June 22, 2006

Be Like Dan

This sounds like fun. Bruce Allen at Boston Sports Media Watch writes:
So you think you know what Dan Shaughnessy is going to write, even before you read his column?

We're going to have a little contest. Next week, the New York Mets come into town, and of course with them will be Pedro Martinez. We know Shaughnessy will write a column about the return of Pedro. You probably have a good idea what it is going to read like.

So write it.

That's right, write Shaughnessy's column about Pedro's return, complete with all the phrases and references he's bound to use. When you're done, email it to me. I'll go through them, and when Dan's column appears, (Right now Pedro is lined up to pitch on Wednesday) whoever's column is the most like Dan's in both style and substance will win a prize. I'm not sure what the prize will be, but it will be a nice prize.
Over at Dan Shaughnessy Watch, The Chief likes the idea, adding that contributors should (to achieve the proper frame of mind) "borrow a friend's motorcycle and ride it, helmetless, into a concrete wall. Next, get really, really drunk. Then write your column."


Yaz-Tex said...

Great article by Gordon Edes in today's Globe on Bronson Arroyo and his rise from #5 guy in Boston to "Ace of the Reds....lock for National League All-Star...Cy Young Award candidate...the guy who never wanted to leave".

While receiving a strong plug from Pedro on his candidacy for the Cy Young ("He's my pick.."), Arroyo comes clean on the comparatively weaker NL line-ups as one reason for his success to-date, a notion that Petey disputes (surprise!?).

While Wily Mo's recovery from his hamate job has put the day-to-day "who got the better deal" in suspense mode, I think time will show what many of us believe now, namely that there's no way BOS would ever do this deal again.

Any Sox fan worth his/her salt can't help but be happy for Arroyo and the way he has blossomed in new environs. However, it stings to see such a talent and all around team guy lighting up another stage, especially when you face the facts that Theo chose to put his faith in the mesomorphic malcontent, Wells, instead of the kid who is now the toast of Cincinnati.

Yes, WMP came through capably during Coco's stint on the DL, and who knows what kind of production we may have seen from him over the last 45 days had his injury and subsequent surgery not forced him from the line-up. However, for all of us who still marvel how BOS hoodwinked SEA in getting D-Lowe and Tek in exchange for Heathcliff Slocum, the shoe is now firmly on the other foot.

It's name is Bronson Arroyo.

Jere said...

Dan recently wrote in an article, about Sox fans being everywhere, something to the effect of "Yankee Stadium is the only place that feels like a true road game."

How does half the upper deck dressed in red and chanting "Let's Go Red Sox" make it feel like a road game?

And about Bronson, it doesn't sting for me any more now than it did the minute we traded him for a bag of magic beans. There's no 20/20 hindsight for me, since I had 20/20 foresight the day it happened, and of course, I wouldn't be saying this if I didn't have documented proof of it. I still say somebody had naked pix of Paul and blackmailed Theo into making that trade.

Devine said...

Eh...I still think that trade was good, especially given what we thought we knew at the time. And you really can't deny how capably he filled in for Crisp (I know you acknowledged it yaz-tex, but he did it so well that nobody even blinked).

I'll wait two more years to evaluate the trade.

Jere said...

Who is "we"? You mean "the stat people who thought a platoon, .250 hitter was worth more to us than a World Series-winning pitcher who took a pay cut to stay with us on a staff that had big question marks and a history of injuries." Easily seen by people--who watched the games on the field as well as looking at it on paper--from day one.

L-girl said...

Allan, you've got to enter this contest. You can't rag on CHB at every opportunity (god knows he gives you enough of them) and then not rise to this challenge. Maybe your post that day can be a faux CHB column.

redsock said...

I was in favour of the Brandon-for-Pena trade (not overhwlmeing, if I recall, but supportive). It made sense at the time -- and I believe it will make sense in two years.

"World Series winning pitcher"? No more in the post-season than Lowe, and I don't see many people clamoring for his return.

CHB: I don't read him much anymore so I don't know enough of his current stylistic tics. Also, I don't have a decent list of all the "clever" nicknames and snide remarks he had for Pedro. (I'd love to see more than the winning entry, though.)

Devine said...

We're both talking about the guy who got shelled in Game 3 of the big ol' ALCS, right?

