Tuesday, August 22, 2006


1) I'm beginning to suspect that this may not be the Red Sox year...

2) More on that: While not entirely writing off the Sox, I think it's important to remember that this was billed as a transition year coming in, and that has pretty much been what has happened. One of the main goals of the season was to build up the youth movement from the minors and start aclimating some of the young players to the major. We may have lost sight of that because the Sox had the second best record in the majors for a while, but essentially this swoon is a function of the new players coming back to earth as the grind of the season wore on. Our 4 young pitchers are all scuffling to varying degrees at the moment. Youkilis is still playing well, but not as hot as he was at the beginning of the year. Pena is still a work in progress, and Coco still seems to be hurting at the plate from that finger injury. Oh, and Josh Beckett becomes an idiot whenever he gets into a hitter's count.

Sure, it would have been nice if the Sox continued playing like they did against the national league, but that wasn't going to happen. While a few players have performed better than expectation, really most things have gone poorly for the team and there is no way to fix that.

What went right for the Sox: Ortiz and Manny are monsters, Schilling came back reasonably well, Lowell had a hot start, as did Youkilis, and Paps was a monster through the first half.

What went wrong: Wells missed half the season, Clement blew up before getting hurt, Foulke blew up before getting hurt, Coco got hurt and hasn't rebounded, Dinardo blew up and got hurt, Wakefield got hurt, Varitek got hurt, Nixon got hurt twice, Pena got hurt, Josh Beckett.

Not much you can do with that. Sure, the Yanks lost $26mm in salary to injuries in the form of 2 players, but that just means that their lineup only has $98mm left to cover for them. So, I'm sorry, but with all due respect the Yanks have nothing to complain about from injuries. The Sox lost their season because of theirs. Whenever you lose your #3-6 starters, your starting catcher has a crap year before going out, your #2 starter implodes every other start, and the only reason you are still competitive is because of three players (one of whom is a rookie), good things may not happen.

3) One final note: did anybody else notice that, since the Abreu trade, the salary disparity between the #1 and #2 teams ($74mm) in the American League is actually larger than the disparity between the #2 team and the last place team ($73mm)? I know this is bitching that is unlikely to garner sympathy, but I do get tired of the assertion that "The Sox and Yanks can just outspend everybody". Um, the Yankees can outspend everybody. The Sox are just the top of the second tier, with payrolls about on par in with the Angels and Mets. You never hear about how the Angels can outspend everyone else.


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