August 14, 2003

[weblog as conversation] So, Red Sox Nation, please tell me: are you happy with your Theo Epstein-Bill James-Bill Mueller 2003 Sox? Or are the 'New Baseball' ideas (by Scott Ostler) kooky? Great line about James: he's kept "in the background, like the zany uncle who does birdcalls."

posted by msacheson to baseball at 11:07 AM - 9 comments

I've been pissed at the Red Sox for a bit over a week. They're slowly wooing me back, as they do every year. Those wooing bastards. I don't know much about Bill James' theories (and haven't gotten too far into Moneyball yet), I have to admit. But what I do know is offensively, the Red Sox have been difficult to contain. They are leading the league in nearly every category. They are series of powerful bats from top to bottom of the lineup. Watching this team all season long, you never have a feeling you are completely out of the game no matter how much you trail. Yep, they may end up losing it all again this year, but they sure made it an exciting ride.

posted by jerseygirl at 07:16 PM on August 14, 2003

jerseygirl, I'm in the same boat. I bad-mouthed the Sox all week (including the annual "Stick a fork" speech), but what a goddamn game today. I saw this article linked off the ever-amazing Boston Sports Media Watch today and it is just awful. I don't really want to go into the mistakes, but . . .

  • Bigfoot crunches beer cans?
  • What's the "Parker House Roll"?
  • "The Red Sox picked up a couple of players this year on the advice of James, and they flopped." Two pitchers James suggested flopped. Bill James is not in charge. He's not Obi Wan. He doesn't tell Theo "These are the pitchers you're looking for."
  • I'd be willing to bet the # of "zany" uncles whose routines involve bird calls is much smaller than those whose routines involve old Sprite bottles filled with vodka
  • Basically, this is all the ill-informed crap we got from Sox beat writers in April. It's not any more relevant or accurate now.
The team is pissing me off. Theo Epstein is making me very happy. Now the Sox have a real incentive to win it all: he might crack a smile behind home plate. Well, I didn't tell it to format lists lik that, so screw all of you.

posted by yerfatma at 08:20 PM on August 14, 2003

Yeah, and lik this.

posted by yerfatma at 08:21 PM on August 14, 2003

You forgot: "[James] convinced the Sox to try his closer-by-committee concept, but after a rocky start, that plan was painfully junked"...That one is as meaty as that Keith Foulke fastball Manny so timely jacked over the left field wall. As for the Sox, they've got talent and slumps can't last forever...they're one of the 4 best teams in the AL so they've got their shot.

posted by YukonGold at 09:14 PM on August 14, 2003

As a Yankee fan, I feel like postseason play is my entitlement, but this 4-teams-for-3-spots is going to be a tight race. Living in Oakland, I can't resist endorsing the A's and their great pitching staff to give 'em a great chance to make the playoffs.

posted by msacheson at 11:17 PM on August 14, 2003

The Red Sox having a potent offense is nothing new. Back in the day the nine they could put in the batter's box were as feared as any nine in the game. Rice, Boggs, Easler, Armas, Baylor, Evans, Gedman, Buckner, etc. And they couldn't get it done. In the post-season, I'll take Mussina, Clemens, Pettite or Hudson, Mulder, Zito over Manny, Mueller, Millar, etc.

posted by vito90 at 08:07 AM on August 15, 2003

Yeah, I did forget the obvious one. The Sox didn't have a go-to closer so they tried James' theory without the solid set of relivers it really needs. I can't stand the bashing of the theory. Any writer who honestly believes your best bullpen arm should come in with the bases empty and his team up three runs in the ninth should find a new line of work. vito, you know the first half of your argument doesn't work: because the Sox had good offenses in the past this year's team will fail. An offense is only half the argument. Do I think the Sox staff is good enough to carry them? Nope. Doesn't have anything to do with previous performance.

posted by yerfatma at 11:02 AM on August 15, 2003

How many post season series have the A's won in the last three years with Hudson, Mulder, Zito?? Clemens is 3-3 in 11 starts over the same time period. It's easy to give the edge to the team with the glitzier starting pitching, but it's not a guarantee. Although people don't like to say it a guy like Tim Wakefield could easily help his team take a game from any of those guys. As a Yankee fan how do you feel with Rivera out there in the 9th?

posted by YukonGold at 11:35 AM on August 15, 2003

As a Yankee fan how do you feel with Rivera out there in the 9th? Not as good as I used to.

posted by msacheson at 12:54 AM on August 16, 2003

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