Reconsidering, just a little, whether the Red Sox really were a disaster - Abraham blog

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    Reconsidering, just a little, whether the Red Sox really were a disaster - Abraham blog

    Perhaps finally a voice of reason...mostly...

    I'm as guilty of propagating this as anybody else and for that I apologize. But it's time to be honest.

    The 2011 Red Sox were not a disaster.

    The Sox had the fourth-best run differential in the game at +138. They led baseball in runs, hits, doubles, total bases, OBP and slugging. They were second in walks and third in home runs.

    The Sox were 84-54 after beating Texas on Sept. 3 and a half-game out of first place. To that point, 85 percent of the season had been played. Let's not discount that.

    Everybody knows what happened after that. But the Sox are not the spendthrift Cubs or the perpetually disorganized Mets. This is a team that played horribly for three weeks and that may or may not have been caused by poor attitudes, poor conditioning and a poorly timed thirst for a cold Coors Light.

    But to hear what people are saying and read what they are writing — and, again, guilty as charged — the Sox are the biggest bunch of crooks to invade Fenway Park since Doug MacRay, Jem Coughlin and Albert MaGloan.

    Let's dial it back a little. The Red Sox will have an excellent offense next season, probably even better than this season. By default, Carl Crawford has to get better and they'll find a right fielder.

    The pitching is an issue and it'll be up to Theo Epstein (presumably) to straighten that out. But it can be done. Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, Daniel Bard, Alfredo Aceves and Josh Beckett are five of your 12 for sure. Go from there.

    Beyond that, here's the Extra Bases Five-Point Plan To Fix The Red Sox:

    1. John Henry has to get involved. The Red Sox should be a priority, not part of his portfolio. Make it clear in words and deeds that you expect excellence. His silence is deafening.

    2. Close the Fort Myers County Club. Make it clear to every player invited to spring training that they better show up early and in shape. If it takes sending trainers out to check up players every few weeks this winter, then that's what it takes.

    Being in good condition and ready for 162 games should be an expectation for the players, not a choice.

    3. Demand accountability. The Red Sox have lost track of the little things. The whole team should be on the field for the National Anthem, for instance. There should be a less excuse-making or complaining. Hiding from the media should not be allowed. Why is it every time the Sox lose, the same two or three players are left to explain it?

    You saw how it translated onto the field. Missed cutoff men, running into outs, etc. Being professional and accountable is not a sometimes thing.

    4. Get a strong pitching coach. Or a manager who knows pitching. All Terry Francona knew about pitching was that he didn't know much about pitching and he left it in the hands of others. That works with a strong pitching coach like John Farrell, but Curt Young never seemed to get a handle on the staff.

    The Red Sox don't have to have dominant pitching to win. But they have to be reliable and that wasn't the case.

    5. Change some faces. The 2012 Red Sox should not look like a reunion of the 2007 team. Shake it up a little bit. Get some players in here with something to prove, not reputations to protect.

    The Red Sox do not need to start over, blow the whole thing up or run the bums out. They finished a game out of the playoffs, not 10. Let's not descend on Fenway Park with pitchforks and torches quite yet.


     
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    Re: Reconsidering, just a little, whether the Red Sox really were a disaster - Abraham blog

    Not a bad post.  I agree with most of it especially setting the tone early and playing it through all year.  I would look for hungry players to replace some of the aging vets that must go.  I think Lavarnway should replace Tek and a young arm in Wakes spot.  After that clean out the extra fat.  Can the team have some kind of in shape rule?  And if a guys doesn't adhear to it they are fined.  Once the tone is set I think things will progress better all season because there is a lot of talent on this team.   
     
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    Re: Reconsidering, just a little, whether the Red Sox really were a disaster - Abraham blog

     I like Peter Abraham.  A pretty succinct analysis.  The Sox are not doomed for 2012, but they have work to do.  Agreed that the September letdown should be enough motivation for guys who were out of shape or malcontents to pull it together for the common good. If not, someone needs to be in their ear from day 1. 
     
