Monday, August 20, 2012

Monday Pythagorean - 8/20/2012

So we've reached that part of the show where, standing over the body they've been working on trying to resuscitate, the one EMT looks at the other and says, "That's it. I'm calling it."

Or, if you'd prefer, the part when John Cleese comes in and explains that the parrot is "a stiff! Bereft of life, 'e rests in peace! If you hadn't nailed 'im to the perch 'e'd be pushing up the daisies! 'Is metabolic processes are now 'istory! 'E's off the twig! 'E's kicked the bucket, 'e's shuffled off 'is mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin' choir invisible!!"
  • Given that neither Vincent Price nor Boris Karloff is available, who gets to narrate the 2012 Red Sox highlight reel?
  • Not that you actually need much narration for the 22.7 seconds it will take to show all of the highlights...
  • But hey, the week wasn't all bad, as the Sox made American League history by putting an all-Yale battery on the field, for two pitches (and two outs) on Saturday afternoon. It was the first all-Yale battery in Major League baseball since the 1880s. Congratulations are in order for Craig Breslow and Ryan Lavarnway, for Ben Cherington who brought them together, and for Bobby Valentine, who put them on the field together.
  • And yes, that's about the lamest possible source of excitement you could ever possibly look for. And the fact that it's the biggest piece of Red Sox good news in about three weeks tells you everything you might need to know about the 2012 season.
  • OK, Andrew Bailey finally made his Red Sox debut, and looked good doing it. Woo-hoo.
  • OT: I finally saw Moneyball. It was excellent. It's not entirely true, of course, but it's largely true, and very well done. A lot fewer histrionics and Hollywood dramatic additions than I expected. Brad Pitt was excellent, Jonah Hill was excellent - it was an excellent film. In contention for the title of Best Baseball Movie Ever.
  • I commented, when Crawford returned, that the Red Sox had reached August without their starting second baseman, DH and left fielder all playing in the same game. Apparently, the season will end with that condition remaining true, as Crawford's reportedly scheduled to end another lost season with Tommy John surgery tomorrow. So he's followed his underperforming first year in a Red Sox uniform with an injury-marred (and underperforming) second year in a Red Sox uniform.
  • Speaking of Crawford, I need to confess. I was happy when they signed him. I thought he was overpaid, but I still thought that he'd be a good player, that they could afford to overpay him, that they were better off getting him rather than having the Angels or Yankees get him. I always thought he was overrated, but got caught up in the competitiveness of the offseason moves, and overrated the performance that he'd historically put up against the Red Sox. My inner "excitable baseball fan" told my inner "sabrmetrician" to "just shut up about the OBP, would you?" Well, two years, and $40 million (more or less) into his Red Sox career, they've gotten 161 games of .260/.292/.419/.711 from Carl Crawford. Meanwhile, Daniel Nava has hit .251/.373/.397/.770 while making $1.37. Darnell McDonald has hit .228/.305/.390/.695 in a Red Sox uniform, slightly worse than Crawford, but he hasn't cost $40 million, either. Crawford hasn't just been bad for the money - he's been bad, period. He's been not-only-worse-than-JD-Drew-but-worse-than-the-Drew-detractors-even-thought bad. His presence has hurt the team. The $40 million is just insult to injury.
  • And, as I acknowledge, to my everlasting shame and embarrassment, I liked the signing, despite recognizing it as a bad deal.
    1) Crawford is not worth that much money per year
    2) The contract is too long
    3) Too expensive for too long = bad contract
    4) I like (possibly even love) the signing anyway
    Well, I was right about the first three parts. And said that number four was "Illogical? Irrational? Possibly." (I also said that I was going to expound on it, but I don't seem to have gotten to it. Well, I've done so, a little bit, above...)
  • I don't know what the issue is with Josh Beckett, but if they can't get it fixed, he's not an asset in any way. He hurts them when he pitches for them, and he's untradeable. And it happened overnight. From the beginning of the 2011 season through September 16, he was 13-5 over 28 starts, with a 2.50 ERA, 8.1 strikeouts and 2.4 walks per nine innings, and a 3.45 strikeout/walk ratio. He was a legitimate Cy Young candidate. Since then, he's started 23 games and gone 5-13, with an era of 5.50, 6.8 strikeouts and 2.8 walks per nine innings, and a 2.49 strikeout/walk ratio. Did he get hurt? "Fat and Lazy?" I don't know, but whatever happened, happened pretty suddenly. And if they can't reverse it, they can't have him pitching for them in 2013.
  • Red Sox Player of the Week - When the best options are Pedro Ciriaco (.316/.350/.421/.771) or Adrian Gonzalez (.261/.308/.565/.873), you know that they earned that 2-4 record. As a team. What no one on the team earned was a Player of the Week award.
  • Red Sox Pitcher of the Week - It's nice to see Jon Lester starting to pitch well again, with a splendid effort in their win in New York on Saturday. Too bad it's too late...

AL Pythagorean Projection Report - 8/20/2012
New York4.93(2)4.07(4)0.588(1)715072491
Tampa Bay4.25(9)3.71(1)0.562(3)68536754-1
Los Angeles4.66(5)4.48(8)0.517(8)63596260-1
Kansas City4.18(12)4.53(9)0.462(12)55655466-1
Top 5 projections (using current winning %)
New York9666
Tampa Bay9072
Top 5 projections (starting with today's record, using Pythagorean winning %)
New York9666
Tampa Bay9072
Standings for the week
Tampa Bay6.14(1)2.71(3)0.817(1)6152-1
Kansas City4.33(6)2.17(2)0.78(2)51510
New York4.43(5)3.29(5)0.633(5)43521
Los Angeles4.71(2)7.57(14)0.296(13)25250

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