August 2006 and September 2007

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from maxbialystock. Show maxbialystock's posts

    August 2006 and September 2007

    Some of you may not remember, but August 2006 was just as bad as last month.  The Sox played 30 games in August 2006 and won 9 and lost 21.  In the middle of the month was that horrendous 5 game series with the Yankees at Fenway and took all 5 games.  Then the Sox went to the West Coast and promptly lost 7 of 9.  On 31 July 2006, the Sox were playing at a .605 clip and headed for 98 wins, which almost certainlly would have been good enough for the playoffs.  On 31 August they were headed for 88 wins and, in the words of Terry Malloy, a one way ticket to palookaville. 

    And the 2006 team had exactly the same problem as this one--bad pitching.  That was Beckett's first year at Boston, with an ERA of over 5.  Schilling also pitched about 204 innings, but with an ERA of about 3.5.  And, surprise, surprise, Wakefield threw 140 innings, including some starts, but didn't do much good.  Plus guys like Tavares and Clement got some bad starts in.  Pap was the closer with an ERA of under 1, which was pretty amazing then and still is.  The Sox had Manny and Papi and Mike Lowell and some other good players and a good offense that could not, however, overcome the pitching deficit. 

    Funny thing is, the very next year, with a lot of the same players, the Sox won the AL East and the WS.  They were smart enough to recognize the real problem, pitching, and to put that bad month behind them. 
     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from maxbialystock. Show maxbialystock's posts

    Re: August 2006 and September 2007

    In Response to August 2006 and September 2007:
    [QUOTE]Some of you may not remember, but August 2006 was just as bad as last month.  The Sox played 30 games back then, winning 9 and losing 21.  In the middle of the month was that horrendous 5 game series with the Yankees at Fenway when the Yankees crushed the Sox, winning all five.  Then the Sox went to the West Coast and promptly lost 7 of 9. 

    On 31 July 2006, the Sox were playing at a .605 clip and headed for 98 wins, which almost certainlly would have been good enough for the playoffs.  On 31 August 2006 they were headed for 88 wins and, in the words of Terry Malloy, a one way ticket to palookaville. 

    And the 2006 team had exactly the same problem as this one--bad pitching.  That was Beckett's first year at Boston, with an ERA of over 5.  Schilling also pitched about 204 innings, but with an ERA of about 3.5.  And, surprise, surprise, Wakefield threw 140 innings, including some starts, but didn't do much good.  Plus guys like Tavares and Clement got some bad starts in.  Pap was the closer with an ERA of under 1, which was pretty amazing then and still is.  The Sox had Manny and Papi and Mike Lowell and some other good players and a good offense that could not, however, overcome the pitching deficit. 

    Funny thing is, the very next year, 2007, with a lot of the same players, the Sox won the AL East and the WS.  They were smart enough to recognize the real problem, pitching, and to put that bad month behind them. 
    Posted by maxbialystock[/QUOTE]
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from myaim45. Show myaim45's posts

    Re: August 2006 and September 2007

    Nice post max, I really like the optomism in your post and I hope that it will all work out and 2011 will just be a bad memory.
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from ABQDan. Show ABQDan's posts

    Re: August 2006 and September 2007

    On Opening Day everyone has a chance to win.  That is the beauty of sport.  I don't know many who predicted a Cards / Rangers WS.

    The noise around the RS lately is more about betrayed trust.  Trust that fans have in players to hold up their end of the bargain and fulfill their professional duties.

    That trust has been violated, and as any spouse caught cheating can tell you, when trust is violated, great anger can ensue.

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

    Re: August 2006 and September 2007

    First, I apologize for repeating my own OP.  I was trying to edit the first one.

    Second, I'm not convinced about the betrayed trust, no more than I would have been in 2006.  And, FWIW, back then Manny Ramirez basically quit after the NYY series in mid-August and claimed he had a bad knee or something.  A little foreshadowing for 2008. 

    I buy Lester's explanation about the beer drinking, video games, etc.  It was wrong, but it was going on when the Sox were winning at .667 clip, and, because it was done on "off" days by starters, it is not likely to have been the cause of the pitching collapse in September.  There are plenty of overweight but effective pitchers in MLB.  And last night I watched a couple of semi-rotund firstbasemen, Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols, who were both crucial to their teams' successes this year.  Less weight is better, but not crucial.  More important is the astonishing skill it takes to hit a round ball with a round bat squarely. 

    The big differences from five years ago are firing the manager and losing the GM.  But here I also agree with Lester.  Francona had a great run, but it was time to leave because these guys weren't listening anymore.  Lackey certainly wasn't.  As for Epstein, he is getting a pay raise and a five year deal, so this is like a promotion.  Plus he too might have been feeling the pressure of being the Red Sox GM.  He might even be running away from Lackey and Crawford, two of his less distinguished acquisitions who won't go away. 

    So my view is that there is every reason to expect a good team next year.  The ingredients for a good hitting team--this year's model has been as good as any in MLB--are already at hand.  If Ortiz is re-signed, Youk can handle 3B, and Crawford improves a tad, the 2012 version should hit well.  And if a decent, not necessarily a great fix can be found for RF, 2012 might even be better. 