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    Re: Reconsidering, just a little, whether the Red Sox really were a disaster - Abraham blog

    Few thoughts were I personally disagree with Peter....

    3. Demand accountability. The Red Sox have lost track of the little things. The whole team should be on the field for the National Anthem, for instance. There should be a less excuse-making or complaining. Hiding from the media should not be allowed. Why is it every time the Sox lose, the same two or three players are left to explain it?

    I disagree with the media access. They are a catalyst for bad chemistry and have proven they will take an inch of content and turn it into a mile of controversy. The RS should be come Belichickian in their communications. Controlled sound bites all in one voice.

    1. John Henry has to get involved. The Red Sox should be a priority, not part of his portfolio. Make it clear in words and deeds that you expect excellence. His silence is deafening.

    I don't think it matters much what a the managing partner says publicly. It is a baseball operations issue that runs from Theo's office down to the manager's office to communicate the values of franchise. If those guys aren't getting it done those conversation don't have to be done in public, no matter how much the media would like that copy. Any questions, see point #3.

    2. Close the Fort Myers County Club. Make it clear to every player invited to spring training that they better show up early and in shape. If it takes sending trainers out to check up players every few weeks this winter, then that's what it takes.

    Being in good condition and ready for 162 games should be an expectation for the players, not a choice.

    It is a valid point but I hate to break it to Peter the training staff currently travels all over the country working with players all winter. 

    I'd add that the club will change just from the embarrassment of the collapse and the departure of manager who had their back. If I were king for a day, if I had Varitek back, I'd take the C off of his chest. I'd have the players choose a captain and let that captain know that the players are expected to self police complete with kangaroo court fines for non-hustle.

    I'd have my manager hit guys where they hate to be hit, PT when I thought they did not do their work pre-game. But back to #3, when the media asks why Superstar X did not play, my manager's response should be "manager's decision, next question."

    But all and all the most sane thoughts in the public domain about the RS in two weeks.


     
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    Re: Reconsidering, just a little, whether the Red Sox really were a disaster - Abraham blog

    Abraham's usually pretty interesting and sensible, even when he is critical--with his hammering of Ellsbury last year being the one exception I know of.

    He's right that the team ain't broken and doesn't require radical surgery.  That said, every team, even WS winners, has to take a hard look at each new season and what they might need.  That the Sox slipped in September might make it easier to let some people go:  Wakefield, Varitek (can't throw anyone at except for AGon, who plays for us), Drew, and possibly Ortiz, whose production dropped off in September.  I think the Sox can offer him a decent contract, but certainly not a great one.  If he goes, he goes.  Same for Papelbon. 

    While I like the idea of Youk as the DH, I can't forget that his great value is that he is one of the best hitting thirdbasemen in MLB.  If he goes to DH, he will be replaced almost certainly by a lesser hitter.  On the other hand, I think the Sox do need three good righty hitters in the lineup on a regular basis. 
     
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    Re: Reconsidering, just a little, whether the Red Sox really were a disaster - Abraham blog

    Well said!