Look, Jere, we can agree to disagree (and have), but you're always combative about it. If in 2 years, this trade looks bad, I'll say so. Based on what Pena's done this year which is 1) hit when we needed him, 2) tried--and succeeded--to hit the other way instead of trying to yank them all for homers, and 3) walked more than he was wont to in the past, I'd say he earned his keep pretty well. That's even with his injury (which was as well-timed as one could have hoped for).

And I watched more than 120 Red Sox games last year, I'd wager, and more than 60 the year before (man, was the championship really that recent?). And yeah, I still would've traded him. And yeah, I like stats.

But granted, Arroyo THIS year would have been more valuable than Pena has been, despite Pena being rather valuable.

Zenslinger said...

Despite Arroyo's one previous loseless streak, I agree that it makes good sense to look at where things were at the time the trade was made to decide if it was a bad idea or not. A 4 ERA pitcher is nothing to sneeze at if he's as dependable as Bronson was. But the Red Sox could not have known that they were trading away a Cy Young contender.

What would Bronson be doing in the AL this year? In light of the recent post about a 10-win per season difference between an NL team and an AL team, I'd say, without any statistical analysis, he'd have about a 3.4-3.6 ERA. Better than any of our starters, but not overwhelmingly so. His W-L would depend on the luck of the draw (compare Beckett's wins and to Wake's and then their ERAs).

We have heard some distant howls for blood on the Arroyo trade given Wells's being out. (If the Lord of Doughnuts were here, he'd be probably 3-4 with a 4.7 ERA, something like that.) But imagine this scenario: Wells predictably is hurt and/or ineffective AND Beckett goes down with blisters -- not exactly a far-fetched idea. Then we would have been hearing the screams and the agony on this trade. And his stellar performance (albeit in the NL) would have been so much salt in the wound.

We are winning and things could be much worse. I didn't feel good about the trade at the time, liked Bronson the way that Yankee fans should like Chien-Ming Wang. But WMP has impressed, and Arroyo's streaky, so I'm willing to wait to pass final judgement on the trade long term.

In the meantime I wish the man well because, as I said on this blog at the time, he may have been a mediocore pitcher, but he was our mediocore pitcher. And it's good to see him bust out of that mold.

Jack Marshall said...

Sorry...it's just silly to rag on the Arroyo trade at this point. 1. NOBODY, and that's NOBODY, thought an over-thirty fourth starter with Bronson's ERA would be pitching like this. So after Bruce Banner turns into the Incredible Hulk, you want to question th smarts of his college football coach who cut him. Unfair.
2. All that matters is what Arrojo would have done for the Sox. He would have strted the season in the pen. There's no way of knowing if his current improvement would even have occurred. 3) Even Wily Mo's detractors in Cincy concede that he's a good bet to become a 40+ homer guy. If that happens, it's a good trade, regardless of what Bronson does.
3. There's no pressure with the Reds. Bronson's WS performance and other big games led me (and I suspect the Sox) to conclude that he didn't have the stomach for crunch time. Again, there is no way to conclude that Arrojo would shine in Boston.
4. Finally, comparing this trade to the Slucumb for Lowe-Varitek deal is
completely invalid. That was insane at the time; personally, I thought Heathcliff was about to be released.

I'm with Devine and Resock on this one. Sure...the way this season has shaken out, I'd like to have Bronson in the rotation, pitching like he is. Hell, I'd like to have about six Sox shortstops back too...let's see: Everett, Eckstein,Renteria, Ramirez, Nomar, Cordero. That doesn't mean I don't think all those moves (well, most of them) made sense when they were made.

I really hate Monday Morning quarterbacking.

L-girl said...

it's just silly to rag on the Arroyo trade at this point. 1. NOBODY, and that's NOBODY, thought an over-thirty fourth starter with Bronson's ERA would be pitching like this.

I agree. It's silly. You can't judge a team's moves in hindsight based on unexpected, flukey results. You can only judge by what there was to go on at the time, not by an unknown future.

And I was a huge Arroyo fan, perhaps more than his performances warranted. But there's still no reason to think it was a bad deal, at the time.

I really hate Monday Morning quarterbacking.

Me too. A useless waste of energy.