    Even the pitching doesn't have to be the disaster it was this year.  If Beckett, Lester, and Buchholz stay healthy, that's three pretty good starters.  Then comes Aceves and then maybe even Lackey.  Or Weiland or Miller or even Bard.  If Pap stays, that's a good start on the bullpen.  The nice thing about the beer in the barracks story is that it puts the starters on notice before the new manager even says boo. 
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from TheExaminer. Show TheExaminer's posts

    Re: August 2006 and September 2007

    I said something about Beckett not having a very good year in 06, and got served by Andrewmitch. My point then, as now, was that a player (Crawford?) can have a bad first year and then be ALCS MVP the next. I do think this team needs some changes, but I also agree with what Lester said about guys having a chip on their shoulder. The collapse is just a little more likely to help the team next year than hurt it, IMO. Just don't forget it over the next 4 months and go back to your frat boy ways. The new manager will be able to help with that. Part of his charge from the FO will probably be to deal with these issues and clean them up--at least--it BETTER be.
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from summerof67. Show summerof67's posts

    Re: August 2006 and September 2007

    Max  - your lips to God's ears, but unlike 2006, the FO and the Press weren't competing to see who would be the first to throw Tito under the bus. 

    Then as now, it was on the players.  But back then, Tito was not yet burned out (or betrayed by the people he protected) and Theo probably thought that he could work some magic - and in 2007, it was magic indeed.  

    So in 2011, both Theo and Tito decide that they have had enough. Even hamsters in a cage can go farther. 

    But still, 2011 leaves such a bad taste - stale chicken, i guess - and that bad taste is John Lackey.

    Can't wait to see how we deal him.

    Still, Max, I hope for the best, too. It's just that  - unlike Charlie Brown, there is a point where I am not going to look at Lucy holding a football and try for a great place kick. I am going to walk away from the game.  

    Fool me once, shame on you.  Fool me twice - or four times - and the shame is on me. 

    Larry Lucchino, are you listening?

    I thought not. 
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from harness. Show harness's posts

    Re: August 2006 and September 2007

    Interesting analogy, Max. But the casualties are greater now.
     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from expitch. Show expitch's posts

    Re: August 2006 and September 2007

    In Response to Re: August 2006 and September 2007:
    [QUOTE]First, I apologize for repeating my own OP.  I was trying to edit the first one. Second, I'm not convinced about the betrayed trust, no more than I would have been in 2006.  And, FWIW, back then Manny Ramirez basically quit after the NYY series in mid-August and claimed he had a bad knee or something.  A little foreshadowing for 2008.  I buy Lester's explanation about the beer drinking, video games, etc.  It was wrong, but it was going on when the Sox were winning at .667 clip, and, because it was done on "off" days by starters, it is not likely to have been the cause of the pitching collapse in September.  There are plenty of overweight but effective pitchers in MLB.  And last night I watched a couple of semi-rotund firstbasemen, Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols, who were both crucial to their teams' successes this year.  Less weight is better, but not crucial.  More important is the astonishing skill it takes to hit a round ball with a round bat squarely.  The big differences from five years ago are firing the manager and losing the GM.  But here I also agree with Lester.  Francona had a great run, but it was time to leave because these guys weren't listening anymore.  Lackey certainly wasn't.  As for Epstein, he is getting a pay raise and a five year deal, so this is like a promotion.  Plus he too might have been feeling the pressure of being the Red Sox GM.  He might even be running away from Lackey and Crawford, two of his less distinguished acquisitions who won't go away.  So my view is that there is every reason to expect a good team next year.  The ingredients for a good hitting team--this year's model has been as good as any in MLB--are already at hand.  If Ortiz is re-signed, Youk can handle 3B, and Crawford improves a tad, the 2012 version should hit well.  And if a decent, not necessarily a great fix can be found for RF, 2012 might even be better.  Even the pitching doesn't have to be the disaster it was this year.  If Beckett, Lester, and Buchholz stay healthy, that's three pretty good starters.  Then comes Aceves and then maybe even Lackey.  Or Weiland or Miller or even Bard.  If Pap stays, that's a good start on the bullpen.  The nice thing about the beer in the barracks story is that it puts the starters on notice before the new manager even says boo. 
    Posted by maxbialystock[/QUOTE]
    The issue is not "overweight" as such ( however it is defined ) but how an individual pitcher handles weight gain during a particular span of time.

