Monday, June 09, 2008

Monday Pythagorean 6/9/2008

A 5-2 week moves Boston from 1 game back to 1 1/2 games ahead in the AL East.

  • The big stories of the week weren't performance related. The first was the brawl on the field on Thursday night. The second was the "brawl" in the dugout on Thursday night.

  • The brawl on the field was Coco Crisp's fault. Entirely. I can understand that he was upset when Bartlett dropped a knee in front of the bag on his stolen base attempt on Wednesday night, and I did not have a problem with his slide in the 8th. I thought it was hard but clean. Tampa Bay obviously disagreed. Clearly, Shields hitting him in the second inning on Thursday was intentional and expected. But Crisp should have just gone to first base, and gone hard into second again. There was absolutely no reason to charge the mound, and he deserved his suspension. That said, it was absolutely moronic of Shields and Tampa Bay to do it with no outs in the second. There's always the chance, when you throw at a batter and everyone knows that it's intentional, that the starting pitcher is going to get tossed. Tampa Bay put themselves in position to need 8 innings out of the bullpen in a game that, if won, would have moved them back into first place. Why not wait until the sixth to hit him? Just plain stupid, short-sighted, and it's going to cost them more than just that game, too. Gomes, Iwamura and Crawford all certainly earned their suspensions with their behavior in the pile.

  • The second "brawl" of the night was in the Red Sox dugout, as cameras caught Manny Ramirez and Kevin Youkilis needing to be separated. A different camera caught Ramirez giving Youkilis a backhand across the face. The apparent cause of the altercation was Youkilis behavior, throwing things around the dugout after flying out to center, despite the fact that the team was up 7-1. Various reports suggest that his teammates are tired of the flying equipment, and have even held a meeting to tell him so. Apparently Manny spoke to him in this case, and Youkilis responded. Whatever Youkilis' response was, it prompted Ramirez' reaction. We don't know exactly what either of them said. I think that there have been two schools of thought, and both of them are wrong. We have the "Manny is a total punk" crowd, and then the "it happens every day" group. I belong to neither. I don't think that physical altercations between teammates happen everyday. I do think it happens more often than outsiders believe, just because of the amount of time that these highly-competitive, phyically oriented men spend in close proximity, but I don't think that it "happens every day." But I don't think Manny's behavior is correct, either. It's tough to tell without knowing exactly what Youkilis said, but it really isn't a good idea to be striking teammates in the dugout. Period.

  • Any of the permutations of the proposed Johan Santana deal which did not get made last winter included Justin Masterson. Masterson has now made four starts for Boston, and he's 3-0, with a 1.07 WHIP and 2.59 ERA. It's a cliche to say that sometimes the best trades are the ones you don't make, but cliches become cliches by being used frequently, and often things get said frequently because they're true. This cliche is true, and, while it's far too early to make a final evaluation, this non-trade looks likely to be a great example of a trade that was better not made.

  • The news on Ortiz is more optimistic than I thought last week. It sounds like there's a reasonable-to-good chance that the sheath heals without surgery, and that he's back on the field at the beginning of August. If that's the case, there's no need to go get Bonds. If it isn't, I'd strongly consider.

  • It also looks as though they dodged a bullet, because it looked like Ellsbury had broken his wrist on Thursday night (with Crisp already having been ejected, they finished that game with the...interesting...outfield of Chris Carter in left, J.D. Drew in center and Kevin Youkilis in right - I don't expect a Major League team to run a worse defensive outfield out there during the rest of the season.) Instead, it seems it was just a sprain, and he may return tomorrow having missed just three games. Which would be good news.

  • Some of us were optimistic about Craig Hansen. Well, in his last six outings, he's thrown 6 2/3 innings, struck out seven, walked three, and allowed one hit and no runs. Even bad pitchers have good stretches, so this doesn't mean that he's going to be the dominant reliever that they thought they were drafting. But it does mean that it doesn't look as unlikely as it once did...

AL Pythagorean Projection Report - 6/9/2008






Tampa Bay4.49(7)4.14(5)0.537(5)342937263

Los Angeles4.22(10)4.08(4)0.516(6)333139256


New York4.62(5)4.71(9)0.491(8)313232311






Kansas City3.71(14)4.76(10)0.388(14)243924390

Top 5 projections (using current winning %)
Los Angeles9963


Tampa Bay9567



Top 5 projections (starting with today's record, using Pythagorean winning %)



Tampa Bay9072

Los Angeles9072

Standings for the week






Los Angeles4.17(11)3.5(3)0.579(5)33512

New York5.86(4)5.71(9)0.511(6)43430






Tampa Bay4.33(10)5.5(8)0.393(12)24240

Kansas City4.5(9)6.67(11)0.328(13)2415-1


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