A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II

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    Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II

    Of course, I would have donated a couple of my fingers to medical research if they had won these two games...
     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II

        The season is finally here. The long winter is over and the roster and rotation is set for now. No major surprises this spring. Let's keep this thread troll free, softy free, and abusrd free. Use the game threads to discuss play by play action, and let's make this a thread about season issues, theory, philosophy, and direction.

        Softy has pledged to stay away, so that alone makes this a much less hostile place for rational debate and ideas. 

        I'm sure a few topics will come up again:
           1) Line-up debates
           2) 5th starter/bullpen issues 
           3) Tito's decisions
           4) Baserunning and Catcher throwing
           5) Fielding and sub rotations/platoons
           6) Later, trade talks

        Let's keep it "real". Let's keep it clean. Let's keep it all about the Sox and Sox-related issues.

        Let the games begin. Let the rings be ours!


       
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II

    I'm not. The O's are gonna shock you this year, Moon.
    Tonight they beat Price in Tampa.  Not an easy task. Wieters hit 8th. That's an imposing line-up.

    TB is going to shock you, not me.

    What's ur take on the RedSox season opener?

    Bad line-up, but I hate making judgements over one game.
     
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    Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II

    In Response to Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II:
    No team with an 0-4 start have ever won the world series.  I remember a team down 0-3 in a 7 game series... 0-4 in a 162 game season isnot a worrisome record. Of ourse, i'm not happy about it, but our pitchers haven't even mad a complete rotaion yet. I take such stats with a grain of salt but it certainly means that some concern is warranted. Especially with the mediocre performances of Lackey and Beckett (Beckett had trouble cracking 90 miles an hour against a so-so Cleveland team).  They've only pitched one game! On the bright side Salty got a hit. This Dice K start is gonna be interesting. The bats will come alive. The pitching should too.

    Posted by moonslav59

     

    No team with an 0-4 start have ever won the world series.  I remember a team down 0-3 in a 7 game series

    Do you expect lightning to strike twice? So because something happened ONCE in over 100 years of baseball we should expect it again?

    On the bright side Salty got a hit.

    But the way he tries to throw runners out is comical. He really looks like a lousy pick up.


     

     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from ampoule. Show ampoule's posts

    Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II

    In Response to Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II:
    In Response to Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II : Jid can better answer that one, Amp. I'd say it was for balance - feeling comfortable and in a good position to block WP's. I do not like Salty's target-setting. He flicks it instead of setting it. Many pitchers like to see a constant target as they are starting their delivery.
    Posted by harness


    I agree with the flicking.  It seems he actually sets the target..with no flicking when in that extended leg position.
     
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    Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II

    In Response to Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II:
    Compare his targets to that of Tek. Both make last second maneuvering, but Tek then keeps his target stationary for as long as possible. Salty's target is much too brief, IMO.
    Posted by harness


    I totally agree.

    When Salty is in the conventional position, he's flexing his glove.  To me, if I were pitching, it would really be distracting.  There is a BIG difference with this when Tek is catching. 

    My point earlier is that in his extended leg position, a target is there the whole time.
     
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    Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II

    In Response to Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II:
    In Response to Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II : Well that is part of the quandary with Crawford isn't it? He was signed based on the total package and not simply his batting prowess and is surrounded by a lot of accomplished hitters. The same snarky comments could be made about #2 hitters or lead-off I suppose but Crawford assets include his speed and defense and gap power. But at 3-4 you have guys like Youk and A-Gon who will flirt with .400 OBP every year and mid .900 OPS. Then you have Ortiz who is still a top 10 power guy. As long as Ellsbury and Pedroia are the 1-2 guys that puts Crawford at 6 at best, versus a LH pitcher the RS are unlike to sandwich Ortiz and Crawford so in that circumstance (like Sunday's game versus the Rangers) that puts Crawford in 7 hole. So while you make the point even though I suspect your intention is to taunt. Crawford's salary is creating expectations that are perhaps over riding the realities of where he fits into the line-up on this team. For darn sure he'd never be a 6 or 7 hitter in Tampa or with the Angels by example... 

    Posted by fivekatz

    It wasn't a taunt. The sawx didn't sign him for 140M++ because of his fielding nor to have him hit from the 7 slot.

    You and I both know this.

     
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    Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II

    In Response to Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II:
    In Response to Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II : Is there actually a facet of his game to like?
    Posted by DasBabe.


    Not from what I've seen. He seems to have  good physical skills and may in fact be very good in several elements of his game down the road.


    I can only go by what I'm seeing now.
    This may be a painfully slow process and I don't think Boston is in a position to be this patient.