     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from law2009a. Show law2009a's posts

    Re: August 2006 and September 2007

    m
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from Alibiike. Show Alibiike's posts

    Re: August 2006 and September 2007

    In Response to August 2006 and September 2007:
    [QUOTE]Some of you may not remember, but August 2006 was just as bad as last month.  The Sox played 30 games in August 2006 and won 9 and lost 21.  In the middle of the month was that horrendous 5 game series with the Yankees at Fenway and took all 5 games.  Then the Sox went to the West Coast and promptly lost 7 of 9.  On 31 July 2006, the Sox were playing at a .605 clip and headed for 98 wins, which almost certainlly would have been good enough for the playoffs.  On 31 August they were headed for 88 wins and, in the words of Terry Malloy, a one way ticket to palookaville.  And the 2006 team had exactly the same problem as this one--bad pitching.  That was Beckett's first year at Boston, with an ERA of over 5.  Schilling also pitched about 204 innings, but with an ERA of about 3.5.  And, surprise, surprise, Wakefield threw 140 innings, including some starts, but didn't do much good.  Plus guys like Tavares and Clement got some bad starts in.  Pap was the closer with an ERA of under 1, which was pretty amazing then and still is.  The Sox had Manny and Papi and Mike Lowell and some other good players and a good offense that could not, however, overcome the pitching deficit.  Funny thing is, the very next year, with a lot of the same players, the Sox won the AL East and the WS.  They were smart enough to recognize the real problem, pitching, and to put that bad month behind them. 
    Posted by maxbialystock[/QUOTE]

    Wasn't that also the year Manny quit on the team? I don't think he played much, if at all, after that Yankee drubbing.
    Yes, it was just the pitching. Nothing to see here!
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from Alibiike. Show Alibiike's posts

    Re: August 2006 and September 2007

    Bad SP pitching; bad catching; bad defense; bad BP; bad coaching; bad baserunning; bad managing = earlier hunting season.
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from susan250. Show susan250's posts

    Re: August 2006 and September 2007

    In Response to Re: August 2006 and September 2007:
    [QUOTE]On Opening Day everyone has a chance to win.  That is the beauty of sport.  I don't know many who predicted a Cards / Rangers WS. The noise around the RS lately is more about betrayed trust.  Trust that fans have in players to hold up their end of the bargain and fulfill their professional duties. That trust has been violated, and as any spouse caught cheating can tell you, when trust is violated, great anger can ensue.
    Posted by ABQDan[/QUOTE]

    You are right about St. Louis and the Rangers in the World Series this year.  Before the season started all of the MLB analysts and tv announcers predicted that the World Series this year would be the Red Sox against the Phillies.  Most thought that the Phillies would win it all because of their great pitching staff.  Many of us are upset that the Red Sox didn't even make the playoffs. Phillies fans must have the same thoughts after their disappointing exit in the 1st round of the playoffs this year.  
     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from maxbialystock. Show maxbialystock's posts

    Re: August 2006 and September 2007

    In Response to Re: August 2006 and September 2007:
    [QUOTE]In Response to August 2006 and September 2007 : Wasn't that also the year Manny quit on the team? I don't think he played much, if at all, after that Yankee drubbing. Yes, it was just the pitching. Nothing to see here!
    Posted by Alibiike[/QUOTE]

    It was definitely the year Manny "quit" by claiming his knee hurt.  But the fact is that the pitching is what killed us.  In the five game series, Manny hit up a storm, but the Boston pitching staff insisted on giving all those runs back plus a lot more.  It was the pitching more than anything else.  Like this team, that team tended to slide a little after the debacle of August.  The one guy who continued to play hard every inning and every game was Mike Lowell, a real leader, way better than anyone on the current team.  All to no avail.  When the pitching collapses, so does the season. 
     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from maxbialystock. Show maxbialystock's posts

    Re: August 2006 and September 2007

    In Response to Re: August 2006 and September 2007:
    [QUOTE]Bad SP pitching; bad catching; bad defense; bad BP; bad coaching; bad baserunning; bad managing = earlier hunting season.
    Posted by Alibiike[/QUOTE]

    You are describing a team that wins maybe 50 games in the season.  The Sox were playing over .600 ball when the pitching collapsed in late August.  Before the collapse, the Sox were fine and after it they finished with 89 or 90 wins.  So the pitching, hitting, fielding, baserunning, and coaching could not have been bad for the entire season. 

    The pitching stayed bad for all of September, just as it did in August 2006.  At some point the horrible pitching infected the fielding, the baserunning, and even the hitting.  To my mind, understandably so.  When you are sure the pitching will eventually give away the game--and in that category I definitely include Bard and the rest of the bullpen--there is less incentive to try hard.  When guys like Beckett and Lester go out and stink things up, it's time to pack it in, especially when the other starters are guys like Weiland, Miller, and Wakefield.  

    The big differences then and now are:  1) by 2011 Francona was ready to pack it in because the guys no longer listened to him, so he gets "fired" (although I think it was mutual); 2) Theo got a fantastic offer to move to Chicago, one the Sox can't match.  However, replacing a manager isn't exactly mission impossible, ditto the GM.  

    But the Sox still have as strong a base of good players now as they had in October 2006.  In fact, the pitching is probably a little better, even with Lackey on the roster.  The hitting is as good or better when you compare the 2006 Sox to the rest of MLB and the 2011 Sox to the rest of MLB.  

    Yes, there are things to fix right now.  Another righty bat.  A good rightfielder.  Keep Ortiz or not?  Ditto Papelbon.  Two more capable starters, who might turn out to be Aceves and Bard.  But the base is there.   

     

Share