    In Response to Reconsidering, just a little, whether the Red Sox really were a disaster - Abraham blog:
    [QUOTE]Perhaps finally a voice of reason...mostly... By Peter Abraham, Globe Staff I'm as guilty of propagating this as anybody else and for that I apologize. But it's time to be honest. The 2011 Red Sox were not a disaster. The Sox had the fourth-best run differential in the game at +138. They led baseball in runs, hits, doubles, total bases, OBP and slugging. They were second in walks and third in home runs. The Sox were 84-54 after beating Texas on Sept. 3 and a half-game out of first place. To that point, 85 percent of the season had been played. Let's not discount that. Everybody knows what happened after that. But the Sox are not the spendthrift Cubs or the perpetually disorganized Mets. This is a team that played horribly for three weeks and that may or may not have been caused by poor attitudes, poor conditioning and a poorly timed thirst for a cold Coors Light. But to hear what people are saying and read what they are writing — and, again, guilty as charged — the Sox are the biggest bunch of crooks to invade Fenway Park since Doug MacRay, Jem Coughlin and Albert MaGloan. Let's dial it back a little. The Red Sox will have an excellent offense next season, probably even better than this season. By default, Carl Crawford has to get better and they'll find a right fielder. The pitching is an issue and it'll be up to Theo Epstein (presumably) to straighten that out. But it can be done. Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, Daniel Bard, Alfredo Aceves and Josh Beckett are five of your 12 for sure. Go from there. Beyond that, here's the Extra Bases Five-Point Plan To Fix The Red Sox: 1. John Henry has to get involved. The Red Sox should be a priority, not part of his portfolio. Make it clear in words and deeds that you expect excellence. His silence is deafening. 2. Close the Fort Myers County Club. Make it clear to every player invited to spring training that they better show up early and in shape. If it takes sending trainers out to check up players every few weeks this winter, then that's what it takes. Being in good condition and ready for 162 games should be an expectation for the players, not a choice. 3. Demand accountability. The Red Sox have lost track of the little things. The whole team should be on the field for the National Anthem, for instance. There should be a less excuse-making or complaining. Hiding from the media should not be allowed. Why is it every time the Sox lose, the same two or three players are left to explain it? You saw how it translated onto the field. Missed cutoff men, running into outs, etc. Being professional and accountable is not a sometimes thing. 4. Get a strong pitching coach. Or a manager who knows pitching. All Terry Francona knew about pitching was that he didn't know much about pitching and he left it in the hands of others. That works with a strong pitching coach like John Farrell, but Curt Young never seemed to get a handle on the staff. The Red Sox don't have to have dominant pitching to win. But they have to be reliable and that wasn't the case. 5. Change some faces. The 2012 Red Sox should not look like a reunion of the 2007 team. Shake it up a little bit. Get some players in here with something to prove, not reputations to protect. The Red Sox do not need to start over, blow the whole thing up or run the bums out. They finished a game out of the playoffs, not 10. Let's not descend on Fenway Park with pitchforks and torches quite yet.
    Posted by fivekatz[/QUOTE]
     
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    Re: Reconsidering, just a little, whether the Red Sox really were a disaster - Abraham blog

    Excellent post by Peter Abraham.  Is there any chance that Dice K will be strong enough to pitch in spring training?  Could be he's not a lost cause.
     
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    Re: Reconsidering, just a little, whether the Red Sox really were a disaster - Abraham blog

    Close the Fort Myers County Club. Make it clear to every player invited to spring training that they better show upClose the Fort Myers County Club. Make it clear to every player invited to spring training that they better show up early and in shape early and in shape

    This is a very slack and naive hit and run commentary. MLBPA makes sure there is little ownerhip can do with out of shape players.

    As for accountability, the closed shop union makes it essential that the gm bring in the right players and discard the wrong ones. This is where the debacle of the last 3 years went wrong.

    Epstein should be fired. His grandfather was in the cheap entertainment business and he got in baseball management with zero experience in baseball at any serious organized level. Werner was his ticket in, and Luchino and Henry need to be his ticket out.
     
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    Re: Reconsidering, just a little, whether the Red Sox really were a disaster - Abraham blog

    In Response to Re: Reconsidering, just a little, whether the Red Sox really were a disaster - Abraham blog:
    [QUOTE]Abraham's usually pretty interesting and sensible, even when he is critical--with his hammering of Ellsbury last year being the one exception I know of. He's right that the team ain't broken and doesn't require radical surgery.  That said, every team, even WS winners, has to take a hard look at each new season and what they might need.  That the Sox slipped in September might make it easier to let some people go:  Wakefield, Varitek (can't throw anyone at except for AGon, who plays for us), Drew, and possibly Ortiz, whose production dropped off in September.  I think the Sox can offer him a decent contract, but certainly not a great one.  If he goes, he goes.  Same for Papelbon.  While I like the idea of Youk as the DH, I can't forget that his great value is that he is one of the best hitting thirdbasemen in MLB.  If he goes to DH, he will be replaced almost certainly by a lesser hitter.  On the other hand, I think the Sox do need three good righty hitters in the lineup on a regular basis. 
    Posted by maxbialystock[/QUOTE]Well put.

