April 5, 2006

"Career Numbers" And Early Panic

The morning papers are annoying me.

The Red Sox have scored 11 runs and smacked 22 hits in two games, but Tony Massarotti is already worrying about an allegedly weak offense. Because the Red Sox featured Alex Cora, Kevin Youkilis and Josh Bard in the 7-8-9 spots, Mazz believes "the lineup looks a little thin." Oh, come on. Cora and Bard are bench players. This is not the regular starting lineup.

Some facts:
     Runs 2G  W/L  End of Season
2003 13* 1-1 Led MLB in runs
2004 6 1-1 Led MLB in runs
2005 5 0-2 Led MLB in runs
2006 11 1-1

(* - G2 went 16 innings)
Is the "hold" the most useless stat in baseball? Perhaps. My vote goes to "career numbers" against a team, batting or pitching (or fielding, for that matter). After his short stint last night, we learned that Tim Wakefield is 7-13, 6.29 against the Rangers. Does the media just spew this stuff out without thinking? Is it in the paper to help the writer reach word length?

Wakefield has been pitching in the American League since 1995. What do the Rangers he faced on July 14, 1995 -- Will Clark, Jeff Frye, Mike Pagliarulo, Mickey Tettleton -- have in common with last night's lineup (Ian Kinsler had just turned 13 when Wake first faced the Rangers)? Nothing. The team doesn't even play in the same stadium anymore. ... It's no more insightful than reporting how a pitcher does on Thursdays.

And what would an annoying morning be without the CHB?:
The Red Sox are not going to go 162-0, and Boston's sports-talk jocks have new cause to fret. ... [O]ne can only wonder whether [Wakefield] feels abandoned by Theo and all the minions who decided it would not matter who they got to catch knuckleballs in the absence of Doug Mirabelli. ... Might be time to panic. First Foulkie. Now Bard. And the Sox are one out in the loss column. How soon before somebody says they're playing for the wild card?
The scary thing is that based on his past writings, he's more than a little serious. How soon? Probably your next column, Dan.

Notes: JT Snow gets a start tonight at first and Wily Mo Pena will likely play against Baltimore left Bruce Chen this weekend. ... Manny Ramirez struck out three times last night -- he needs to stop trying to pull outside fastballs -- for only the 53rd time in 1,689 games. ... Wakefield is the 12th player in Red Sox history to play 12 seasons and only the third pitcher (Roger Clemens, 1984-96 and Bob Stanley, 1977-89).

Gordon Edes chats about the Ortiz Extension Talks:
[Y]esterday was the first indication I'd gotten all spring that negotiations might not be going as smoothly as we might have all assumed. David seemed disappointed to me that a deal didn't get done this spring ... We're operating a little in the dark here. We don't know what Papi is seeking, nor what the Red Sox are willing to pay.
Ex-Sox: Bronson Arroyo makes his Reds debut this afternoon against the Cubs. ... Depositions from Derek Lowe's divorce case were made public. As reported by LA Observed:
Trinka Lowe alleged in her deposition that the pitcher's agent, Scott Boras, suggested an "intervention" to deal with the player's drinking and told her the Red Sox did not re-sign Lowe after the 2004 season because of his alcohol problem. ... [T]he alcohol issue got so bad when Boston was in the playoffs in 2004 that bullpen catcher Dana Lavangie phoned [Trinka] at home in Fort Meyers, Florida "and told me that I needed to come up to Boston because Derek was falling apart....He was depressed. They had taken him out of the starting rotation."
Amusing news from New York: On Opening Day, new Mets closer Billy Wagner jogged in from the bullpen with Metallica's "Enter Sandman" playing over the Shea Stadium loudspeakers. Wagner has been using the song as his entrance music since 1999, but it's obviously identified with Mariano Rivera. The Yankees also started playing the song in 1999, although Rivera had never heard it before. Rivera laughed at the controversy: "I don't mind it at all. If the guy feels comfortable using the song, let him be."

Over at mlb.com, beatwriters for both the Red Sox (Ian Browne, Brownie Points) and Yankees (Mark Feinsand, (Mark It Down) have started blogs. Browne has a great story about Ortiz, wine, adult entertainment and Game 7 of the 2004 ALCS.


jeff said...

I was at the game and, while I side with you in saying that it's early to start panicking, crying nd otherwise acting like Sox fans, I have to admit that the CHB had a point about Mirabelli. (Though I still plan on doing some clever photo-shopping to the pic I took of CHB)

Bard looked ridiculous. He allowed three passed balls and bobbled even more. Maybe he'll get better. I hope he does. It was only the third inning that I turned to my wife and asked, "why would they trade Mirabelli if they were keeping Wakefield?"

God, it hurts to agree with CHB.

Devine said...

Mirabelli was not exactly stellar when he started catching Wakefield. It's one game; it'll be fine. Would anyone say that Bard *caused* the three-run homer? I'll chalk that one straight up to Wakefield.

What's the matter with everybody? This team is going to lose sixty games if we're EXTREMELY lucky.

And 4 runs is not exactly an anemic offense.

jeff said...

True. True. Like I said maybe he'll get better. But it was sooo ugly. And the real enigma was that Wakefield's pitches didn't have enough movement to keep Texas hitters from picking it up but had enough to keep his catcher from picking it up. Hmmmm. So far, I'n not a fan.