    It's not like Mo of Paps busting onto the scene. The position of catcher has several dynamics. Even some the great ones had rough rookie seasons in many ways.
    The concern is: Salty is not a rookie.
     
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    Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II

    In Response to Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II:
    God, FOUR games into the season and people are concerned??  Please!!  Let's give it some time. Jid, if you're around and being an ex-catcher, I have a question for you about Salty.  Harness, I'd like your assessment also.  I noticed that at times, Salty extends his right leg before a pitch(I wish the hell I had that flexibility).  It seems that when he does this, it allows him to set a lower target.  I would think he would set up this way more often.  Any comments?  
    Posted by ampoule


    Jid can better answer that one, Amp.
    I'd say it was for balance - feeling comfortable and in a good position to block WP's.

    I do not like Salty's target-setting. He flicks it instead of setting it.
    Many pitchers like to see a constant target as they are starting their delivery.
     
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    Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II

    In Response to Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II:
    In Response to Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II : Well, you me and Youuuk all agree with this projection. We are the only three on this board that has said as much. The O's are for real. They came into the season ready to play./ Buck S. saw to that. Tito can learn that running a lax camp equates to a slow start. Teams aren't gonna roll over and play dead because of Boston's winter acquisitions. They are gonna want to beat us all the more. The RedSox must seek a higher level if they want to be taken seriously.
    Posted by harness


    I have to be honest here and just say that I haven't researched Baltimore all that much. I was aware that they have lots of good young pitching emerging but it's hard to believe that it will remain solid after they are seen around the league a few times. It's unusual to go from last to 1st or 2nd in a year. Those of us from 67 vintage know it can be done but it is unusual. 
     
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    Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II

    In Response to Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II:
    Yeah, I've seen the numbers.  Harness has overwhelming evidence of that. I think with Salty it's a mental thing. He has, essentially, the basic tools.  The thought with Theo was probably the hope that Tuck and Varitek could help him overcome this.  His spring training numbers were great.  Yes, I know it was just spring training, which, to me, says that is a mental thing and not because he's physically unable. I know it's a big gamble, but it sure would be nice if he eventually lived up to his potentail.  I guess the big question is how long do you wait.  And, I remember seeing Pedroia playing in Seattle when he was hovering around the Mendoza line.
    Posted by ampoule


    Amp: My point isn't as reflective of his hitting - or lack of - as it is how he handles the staff. I agree with you that he's pressing offensively. But his game-calling skills, etc. aren't subject to the same type of pressure.

    In other words, he can be hitting .400 now, but he could still choke down in critical situations and become too predictable with his pitch selection. A catcher has a ton of responsibility. And for the RedSox to put him in the position he's currently in is borderline criminal.
     
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    Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II

    In Response to Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II:
    In Response to Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II : I didn't realize teams spend $140M++ for a #7 hitter.
    Posted by DasBabe
    Well that is part of the quandary with Crawford isn't it? He was signed based on the total package and not simply his batting prowess and is surrounded by a lot of accomplished hitters.

    The same snarky comments could be made about #2 hitters or lead-off I suppose but Crawford assets include his speed and defense and gap power.

    But at 3-4 you have guys like Youk and A-Gon who will flirt with .400 OBP every year and mid .900 OPS. Then you have Ortiz who is still a top 10 power guy. As long as Ellsbury and Pedroia are the 1-2 guys that puts Crawford at 6 at best, versus a LH pitcher the RS are unlike to sandwich Ortiz and Crawford so in that circumstance (like Sunday's game versus the Rangers) that puts Crawford in 7 hole.

    So while you make the point even though I suspect your intention is to taunt. Crawford's salary is creating expectations that are perhaps over riding the realities of where he fits into the line-up on this team. For darn sure he'd never be a 6 or 7 hitter in Tampa or with the Angels by example... 
     
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    Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II

