Friday, February 12, 2010

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I've been far too busy to blog for a while now, but I still have occasional witty thoughts or statistical insight. Follow me on Twitter @redsoxstatsguy!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

ALCS Game 7 Random Thoughts

I watched the entire game, but I wasn't taking notes until the 8th inning.
  • "Roccotober" - Another cute Tampa Bay sign in the crowd.
  • Coco Crisp's slide away from second is going to be HUGELY controversial Monday morning.
  • I believe it was Buck Martinez who mentions that some people may wonder why Francona doesn't pinch run for Ortiz in the 8th so they can score on a double. "If they get to extra innings, you want Ortiz's bat in the lineup." Buck, THEY NEED TO GET TO EXTRAS FIRST!
  • Bringing in David Price with the bases loaded in this situation took enormous nuts. JD "Clutch" Drew is not an easy out. If Price boots it, you risk his confidence. But, alas, it worked. And strike 3 didn't appear to be a strike. It certainly wasn't a call a recent callup gets. Good for him.
  • If Coco had slid properly, they'd be down just 3-2 with Bay coming to the plate with the bases loaded. But we won't dwell on that, will we?
  • Yes, we will.
  • I can't help but laugh still at Dick Vitale's earlier gyrations. Just hilarious.
  • (Channeling my inner Remy) Okajimer pitches well against Tamper.
  • Is our season really going to come down to Mark Kotsay and Jason Varitek?
  • How does Kotsay allow strike three to go past him? That's almost as bad as Beltran watching strike 3 to end the 2006 NLCS.
  • Varitek... ugh...
  • Maybe there's another Molina brother the Sox can sign this offseason.
I'm happy for the Rays. I really am. I rooted for them all year, until the ALCS, and I'll root for them in the World Series. They're exciting, and a good representation of what's good about baseball right now.

But it still sucks that the Sox lost.

I had this whole post planned out in my head, comparing the 2004 ALCS to this one, how people stopped watching in game 4 in 2004 and the same happened in game 5 this year. But that post has been scrapped.

Go Rays!

ALCS Game 7 Pre-Game Random Thoughts

Hey, look: MSNBC has a headline that reads, "Opinion: It's do-or-die time for Rays, Red Sox." Wow. That really makes me want to read it.

Even better is the picture posted on this Deadspin story. It's like they're all staring at George Costanza as he unlocks his car in a handicapped parking spot.

Can I ask that the TBS announcers be a little more McCarver-esque tonight? I complain about McCarver, but I love that about him.

During the introductions, something I never thought I'd hear again: "One of last night's offensive heroes for the Red Sox, Jason Varitek."

Have I mentioned how much joy I get from the fact that Manny's team, along with Nomar, was eliminated prior to the Sox? And now there's rumor that Derek Lowe wants back in.

Craig Sager is surprisingly unshocking tonight.

Womaniza womaniza I know what you a-a-a. It's been stuck in my head. Britney's new song is catchier than her STDs. She's back and she's hot again. Who saw that coming?

Saturday, October 18, 2008

ALCS Game 6 Final Thoughts

Sunday will be another late night, as the Sox and Rays meet for game 7. If you doubted it, you're an idiot. Most people went to bed early on Thursday night and missed the comeback. The Sox did this in 2004 and 2007. You need to stick around.

Who has the pressure now? Certainly the Rays. They're likely to be tight and nervous in game 7. But should they be? They're kind of playing on borrowed time. Sure, they're a very good team and deserve to be here. But who expected them to be? Just to push the defending champion Red Sox to an ALCS game 7 is an accomplishment. I'm impressed by this team.

I'm excited (but weary). I'll take Jon Lester in a game 7 any day.

Random Thoughts Innings 1 and 2
Random Thoughts Innings 3 and 4
Random Thoughts Innings 5 and 6
Random Thoughts Innings 7 and 8

ALCS Game 6 Random Thoughts Innings 7 and 8

For my 300th RSSG post, a continuation of the Random Thoughts series...
  • Not much going on in the top of the 7th, so the announcers naturally go to the "tightness" of the Rays, due to the big comeback in game 5 and the late lead here in game 6. Expect this to be a theme for the rest of the game.
  • Hideki Okajima, pre-all-star break: .255 BAA, 1.41 WHIP. Post-ASB: .134, 0.76 WHIP.
  • Same thing for Coco Crisp: Pre: .259/.309 BA/OBP. Post: .315/.392.
  • Masterson leads off the 8th with an HBP.
  • What a finish for Masterson! This guy is going to be a key player for a long time.

