Re: WOW!BAM!BING!Dan Shaughnessy RIPS RED SOX TO PIECES! AND SUGGESTS FRANCONA IS MANAGING FOR HIS JOB!
posted at 9/23/2011 2:12 PM EDT
The problem right now with what Shaughnessy wrote and what all the critics are saying is there's a whole lot of piling on, throwing every fault, misstep, etc into the pile.
He wrote, it's not about injuries, but every team has injuries. The same thing is true for underachieving players. The Sox had all the problems he wrote -- Crawford, players being comfortable (if that's a problem), etc -- the first five month of the season which they ended in first place.
So you have you have to start throwing out the peripheral stuff and see what the big problem is and it's simple. Pitching, which injuries were a part of. Lackey, of course falls into this category.
In September, the Sox had just two dependable starters in September, and one missed starts and even both weren't exactly lights out, save the bullpen that they needed to produce. Not having Buchholz finally caught up with the team. Not having DiceK or a dependable replacement hurt. And Lackey never reaching even last year's level hurt. And Bedard, who had pitched pretty well, going out in September hurt them. And all that killed the bullpen.
All that other crp is meaningless for the most part. If he needed to rip someone a new one, maybe it should have been Reddick. He made that error where he casually went after a routine fly ball with one hand and dropped it. Maybe if Francona ripped him -- privately is fine -- maybe he wouldn't have made the recent boneheaded play that cost the team.
A lot of people rips the team for being fat, happy as if they're just going through the motions and taking things for granted and not playing hard. OK, let's break it down. Who can you say it about?
Youk? Pedey?, Scutaro, who's been one of the few producing in Sept.?, A-Gon? Ellsbury? Beckett? Lester? Tek? This is a strong core and I can't pin that on any of them. I'm not going to go through the entire roster, but who?
The Sox have made some boneheaded baserunning plays in the past couple of weeks, Youk twice, Aviles once, off the top of my head, but couldn't that fall into trying too hard category?
Shaughnessy mentioned Wake's nine tries going for his 200th win, but a couple of points. First, who else was there to pitch? Everybody else going out there is getting lit up too? Second, the Wake should have had his 200th win a lot sooner. The bullpen blew a few games, he got no run support in a couple and for whatever reason, the team played horrible defense behind him.
Like I said -- everyone's throwing all kinds crp into the pile but the breakdown is simple.
The pitchers couldn't get anyone out this month. How is that Francona's fault. He pushes a starter -- like Beckett -- which some on here wanted (to let the starters go deeper) and that backfires. He brings in Bard earlier, that backfires. He brings in Papelbon earlier, that backfires.
When a pitcher is getting lit up in the second, third and fourth inning and the manager looks to the bullpen and sees just one pitcher (Aceves) he's willing to bring in at that point, what's a manager going to do.
The Sox might not have been as decimated iwth injuries as last year -- although it would have been nice to have Youk healthy this month. Maybe he would have been the difference in a couple of those close losses.
But a couple of injuries had a tremendous dominoe affect IMO. First Buchholz's. Had he been in there and pitching like he was, that's one less game you have to put a stiff like Miller or Weiland or OK, even Wake the way he's been itching lately.
Beckett missing a start and Bedard going out in Sept killed the Sox too.
For all the other piling on that Shaughnessy and others have done, had the Sox gone into September with a rotation of Beckett, Lester, Buchholz, Bedard and even Lackey, does anyone thing the Sox would be in this shape right now?