    In Response to Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II:
    The early positives (there aren't many) are that Ortiz clearly is not going to be awful out the gate this year unlike 09 and 10. The core of the bullpen aside from Bard's absolute meltdown in the opener and Papelbon's load em up strike out the side appearance on Sunday looks strong. And it looks like Francona has found a role for Wakefield in between spot starts For first appearances I thought that Buch and Beckett were OK (with run support those guys pitched winnable games), Lester had typical Lester April starts and Lackey.. well he got taken to the woodshed and was beaten like he stole something. Concerns are how much everyone not named Ortiz looks like they are pressing. Salty in particular is carrying a huge load on his back and it has showed at the plate. Crawford is the toy that nobody knows quite what to do with and he looks like a man trying to prove his salary is his value. Problem here is that he doesn't like to lead-off and it is not ideal to force a player into an uncomfortable role. But while his salary screams he is the best hitter on the team, he is not. The 7th spot in the order from Sunday is probably about right. The two spot isn't bad until you consider that because of the two lefties at the top of the order Tito put Pedey in the 3 slot. I find that maddening because at the end of the day no matter what order you put them in the 3-4 hitters are A-Gon and Youk until they produce large sample sets that prove otherwise. We went through a similar stretch last yearto open the season and saw how quickly the RS were able to erase the deficitin May and early June before the injuries multiplied to the point where the RS had a AAA outfield and catching staffing. So we can't get too alarmed by how much a 4 loss streak is magnified when it is the first 4 games of the season. But if a team ever looked like they could use a couple of idiots in the locker room to lighten things up, the RS have looked like that team in the last two games and with the NYY being the home opening series after Cleveland the guys just getting loose can come none too quickly IMO. Just my take
    Posted by fivekatz


    I like ur analogy to CC as the new toy.

    The team did make up the deficit last year, but it took the easiest part of the schedule (inter-league) to do it. If you look at the 2010 team record beyond that easy stretch, it's rather humbling.

    The easy part of the schedule is where the team should separate themselves from the pack - not play catch-up.

    BTW: Salty's issues aren't just in front of the platr. His handling of the pitching staff is also very much in question. In the 9 games he has started for the RedSox, dating back to last year...the RedSox have lost ALL OF THEM.
     
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    Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II

    In Response to Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II:
    Anybody worried about how anemic the offense has looked against lefty starters so far? I mean, if you take out the two runs they got in the opener because of the bad error in RF, they would have only scored 3 runs in the two games off of lefty starters. Think the Yanks will be trying to add a lefty?
    Posted by SmileyBabe


    Didn't they already try?
     
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    Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II

    In Response to Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II:
    I know it's probably too soon to broach this subject but is it possible that a more experienced catcher such as Varitek would have had a more calming influence over the pitching staff over the last 2 games and had some influence on the outcome of either game or did Texas' offense simply pour it on too hot and heavy for any relief? My concern is that Salty's lack of experience may have some bearing on knowing how to read the opposing hitters and knowing what changes to make with regards to pitches to throw under certain conditions.
    Posted by playball01


    Here's another way of saying it, Warden:
    Not including today's game, Salty has started 7 games for the RedSox, dating back to 2010. The RedSox are 0-7 in those 7 games.

    EDIT: Make that 0-8.
     
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    Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II

    In Response to Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II:
    God, FOUR games into the season and people are concerned??  Please!!  Let's give it some time. Jid, if you're around and being an ex-catcher, I have a question for you about Salty.  Harness, I'd like your assessment also.  I noticed that at times, Salty extends his right leg before a pitch(I wish the hell I had that flexibility).  It seems that when he does this, it allows him to set a lower target.  I would think he would set up this way more often.  Any comments?  
    Posted by ampoule


    That's the only way a tall guy like him can get the target that low isn't it. I've seen that with tall catchers before. It must make it harder to get into a good defensive position but the bigger catchers need to do that sometimes.

    The overall numbers with Salty just are flat out not good. It's still a small sample size but it may be that the Sox are going to be extremely patient with him for half a season and get nothing. It could go either way and right now we all know which way it looks like ending up.

    God I hate being negative but look at his numbers from last fall also. It doesn't look good overall so far. And Texas did let him go for next to nothing.
     
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    Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II

    In Response to Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II:
    In case no one else has noticed, the Rangers have put together one heck of a team also. One heck of a lineup and some solid pitching. They are for real.
    Posted by Boomerangsdotcom


    I said this in another post and I'll say it again.

    The Red Sox lost that series because of pitching and pitching only.  They scored enough runs to take 2 out of 3 but didn't because of an awful performance by Lester and a god awful performance by Lackey.

    To me, the Rangers have a bunch of guys that do nothing but swing for the fences.  That's going to work a lot of times but it will also result in streaky hitting.  If you think that the Rangers are going to hit like that all year, you are out of your mind.  Besides, I put that more in pitch execution than the Rangers bat.

    Also, I'm not all that impressed with the Rangers rotation.  I was rather unimpressed last year too, and that was with Lee.  I just don't think they have a true ace.

    I still think they win the west, but bottom line is the Rangers started off hot and the Red Sox started off cold.

    By the way, is anyone on my side in that they believe David Murphy is only in the big leagues because he only does well versus the Red Sox?  I can't stand this guy for that reason.
     
