings pitched, 1998-2002: 7, 8, 7, 60, 20 Pedro's Rank among American League games started, 1998-2002: 6, 33, 29, 55, 23 b) The fact that the team still had 5 months before they needed to exercise their option. Should Perdo develop a serious injury between now and the last date they had to pick up the option, the BoSox are left spending $15 million they didn't need to. c) There's no guarantee this will help clubhouse morale, since Pedro already whined about not having his option picked up one year in advance, what's to say Pedro won't demand a new contract one year before he hits the market?

posted by herc at 04:30 AM on April 09, 2003

An aside: man, it sucks that prospectus is Premium now- they had some of THE BEST articles on baseball to be found. :( That said, the prospectus guys are stupid in this case. Sure, it's possible Pedro will be fragile.... but as a lifelong Boston fan who's lived in Seattle for the last 9 years, I recall that one of the reasons Seattle traded Randy Johnson was because of his supposed bad back that would make him unlikely to last. Folks.... that was when Randy had only *one* Cy Young award. Now, a mere 91 wins, 4 straight under-3.00 era seasons with 4 straight Cy Youngs averaging over 20 wins a year and not one season with less than 334K's (and he's 300 away from 4000k at this point- possibly just one more good season, or two mediocre ones)... I'm starting to think Freddy Garcia and Carlos Guillen just aren't really good compensation for that kind of dominator on the mound. If Randy Johnson is on the field in 2001, the M's might have won 120 and marched all the way to the championship. More importantly: those bad back complaints seem pretty freakin' silly now. And if I'm not mistaken, Roger Clemens was traded by Dan Duquette because he was past his prime... before winning 3 more Cy Youngs and now a mere 5 wins from 300 career total, with the 3rd highest strikeout total in major league history and just 80 K's from the insane level of 4000K's. Johnson may pass him before he's through, since this will likely be Clemens' last year, but god... the Sox would have loved Clemens to have been in their rotation in those years just after he was traded. So these great pitchers, you see... they don't have much left to motivate them, but pride. And they have a way of getting particularly determined to show an ex- GM they shouldn't have been traded. Pedro, I'd hazard, is in that group- plus, he beefed up in the winter, with more muscle than he had before- he should have a few good years left in him.

posted by hincandenza at 04:45 AM on April 09, 2003

Interesting article at ESPN2 about the Big Unit who, like Clemens, has nothing left to play for but the game itself- they've got money, championships, and a first-class, one-way ticket to Cooperstown already stamped and punched. I hope in 5 years we're talking about Pedro in those terms, and that he's still in a Boston uniform. Another aside: if Griffey hadn't been injury prone the last 3 years.... we'd right now be talking about the Seattle Mariners trading away or letting leave the a) greatest infielder, b) greatest outfielder, and c) greatest pitcher of this generation (OK, Clemens probably can still claim the best pitcher of his generation, few could argue that before he was injured Griffey was the best centerfielder or that A-Rod is definitely the best shortstop/infielder). Bambino's got nothing on that kind of talent leak- clubhouse morale doesn't have nuthin' on 4000k's, 600HR, or scads of Gold Gloves.

posted by hincandenza at 04:54 AM on April 09, 2003

Two points: 1. This is the only time I'm going to answer Yankee fan trollery. You can show up in every Sox-related thread and guffaw all you want. Just remember what Jesus said, "It's easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a Yankee fan to get into Heaven." We get a free pass on everything, which means two things: re-examine how you live your life and if you ever see me walking around your neighborhood banging on doors, watch your ass. 2. Clemens. In retrospect it sucks that Duquette let him go, but you have to put it in perspective. Clemens is now a ~300 game winner who throws 97 at age 40. When Duquette let him go he was a ~200 game winner who often topped out at 89 the last few Sox years because he didn't care. I don't know if he would have had as good a career if he'd spent it all in a Sox uniform. (And would we have gotten to watch Pedro?).

posted by yerfatma at 09:55 AM on April 09, 2003

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