Monday, April 23, 2012
This 4-10 start may be the signal of an end of an era. With the departure of Theo Epstein and Terry Francona, the Sox amazing streak through most of the 2000s may have officially came to an end. While the end of last season raise concerns, I think the ship's captain may have abandoned ship rather than trying to save her or at least prolong her life. I have no reason (yet) to not support Valentine but the previous regime deserved a better fate than they received.
The Sox head out of town this week to visit the Twins and the White Sox. Hopefully their departure will allow them to escape the negative atmosphere in the city and refocus on the season. It is early and there is still a lot of baseball to be played. Go SOX!
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Monday, February 13, 2012
The Red Sox have come to terms with David 'Big Papi' Ortiz on a one-year deal for $14.575 million. This agreement comes on the heels of Spring Training opening camp and allows Papi to focus on the season. For more see Big Papi at mlb.com
Thursday, February 9, 2012
Friday, April 8, 2011
On a much more positive note, the Cincinnati Reds are 5-1 for the first time since 1990 when they went wire-to-wire and won the World Series. The Reds are hot right out of the gate and firing on all cylinders. I don't see why they shouldn't win the Central this year and at least make the NLCS if they can manage to avoid a fiasco like the Phillies series last year.
Could two teams, that of course I'd like to see in the postseason, start off the season any different? This is what makes baseball so exciting. Go Red Sox and Go Reds!
Monday, April 4, 2011
The Red Sox have been picked by many to win the East and the World Series but are they over hyped? This weekend was more of a testament to the hitting prowess of the Rangers. Texas has 7 guys with at least 5 AB hitting over .300. Although the starting pitching for the Red Sox (Lester, Lackey and Buchholtz) were far less than stellar, I’m not concerned…yet. The good news for the Sox is that they start a series with the Indians, a team known to cure many ills.
The perplexing thing for me this weekend was Francona’s quick decision to move Crawford to the seven spot in the lineup. Sure he had a bad weekend, but Crawford knows how to work through it. He’ll be fine.
The good news for the Sox came by way of the bats of Adrian Gonzalez and Big Papi. Gonzalez is hitting .385 with 3 RBI and Papi sent 2 balls screaming and drove in 4 just like the Papi we used to know.
The O’s had the perfect combination of a team on the decline in the Rays and superb pitching by some young stars. Their three starters combined for 20 innings pitched giving up only 1 run and 6 hits while striking out 17. Very impressive but I don’t expect those numbers all season.
Remember, the season is young so let’s climb down from the ledge and see what is to come. I think we’ll find that everything will work out in the end.
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
As previously mentioned, I’m more of a traditionalist than not with the understanding that some things have to change to remain relevant and not get passed by. And, as with everything else in the world, I realize that money drives everything. However, is moving the greatest day in Spring, that being opening day of course, that can be shared by baseball fans throughout the country to a single ‘opening game’ on Sunday night really necessary? ESPN already runs the sports world, would it hurt for them to carry games on Monday and get the buzz that is happening all around the sport in stadiums everywhere and to miss out on one Sunday night game? Baseball should start in Cincinnati like it did for years. The parade, all the pomp and circumstance to kick off the new season. Instead, the baseball world has to watch one game the night before and not get to enjoy the experience of actually being at opening day. Sure the teams have their own ceremonies the following day and everyone has a great time but now it is the second day of the season. The Yankees and Red Sox are going to draw plenty attention throughout the rest of the season, let’s let the other 28 teams enjoy one of the few things some teams have to celebrate for the entire season.
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Opening day has finally come and gone. The weather could not have been better and the games likewise. Sunday night the Red Sox come from behind on the strength of Kevin Youkilis’ three extra base hits and a solo shot from Dustin Pedroia to beat the hated Yankees. Yesterday, Jason Heyward hits a long homerun on his first swing ever as a major league player and the Braves spanked the Cubs who tied an opening day record by allowing 16 runs. Sir Albert Pujols hit not one but two opening day homeruns which puts him on pace for 324. It could be a good season. Roy Halladay pitched a gem in Philly as the reigning NL champs look to repeat. Tim lincecum struck out 7 and gave up only 4 hits through 7 innings in a Giants 5-2 win over Houston. Perhaps the play of the entire season has already occurred. Mark Buerhle kicked a ball that was hit back at him, then chased it down as it careened toward the first base line between the pitcher’s mound and first. He crosses the base path right in front of the baserunner and in one motion, scoops the ball with his glove and flicks it between his legs underhand to first to get the runner by about a half step. WOW! What does day two have in store?
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
OPS is the sum of a player’s on-base percentage and slugging percentage which calculate a player’s ability to get on base and to hit for power. This seems like a very useful statistic for determining a player’s worth with the theory being that a player that is on base more would therefore score more by the law of averages. Also, the same would be true that a player that hits for power more would score more as well.
The best way for me to grasp things like this is to put the numbers to the test and look at the results. The top ten players in OPS for their career are Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, Lou Gehrig, Albert Pujols, Barry Bonds, Jimmie Foxx, Hank Greenberg, Rogers Hornsby, Manny Ramirez and Todd Helton*. The only one I would possibly have a problem with is Todd Helton. How did he get in there? Looks like a pretty good list of the best ever to me.
The Adjusted OPS (OPS+) takes into account the ballpark and the league the player played in. The top ten in OPS+ for their career are Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, Barry Bonds, Lou Gehrig, Rogers Hornsby, Mickey Mantle, Albert Pujols, Dan Brouthers, Joe Jackson, Ty Cobb and Jimmie Foxx*. Again, a very impressive list.
Just for fun, I looked at last season’s (2009) OPS leaders. They are Albert Pujols, Joe Mauer, Prince Fielder, Joey Votto, Derrek Lee, Kevin Youkilis, Adrian Gonzalez, Hanley Ramirez, Mark Teixeira, and Ben Zobrist (Manny Ramirez was omitted due to lack of plate appearances). Once again, what a list. I would start a team with any of these guys. I bet you didn’t expect to see Joey Votto in the top ten (unless of course, you are a Reds fan).
I think OPS and OPS+ are two of the best stats for finding great hitters. All that being said, I would not determine a player’s worth solely on OPS or OPS+. If you have a player that has great plate discipline and therefore has a high on-base percentage but rarely ever hits for power, their OPS would be affected. However, I would love to have that player hit just ahead of a guy high on this list (like Albert Pujols), so that one run has a much better chance of becoming two. Also, this is solely an offensive category that does not take into account fielding or intangibles such as leadership. So unless you are just looking for a DH or a fantasy player, I would look at the OPS and OPS+ but not make a decision solely from those numbers.