ALCS Game 6 Random Thoughts Innings 5 and 6

Next round of random thoughts...
  • One of the announcers (Buck Martinez?) says that this is a typical BGJ start because he didn't start well, but "here he is pitching well in the 5th." What?
  • The same announcer then says BGJ is having a quick 5th. Next pitch: double by Drew.
  • BGJ just pitched himself into a 6th inning, with a 9-pitch 5th.
  • So Beckett has a conversation with Farrell and Francona between innings, they get Okajima up and warming, and the leadoff guy gets a base hit. Ominous.
  • Wait, Varitek actually does something of value by throwing Navarro out stealing. Pay that man!
  • Jason Bartlett? He's like the Brooke Shields of the Rays. He's terrible. And yet, he ties the game. That's like Scott Podsednik in 2005.
  • The Rays fans have signs that say, "Shazam". How cute.
  • Still an efficient 78 pitches through 5 for Big Game Beckett.
  • What a catch by Iwamura! That was a bullet.
  • Wha-? Jason Varitek just confused me... he hit a ball into the stands in the outfield. But that's typically a home run. But Varitek doesn't hit home runs... huh. Hey, we'll take it!
  • "Coco Crisp has shown something offensively." Brilliant analysis.
  • "... the sure-handed Jason Bartlett..." Really? 16 errors in 125 games this year, and 26 in 138 last year. That's 2004-Renteria-like. That's 2nd-to-last in AL SS FP.
  • Too bad Pedroia tripped getting into first base, or Ortiz's hit would have scored two. (And my earlier reverse-jinx worked!)
  • Beckett's out after 5. Good move? We'll see. I have stopped questioning Francona. Beckett has been bad for a while, and a solid 5 innings can really boost his confidence. You could ruin that with a bad 6th.
  • After listening to Jerry Remy all season, I can't help but pronounce it "Okajimer."
  • The announcer says the current ump's strikezone is much bigger than the earlier ump's, then the current ump calls the next pitch a ball, even though it's virtually down the middle.

ALCS Game 6 Random Thoughts Innings 3 and 4

Continuation from innings 1 and 2...
  • Big Papi might be pulling out of this slump. I will now reverse the jinx I just put on by saying that his recent surge is surely done now.
  • So you've got the bases loaded in the second inning. Who would you want up in this situation? Certainly not Mark Kotsay. I typed all that prior to them showing the stat that Kotsay has left the most men on during the ALCS. And three more left on. Awesome.
  • Is Brooke Shields still relevant?
  • 68 pitches through 3 for BGJ.
  • Has Craig Sager ever explained his affinity for awful clothes?
  • Bartlett definitely leaned into that pitch. I guess that's what makes him the Tampa Bay MVP. Something has to. It's certainly not his offense or defense.
  • A quick Google search provides me with a lot of good, possible answers for why Craig Sager dresses as he does. The best part about the Olympics is that they made him follow a dress code.
  • In my previous post I mentioned that SNL has sucked for a long time, but I forgot about their digital shorts. They have three in particular that rival anything else SNL has ever put on tv: Dick in a Box, Lazy Sunday, and Natalie Raps. Dick in a Box is one of the funniest things I've ever seen, and is eminently rewatchable. I am a reformed Justin Timberlake hater because of that video.
  • I usually pick on the announcers in these games, but TBS' announcers are so bland that they never say anything remotely interesting or noteworthy. I don't even notice they're there, which is a good thing, I guess. Whatever.
  • Wait, one of them just said, "Beckett is out of third inning trouble." Trouble? He hit a batter and stranded him at first base. That's not trouble; that's a 1.00 WHIP for the inning. Pretty solid.
  • Beckett is now at 43 pitches through 3. For those of you with dyscalculia - that's when you have difficulty with numbers and math - that's better than BGJ's 68 through 3. In this way, baseball is like golf.
  • Seriously? Brooke Shields? She's never been funny, or a good actress. Or attractive!
  • What's up with all the commercials? I just went and peed, talked to my wife, and got a cup of Comeback Caramel Red Sox ice cream and came back and it was still a commercial.
  • Oh, umpiring crew issues.
  • Where's the alternate umpire? Why is this taking so long?
  • During these long delays, wouldn't it be better if they'd scan the crowd for hot women?
  • Craig Sager looks like he's going to cry over this umpire injury.
  • Coco! Another hit.
  • Shields had a considerably easier 4th inning, but it still took him 18 pitches. He's got one more inning in him probably.
  • Good at-bat for Carl Crawford. Lots of foul balls, then a flick of the wrist for a bloop hit. I'll never forget game 1 of the 2003 season when he won the game with a walk-off home run. Good times.
  • Good play by Kotsay to Beckett!