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    Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II

    In Response to Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II:
    Well, good.  Now that we have that point cleared up, I would say that yesterday showed that Saltalamacchia might be OK because Beckett did not have his good fastball and only went 5 innings.  Lester we know starts slow, and Lackey, sad to say, is suspect until proven otherwise.  Tonight I don't know who to blame.  I do know that Tek called for a large number of fastballs in those first two innings.  On the other hand, maybe Matsuzaka wasn't ready to throw his changeup (he just threw a good one for a strike). 
    Posted by M1A2


    The Sox coaching staff has been after Dice to pound the zone with heat - and challenge hitters. They want to instill confidence in him that his fastball is good enough to build off of, rather than setting up the hitters with junk and then using the gas as an out pitch. For 4 years they've been after him to adopt this ML approach to pitching.

    He was successful in the latter part of ST using this method. Obviously, the Indians were expecting nothing else.

    Understand, my stance is not anti-Salty. It's questioning the organization for putting him in this position.
     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from SmileyBabe. Show SmileyBabe's posts

    Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II

    In Response to Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II:
    In Response to Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II : Didn't they already try?

    Posted by Hfxsoxnut

    Yup, but I'm pretty sure that they aren't gonna give up trying to land one because they missed out on lee.

    And the way this beantowne lineup looked against lefties this weekend I'm sure they would like to land one or two.

     
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    Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II

    In Response to Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II:
    Well, now we are seeing the master at work.  First inning:  25 pitches, 2 runs, 1 dinger, etc.  You'd think Varitek would do better than that.  If one time Harness would say, "you know, I believe in CERA but have to recognize that on some days some pitchers are great no matter who is catching and some pitchers are lousy no matter who is catching," then I would support his thesis more than I do. 
    Posted by M1A2


    Unfortunately, you weren't here during the CATCHER'S RELEVANCE thread.

    I said that several times. Don't make one-game judgements and use them as a sole basis for ur determination.

    Catchers have little relevance when pitchers are off-form or spot-on.
    They have a definite effect otherwise.

    BTW: I wish folks would stop using CERA and apply other factors. CERA is but one lone indicator, and only useful when measured appropriately, which is to compare receivers on the same team, subject to the same criteria. There's plenty of other indicators, like BABIP, WHIP, Win-loss records, etc. Using these stats together allows for greater vision.
     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from DasBabe. Show DasBabe's posts

    Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II

    In Response to Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II:
    The early positives (there aren't many) are that Ortiz clearly is not going to be awful out the gate this year unlike 09 and 10. The core of the bullpen aside from Bard's absolute meltdown in the opener and Papelbon's load em up strike out the side appearance on Sunday looks strong. And it looks like Francona has found a role for Wakefield in between spot starts For first appearances I thought that Buch and Beckett were OK (with run support those guys pitched winnable games), Lester had typical Lester April starts and Lackey.. well he got taken to the woodshed and was beaten like he stole something. Concerns are how much everyone not named Ortiz looks like they are pressing. Salty in particular is carrying a huge load on his back and it has showed at the plate. Crawford is the toy that nobody knows quite what to do with and he looks like a man trying to prove his salary is his value. Problem here is that he doesn't like to lead-off and it is not ideal to force a player into an uncomfortable role. But while his salary screams he is the best hitter on the team, he is not. The 7th spot in the order from Sunday is probably about right. The two spot isn't bad until you consider that because of the two lefties at the top of the order Tito put Pedey in the 3 slot. I find that maddening because at the end of the day no matter what order you put them in the 3-4 hitters are A-Gon and Youk until they produce large sample sets that prove otherwise. We went through a similar stretch last year to open the season and saw how quickly the RS were able to erase the deficit in May and early June before the injuries multiplied to the point where the RS had a AAA outfield and catching staffing. So we can't get too alarmed by how much a 4 loss streak is magnified when it is the first 4 games of the season. But if a team ever looked like they could use a couple of idiots in the locker room to lighten things up, the RS have looked like that team in the last two games and with the NYY being the home opening series after Cleveland the guys just getting loose can come none too quickly IMO. Just my take

    Posted by fivekatz

    I didn't realize teams spend $140M++ for a #7 hitter.