    Every year even WS wins, a team needs to look at its future and how it can improve.

    Now IMO what is being lost here is that the RS would have won 95-97 games if they hadn't lost Dice-K in May, Buch in June and Lackey did not suffer from everything from elbow soreness to a toxic home life.

    And if this team had won 95 games the talk would be about improving this team not blowing it up.
     
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    Re: Reconsidering, just a little, whether the Red Sox really were a disaster - Abraham blog

    None. He won't be ready until July at the earliest.



    In Response to Re: Reconsidering, just a little, whether the Red Sox really were a disaster - Abraham blog:
    [QUOTE]Excellent post by Peter Abraham.  Is there any chance that Dice K will be strong enough to pitch in spring training?  Could be he's not a lost cause.
    Posted by lscheue[/QUOTE]
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from lscheue. Show lscheue's posts

    Re: Reconsidering, just a little, whether the Red Sox really were a disaster - Abraham blog

    In Response to Re: Reconsidering, just a little, whether the Red Sox really were a disaster - Abraham blog:
    [QUOTE]Close the Fort Myers County Club. Make it clear to every player invited to spring training that they better show upClose the Fort Myers County Club. Make it clear to every player invited to spring training that they better show up early and in shape early and in shape This is a very slack and naive hit and run commentary. MLBPA makes sure there is little ownerhip can do with out of shape players. As for accountability, the closed shop union makes it essential that the gm bring in the right players and discard the wrong ones. This is where the debacle of the last 3 years went wrong. Epstein should be fired. His grandfather was in the cheap entertainment business and he got in baseball management with zero experience in baseball at any serious organized level. Werner was his ticket in, and Luchino and Henry need to be his ticket out.
    Posted by 1958lesspaul[/QUOTE]

    Theo's grandfather was in the cheap entertainment business? His grandfather wrote "Casablanca" one of the biggest hits of all time.  After all these years in baseball I would sayTheo has plenty of experience by now.  I liked Pete Abraham's article. We need a few pitchers.  All is not lost - hang tough!
     
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    Re: Reconsidering, just a little, whether the Red Sox really were a disaster - Abraham blog

    In Response to Re: Reconsidering, just a little, whether the Red Sox really were a disaster - Abraham blog:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Reconsidering, just a little, whether the Red Sox really were a disaster - Abraham blog : Theo's grandfather was in the cheap entertainment business? His grandfather wrote "Casablanca" one of the biggest hits of all time.  After all these years in baseball I would sayTheo has plenty of experience by now.  I liked Pete Abraham's article. We need a few pitchers.  All is not lost - hang tough!
    Posted by lscheue[/QUOTE]What the post you responded to missed on so badly is who was Theo Epstein's ticket in. It was the guy who helped him go to Yale and brought him with him from San Diego. It was Lucchino who was his ticket in and his mentor. The falcon turned on the falconer back after 2005 but those two were attached at the hip. 

    The comical part here is that Werner's man role with the RS is the entertainment side of the business, NESN in particular.
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from georom4. Show georom4's posts

    Re: Reconsidering, just a little, whether the Red Sox really were a disaster - Abraham blog