ALCS Game 6 Random Thoughts Innings 1 and 2

A popular feature during the 2007 playoffs, I've been too busy for Random Thoughts this year. But, here goes:

  • The Sox are swinging at a lot of first pitches. Unusual for them. Must be a scouting report on Big Game James Shields. Hopefully we'll be calling him Big Shame James before too long.
  • Jason Bay beats out a double play ball. Manny would have been thrown out by 2 steps.
  • 5 pitches to Varitek, 0 swings. Then he swings on ball 4.
  • Varitek sucks. But the dearth of MLB-ready catchers will force the Sox to resign him. I'm thinking somewhere in the neighborhood of 2 years, $12 million. But his price goes down with every at-bat.
  • Looking forward to the Tina Fey run-in with Sarah Palin. Should be on the same level as Dana Carvey and George H.W. Bush. Classic skit. And now it's been announced that Mark Wahlberg will also appear tonight to confront Andy Samberg. I haven't been an SNL fan for about 14 years, but they're certainly doing well this fall.
  • Beckett's fastball is down a bit, but his breaking stuff looks filthy. Quick second inning.

TBS and Yankees Suck

So TBS sucks and can't air ALCS game 6, but at least I have this to keep me all warm inside.

Monday, October 13, 2008

A Little Perspective

And the "little" in the post title doesn't refer to Grady.

You're watching the game right now. The Sox are getting killed by the Rays. The Rays! And you think they're done. Wake is pitching game 4 and the Sox are down 2-1.

But then you remember that the two teams are "on serve," to steal a tennis term. The Rays have two home games, the Sox one, and that's the score of the series.

And then there's this: the Yankees killed the Sox 19-8 at Fenway in game 3 of the 2004 ALCS, making you believe that the Sox were done. This isn't that bad, right?

Friday, October 10, 2008

McCarver: Debunked

On Wednesday I wrote that I agreed with most of something Tim McCarver said, which was a first. The "most of" part was the opinions; the part where McCarver called Manny's actions in Boston "despicable."

Now Joe Sheehan from Baseball Prospectus has taken a swipe at McCarver's lack of facts. I loathe McCarver. I respect and admire Sheehan; he's a brilliant baseball analyst. They couldn't be any more different.

But their similarity is that they both leaned too far one way and didn't consider the other: McCarver stuck with his opinion and his gut, ignoring the facts, while Sheehan relied solely on fact and ignored everything else.

You see, the Manny Enigma ("Mannygma"?) is a controversy steeped in how we as fans feel. You can't just analyze Manny's stats in July and call it done. And you can't just say that Manny is the worst human being ever and say you've done your job.

Sheehan's point is that Manny couldn't've been a bad teammate because he played, and played well, in July. Yay! He played! Of course he played; he was trying to earn a monster contract or a trade out of town. And the consecutive DNPs on July 23rd and 25th, the latter of which was against the Yankees, were the breaking point.

At this point, Manny was "allegedly" faking a knee injury. An injury which prompted the Sox to force him to have MRIs on both, determining that he had no problems with them. This is what McCarver is referring to when he brings up Manny forgetting which leg had the limp. So Sheehan conveniently leaves out this fact.

Sheehan also leaves out when Manny shoved an elderly man to the ground in the clubhouse over free tickets, slapped Kevin Youkilis in the face in the dugout, refused to go to Walter Reed Medical Center to visit wounded war veterans, and many other things that went unreported in an effort to keep him happy in Boston.

Curt Schilling, never one to shy away from a soundbite, even said that Manny's "level of disrespect to teammates and people was unfathomable."

So yes, I'm happy that Manny is gone. I have zero respect for him as a person. Great ballplayer, one of the best ever, but I can't respect the man. And I can't imagine how anyone can, based on the facts. And I don't mean the statistics.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Stop The Presses

I agree with Tim McCarver on something. At least mostly.

I'm sure I'll write more about Manny if he faces the Sox in the World Series.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Papelbon Needs to Shut Up

Craig Sager gets most of the pub in this video, but it's just another example of Papelbon being a jackass. Can't the Sox brass order him to shut his mouth? He's a great pitcher, but I just don't like the guy.