     
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    Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II

    In Response to Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II:
    Boomer, if Crawford batted second and Ellsbury lead-off, it would create lefty-lefty situation.  To take advantage of the speed tandem between the two, someone would have to hit ninth.  This way, Pedroia would remain in his comfortable number two situation.  I guess the question is whose ego would be less bruised. I beg to differ with you, but I just cannot imagine Crawford EVER being a number three hitter.  I hope I'm wrong, but I just don't see it. I was impresseed with the way Gonzales fared against lefty pitching.  Not only because he hit well, but also because he didn't bail out and looked comfortable against them.  I can say the same thing about Ellsbury....not Drew.
    Posted by ampoule



    Crawford isn't a typical  #3 hitter, but I agree with Boom in that he can be effective there, especially against right-handed pitching. With AGONE aboard and Papi off to a nice start, we really don't need CC to be a thumper. He can make things happen - his own way.
     
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    Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II

    In Response to Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II:
    I have a multi-part question: How long is the leash on Salty? (from either a defensive or offensive standpoint). What's plan B?  Do the Sox increase Varitek's playing time?  Do they go out and try to acquire a veteren catcher?  Do they consider looking internally if there's a catcher that's MLB ready?  Lavarnway?  Exposito?
    Posted by SoxPatsCelts1988


    There's a term -a very dangerous term - used in horse racing referred to as 

    Bridge  Burning

    This adequately describes Theo's gamble with Salty.


    Moon; You'd have been better off spending the weekend helping me with my taxes than seeing that debacle.
     
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    Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II

    In Response to Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II:
    No team with an 0-4 start have ever won the world series.  I remember a team down 0-3 in a 7 game series... 0-4 in a 162 game season isnot a worrisome record. Of ourse, i'm not happy about it, but our pitchers haven't even mad a complete rotaion yet. I take such stats with a grain of salt but it certainly means that some concern is warranted. Especially with the mediocre performances of Lackey and Beckett (Beckett had trouble cracking 90 miles an hour against a so-so Cleveland team).  They've only pitched one game! On the bright side Salty got a hit. This Dice K start is gonna be interesting. The bats will come alive. The pitching should too.

    Posted by moonslav59

    No team with an 0-4 start have ever won the world series.  I remember a team down 0-3 in a 7 game series

    Do you expect lightning to strike twice? So because something happened ONCE in over 100 years of baseball we should expect it again?

    On the bright side Salty got a hit.

    But the way he tries to throw runners out is comical. He really looks like a lousy pick up.

     
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    Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II

    In Response to Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II:
    The early positives (there aren't many) are that Ortiz clearly is not going to be awful out the gate this year unlike 09 and 10. The core of the bullpen aside from Bard's absolute meltdown in the opener and Papelbon's load em up strike out the side appearance on Sunday looks strong. And it looks like Francona has found a role for Wakefield in between spot starts For first appearances I thought that Buch and Beckett were OK (with run support those guys pitched winnable games), Lester had typical Lester April starts and Lackey.. well he got taken to the woodshed and was beaten like he stole something. Concerns are how much everyone not named Ortiz looks like they are pressing. Salty in particular is carrying a huge load on his back and it has showed at the plate. Crawford is the toy that nobody knows quite what to do with and he looks like a man trying to prove his salary is his value. Problem here is that he doesn't like to lead-off and it is not ideal to force a player into an uncomfortable role. But while his salary screams he is the best hitter on the team, he is not. The 7th spot in the order from Sunday is probably about right. The two spot isn't bad until you consider that because of the two lefties at the top of the order Tito put Pedey in the 3 slot. I find that maddening because at the end of the day no matter what order you put them in the 3-4 hitters are A-Gon and Youk until they produce large sample sets that prove otherwise. We went through a similar stretch last year to open the season and saw how quickly the RS were able to erase the deficit in May and early June before the injuries multiplied to the point where the RS had a AAA outfield and catching staffing. So we can't get too alarmed by how much a 4 loss streak is magnified when it is the first 4 games of the season. But if a team ever looked like they could use a couple of idiots in the locker room to lighten things up, the RS have looked like that team in the last two games and with the NYY being the home opening series after Cleveland the guys just getting loose can come none too quickly IMO. Just my take
    Posted by fivekatz

    Tampa has 2 of our chief idiots and they are not helping those guys one bit! Manny and Damon. I agree though, this team is mega tight. The expectations were set ski high and they are trying to meet them.

    Someone should tell them that top favorites like them are usually skuttled by the mob somehow, eventually. When a team is this favored, the betting line will be skewed towards the sox. The mob, or whoever is involved in the betting industry, must have an influence or 2 still in the game.  Just my opinion. There is way too much money involved in that industry to have it completely clean. To think otherwise is unbelievably naive IMO. I'd rather have the Sox not be favored at this point. 

    Then again, maybe a slow start will temper the betting line significantly going forward.

     
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