March 12, 2004

PECOTA Projections. Rob Neyer posts the 2003 OPSs and BP's PECOTA 2004 projections for Boston's eight returning regulars:
             2003  2004   Diff

Millar 820 849 + 29
Damon 750 772 + 22
Garciaparra 870 865 - 5
Ramirez 1014 992 - 22
Varitek 863 799 - 64
Ortiz 961 894 - 67
Nixon 975 883 - 92
Mueller 938 775 -163
PECOTA expects only Millar and Damon to improve and forsees a big decline for Mueller and Nixon. Theo Epstein told BP last month that Millar was the only one of the eight who would likely improve: "[W]e are, in our internal planning, not expecting to score quite as many runs as we did last year. ... But we're OK with that, because we're going to score a number of runs we're comfortable with and we're going to allow a lot fewer runs." Neyer believes the Red Sox will score fewer runs than the Yankees: "The evidence at hand can point to no other conclusion." ... Let's look at the Yankees numbers for comparision:
           2003  2004   Diff

Williams 778 814 + 36
Giambi 939 971 + 32
Rodriguez 995 1021 + 26
Matsui 788 811 + 23
Jeter 844 797 - 47
Lofton 801 746 - 55
Posada 922 828 - 94
Sheffield 1023 902 -121
Boston is scaling back David McCarty's pitching experiment, in case Trot Nixon doesn't recover from his back injury in time for Opening Day. Nixon remains about four days away from resuming workouts. ... Bill Mueller was not available to play because of a stiff back. ... Ellis Burks hasn't seen any action in the outfield and Francona said he won't any time soon. ... Curt Schilling, Pedro Martinez and Scott Williamson all sing Jason Varitek's praises.

Before yesterday's game against the Orioles, Boston had the AL's lowest batting average (.228) and OBP (.294) through their first seven exhibition games. Here are the team's spring stats: batting and pitching. ... Nomar on whether the team has offered him or his agent a contract: "If they have (made an offer), I haven't seen it. There's nothing going on. ... it was just more dialogue."

Orioles manager Lee Mazzilli was the Yankees first base coach last year. When asked about Tito's Predecessor, he said, "What [he] did, he did with conviction and you've got to respect that as a manager and a baseball person." ... So, no matter how bone-headed, misguided and contrary to all common f*cking sense the manager's decision is, as long as he does it with conviction, he deserves my respect? Not from where I'm sitting. That seems as wrong as praising someone because he "stands up for what he believes in" -- what if he believes in slavery or torturing kittens or that Jeter has good range? When wrong is wrong, the justification doesn't matter.

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