Saturday, May 26, 2007

Random Red Sox Rants

"Statistics are for losers." As we approach the one-third mark in the 2007 baseball season, we have to be disappointed with J.D. Drew. Just as Mark Belanger a brilliant defender and banjo hitter once hit .287, so solid hitters have had disastrous seasons. Drew at .230/.341/.320/.661 isn't having a dollar-adjusted disaster, he's just struggled almost beyond belief.

Drew's career numbers .284/.391/.504/.895 absolutely dwarf his 2007 numbers. Injury? Pressure? Statistical curiosity?

Who are the Sox' top 5 career hitters and what was their worst season?

Ted Williams, .344, hit .254 in about half a season worth of at bats at age 40
Wade Boggs .338, hit .259 in 1992
Tris Speaker .337, hit .296 in 1919 when on the Indians
Nomar Garciaparra .328 (career .317) hit .283 in a shortened season for him in 2005
Jimmie Foxx .320, hit .226 in 1942 in an at-bat limited season at age 34

So, given this point in the season, and with the comfort of solid overall team play, let's chalk up Drew's start to small sample size and statistical variation.

The Pitching Staff. A week ago, fans celebrated the AL's best or second best staff. Now, with Schilling's struggles, Beckett on the DL, and Daisuke dry heaving, where are we? Hearing about Daisuke's nausea, I couldn't help doing the doctor differential diagnosis, from mundane to disastrous fixable.

  • A 'bug'...people do get sick
  • Food poisoning...these guys eat out all the time
  • Acid-peptic disease/H. pylori...
  • Medication toxicity (could the rubber armed righty be using Motrin?)
  • Gallstones, not very likely in a young guy
  • Hepatitis...too much raw fish
  • Everything else...I'll skip the details

Let's just hope that he's feeling better today. If there's any doubt, send him back to Boston for an evaluation.

Stuff you never see. I love baseball oddities, but when was the last time you saw a runner on second tagged out on a ground ball to second base? It had to be Manny.

De-fense. Daisuke was victimized by his own inefficiency in the fourth inning, but Manny's banana route on Teixeira's triple certainly didn't help. Speaking of defense, Sammy Sosa might make Wily Mo Pena look like Roberto Clemente out there.

Management. I ssuspect most Sox fans have grown to appreciate Francona's humor, candor, and perspicacity. He keeps problems in house, and the players seem genuinely happy playing for him. Of course, fat contracts must help. Speaking of fat contracts, Theo Epstein has been riding a winning hand now, and staying under the radar.

Farm Aid. The Sox best news is the well-stocked minor league system, currently loaded with some "power arms" (Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, Michael Bowden), all of whom seem to have both the talent and the drive to be successful. Peter Gammons writes about the need to be great, and the Sox may have found players with talent and temperament.


El Jefe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
El Jefe said...

...and Pedroia is hitting .279 with an OBP of .365 vs Manny's .268/.352

Go figure...