    In Response to Re: Reconsidering, just a little, whether the Red Sox really were a disaster - Abraham blog:
    [QUOTE]Close the Fort Myers County Club. Make it clear to every player invited to spring training that they better show upClose the Fort Myers County Club. Make it clear to every player invited to spring training that they better show up early and in shape early and in shape This is a very slack and naive hit and run commentary. MLBPA makes sure there is little ownerhip can do with out of shape players. As for accountability, the closed shop union makes it essential that the gm bring in the right players and discard the wrong ones. This is where the debacle of the last 3 years went wrong. Epstein should be fired. His grandfather was in the cheap entertainment business and he got in baseball management with zero experience in baseball at any serious organized level. Werner was his ticket in, and Luchino and Henry need to be his ticket out.
    Posted by 1958lesspaul[/QUOTE]

    you have stated more than a few times that the Players Union protects out of shape players...can you cite for me specifically any statue in the bargaining agreement that says Teams cant establish rules for their organization such as curfews, kangaroo courts, conditoning requirements....Im pretty sure teams can and have their own set of rules that players have to follow...
     
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    Re: Reconsidering, just a little, whether the Red Sox really were a disaster - Abraham blog

    In Response to Reconsidering, just a little, whether the Red Sox really were a disaster - Abraham blog:
    [QUOTE]Perhaps finally a voice of reason...mostly... By Peter Abraham, Globe Staff I'm as guilty of propagating this as anybody else and for that I apologize. But it's time to be honest. The 2011 Red Sox were not a disaster. The Sox had the fourth-best run differential in the game at +138. They led baseball in runs, hits, doubles, total bases, OBP and slugging. They were second in walks and third in home runs. The Sox were 84-54 after beating Texas on Sept. 3 and a half-game out of first place. To that point, 85 percent of the season had been played. Let's not discount that. Everybody knows what happened after that. But the Sox are not the spendthrift Cubs or the perpetually disorganized Mets. This is a team that played horribly for three weeks and that may or may not have been caused by poor attitudes, poor conditioning and a poorly timed thirst for a cold Coors Light. But to hear what people are saying and read what they are writing — and, again, guilty as charged — the Sox are the biggest bunch of crooks to invade Fenway Park since Doug MacRay, Jem Coughlin and Albert MaGloan. Let's dial it back a little. The Red Sox will have an excellent offense next season, probably even better than this season. By default, Carl Crawford has to get better and they'll find a right fielder. The pitching is an issue and it'll be up to Theo Epstein (presumably) to straighten that out. But it can be done. Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, Daniel Bard, Alfredo Aceves and Josh Beckett are five of your 12 for sure. Go from there. Beyond that, here's the Extra Bases Five-Point Plan To Fix The Red Sox: 1. John Henry has to get involved. The Red Sox should be a priority, not part of his portfolio. Make it clear in words and deeds that you expect excellence. His silence is deafening. 2. Close the Fort Myers County Club. Make it clear to every player invited to spring training that they better show up early and in shape. If it takes sending trainers out to check up players every few weeks this winter, then that's what it takes. Being in good condition and ready for 162 games should be an expectation for the players, not a choice. 3. Demand accountability. The Red Sox have lost track of the little things. The whole team should be on the field for the National Anthem, for instance. There should be a less excuse-making or complaining. Hiding from the media should not be allowed. Why is it every time the Sox lose, the same two or three players are left to explain it? You saw how it translated onto the field. Missed cutoff men, running into outs, etc. Being professional and accountable is not a sometimes thing. 4. Get a strong pitching coach. Or a manager who knows pitching. All Terry Francona knew about pitching was that he didn't know much about pitching and he left it in the hands of others. That works with a strong pitching coach like John Farrell, but Curt Young never seemed to get a handle on the staff. The Red Sox don't have to have dominant pitching to win. But they have to be reliable and that wasn't the case. 5. Change some faces. The 2012 Red Sox should not look like a reunion of the 2007 team. Shake it up a little bit. Get some players in here with something to prove, not reputations to protect. The Red Sox do not need to start over, blow the whole thing up or run the bums out. They finished a game out of the playoffs, not 10. Let's not descend on Fenway Park with pitchforks and torches quite yet.
    Posted by fivekatz[/QUOTE]

    Since they were up 9 and lost out by 1 it certainly feels like 10
     
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